The Stingy News Weekly (11/28/2010)
A Bully Finds a Pulpit on the Web
"Which means the owner of ... might be more than just a combustible bully with a mean streak and a potty mouth. He might also be a pioneer of a new brand of anti-salesmanship utterly noxious retail that is facilitated by the quirks and shortcomings of Internet commerce and that tramples long-cherished traditions of customer service, like deference and charm."
Evan Davis meets Warren Buffett
"Warren Buffett is the greatest investor of all time. His decisions about buying shares and companies have beaten the stock market year after year and made him the richest person in the world - thought to be worth 37 billion dollars. Yet Buffett lives modestly in his native Omaha, in America's mid-West, and runs his 150 billion dollar business with a staff of just twenty. Evan Davis meets him to find out about his unique investment strategy and his eccentric lifestyle. He talks to Buffett's family, friends and colleagues about the man they call the Sage of Omaha, and Buffett's friend Bill Gates praises his philosophy of life. As the greed of the super-wealthy is widely criticised in the current financial crisis, Davis asks whether Warren Buffett is the acceptable face of the filthy rich"
Programming our lives away
"Increasingly, algorithms are used to determine whether we can get access to credit, insurance and government services. They are posing a challenge to human decision-making in the arts. They are being used by prospective employers to decide if we should be hired. They can determine whether your online business will succeed or fail, and they have revolutionized the world of high finance."
Neosho Capital Q3-10 commentary
"When asked how he had weathered the 2008/9 financial meltdown, Markowitz said he had been moderately liquid going into those years, thanks to having sold off some of his 20-odd ETFs and some of his Kraft holdings. Thinking that his own use of MPT, CAPM, Monte Carlo simulations, etc. formulas, had contributed to his decision to reduce his allocation to securities in the run-up to the 08/09 meltdown, we were surprised when Markowitz confessed, somewhat sheepishly, that it was a phone call with his friend, Steve, a hedge fund manager, who advised him to sell off a significant enough portion of his holdings prior to the panic that started in September of 2008. Given this admission, we wonder if a further updating of the MPT models is needed to reflect this invaluable step: Call Steve. The trick will be finding a way to put this extra step into algorithmic form."
Why the housing bulls are wrong
"Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman is the latest prominent investor to jump on the housing bandwagon. But here are four reasons by housing is still not a good investment."
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