We dive a little deeper in Berkshire’s annual report. As we’ve argued before, it’s another chapter in a body of work that can be read strictly with an investing “hat” – or, more usefully, with many hats (business, corporate governance, communications, recruiting/incentives etc.). This one is interesting in many regards: succession, Berkshire’s strategy and goals, IBM, insurance float, share repurchases, the state of the US economy and more. We also link to the transcript of CNBC’s 3-hour special “Ask Warren”.
UPDATE: The 2012 Berkshire Hathaway annual report is out – the latest chapter in a history of value investing lessons that Warren Buffett started back in 1959. Read the past letters and this year’s for much more than insights on value investing and valuable information on Berkshire itself, and you will be richer for it.
This article by Economist.com actually makes for interesting food for thought regarding Brazil and other highly-regulated economies. If the USA has it rough, how do we have it here? We highlight some interesting tidbits valid for all over-regulated countries.
The Farnam Street blog, always a great source, has two posts with recommended reading lists by two very interesting authors and thinkers: Robert Cialdini and Nassim Taleb. Between the two, there’s definitely good reading to be done.
You choose how to allocate your time to your choice of media outlets based on your priorities. Such priorities should, ideally, be determined by a strategic plan designed to achieve a set of goals/objectives you’ve carefully set down as the most important for you. Right? Ideally, yes. But we’re usually too caught up on “execution mode” to revisit and question our objectives, then plans, then priorities – in this order – so we keep doing what we’ve been always doing. Old habits, as they say, truly die hard.
Investidor Profissional (IP) announces to Buysiders.com users that the blog’s activities have become independent as of today. The company believes that the relevance attained by the blog recommends that, in the name of transparency and independence, Buysiders.com is not attached to any investment management firm or financial institution. Buysiders.com is, therefore, no longer IP’s blog, but its users can continue to read it at the same URL (www.buysiders.com) and Buysiders.com continues to be edited by former IP member Gustavo Ballvé, who has led the project since its inception.
MIT economist Andrew Lo had published a paper where he reviews twenty one (yes, 21) books about the global financial crisis. In search of common explanations and themes, he found confusion instead. “After each book, I felt like I knew less. For an academic, that’s a pretty frustrating feeling.”
Great article at BusinessWeek highlights the immense difficulties of integrating large acquisitions or mergers – in this case, United and Continental Airlines. The link to rocket science is in the article’s last line, and it’s hilarious.
Seth Godin’s appearance in this talk show is constrained by the format: a talk show requires “controversial sound bites” and leaves little room for deep analysis of a given issue. That’s up to us, and the ideas he repeats here – “get ready for a ‘forever recession’ by reinventing yourself”, “learn by doing”, “go ahead and do it”, “take risks” – are worth considering during the weekend.
Interesting, short interview with Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush. A reminder of the sometimes almost insurmountable barriers of inefficient habits and practices in some sectors. The potential for IT-based revolutions in healthcare is huge, however the questions of “when” and “how” are still hard to answer. Yet keeping track of the “cost control/ accountability” trend in HC is vital.