Two quick notes from the same source (the Financial Times). The first is a Global Infrastructure report by McKinsey. The second is a lighter note, and I guess it had to happen someday: an activist fund manager is building up a stake in listed Private Equity specialists 3i.
Great article by Jared Diamond on “constructive paranoia” – a state of hypervigilance to events of seemingly small risk but high frequency (or higher than estimated), such as – in his example – falling in the shower. Since we are terrible at estimating risk anyway, it pays to be cautious and vigilant.
Very interesting Wired interview with Google’s CEO, Larry Page. I love the “moon shot” reference in the title, and he apparently means it and tries to structure his company to allow for this sort of disruptive innovation. Does that translate into a bright future for GOOG shareholders? I have no clue, but companies like this are always in the radar, always teaching us something one way or the other.
In the second update to our “Is investing in banks too hard?” original post, a reader has sent us a Howard Marks interview that has his views on analyzing banks. In summary, says the Oaktree Chairman, “they just don’t have analyzability”. Thanks again for our reader and please keep the stories coming!
Both Farnam St. and Seth Godin have great, quick-read pieces today. At Farnam St., a great definition of the objective/purpose of a company. At Seth’s blog, his opinion on how conferences (or meetings) can work. It might not seem so, but it’s a very practical way of looking at the usefulness of meetings.
We posted last Thursday about a long article at The Atlantic arguing that banks are increasingly “too hard to understand”. As in all bank matters, the Epicurean Dealmaker couldn’t resist writing about that article and his response is the best so far. If you haven’t read last week’s post yet, you’d do well to start with this one instead.
Thought-provoking cover story (and I mean this in the “is it signal or noise?” realm) in The Atlantic: “What’s inside America’s banks?” To summarise the official story line, the article argues that a growing list of heavy-hitting investors are simply giving up on trying to understand banks’ balance sheets, thus considering big banks “uninvestable”.