Monthly Archives: May 2023

Influential Reads – April 2023

Reading Time: 3 minutes

“Often, we get what we tolerate.” – Seth Godin

Lots of reading this month!  Some of that was cleaning out a bunch of older articles – that either needed to read or passed over.  Generally, I have around 200 or so saved articles in my queue.  See a bit more on my reading system here.

Also, got through a few books, which is nice.  Again, my eyes here tend to be larger than my pace of reading.  Check out my latest note: The Go-Go Years

This month was a bit more interesting as well event-wise.  The Fed has done exactly what they said they would.  Take that for listening to them!  And, Congress has embarked on a course of stupidity and political suicide by holding the debt ceiling / default gun to their own heads.  Again, no surprise.

Here are my most influential reads for the month – in no particular order:

  1. Read Old Books – “Yet, as sobering as this all may be, there is a silver lining. If the majority of people (and therefore investors) continuously fail to learn from others’ mistakes, shouldn’t there be significant value in being in the minority that does? Of course, but how? One way to start is by reading old books.”
  2. Mohamed El-Erian, Citing Hamilton, Says the Fed Should Talk Less – “I’m more worried about economic contagion than financial contagion—namely, that the banking tremors we’ve had will lead to a reduction in credit to the economy over the course of this year and early next year, increasing the risk not just of recession but stagflation.”
  3. My Most Valuable Season – “Outside of the energy sector, it has been a long time since any part of the economy has truly lost. This means that most 20- and 30- year old’s have never truly felt job insecurity.”
  4. The Phillips Curve is Still Working Just Fine – “The Phillips Curve is a very simple idea and a very powerful model. It  simply says that when labor is in short supply, its price goes up”.
  5. How 3% Mortgages Altered the Housing Market for Years to Come – “So they’re not selling, and they’re not buying. They’ve left the market.”
  6. Walk with me… – “A short, 20-minute stroll around a friend’s neighborhood at sunset became the highlight of my day.”  SMS: We had a very similar experience during the early part of the pandemic.
  7. Why I am not investing in a buyout for a long time to come – “Inflated returns, denial of volatility, high prices and fees, excessive leverage, absence of covenants on buyout debt — all this together represents fantasy thinking. It is what happens when a successful investment model becomes too popular.”  SMS: FT continues their critique of private equity.
  8. Why cutting your personal carbon footprint matters – “The most impactful ways to reduce personal emissions are familiar by now: Fly and drive less, eat less meat, switch to electric cars, and install electricity-based home heating.”
  9. The lies we tell ourselves – “It concerns me that it seems like markets, the Fed, and policymakers are operating under the assumption that eventually we’ll get our old economy back. Or after this rather unfortunate hiccup, inflation will fall to below 2% and we’ll go back to near-zero interest rates.”
  10. Taxes – “But we can make a major step toward closing the gap between our spending and our revenue. By actually collecting the taxes we’re owed. The distraction is tax rates; the focus should be the tax code and enforcement.”.

Note: This is based on when I read the article, not necessarily when it was first published.  Unfortunately, my backlog of things I would like to read always seems to dwarf the amount of time I can devote to reading.

Top clicks across the site last month:

  1. Financial Model vs. Operating Model
  2. Bears Watching: Short Yields & Fed Funds Rate
  3. Excel Tips: Football Field Chart
  4. Operating Model Tips
  5. Email: Don’t Fire & Forget

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