• Sprott Money
    03/27/2015 - 04:54
    At first glance, the title to this commentary seems facile, especially to those readers in higher income brackets. The reality, however, is that “investing in food” is a risk-free means of generating...

Berkshire Hathaway

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Another Oligarch Preaches To The Peasants: Charlie Munger Says "Prepare For Harder World"





“If you’re unhappy with what you’ve had over the last 50 years, you have an unfortunate misappraisal of life...  should all be prepared for adjusting to a world that is harder..."

 
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Frontrunning: March 26





  • Saudi Arabia, allies launch air strikes in Yemen against Houthi fighters (Reuters)
  • Pilot on Crashed Jet Was Locked Out of Cockpit, NY Times Says (BBG)
  • Why Bombing This Tiny Oil Producer Is Roiling the Energy Market (BBG)
  • U.S.-led coalition, Iraqis pound Islamic State in Tikrit (Reuters)
  • Munger Says Prepare for Harder World as Buying Power Slides (BBG),Mocks Greek ‘Idiotic Idea’ You Can Vote Yourself Rich (BBG)
  • The Central Banker Who Saved the Russian Economy From the Abyss (BBG)
  • Bank of Canada says foreign buyers complicate housing market (Reuters)
  • Investors Scoop Up Companies’ Bonds (WSJ)
  • Espirito Santo Probe Turns Mariana Mortagua Into Portuguese Star (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: March 25





  • ECB Tells Greek Banks Not to Boost Exposure to Athens Government’s Debt (WSJ)
  • Search teams probe wreckage of jet in French Alps (Reuters)
  • Flight Recorders Offer Best Hope of Explaining Jet’s Fatal Drop (BBG)
  • Yemen Houthi militia sweeps toward Aden in threat to president (Reuters)
  • In Nigeria, Oil Price’s Slide Deters Theft (WSJ)
  • Saudi Arabia building up military near Yemen border (Reuters)
  • Quant Who Shook the Financial World Tries More Humble Approach (BBG)
  • Executive Pensions Are Swelling at Top Companies (WSJ)
 
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Thousands Of Layoffs Coming After Buffett Merges Heinz With Kraft, Creating 5th Largest Food Company In The World





Another day, another mega-M&A deal taking advantage of abnormally low bond rates, this time however not involving biotechs or a specialty pharma seeking to purchase a debt-free balance sheet, but one involving the Oracle of Omaha himself, and his Heinz investment, which will merge with Kraft Foods whose market cap was over $40 billion this morning on the news of the merger, and create the third largest food and beverage company in the US, and 5th largest in  the world.  And while the resulting company will certainly be a food giant, here is the rationale behind the deal and the punchline for American workers: "significant synergy opportunities." Translation: thousands of layoffs imminent.

 
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Flash Boys' Michael Lewis Warns "The Problem's Not Just HFT, The Problem Is The Entire System"





As HFT shops begin to turn on each other, it seems appropriate to reflect on the impact that Michael Lewis' Flash Boys book had on exposing the ugly truth that many have been discussing for years in US (and international) equity (and non-equity) markets. As Lewis concludes, after explaining the attacks he has suffered from the HFT industry, "If I didn't do more to distinguish 'good' H.F.T. from 'bad' H.F.T., it was because I saw, early on, that there was no practical way for me or anyone else... to do it. ...  The big banks and the exchanges [have] been paid to compromise investors’ interests while pretending to guard those interests. I was surprised more people weren’t angry with them."

 
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Warren Buffett Wants To Give You A Car Loan





Berkshire Hathaway is getting into the car-retailing business with the purchase of the country's biggest privately-held dealership chain. With auto sales set to stall thanks to subprime jitters, is the Oracle stepping into the wrong business at just the wrong time?

 
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Frontrunning: March 9





  • ECB Starts Buying German, Italian Government Bonds Under QE Plan (BBG)
  • Creditors Reject Greece's Reform Proposals (BBG)
  • Is Apple Watch the Timex digital watch of the Internet era? (Reuters)
  • Tesla shedding jobs in China as sales target missed (Reuters)
  • Malaysia Airlines says expired battery on MH370 did not hinder search (Reuters)
  • Gunmen kill more than 12 Islamic State militants in eastern Syria (Reuters)
  • GM Plans Share Buyback, Averting Proxy Fight (WSJ)
  • Wisconsin capital marked by third day of protests after police shooting (Reuters)
 
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Warren Buffett - Lucky Coin Flipper?





