Weekly reading – 22nd January 2022

What I wrote last week

Square Online’s on-demand delivery

Netflix’s price hike

Uber Eats lags behind DoorDash in the US. Advertisers made up 18% of Uber merchants

Business

Another gem from Howard Marks. “Superior investing consists largely of taking advantage of mistakes made by others.  Clearly, selling things because they’re down is a mistake that can give the buyers great opportunities. So it’s generally not a good idea to sell for purposes of market timing.  There are very few occasions to do so profitably and very few people who possess the skill needed to take advantage of these opportunities. Thus, someone entering adulthood today is practically guaranteed to be well fixed by the time they retire if they merely start investing promptly and avoid tampering with the process by trading. On April 11, 2019, The Motley Fool cited data from JP Morgan Asset Management’s 2019 Retirement Guide showing that in the 20-year period between 1999 and 2018, the annual return on the S&P 500 was 5.6%, but your return would only have been 2.0% if you had sat out the 10 best days (or roughly 0.4% of the trading days), and you wouldn’t have made any money at all if you had missed the 20 best days.  In the past, returns have often been similarly concentrated in a small number of days.  Nevertheless, overactive investors continue to jump in and out of the market, incurring transactions costs and capital gains taxes and running the risk of missing those “sharp bursts“”

Google Misled Publishers and Advertisers, Unredacted Lawsuit Alleges.Google misled publishers and advertisers for years about the pricing and processes of its ad auctions, creating secret programs that deflated sales for some companies while increasing prices for buyers, according to newly unredacted allegations and details in a lawsuit by state attorneys general. Meanwhile, Google pocketed the difference between what it told publishers and advertisers that an ad cost and used the pool of money to manipulate future auctions to expand its digital monopoly, the newly unredacted complaint alleges. The documents cite internal correspondence in which Google employees said some of these practices amounted to growing its business through “insider information.”

Shams vs. the ‘Woj bomb’: Sports reporters are duking it out for scoops on Twitter, and their value is soaring. The business of being constantly on the phone for breaking news sounds excruciating and exhausting

Interview: Ryan Petersen, founder and CEO of Flexport. “One thing to remember here is that in America, the ports are owned by the local city that they’re in. Therefore, they’re not managed as a strategic national asset, which they clearly are. The first thing that I would do if I were in charge would be to actually put a team in charge. Right now, there isn’t a dedicated team within the federal government to coordinate all public and private sector activities to help resolve the supply chain crisis. It’s spread across multiple regulatory agencies, jurisdictions and levels of government. The two big bottlenecks are a lack of chassis and a lack of yard space both at the container terminals and in the yards around neighboring cities. We know that the federal government and the state government of California owns a lot of land so we’d love to see them make it available for storing containers and creating off-terminal storage facilities where truckers can pick up containers easily without having to wait in long lines at the gate to the ports.”

What JPMorgan is doing with that $12 billion tech spend. The threat from fintech startups is real. It should be applauded that an incumbent like JP Morgan stays vigilant and is willing to invest a chunk of money to stay competitive. Not every company can do that. With regard to the ROI of this $12 billion investment, I get that folks can be skeptical when the management doesn’t reveal it. But at the same time, there are benefits that are very hard to quantify and the technology roadmap can change all the time.

Google Team That Keeps Services Online Rocked by Mental Health Crisis. A damning account of Google’s working culture, which once was a draw for talents

Peloton reportedly pauses bike and treadmill production because of lack of demand. The darling Covid stock now bears the brunt of ineffective management and operational flaws. They invested a lot in supply, only to find out that they picked all the low hanging fruits on the market and that they couldn’t sign up more customers.

Other stuff I found interesting

Nowa Huta: The city that went from communism to capitalism. An interesting story on how a Polish city transformed itself from a communist ruin into a vibrant city powered by capitalism

Tesla Wooed by India States After Elon Musk Flags Challenges. I am not really a fan of governments at different levels being pitted against one another by rich companies. Companies always go to states that offer them the biggest benefits; which do not often translate into better lives for the constituents and local economies. If Musk and Tesla have to enter India, and if the federal and state governments are unified in how they welcome Tesla, what choice would Tesla have?

How Big Beef Is Fueling the Amazon’s Destruction. “More than 70% of deforested land in the Amazon turns into pasture, the first step in a supply chain that’s among the most complex in the world.”

Stats

Ho Chi Minh City startups raise $1.1 billion in venture capital in 2021

Apple Card’s balance as of Q4 2021 was $8 billion

7 million or more than 5% of US households are unbanked

Alcohol sales was boosted by Covid. Source: Bloomberg

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.