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General Discussion / Re: Trump doing a huge favor to Canada
« Last post by SharperDingaan on Today at 07:38:33 AM »
The NAFTA 're-negotiation' is actually a very good thing; as the fundamental changes that it will bring - could not occurr unless they were forced by a big player. Provincial trade barriers, and provincial 'fiefdoms', are not sustainable - when you're being picked off and pounded on by a 800lb gorilla.

Severely restrict BC's US softwood lumber exports, and you do all of Canada an enormous favour.
Nothing forces change more effectively than a sustained spike in short-term unemployment. Politicians get replaced for bringng it on, and their replacements tossed if they cannot rapidly increase employment. ie: move as many goods as possible through BC ports, and increase trade as much as possible with Asia and South America. Todays BC politician is 'best served' by status-quo; NOT change.

The US is also not immune; Alaska is far away, and Putin seems determined to return the world to 'cold war'.
Arctic ocean ports and rail links would be highly beneficial to both Canada/US, and the trade would be in o/g and minerals as global warming opens up the North. Global shipping can already cross the NA landmass via the NSR passage; raise the value of the goods in transit - and everybody has strong icentive to play 'nice'.

In August 2012, Russian media reported that 85% of vessels transiting the Northern Sea Route in 2011 were carrying gas or oil, and 80% were high-capacity tankers

Since the early 2000s, the thickness and area extent of the Arctic sea ice has experienced significant reduction, compared to the recorded averages. This has led to an increase in transit shipping. In 2011, four ships sailed the entire length of the NEP, 46 in 2012, and 19 in 2013. The number of trips is still very small compared to the thousands of ships each year through the Suez Canal. Mainstream container shipping is expected to continue to overwhelmingly use the Suez route, while niche activities like bulk shipping is expected to grow, driven by the mining industries of the Arctic.


Strategies / Re: Superinvestors and Stock Spinoffs
« Last post by compoundinglife on Today at 07:23:47 AM »
I know there are a couple threads on stock spinoffs, but I figured I would start a new one as they are a little old. I just published an article called "Superinvestors and Stock Spinoffs" which explores what Warren Buffet, Charlie Munger, Seth Klarman, Joel Greenblatt, Peter Lynch and Mohnish Pabrai have said and written about stock spinoffs. If you are interested, check it out at the link below:

Just published? The comments on your blog post are over a year old. Looks like you published it a while ago and updated the date to todays date. At a cursory glance it looks like a well though out post but this forum post seems like a blatant attempt at leveraging COBF to boost your own SEO and drive traffic to your site. The fact that you appear to be lying about the published date does not do much for your creditability IMO.

Although I absolutely believe in we or the board doing some 'policing', that was a bit harsh. It was original content that he states in the actual article as being updated. So perhaps he should have said just revised in the original  CoBF post, seems to me an overstatement.

(At least, he isn't like that 4 filters guy from a few years back.  OMG he was doing nothing but shilling his book. On the order of <insert random topic> proves that you should use the four filters, as suggested in my book, which you can buy here <insert Amazon link> REPEAT)

I understand it sounds a bit harsh, I was just calling it as I see it. Looking at the blog post, the forum post wording and the slight misdirection of when the post was published,  I got the impression this was constructed with the intention of driving website traffic not driving forum discussion. That is my opinion and I could be wrong.
Politics / Re: Trump Derangement Syndrome
« Last post by Spekulatius on Today at 07:15:38 AM »
Yeah, who knows what's up with the Trump and Gates meeting.  Maybe Trump can persuade Gates that an "America First" policy is not the bad thing he and Melinda are hallucinating it is.  "America First" is an ambiguous slogan, and everyone reads into it what they hope or fear

I think Bill and Melinda’s biggest focus in the US is education. Who knows, maybe they hope to find some common ground with Trump here.

