Editor’s note: A month late but still incredibly funny, here is satirist Barry’s view of a very crazy year. It’s a long read but for fans of sarcasm and having fun with truth, it’s worth it. Thanks to Carl Falb for passing this onto me!
My favorite jab: “In sports, the superb U.S. women’s national soccer team, following years of hard work and sacrifice, wins its fourth World Cup and a first prize of $4 million, or about $200,000 per player. Later in the month, a 16-year-old high school student named Kyle Giersdorf wins a Fortnite video-game tournament. His prize — really — is $3 million. “I’m so happy,” says Kyle. “Everything I’ve done in the grind has all paid off and it’s just insane.”
Editor’s Comment: My dear friend, Bob Miller, sends me his self-reflections and I learn. Bob is one of the widest and deepest thinkers I know, particularly in matters of the soul. His success as a marketer, philanthropist and musician are of local legend. This recent passage centers on the age old character of the Fool, then probes more deeply in search of the fool within each of us. One of the key points which I find alluring is that being the fool requires we take ourselves less seriously which can in turn help us and others through the worst of times. As Bob and I age, and certainly within the limits of social grace and empathy we are choosing to be more The Fool. Mill
Editor’s Comment: My good friend, Ron DeMattia of Corporate Value Partners sent me this article. It’s more data for the series of discussions he and I have had about the M&A business done right and done wrong. The wrong way (in our view) is adding debt to dividend shareholders; a few people gain and many people lose. Staples owners are cited here but the highest profile case of such concerns currently is Eddie Lambert and his long ride as Sears/Kmart owner. The courts and others are currently hounding Lambert to discern how much his hedge fund (ESL) gained while tens of thousands lose their jobs and their retirement savings (stock as well as pensions). Sycamore and Sears are just two of dozens of cases Ron and I wonder about.
Editor's Comment: I ran into the Farnam Street blog and Parrish quite by accident. What I found is a fascinating learning community "dedicated to improving self-education in a learning community environment". This particular article relates to Howard Marks' recently published book, "The Most Important Thing". Both Marks' book and Parrish' blog primarily interest the investment community but this article relates to a much broader point: how our first thoughts can mislead us. A real great reminder for me.
Editor's Comment: This is our first try at video article instead of our usual print piece. Seems worth it as I laughed most of the 9 minutes of this Don McMillan’s zany chart presentations. For those who’ve suffered through innumerable power points with charts and graphs, it’s a welcome relief. Thanks to Tim French for passing this on to me.
Editor’s Comment: I’m honored to be on the private email list of a wonderful writer named Carll Tucker. After ramping and selling a successful chain of community newspapers, Carll founded The Daily Voice, one of the first internet local news outlets. Think of your community newspaper accessed online, right down to classifieds, obits and council meeting reports. He’s also published an entertaining journey book, “The Bear Went Over the Mountain”, enjoyably recounting his search for US Vice Presidents’ gravesites while rethinking his life. The missive I’m sharing nicely defines my own view of life at age 66 plus this marvelous quote about the demands of great wealth: Had we ten times the wealth we’d have fewer investable moments – because great wealth makes great demands. Enjoy.
Editor’s comment: As with every fad and trend I’ve witnessed, there are a lot of fakers in the early years of growth. ESG Investing (Environmental, Social and Governance) is another of those places. This Bloomberg article takes a deep dive into the methods by which some ESG funds have become more marketing than truth.