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"I’m firmly convinced that markets will continue to rise and fall, and I think I know (a) why and (b) what makes these movements more or less imminent. But I’m sure I’ll never know when they’re going to turn up or down, how far they’ll go after they do, how fast they’ll move, when they’ll turn back toward the midpoint, or how far they’ll continue on the opposite side. So there’s a great deal to admit uncertainty about." --Howard Marks (Mastering the Market Cycle)

As I've mentioned before on this blog, I think paying attention to the macro landscape is best done with the mindset of identifying risks, as opposed to making forecasts. Though as the quote from Howard Marks above shows, while it's possible to develop skill at identifying those risks and even knowing when they may be imminent, you still never know precisely when or to what extreme they will manifest themselves. 

As I continue to go back through the old Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting transcripts, I've been paying special attention to when Buffett and Munger have identified some of those big picture risks. And the excerpt below, from the 2006 meeting, is a good example. 

***

CHARLIE MUNGER: I also think that some of the sin that was in the manufactured housing finance a few years ago has shifted into the finance of the stick-built houses. 

There is a lot of ridiculous credit being extended in America in the housing field. And it had a horrible aftermath in the manufactured housing sector, and my guess is there will be some trouble in the stick-built sector in due course. 

WARREN BUFFETT: Well, dumb lending always has its consequences and usually on a big scale, because you don’t see it for quite a while. So, therefore, it’s like a disease that doesn’t manifest itself for a few weeks. 

And you can have an epidemic of something like that, and by the time you know you have an epidemic, you’re very well into it. Well, that’s what happens in dumb financing. 

...You certainly had it in commercial financing in the ’80s, and you had the RTC and the savings and loan crisis and all of that because, literally, one dumb project was put up after another. 

A developer will develop anything he can borrow the money against. It’s that simple. And when the lending institutions pour the money out for something, it will get built. 

And that happened in manufactured housing. It happened in commercial real estate in the ’80s. I think it’s happened in conventional housing here in recent years. 

And if you look at the 10-Qs that are getting filed for the first quarter of some lending institutions, and 10-Ks that were last year, and you look at the balances increasing on loans for interest that’s accrued but was not paid because people had adjustable mortgages, but they’re only adjustable so far, but the lending institutions are taking in the income as if it were paid, you’ll see some very interesting statistics. 

CHARLIE MUNGER: Yes. And some of this dumb lending is being facilitated by contemptible accounting. The accounting profession has not stopped compromising its way into terrible behavior. 

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Value Investing World by Joe Koster - 20h ago
"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for." --Epicurus

Mark Leonard. An Anthology of Lessons [H/T @Gautam__Baid] (LINK)

China, Leverage, and Values - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Jeffrey Gundlach and Danielle DiMartino Booth at the Rockefeller Center's Rainbow Room discussing macro and the economy (video) (LINK)

On the topic of macro, A Brief History of Doom: Two Hundred Years of Financial Crises looks like it could be interesting.

Against the Rules with Michael Lewis (podcast): Bonus Live Episode: Michael Lewis and Malcolm Gladwell (LINK)

The Tim Ferriss Show: #371: Ramit Sethi (LINK)

Invest Like the Best Podcast: Priya Parker – The Art of Gathering (LINK)
Related book: The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters
TED Talk: Sloths! The strange life of the world's slowest mammal | Lucy Cooke (LINK)

Why So Many Sharks Have Bird Feathers in Their Bellies - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Apollo Astronauts, in Their Own Words (LINK)

Marcus Aurelius on Embracing Mortality and the Key to Living with Presence (LINK)

"The longest-lived and those who will die soonest lose the same thing. The present is all that they can give up, since that is all you have, and what you do not have, you cannot lose." --Marcus Aurelius

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Value Investing World by Joe Koster - 2d ago
A write-up on the book The Path of Least Resistance - Learning to Become the Creative Force in Your Own Life by Robert Fritz (LINK)

Patsy in the Game - by Sanjay Bakshi (LINK)

Mr. Market Just Got Inside Your Head. Don’t Let Him Mess With You. - by Jason Zweig ($) (LINK)

Negative Rates, Designed as a Short-Term Jolt, Have Become an Addiction ($) (LINK)
Europe’s central banks haven’t been able to wean the eurozone off cheap money, which distorts economies and leaves little ammunition to cushion a downturn
The New Social Status - by Steven Wood (LINK)

Researchers have no idea when electric cars are going to take over (LINK)

All Eyes On The U.S. Truck Market - by Daniel Ruiz (LINK)

WorkLife with Adam Grant (podcast): Fadbusting (LINK)
Freakonomics host Stephen Dubner joins Adam for a live conversation to reveal why some popular workplace fads might be bogus—and what to do instead.
John Hempton on The Jolly Swagman Podcast discussing housing in Australia (LINK)

Can “Indie” Social Media Save Us? - by Cal Newport (LINK)