Last week, Buffett moved the goalposts.  If money were what really matters, Warren Buffett would have no peer. He has had unparalleled success in this world; surely he has a first-class ticket to the next. And if his good fortune were of his own making, what would he have to fear? But what if fortune, which smiled on him so broadly for so many years, begins to frown?

 
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Frontrunning: March 2





  • Hilsenrath: Fed Ushering in New Era of Uncertainty on Rates (WSJ)
  • Is Supreme Court's chief justice ready to take down ObamaCare? (The Hill)
  • Netanyahu arrives in U.S., signs of easing of tensions over Iran speech (Reuters)
  • Nemtsov Murder Fuels Suspicion, Fails to Spur Russia Selloff (BBG)
  • ECB uncomfortable with leading role in Greek funding drama (Reuters)
  • Video shows Los Angeles police shooting homeless man dead (Reuters)
  • Iraq Military Begins Campaign to Reclaim Tikrit (WSJ)
  • How Billionaires in London Use Secret Luxury Homes to Hide Assets (BBG)
 
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Warren Buffett Releases Monster 43-Page Half-Century Letter To Berkshire Faithful





The day the Buffet "value-investing" fanatics have been looking forward to all year, almost as much as the annual pilgrimage to Omaha, has finally arrived - hours ago Warren Buffett released his historic, 50th annual letter to shareholders, which is extra special because as the Oracle notes in the foreword, "Fifty years ago, today’s management took charge at Berkshire. For this Golden Anniversary, Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger each wrote his views of what has happened at Berkshire during the past 50 years and what each expects during the next 50."

 
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Frontrunning: February 9





  • Greek Risk Draws Global Concern on Lehman Echo Warnings (BBG)
  • Merkel to urge caution in U.S. as pressure builds to arm Ukraine forces (Reuters)
  • West Races to Defuse Ukraine Crisis (WSJ)
  • German-French Push Yields Ukraine Summit Plan With Putin (BBG)
  • Swiss Leaks lifts the veil on a secretive banking system (ICIJ)
  • Italy Lenders Seen Cleansing Books Amid Bad-Bank Plans (BBG)
  • G-20 Finance Chiefs Face Tough Test in Istanbul (WSJ)
  • Demand for OPEC Crude Will Rise This Year, Says Group (WSJ)... or rather prays
  • U.S. Banks Say Soaring Dollar Puts Them at Disadvantage (WSJ)
 
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Frontrunning: January 6





  • Average 10-year yield of U.S., Japan and Germany dropped below 1% for the first time ever: Free Money in Bond Markets Shows Global Economy Still Struggling (BBG)
  • Brent falls below $52 as oil hits new five and a half year lows (Reuters)
  • China Fast-Tracks $1 Trillion in Projects to Spur Growth (BBG)
  • Saudi Arabia Raises Price of Main Oil Grade for Asian Buyers (BBG)
  • Oilfield Writedowns Loom as Crude Slump Guts Drilling Values (BBG)
  • Biggest Oil-Rig Drop Since 2009 Spells Tough Year Ahead (BBG)
  • CIA says its inspector general is resigning at end of month (Reuters)
  • Pipeline IPOs Climb on Demand for Returns Immune to Oil (BBG)
  • Natural Gas No Savior for Investors Seeking Oil Refuge (BBG)
  • Euro zone economy ended 2014 in poor shape (Reuters)
 
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2014 Year In Review (Part 2): Will 2015 Be The Year It All Comes Tumbling Down?





Despite the authorities' best efforts to keep everything orderly, we know how this global Game of Geopolitical Tetris ends: "Players lose a typical game of Tetris when they can no longer keep up with the increasing speed, and the Tetriminos stack up to the top of the playing field. This is commonly referred to as topping out."

"I’m tired of being outraged!"

 
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