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Mohan K.V
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Excellent letter! Pages 24 to 28 are where it's at. Some highlights: 

On B-H wide interests preventing excessive attachment to one industry: "That’s important: If horses had controlled investment decisions, there would have been no auto industry."

What Charlie Munger used to say when he disagreed: “Warren, think it over and you’ll agree with me because you’re smart and I’m right.”

On short- and long-term horizons: As Ben Graham said many decades ago: “In the short-term the market is a voting machine; in the long-run it acts as a weighing machine.” Occasionally, the voting decisions of investors – amateurs and professionals alike – border on lunacy.

On the value B-H offers to its companies: the ability to fight off the ABCs of business decay, which are arrogance, bureaucracy and complacency

On giving at least 10 years to a CEO to perform: It’s hard to teach a new dog old tricks.

On hostile acquisitions: A caring owner, however – and there are plenty of them – usually does not want to leave his long-time associates sadly singing the old country song: “She got the goldmine, I got the shaft.”

On the "bias to action": There are worse things in life than having a prosperous business that one understands well. But sitting tight is seldom recommended by Wall Street. (Don’t ask the barber whether you need a haircut.)

...

Investment bankers, being paid as they are for action, constantly urge acquirers to pay 20% to 50% premiums over market price for publicly-held businesses. The bankers tell the buyer that the premium is justified for “control value” and for the wonderful things that are going to happen once the acquirer’s CEO takes charge. (What acquisition-hungry manager will challenge that assertion?)

A few years later, bankers – bearing straight faces – again appear and just as earnestly urge spinning off the earlier acquisition in order to “unlock shareholder value.” Spin-offs, of course, strip the owning company of its purported “control value” without any compensating payment. The bankers explain that the spun-off company will flourish because its management will be more entrepreneurial, having been freed from the smothering bureaucracy of the parent company. (So much for that talented CEO we met earlier.)

(Mental “flexibility” of this sort by the banking fraternity has prompted the saying that fees too often lead to transactions rather than transactions leading to fees.)

On Jimmy Ling: But Charlie told me long ago to never underestimate the man who overestimates himself.

In 1967 Ling bought Wilson & Co., a huge meatpacker that also had interests in golf equipment and pharmaceuticals. Soon after, he split the parent into three businesses, Wilson & Co. (meatpacking), Wilson Sporting Goods and Wilson Pharmaceuticals, each of which was to be partially spun off. These companies quickly became known on Wall Street as Meatball, Golf Ball and Goof Ball.

[Comment: the Wilson tennis balls we used to play cricket with, which were always better than Cosco tennis balls, seem to be from this very same company!] 

By the early 1970s, Ling’s empire was melting, and he himself had been spun off from LTV . . . that is, fired.
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From "Acquisition Criteria" :
Charlie and I frequently get approached about acquisitions that don’t come close to meeting our tests: We’ve found that if you
advertise an interest in buying collies, a lot of people will call hoping to sell you their cocker spaniels. A line from a country song expresses our feeling about new ventures, turnarounds, or auction-like sales: “When the phone don’t ring, you’ll know it’s me.”
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Fred Olsen is both the owner of Timex and its most successful watch designer.
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Did not know that Timex is Norwegian. It is so popular in the USA 
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Such things (the motorbike show in Banni mantapa during Dussera, marches, etc.) somehow used to make sense, now they don't :(
Unexpected good humor at the border crossing between Pakistan and India.
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From the article:

"Nationalism, it seems, is just a form of heightened social anxiety: a preoccupation that your neighbor throws better parties than you"
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ROFLMAO gonwild hahahahahahahahahahaha 
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via Nisha
"Ten Commandments for Con Men"
Be a patient listener (it is this, not fast talking, that gets a con man his coups).
Never look bored.
Wait for the other person to reveal any political opinions, then agree with them.
Let the other person reveal religious views, then have the same ones.
Hint at sex talk, but don't follow it up unless the other person shows a strong interest.
Never discuss illness, unless some special concern is shown.
Never pry into a person's personal circumstances (they'll tell you all eventually).
Never boast - just let your importance be quietly obvious.
Never be untidy.
Never get drunk.
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The first few series of the TV show "Hustle" were fun, if you have time to watch mindless TV. :-)
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+Mohan K.V Neither this nor your comment is wow! :-) [Warning: purely anecdotal evidence] Conversations with some of the auto-drivers in Tumkur and Bangalore makes me think that these people are way more honest than most of our political crowd.
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There are innumerable 'traditional' practices which "work" for reasons that may not even comprehended. One of the most amazing such things is the history of the disease Pellagra. From Wikipedia: 

When maize was first introduced into farming systems other than those used by traditional native-American peoples, it was generally welcomed with enthusiasm for its productivity. However, a widespread problem of malnutrition soon arose wherever maize was introduced as a staple food. This was a mystery, since these types of malnutrition were not normally seen among the indigenous Americans, for whom maize was the principal staple food.

