CNBC has a very interesting series of articles and videos on what they call the CNBC Disruptor 50, a list of 50 “disruptors” in several industries, including Healthcare, Travel, Transport, Retail, IT, Financial Services and others. Any disruptors creeping up on your portfolio companies yet?
Interesting article about Carl Icahn at Forbes.com. It certainly mentions Herbalife and Netflix, but it also mentions Icahn’s older investments and his listed company. It’s also a nice reminder about the benefits of permanent capital – if you’re a super-investor…
Very interesting WSJ article for those interested in Brazilian infrastructure investments – my cup of tea of late. It doesn’t hurt that Burlington Northern is a Berkshire Hathaway company either…
Two quick articles: a relatively thorough article in the Financial Times about Brazil’s construction and infrastructure boom in the next few years, and a cautionary tale about things that “happen all the time” – until they don’t.
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.
Two recent stories highlight the current moral double standards regarding defaults and indebtedness in general. The first article uses American Airlines’ Chapter 11 filing, lauded as a “smart move”, and contrasts this reaction to the stigma surrounding personal bankruptcies by home owners. The second article tries to tack the same “double standards” theme onto Germany, but it doesn’t work nearly as well.
Berkshire’s new acquisition looks like a logical extension of his Burlington Northern acquisition, in the “picks-and-shovels” realm of the Logistics sector. Bonus: our most loyal reader sent us the transcript of Buffett’s June 2010 testimony at a hearing of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. You can always send us suggestions, links and texts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Great story at Bloomberg profiling Ryanair and its colorful CEO, calling him “the id of the airline industry”. Right or wrong, he’s a ground-shaker and iconoclast questioning some of the most basic assumptions regarding air travel. At the very least, it serves as a reminder of so many other “unquestionable” business models that have been changed from within or from the outside by seemingly preposterous ideas. Seen in another light, when someone has a clear vision and understanding of its clients’ needs (explicit and tacit) and matches that to its company competences and a compelling value proposition, (even) the sky is (not) the limit. You keep improving your model and the gift keeps on giving.
There is an increasing amount of BRK shares sold short and people seem quick enough to point to the Burlington deal as the culprit, for many reasons (listed inside). They may be missing the number one reason, and it’s one that merits attention.