Monday, August 3, 2009 2 comments

Various audio interviews... Martin Whitman, Jean-Marie Eveillard, Marc Faber, etc

Here are some audio interviews with prominent investors. Some of these have been making the trip on the blogging world so you may have encountered them before. I have been listening to these over the weeks and some are worth checking out. Note that these interviews are not all current and were conducted months ago (years ago in the case of the last one mentioned.)

Thanks to Controlled Greed for bringing to my attention the audio interviews at King World News.

King World News has a bunch of interviews with prominent investors and strategists. King World News seems biased towards gold and seems skeptical of mainstream economics so the interview subjects are biased in that direction. You may want to check their archive to find any that may interest you. Here are a few that you may find worthwhile (in no particular order.) I would recommend the ones with an asterisk (I have not listened to John Mauldin's yet but he usually has interesting things to say.)

Jim Rogers (nothing new)

Marc Faber (didn't find anything insightful)

Jim Grant (usual stuff)

*Jean-Marie Eveillard Part I & Part II (I did not know Jean-Marie was a fan of Austrian Economics...unfortunately interview has very little to do with stock picking...he doesn't do too many new interviews so worth checking out)

*John Mauldin Part I (usually interesting... haven't heard it yet)

Eric Sprott (He's the most prominent hedge fund manager in Canada, who is also super-bearish and typically bullish on commodities and gold. His mutual funds blew up last year but his hedge funds did well.)

Financialsense Newshour with Jim Puplava interviewed Martin Whitman regarding his latest book (here is the link to the MP3 file.) Whitman is getting old and it's great to see him still giving interviews. Value investors and distressed investors may want to check out his latest book on distressed investing. As I have said numerous times, it's extremely difficult to follow Martin Whitman's investing style unless you were a specialist or a professional working in the industry. In addition to the time and resources required to gain sufficient knowledge, small investors just don't have access to the debt market (unlike the 1940's and 50's, my impression is that pure distressed investing is mostly done through senior bonds, trade claims, and so forth.)

Finally, an investor by the name of Chris Leithner from Australia gave a speech to the Mises Institute back in 2005 on how Benjamin Graham's value investing may fit with Austrian Economics (here is the MP3 recording.) There is also this paper, Ludwig von Mises, Meet Benjamin Graham: Value Investing from an Austrian Point of View, that Leithner published on the topic. I'm not an economist but for what it's worth, I think Austrian Economics is simplistic and ignores human behaviour. In fact, I think Keynesians are probably better value investors—after all John Maynard Keynes was a pretty good investor and someone by the name of Warren Buffet is too ;)

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2 Response to Various audio interviews... Martin Whitman, Jean-Marie Eveillard, Marc Faber, etc

Daniel M. Ryan
August 4, 2009 at 2:47 AM

One man's simplism is another man's rectitude. :)

One of the reason I like the Austrian School, particularly the von Mises variety, is because of its agnosticism outside of the confines of pure theory. According to von Mises, the only way to forecast or spy out in advance is to use the "understanding." To understand, any method (or collection of methods) can do if it isn't illogical, if it works well enough and if its risks are recognized.

There's no one better than a Misesian when it comes to shooting down supposed rules that "always" work. They always work until they don't.   

Plan Maestro
August 4, 2009 at 10:57 AM

Why Keynes is a better model  for value investing than Mieses

The problem with Austrian economics is that it is too smart by half. With its plethora of unitended consequences and counterintuitive insights it has a grabbing appeal to brilliant people. It makes them think that they are thinking.

However, Austrian economics paints with a wide brush and is used in situations where it does not work. Invert, always invert. Have you asked yourself when Austrian economics does not work? the exceptions?

I think Keynes is a much better model for a value investor:

Keynes was specific: he explained when his insights worked and when they didn't
Keynes was pragmatic: he recognized his errors an learned from them
Keynes was bottom-up: he actually tried to understand how things worked, not how they should work
Keynes was a great investor: not surprising given the qualities described above

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