Sunday, March 20, 2011 0 comments ++[ CLICK TO COMMENT ]++

Some articles to kill your time

Here are some articles I found interesting. Not in any order...

  • Disclosed Fairfax e-mails show short-seller attacks on company (The Globe & Mail): More details from the bizarre situation from a few years ago. It's amazing what some short-sellers will do. Daniel Loeb from Third Point doesn't come out looking good, that's for sure.
  • (Recommended) Jacob Wolinsky interviews Roger Lowenstein (Jacob Wolinsky for GuruFocus): Newbies may not be familiar with Roger Lowenstein but he is one of the top (business) authors of the last few decades. He is most famous for writing a biography of Warren Buffett.
  • (Recommended) The high-profit-margin risk (Vitaliy Katsenelson for GuruFocus): Many who are bearish, including me, are most concerned, not with earthquakes, wars, and the like, but, with the seemingly high profit margins of American companies. This article runs down the author's view of the risk.
  • WikiLeaks cables - US diplomats' view of BYD (Reuters via The Star): Leaked WikiLeaks cables suggest that US diplomats view BYD, the up-start Chinese car manufacturer, as nothing more than a company that copies others and skirts intellectual property rules. The diplomats and other (unaffiliated) analysts also think BYD will face legal problems when it tries entering foreign markets. It'll be interesting to see how Warren Buffett's investment pans out. Buffett is betting on the person and not necessarily on the auto business so there will be a lot of twists to this saga.
  • China's furious growth may mask dangers (Reuters): I'm still not sure what is real when it comes to China.
  • (Highly Recommended) Warren Buffett CNBC March 2, 2011 interview transcript (CNBC): Some of you may have already seen the videos from a few weeks ago but here is the sixty-page transcript from CNBC. You are looking at one of the last moments of the greatest investor of all time.
  • The danger with Buffett-Prime-type investing (Value Investment Institute): A brief overview of the differences between Graham-type investing and, what I call, Buffett-Prime-type investing. A lot of the risk with Buffett-Prime-type investing has to do with the evaluation of the "moat," which is a qualitative call (i.e. it's more an art than science).
  • (Recommended for anyone interested in Japan) The problem with Japanese companies (Value Investment Institute): Written earlier this year, this short article attests to the core reason why investing in Japan is risky. I, as well as others have alluded to the poor corporate governance and lack of shareholder activism in the past, but this article presents a case study of an actual company. Although this is just one company and I hate to stereotype, my feeling is that nearly all Japanese companies are like this one (except for multinationals with wide ownership like Toyota and the like). Be careful with Japanese companies.
  • (non-investing) "The 18-minute presentation" (The Globe & Mail): If you do a lot of presentations, either for work or some recreational/entertainment activity, here is a suggestion by an expert to cut down the presentation to 18 minutes.
  • (non-investing) What went wrong at the Japanese Fukushima Daiichi-1 nuclear power plant? (IEEE Spectrum): It's kind of ironic how the worry turned from the nuclear reactors to the spent-fuel rods. Who would have thought that the serious contamination risk was with the spent-fuel rods that aren't even in the main nuclear reactor vessel? Hopefully the nuclear power industry will learn from this and come up with safer designs... I also find it remarkable how much heat is produced even when the nuclear reactor is not in operation. All the plants were shut down yet all of our problems are with the "shut-off" rods not being cooled.

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