Podcast Blurbs [Larry Summers, Levered restaurant franchisees, Books vs. podcasts, Cramer on MongoDB]

Freakonomics Radio (9/28/17; Why Larry Summers is the Economist Everyone Hates to Love) Larry Summers: (On infrastructure) “I think we’ve completely mismanaged infrastructure investment in the United States.  It’s nuts that when interest rates are lower than they’ve been at any time in the last 50 years that we’re also investing less net of depreciation…it’s […]

[MELI – MercadoLibre] Digging The Moat (Or Is It A Grave?)

A few weeks ago, I came across the following remark from Joe Weisenthal in my Tweet feed: “Smart people can’t help but try to poke holes in things, and see the weaknesses in existing systems.  But long-term investing requires a certain amount of dumb confidence that things will all work out over time, even if […]

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Podcast Blurbs [Freewill, Jerks, Cramer on Switch]

Planet Money, Ep. 795 (Is Record Breaking Broken) “Companies started coming to [The Guinness Book of World Records] asking if we could fly someone out to their event.  Companies and people were coming to Guinness wanting to break a record for publicity or to draw attention to themselves.  They’ve gotten on to the fact that […]

[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

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

When an apparently moaty company eagerly renders itself the object of public opprobrium, my greed gene gets activated.  I was helplessly compelled to at least take a look. [I think this stock is too expensive (more on this) and don’t own it, but thought I’d quickly share a crude rule I use for dealing with […]

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