Gustavo Ballvé on November 30th, 2012

Interview with Michael Mauboussin about his new book, and a link to his 42-page paper in 2010 about precisely the same subject.

Read more about Luck, skills and déjà vu

Gustavo Ballvé on November 29th, 2012

Two stories about Bill Ackman. The most interesting by far is about Ackman’s desire to attract permanent capital that would allow him to focus more on the long-term activist efforts that have both made him famous and, according to Ackman, made most of the returns for his investors. The second is Bill’s full 45-minute video on Finance and Investing for Floating University, made free to watch yesterday.

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Gustavo Ballvé on November 21st, 2012

I’ve just read a Forbes cover article on “Reeducating Education” that highlights bold new ideas in Education, starting with the Khan Academy – a subject of previous posts here. The biggest merit I see in this initiative is in the accountability and analytics it provides. We are a long way from knowing if the approach really “works” (what does “work” mean? For whom? At every stage in the student’s life? etc.), but better to try this than stand idly by.

Read more about Holiday reads: reeducating education

Gustavo Ballvé on November 19th, 2012

Brazil has way too many holidays, that is certain. At least we can catch up with the reading, and this story is pretty interesting: Leucadia has decided to acquire Jefferies, the midsize US investment bank. Now the name Leucadia may not instantly ring a bell, but it is one of a few companies that have been called “mini-Berkshires” over the years – perhaps the most successful of them. They do interesting things there too, and this latest move takes them in a new direction.

Read more about Leucadia and Jefferies

Gustavo Ballvé on November 14th, 2012

More on Groupon’s woes, from a business model point of view. I really enjoy looking at innovative business models, and the Internet/Social Media realm is a very source of “disruptive” ideas. Caution and common sense still apply, especially when invited to invest in these companies (as per the many IPOs).

Read more about Groupon hurts

Gustavo Ballvé on November 8th, 2012

Felix Salmon’s and Ryan McCarthy’s Counterparties blog/ newsletter is a great source for articles, if not for political insight. Yesterday they had an irresistible quip about Peyton Manning’s superb timing for his investment in 21 Papa John’s franchises in Colorado – just days before the state voted to legalize marijuana…

Read more about Comic relief

Gustavo Ballvé on November 6th, 2012

Prof. Clayton Christensen had a very thought-provoking op-ed in the NYT. He starts by saying that it matters very little who wins the US presidential election. He then hints on the Capitalist’s dilemma: “Capitalists seem almost uninterested in capitalism, even as entrepreneurs eager to start companies find that they can’t get financing.” Next, he discusses 3 types of innovations and says that the US needs more innovations of the empowering kind. Finally, he gives three ideas to kick-start a debate on how the US can solve the “empowering innovation” problem.

Read more about A capitalist’s dilemma

Gustavo Ballvé on November 2nd, 2012

A Financial Times article highlights the surreal nature of Brazil’s “Mensalão” judgement, so easily lost on us locals. Just a few days later, a commission of our Congress buried yet another investigation of its peers. We have much to learn, much to do. Can’t rest a single second.

Read more about We still have much to do

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