Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Letters to The President

It's that time again.  If you'd like to send a comment to President Obama you can do so through the whitehouse.gov website, or click the link here.
Dear President Obama -
I hope that you can honestly say that did not know about what was going on with the IRS, but if you did, you should be ashamed of yourself.  For a free thinker it's easy to understand that one man cannot possibly control the actions of millions of government employees.  Anyone that has ever been a part of a corporate bureaucracy can understand that fact if they are being truthful to themselves.  I think that if most folks considered reality they would realize that your contingent is as zealous as any superstar's.  For that you can be thankful, but the fallout from the dark side of this dichotomy cannot be excused.
Additionally, I implore you to gather the Council of Economic Advisors and come to whatever agreement must be struck behind closed doors with respect to corporate taxation.  These congressional roasts of corporate executives are divisive and tired.  Dragging a company in decline before a group of polarizing figures runs completely counter to the innumerable fiscal initiatives our country presently executes.
If in the course of study genuine underhandedness has arisen then the company should be notified so they can plan the [repercussions] accordingly.  Otherwise, it appears as though you'd like the public to turn against corporations and that will not advance our country or civilization.

On Water.

The hardest working and most voracious reader I know, @smallcapanalyst, sent me an article called Water is becoming a more precious resource.  Quote following, emphasis mine:
Viewed from space, Earth appears to be a watery planet and in fact it is, with water covering 70% of the planet's surface.
But in a cruel irony, most of the water is not the kind people or animals can drink. We require fresh water, which makes up only about 1% of the earth's water, while the vast oceans are filled with undrinkable salt water.
Recall the ridiculous overcapacity in dry bulk shippers accumulated during the middle of the last decade and pictures of those ships anchored in Far Eastern bays during 2010.  To ease the glut some ships were scrapped while others were converted into LNG tankers.  Now that the US looks to become petroleum independent, a wise consideration might be for crude tankers to consider how water will be refined and how they could serve those in need.  Whether tankers carry refining equipment aboard, or move water from refineries at sea or between nations something must meet this implicit demand.

Also considering the demographic and economic gulf facing Japan, they must soon address an abundance of power capacity.  I propose they consider deploying nuclear to distill sea water for export.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Monday, May 13, 2013

See what he did there?

One single observation can invalidate a general statement derived from millennia of confirmatory sightings of millions of white swans.  All you need is one single (and, I am told, quite ugly) black bird.
Nicholas Nassim Taleb, The Black Swan - prologue, paragraph 1 

The association of "ugly" with black swan primes readers to spend the rest of the book in fear of the rhetorically imbued negative implications of not knowing an outcome with certainty.  No thanks.

Unknowing is the heart of possibility.  Unknowing is a source of adventure.  Unknowing is infinity - certainty, zero.

Centaur Capital on Investing Dumb and Dumber

Friday, May 10, 2013

Yardeni Chart

Current Themes

  • water
  • quality IPOs
  • inflation resonating from farms
  • organic produce
  • micro caps
  • space

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Buffet's Career Lessons for Millenials

from businessinsider's Warren Buffett Shares 9 Great Career Lessons For Millennials:
  1. Find your passion.
  2. Carefully choose who you look up to.
  3. Learn how to communicate effectively.
  4. Develop healthy habits by studying people.
  5. Learn how to say "no."
  6. Don't work for someone who won't pay you fairly.
  7. Become involved with growing businesses.
  8. Learn everything you can about your industry.
  9. Young women should seek male mentors.

On Mental Toughness

from a link posted by Mike Bellafiore to Twitter:
... twelve main components of mental toughness which were identified by the participants. These twelve components were; team unity, preparation skills, competitiveness, motivation level, coping skills, confidence maintenance, cognitive skill, discipline and goal directedness, possession of physical and mental requirements, psychological hardiness, ethics and religious convictions (Gucciardi, Gordon et al., 2009).
Mental toughness is having the natural or developed psychological edge that enables you to:
  • Generally, cope better than your opponents with the many demands (competition, training, lifestyle) that sport places on the performer.
  • Specifically, be more consistent and better than your opponents in remaining determined,  focused, confident, and in control under pressure.  [(Jones, Hanton et al., 2002)]

Twelve Main Components of Mental Toughness
  1. team unity
  2. preparation skills
  3. competitiveness
  4. motivation level
  5. coping skills
  6. confidence maintenance
  7. cognitive skill
  8. discipline
  9. goal directedness
  10. possession of physical and mental requirements
  11. psychological hardiness
  12. ethics and religious convictions

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Life of Rembrandt


The IPO Market is not Dead.

The truth is that we need the IPO market more than ever, just not at valuations already picked over by the underwriters.  That's a tough act when you have something with the enormous notoriety that Facebook does.  Not so when carpet bombing the public with ZNGA in double digits at their dead top.  By virtue of size these investment banks are arbiters of the business, so when people feel like they're getting screwed, they're getting screwed.

Some recent offerings, like CHUY, demonstrate that you can still go for the ride if you scan the IPO list and do a little homework.

Finally - THIS IS IMPORTANT - this market still handsomely rewards good ideas.  The VC culture is real and accessable.  Chase your notions, especially the good ones.

Notes to the President

Dear President Obama -

The latest macroeconomic market data tell us that despite a policy of ultimate liquidity, the Federal Reserve is unable to devalue into sustainable civil growth.

Too much growth has been pulled forward and for too long, and the present nature of social programs disincentivize legal entrepreneurship.

Consequently, [illegal] drug sales will always be a large entrepreneurial market because of the pleasure seeking behavior exhibited at large by those who have quit on themselves and require less energy to expend on personal advancement. [**]

The Fed cannot be seen as inflexible to the point that their policy creates a sovereign weakness.

Too, Free Markets and individual liberty are hallmarks of American Capitalism.

Please gather your panel of economic advisers and give back to the markets the final years of your term before making this current bastardization a political issue.

It's about the good guys and the bad guys now.  Government doesn't need to be in a market keeping the dogs back from the carcass.  If a race of market participants exist to drive this country into civil disrepair their actions must be exposed, not delayed and exacerbated by the lasting repercussions of the current face of QE.

One cannot print entrepreneurship.  Quantitative Easing was an important and necessary decision into the lows of the last crisis, it should not be another social crutch left to its devices.

** - I feel social programs incite a human characteristic for pleasure seeking by depriving the innate mechanical drive to self-support.  The pleasure derived is meant to replace the satisfaction of personal accomplishment.  In this way, social programs create a number of the victims who end up in jail.