Happy Friday! There are more good news articles, commentaries, and analyst reports on the Web every week than anyone could read in a month. Here are eight fascinating ones I read this week.
Careful what you wish for
From the blog Farnam Street, Charlie Munger says we shouldn’t wish for energy independence:
If energy independence was such a good thing, let’s just imagine that we go back to 1930 or something like that and we were hell bent to have total energy independence from all the foreigners. And we just drill and use every technique we can and we produce our hydrocarbon reserves which are absolutely certain to be limited.
Well, by now have way less in reserve and are way less energy independent. In trying to get energy independence we would have destroyed our safety stock of oil within our own borders.
Oil and gas are absolutely certain to become incredibly short and very high priced. And of course the United States has a problem and China has a worse problem.
And China has the correct solution. Imported oil is not your enemy it’s your friend. Every barrel that you use up that comes from somebody else is a barrel of your precious oil which you’re going to need to feed your people and maintain your civilization
As home prices rise, the number of homeowners underwater on their mortgages is plunging, writes The Wall Street Journal:
At the end of the first quarter, 20.6% of homes with jumbo mortgages were underwater, meaning the owners owed more on the mortgage than the home was worth. That’s compared with 32.3% a year ago, according to real-estate website Zillow.com.
A group of economists shows that public companies invest far differently than private ones:
We document sizable and surprising differences in investment behavior between stock market listed and privately held firms in the U.S. using a rich new data source on private firms. Listed firms invest substantially less and are less responsive to changes in investment opportunities compared to matched private firms, even during the recent financial crisis. These differences do not reflect observable economic differences between public and private firms (such as lifecycle differences) and instead appear to be driven by a propensity for public firms to suffer greater agency costs. Evidence showing that investment behavior diverges most strongly in industries in which stock prices are particularly sensitive to current earnings suggests public firms may suffer from managerial myopia.
The Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) way
Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) talks about the company’s business culture: