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Author Archives: scuttleblurb

[BLK – Blackrock] Not Another Passive vs. Active Debate

Back in June 2009, reeling from the financial crisis and desperate to fix its balance sheet, Barclays agreed to sell Barclays Global Investors (BGI) to BlackRock, who paid ~$13.5bn in cash and stock for BGI’s ~$1tn in assets, which included $385bn in AUM from its vaunted iShares ETF franchise.  Over the last 8 years, iShares […]

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[MCEM – Monarch Cement] Ash Grove Part Deux?

[MCEM – Monarch Cement] On Sept. 20, Ash Grove announced that it agreed to be acquired by its largest customer, CRH plc, a global producer of building materials cement with €27bn in sales and €3bn in EBITDA across 31 countries. [For background on Ash Grove, see these previous posts]. “While the final amount of the […]

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Podcast Blurbs [Small cap investing, Ackman on ADP, Cramer on Dexcom, Journalism]

The Investors Podcast (9/17/17, Small Cap Investing w/ Eric Cinnamond) Eric Cinnamond (a veteran small-cap manager…writes a good blog) “Back [when I started my career], the largest holders of these small cap stocks were traditional small cap value managers like the Royce Funds, Heartland, Gabelli, and when prices got out of whack, they were there […]

[V – Visa; MA – Mastercard] Expanding the Rails, Part 1

The basic moatiness of V/MA has been tirelessly discussed for years and is well understood, so I’ll try not to belabor the point and focus instead on some less frequently explored angles.  But I do need to establish a common denominator, starting with the 4-party model….apologies if you know all this, I’ll be quick about […]

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[EFX – Equifax] Investment Implications of Breach Fiasco

Considering what’s at stake, we can’t dismiss the torrents of negative headlines, venemous tweets, pending AG investigations, and congressional rebukes that have justifiably buffeted Equifax on all sides, as hyperbolic grandstanding even if that’s exactly what much of it is.  In a very direct and non-hokey sense, trust – that the data lenders and employers […]

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Podcast Blurbs [Chinese internet, Consciousness, Passive investing]

Planet Money, Ep. #647 (Hard Work Is Irrelevant) “To get a job [at Netflix] and to keep it, you have to accomplish great things.  Here’s another slide [from Netflix’s presentation on its principles]…’We are a team, not a family.  And we are a Pro sports team, not a kid’s recreational team.’  In other words, if […]

[CB – Chubb Ltd] A Port in the Storm

[Re: Harvey/Irma disaster relief efforts, here are three charities that have been given top marks by charitynavigator.org: Helping Hand for Relief and Development, GlobalGiving Foundation, and ShelterBox USA.] When referring to the insurance industry, folks often talk about “hard” and “soft” markets – periods of strengthening and weakening premium prices, respectively – as though they […]

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Podcast Blurbs [Snap-On short, Amazon black hole, Illusory self, LP incentives]

Invest Like the Best, Ep. 53 (Meb Faber – Factors, Dividends, and Angel Investing) Meb Faber: “I saw a stat the other day that the average Robin Hood account checks his balance ten times a day…and so, all that does is create horrific behavior.” “There’s a lot of [fintech companies] getting funded that have great […]