Second focus is probably US foreign aide. It seems something that likely comes under the bus with an Smerica first policy. Yet, done correctly, it can do so much good and improve the US goodwill in many countries in the world. Bill and a Melinda have done an amazing job homing in on a few but impotent issues with their foundation and make a difference for millions of people.
Investment Ideas / Re: C - Citibank
« Last post by Spekulatius on Today at 06:55:38 AM »
C is trading now at 1.2x book value (~$60/share) so the revaluation story has played out -future gains need to come from higher ROA.
Fairfax Financial / Re: Fairfax 2018
« Last post by Cigarbutt on Today at 06:43:14 AM »
The big multi-variable equation question about Fairfax capacity to grow profitably is one I am wrestling with.
Historically, FFH has shown an incredible capacity to grow float and more recently to grow it profitably.
Isolating the residual room to grow variable going forward, here's an excerpt from Berkshire Hathaway 2017 edition:

Here’s the record:
(in $ millions)
Volume Float
1970 39     1980 237     1990 1,632     2000 27,871     2010 65,832     2017 114,500

Fairfax year-end float (2017): 22,700

If you go back in time for Berkshire Hathaway, in 1998, year-end float was 22,800
From the perspective of 1998, did BH have an opportunity to grow float?
Float has grown at 8.9% (CAGR).

FFH is not BH but even if the rate of potential growth in float has come down, IMO, the variable, in itself, is not a major limiting factor in terms of the return objective that they describe going forward.
And indeed, opportunistic buybacks, given the right environment, could help with float per share.
General Discussion / Re: Trump doing a huge favor to Canada
« Last post by Cigarbutt on Today at 06:09:55 AM »
"Here is another problem - most of the Canadian code monkeys find jobs in the U.S. I don't think there are enough jobs in Canada to support all the engineering grads."

Pretty strong statement. What are you implying?

Historically, the "brain drain" (Canada to USA) that has occurred for high-skilled workers has been relatively marginal and has been more than compensated by international net brain gain. I work with the assumption that it is best for a country to have a trade deficit in terms of the brain trade. :)

But this brain drain has been relatively marginal and, in my field, the trend has actually reversed.

One of my children recently started a software engineering degree and her local/regional/national job prospects are incredibly strong.
This anecdotal evidence concords with what augustabound reports and is somewhat supported by facts.
see pages 12(11), 144(143) to 155(154) and 179(178) to 189(188)
The international numbers do not separate the USA and other than USA components.

What stands out is that there will continue to be excess demand for computer and software engineers and it is projected that excess demand will be continue to be met by net positive international migration.

If your post meant that the US will likely continue to be an attraction pole for some of the best and brightest, I agree.
if your post implies that computer and software engineers who graduate (I understand that code monkeys is meant to be recently graduated computer/software engineers) will need to go to the US to find a job, you may want to provide more solid data or justification.

General Discussion / Re: Event Driven Options - LEAPS
« Last post by nickenumbers on Today at 06:05:58 AM »
I agree with the thesis on Tesla.  I have tried to short it a couple of times, and I have come away with a small profit, but it took longer than I thought and the ride was bumpy.

In the long term I think it is a matter of time before the arithmetic of Tesla catches up with it.  Some have corrected me that Tesla is an energy company and not a car company..  etc.

Elon and Tesla has that cultish following.  And it could get the support of billionaire investors who are willing to advance his project despite the underlying economics.  I don't even think that they have a moat around their vehicle..  It is a cool car, but it is not a moat.

I just don't know how long it takes for the whole thing to break down, or morph into something else/different...  The timing aspect of it is the risk to me.

BYD, plus all the other US and German automakers are advancing in Tesla space as well now.

I am reminded by the statement "A stock can remain irrational longer than you can remain SOLVENT."  Any idea on how to short it by taking the long potential time horizon off the table?

If you time it right, you will be paid handsomely....
General Discussion / Re: This woman is really amazing!
« Last post by Spekulatius on Today at 05:34:50 AM »
Agreed, that's about as idiotic as choosing board members (or employees) based on their race or gender, which seems to be common phenomenon these days.

It shouldn’t be based on race and gender but all companies should be open to all races and gender. I do think it makes a questionable impression if all top managers are white middle aged men.

Contrary example - I visited some companies in my field in Silicon Valley a while ago and virtually all Engineers were Chinese. They would speak Mandarin to each other. I went to the cafeteria and the items for lunch was Chinese food, virtually all of it. The menu was mainly written in Mandarin with English  scribbles next to it. How would you feel working at that place as a white minority engineer?

That is how it must feel if you are of a minority and work at a white make dominated work place. I like to see people from different backgrounds in a workplace, and I am a white middle aged majority guy (except my upbringing in Europe perhaps). My wife is of Chinese descent (so I really don’t mind Chinese food) and our family definitely gets some second looks, when you travel through some heartland areas, they you don’t get where families like us are a commonplace occurance.
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