It was eventually discovered that the indigenous Americans had learned to soak maize in alkali-water—made with ashes and lime (calcium oxide) since at least 1200-1500 BC by Mesoamericans and North Americans—which liberates the B-vitamin niacin, the lack of which was the underlying cause of the condition known as pellagra. This alkali process is known by its Nahuatl (Aztec)-derived name: nixtamalization. Besides the lack of niacin, pellagra was also characterized by protein deficiency, a result of the inherent lack of two key amino acids in pre-modern maize, lysine and tryptophan. Nixtamalisation was also found to increase the availability of lysine and tryptophan to some extent, but more importantly, the indigenous Americans had also learned to balance their consumption of maize with beans and other protein sources such as amaranth and chia, as well as meat and fish, to acquire the complete range of amino acids for normal protein synthesis.

[Comment: how the hell is it even conceivable to soak maize in alkali water? That connection is so random.. as random as areca-nut and lime, or rice and dal]

Maize was introduced into the diet of nonindigenous Americans without the necessary cultural knowledge acquired over thousands of years in the Americas. In the late 19th century, pellagra reached epidemic proportions in parts of the southern US, as medical researchers debated two theories for its origin: the deficiency theory (which was eventually shown to be true) said that pellagra was due to a deficiency of some nutrient, and the germ theory said that pellagra was caused by a germ transmitted by stable flies. A third theory, promoted by the eugenicist Charles Davenport, held that people only contracted pellagra if they were susceptible to it due to certain “constitutional, inheritable” traits of the affected individual. In 1914, the US government officially endorsed the germ theory of pellagra, but rescinded this endorsement several years later when the evidence grew against it. By the mid-1920s, the deficiency theory of pellagra was becoming scientific consensus, and the theory was validated in 1932 when niacin deficiency was determined to be the cause of the illness.

Once alkali processing and dietary variety were understood and applied, pellagra disappeared in the developed world. The development of high lysine maize and the promotion of a more balanced diet have also contributed to its demise. Pellagra still exists today in food-poor areas and refugee camps where people survive on donated maize.
A 1,000-year-old treatment for eye infections could hold the key to killing antibiotic-resistant superbugs, scientists say.
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There are many who think that the development of beliefs in vampires was associated with pellagra. Just as folklore states that vampires must avoid sunlight to maintain their strength and avoid decay, sufferers from pellagra are hypersensitive to sunlight. Clinical symptoms of pellagra include insomnia, aggression, anxiety, and subsequent dementia, all of which may have contributed to the vampire legends and European folklores of the 1700.

http://www.eufic.org/web/article.asp?cust=1&lng=en&sid=4&did=16&artid=103
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Mohan K.V

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Fascinating idea -- Keynes seems to be an inexhaustible mine! Beauty contest, animal spirits, irrational markets > solvency, etc.

Tangent: Warren Buffett in one of (recent) letters made a nice case against investment in gold: if all the world's gold were piled up, it'd fill a cube about 20m in length. Investing in gold is owning a tiny portion of it. That portion will stay dead for eternity. In contrast, investing in business means investing in human activity. And what tremendous success there has been with that over the last century! 

The only problem though, is that you don't know what human activity. The vast bulk of India's socialist apparatus was much like Keynes bottle-hunt. At least gold's behaviour is well understood (i.e that it does nothing).
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No, it appears to be this one: http://www.amazon.com/Indian-big-bourgeoisie-genesis-character/dp/B0000CQG94/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1428784812&sr=8-4&keywords=Suniti+Kumar+Ghosh+Indian

BTW, this chap has been reviled as a communist pamphleteer; accusations of his extreme left leanings are definitely merited, as are those of his adherence to 'marxist history' principles. I wonder if his ideology corrupted even some of the facts or whether they really are true (e.g. RRMR's indigo and opium ventures, Dwarkanath's usury, etc. Tata's profits from opium are of course well-known from other sources).
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Ahhahhahahahaha
NEW BRITAIN, CT—Calling a strong independent press “absolutely vital” to a democratic society, the staff of The Recorder, Central Connecticut State University’s student-run newspaper, confirmed Friday they know exactly how t...
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I had thought of a similar one:
Graduate student thinks about the acknowledgement section for the thesis he's not going to finish.
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Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
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OAKLAND, CA—Speaking with evident pride as he mentioned how he doesn’t listen to the radio, local man Dan Mills appeared to be under the impression that his avoidance of mainstream music was somehow a noteworthy accomplishment, sources confirm...
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There are comments on the Onion post from such people. :)
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It'd been years since I'd taken an eye exam, and needed one per my company's policy. I had a *fantastic* experience at Westside. +Dr. Thao Nguyen is exceptional, and her staff are thorough professionals. I didn't have vision insurance, but their pricing was very reasonable. Heartily recommended!
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