Bill Gates recommends 5 books for the summer (LINK)
The books: 1)  Upheaval - by Jared Diamond; 2) Nine Pints - by Rose George; 3) A Gentleman in Moscow - by Amor Towles; 4) Presidents of War - by Michael Beschloss; 5) The Future of Capitalism - by Paul Collier
An update from the fight to eradicate polio - by Bill Gates (LINK)

Bonobo Mothers Are Very Concerned About Their Sons’ Sex Lives - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Book of the day: Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom

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Value Investing World by Joe Koster - 5d ago
"The job of the board is to get the right CEO, to prevent that CEO from overreaching. Because sometimes you have some people that are very able, but they still want to take it all for themselves. But if they take nothing and they’re the wrong CEO, they’re still a disaster. So low pay itself is not the criteria. So you want the right CEO. You do not want them overreaching. And then I think the board needs to exercise independent judgment on important acquisitions, because I think CEOs — even smart CEOs — are motivated, frequently, in acquisitions by other than rational reasons." --Warren Buffett (2006

Value Investing with Legends Podcast: The All-Important Power of Consumer Brands (with Tom Russo) (LINK)

Kyle Bass on Bloomberg (video) (LINK)

My Way or the Huawei - by Peter Zeihan (LINK)

Dan Rasmussen talks small, cheap and levered stocks with Tobias Carlisle on The Acquirers Podcast (LINK)

The World According to Boyar Podcast: Howard Lorber (LINK)

Five Good Questions Podcast: Mark Moffett - The Human Swarm (LINK)

Recode Media with Peter Kafka: Eugene Wei explains why we’re all ‘status monkeys’ on social media (LINK)

A Waste of 1,000 Research Papers - by Ed Yong (LINK)

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Value Investing World by Joe Koster - 6d ago
"You don’t have to have perfect wisdom to get very rich. All you’ve got to do is have slightly more than other people, on average, over a long time." --Charlie Munger (2005)

What can Long-term Value Investors Learn from Traders? - by Sanjay Bakshi (LINK)

Realistic Personal Finance Hacks - by Morgan Housel (LINK)

As Baby Boomers downsize, an unprecedented generational unloading of houses looms on the horizon. (LINK)

Corner Office Podcast: Delta CEO Ed Bastian on why he’s spending big on airports (LINK)

Spinoza, the Stoic (LINK)

The Forgotten Soviet History of Plague Eradication (LINK)

A black hole in a distant galaxy has been eating a star… for more than a decade! - by Phil Plait (LINK)

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Value Investing World by Joe Koster - 1w ago
"There are things in life that you don’t have to make a decision on and that are too hard.... One of the interesting things about investment is that there’s no degree of difficulty factor.... We get paid, not for jumping over 7-foot bars, but for stepping over 1-foot bars. And the biggest thing we have to do is decide which ones are the 1-foot bars and which ones are the 7-foot bars so when we go to step we don’t bump into the bar. And that is something that I think we’re reasonably good at. Now maybe we cast out too many things as being too hard and thereby narrow our universe. But I’d rather have the universe be interpreted as being a little smaller than it really is, than being interpreted as larger than it is." --Warren Buffett (2005

Connor Leonard's presentation to the Value Investing Club at Google (LINK)

Spring 2019 issue of Graham & Doddsville (LINK)

2019 Value Investing Conference | Keynote Speaker: Kiril Sokoloff (video) (LINK)

2019 Value Investing Conference | Keynote Speaker: Lawrence A. Cunningham (video) (LINK)

Gates’s Law: How Progress Compounds and Why It Matters (LINK)

A critical step to reduce climate change - by Bill Gates (LINK)

Against the Rules with Michael Lewis (podcast): The Magic Shoebox (LINK)
Related book: Flash Boys
O Behave Podcast: Rory discusses Alchemy & The Surprising Power Of Ideas That Don’t Make Sense (LINK)
Related book: Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life - by Rory Sutherland 
The Knowledge Project Podcast: Popping the Filter Bubble (with DuckDuckGo CEO, Gabriel Weinberg) (LINK)

A Truly Remarkable Spider - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Today's Audible Daily Deal ($3.95) is one I've seen recommended by at least one science writer: The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs

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Value Investing World by Joe Koster - 1w ago
"It’s better to pay attention to something that is being scorned than something that’s being championed." --Warren Buffett (2005

What Warren Buffett's Teacher Would Make of Today's Market - by Jason Zweig ($) (LINK)

A Thread on Diversification - by Sanjay Bakshi (LINK)

Amazon's Size Is Becoming a Problem---for Amazon ($) (LINK)

Degrees of Confidence - by Morgan Housel (LINK)

Think Again – a Big Think Podcast: Jared Diamond (LINK)
Related book: Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis
Capital Allocators Podcast: Michael Mauboussin – Who’s on the Other Side (LINK)
Related paper: Who Is On the Other Side?
Exponent Podcast: A Perfect Meal (LINK)

Aswath Damodaran chats with Meb Faber (podcast) (LINK)

Acquired Podcast: The Uber IPO (LINK)

Mark Zuckerberg & Yuval Noah Harari in Conversation (video) (LINK)

When the first stars in the Universe exploded, they really exploded - by Phil Plait (LINK)

TED Talk: Sleep is your superpower | Matt Walker (LINK)

[I'm a bit late to these, but...] The Bruce Lee Library episodes of the Bruce Lee Podcast look especially worth checking out.... Such as the episode on the Tao Te Ching and the episode on Krishnamurti's Commentaries on Living.

"Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is essentially your own." --Bruce Lee


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Value Investing World by Joe Koster - 1w ago
"If you’re analyzing something like WD-40, or See’s Candy, or our brick business, or whatever...they may have good or bad prospects but you’re not likely to be fooling yourself much about what’s going on currently. But with financial institutions, it’s much tougher. Then you throw in derivatives on top of it, and...no one probably knows perfectly — or even within a reasonable range — the exact condition of some of the biggest banks in the world.... I just think you have to accept the fact that insurance, banking, finance companies — we’ve seen all kinds of finance company...frauds and just big mistakes over time — just one after another over the years. It’s just a more dangerous field to analyze. It doesn’t mean you can’t make money in it. We’ve made a lot of money on it. But it’s difficult." --Warren Buffett (2005)

Influencers Transcript and Video (Yahoo Finance): Charlie Munger (LINK)

Berkshire Takes Tax Hit as Victim of ‘Ponzi-Type’ Solar Scheme [H/T Linc] (LINK)

U.S. Recession Would Spur ‘Massive’ Corporate Bond Losses, Eisman Says (LINK)

Chick-fil-A’s Lean Menu Helps Chain Bulk Up ($) (LINK)

Jeremy Grantham on the battle to save society from climate change: ‘We’re not winning’ ($) (LINK)

The Intelligent Investing Podcast: Christian Olesen - Cambria Automobiles (LINK)  [Disclosure: As of the date of this post, I own shares for myself and clients at Sorfis Investments in Cambria Automobiles.]

The Empty Promise of Data Moats (LINK)

Venture Stories Podcast: Tim O’Reilly and Parker Thompson on Company Building, Venture Capital, and Inequality (LINK)

Crazy/Genius Podcast: Why Should We Care About Privacy? (LINK)

Another Bat-Winged Dinosaur Has Been Found - Ed Yong (LINK)

A Dying Teenager’s Recovery Started in the Dirt - by Ed Yong (LINK)

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Value Investing World by Joe Koster - 2w ago
"Now the search expenses that brought us Ajit Jain, now there was an investment that really paid a dividend. I can think of no higher return investment that we’ve ever made that was better than that one. And I think that’s a good life lesson. In other words, getting the right people into your system can frequently be more important than anything else." --Charlie Munger (2005)

GMO Quarterly Letter: Stop Worrying About Your Portfolio (LINK)

Notes From Sohn New York Investment Conference 2019 (LINK)

Matthew Ball's latest articles (parts 6 and 7) on Netflix misunderstandings came out last week.... Here are links to all 7 parts to date (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7)

Against the Rules with Michael Lewis (podcast): Baby Judge School (LINK)

Invest Like the Best Podcast: Stephanie Cohen – The Evolution of M&A and Corporate Strategy (LINK)

Mr. Rogers’ Nine Rules for Speaking to Children (LINK)

Will You Choose Alive Time or Dead Time? - by Ryan Holiday (LINK)

The Birth-Tissue Profiteers - by Caroline Chen (LINK)

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Value Investing World by Joe Koster - 2w ago
For those looking for Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting links, see the post from earlier today.

Ian Cassel's initial investor letter for Intelligent Fanatics Capital Management (LINK)

Howard Buffett Looks Beyond an Oracle for Advice ($) (LINK)

Buffett And Inverse Emotionalism - by Frank K. Martin (LINK)

CNBC's full interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook (LINK)

The Investors Podcast: Value Investing w/ Mohnish Pabrai (LINK)

The making of Amazon Prime, the internet’s most successful and devastating membership program (LINK)

Can anyone tame the next internet? - by Kara Swisher (LINK)
Forces have been unleashed that seem out of control. But is it the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end?
a16z FinTech Newsletter: April 2019 (LINK)

Bank On It Podcast: John Buttrick from Union Square Ventures (LINK)

Trailblazers with Walter Isaacson (podcast) -- Insurance: Who’s Looking Out For You? (LINK)

The School of Greatness Podcast -- Mark Manson: What People Don’t Tell You about Success (LINK)
Related book: Everything Is F*cked: A Book About Hope
Renaissance Paragone: An Ancient Tactic for Getting the Most From People (LINK)

The Giant Panda Is a Closet Carnivore - by Ed Yong (LINK)

AI Evolved These Creepy Images to Please a Monkey’s Brain - by Ed Yong (LINK)

For Audible Members, the current sale is 50-70% off all titles, so it's probably worth going through your wish list. A couple on my list that I noticed fell in the 70% off category were AI Superpowers and The Fifth Risk.

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