The Digest #173
Berkshire's Q3 earnings, Munger on retailing, SBF's strange philosophy, Rob Henderson on reading, Howard Marks on a full return world, Morgan Housel on writing that sells, Cities on Mars, and more...
Berkshire Hathaway’s Q3 2023 Results
Berkshire Hathaway reported third quarter results on November 4. I wrote an overview article on November 5 for all readers. This was followed by two articles for paid subscribers which have brief free previews. The articles are listed below:
Paid subscribers will receive one additional article related to third quarter results in the near future. If you are interested in Berkshire Hathaway, I think that the value proposition of a paid subscription is compelling just for the quarterly coverage of the company. In addition, you’ll receive access to the growing archive of all premium articles. For more on the benefits of a subscription, please read the about page.
Berkshire loses first round in billion-dollar battle over truck stop deal by Alex Crippen, November 3, 2023. The judge hearing the lawsuit between Berkshire Hathaway and the Haslam family set the date for a trial early next year. Berkshire had submitted a request for a trial date in November 2024. (CNBC)
Pilot's Founders vs. Berkshire Hathaway, November 1, 2023 (Rational Walk)
How I Read by, November 5, 2023. “Years ago, I read How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler. He described reading a book as being ‘in conversation’ with the author. But reading has the added benefit of allowing you to concentrate deeply, move as fast or as slowly through an argument or idea as you want, and formulate and reformulate your thoughts as you move through the text.” (Rob Henderson’s Newsletter)
On Mortimer Adler’s “How to Read a Book”, November 13, 2015. (Rational Walk)
William F. Buckley Interviews Mortimer Adler, March 13, 1970 (Firing Line)
Confused About Health-Savings Accounts? Here’s What to Know by Cheryl Winokur Munk, November 2, 2023. With ACA open enrollment in progress, selecting a HSA-eligible plan could be a good decision. I’ve contributed to a HSA since 2009 with the goal of accumulating funds sufficient for out-of-pocket costs in old age. (WSJ)
Understanding the Relationship Between Body Composition and Mortality Using Artificial Intelligence by Peter Attia, November 4, 2023. DEXA scans are cheap way to track body composition as we age. With the risk of decline due to loss of muscle mass in old age, tracking changes over time makes sense. (PeterAttiaMD.com)
Disciplined in the Little Things, November 2, 2023. The story behind why Warren Buffett once declined to risk a trivial $10 on a bet that would pay out $10,000 if he made a hole in one playing golf. (Novel Investor)
The Bond Market from a Value Investor’s Perspective, November 7, 2023. 43 minutes. With bond yields finally rising from microscopic levels, is it time to go out further on the yield curve or stick to t-bills? (This Week in Intelligent Investing)
Morgan Housel on Writing that Sells, November 6, 2023. 2 hours, 3 minutes. Video. David Perell interviews Morgan Housel in a wide-ranging discussion about strategies for great writing that will resonate with readers. Morgan Housel’s latest book, Same as Ever: A Guide to What Never Changes, was released today. His previous book, The Psychology of Money, was a bestseller that I highly recommend. (How I Write)
Review of The Psychology of Money, October 11, 2020 (The Rational Walk)
Zach Weinersmith on Space Settlement and A City on Mars, November 6, 2023. 1 hour, 3 minutes. Transcript. Video. There are numerous practical problems that will confront humans who attempt to colonize Mars, but it could be possible. (Econ Talk)
Related Book: A City on Mars: Can we settle space, should we settle space, and have we really thought this through? by Zach Weinersmith (Amazon)
Ben Franklin and George Washington: The Founding Partnership, June 2022. 58 minutes. We tend to think of Franklin and Washington as old men, but their long collaboration started when they were much younger. (Founders Podcast)
A High Bar for Acquisitions
It’s a perennial question asked by shareholders and the financial media: What will Berkshire Hathaway do with its massive pile of cash which now exceeds $150 billion? Everyone seems to have an opinion.
Greggory Warren has been covering Berkshire Hathaway for Morningstar for many years. He was invited by Warren Buffett to ask questions at several Berkshire Hathaway annual meetings. Far from burning a hole in Mr. Buffett’s pockets, Mr. Warren thinks that the bar for proceeding with a major acquisition is very high given that it might be one of the last deals made under Mr. Buffett’s watch. A bad deal could tarnish an otherwise stellar reputation.
This makes sense. Warren Buffett’s primary motivation is to deploy capital in a way that benefits Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, as he has done for decades with very few errors. No one wants to end a great run with anything resembling a failure.
The Rokeby Venus
Diego Velázquez painted The Rokeby Venus between 1647 and 1651. The painting was attacked by “climate activists” wielding hammers at the National Gallery in London yesterday. It is not clear whether the painting sustained any permanent damage or how vandalizing priceless works of art will further the goals of these
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