In this report, we define nuclear blackmail and differentiate it from blackmail in a nuclear context. We discuss why this didn’t develop during the Cold War but why it could happen now. We also analyze how nuclear blackmail might be used as part of coercive diplomacy as well as part of conventional conflict.
In a recent TV appearance on CNBC, the legendary portfolio manager, Bill Miller, argued in favor of owning shares of Amazon (AMZN) because of the immensity of their "addressable markets." As contrarian investors, this got us thinking about our three core tenets of investing, what markets we want to address, and how to spot industries which are near what Sir John Templeton called "the point of maximum pessimism."
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was a major political figure in Iran and his passing is a significant event for Iran and the region. Analyses of history usually follow one of two lines—the “Great Man” or the “Great Wave.”
I think a lot about happiness - what makes a person happy, whether or not happiness should even be a life's priority - things like that. A good high school friend stunned me at the early age of 17 by suggesting we should not necessarily try to be happy. Sacrifice, service, devotion to a cause were higher orders, he felt, although presumably, since those were choices, their pursuit could secondarily lead to happiness.
Every great growth company hopes to make the transition from fast growth pioneer to sustainable growth blue chip. When the transition occurs, a grand divorce happens between the price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio and the future success of the business. What made us think of this was the annual forecasting dinner of the CFA Society of Seattle on the evening of January 19, 2017.
Part of our early January ritual is to read a number of market and economic projections for the upcoming year. And although they are interesting and (generally) thoughtful, to be frank, the articles are basically all the same…
We are great admirers of the writing of the elite business publications like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. They recently stepped into one of our favorite subjects, technology company hegemony, which has developed in the business world in recent years.
A key element of global hegemony is the ability of a nation to project power. A nation that faces significant proximate threats will struggle to project power globally. In Part I, we examine American hegemony from a foreign nation’s perspective.
I traveled once to Africa, as you might have guessed by now, and it's been a part of me ever since. Being perhaps the cradle of civilization, if not life itself, Africa casts an eerie glow over the entire history and, indeed, meaning of existence.
A wave of euphoria has hit the markets, but fundamentals could be key in the year ahead.