Friday, August 7, 2020

Friday Night Links

  • Recognize that most of the investors at Austin Value Cap were born in a fortuitous period from 1916-1930. Most of the great generation of post war investor-allocators were from this period, because you had your early career largely after the war and could accumulate significant assets cheaply from the 1940s to the mid sixties (Graham style investing) then buy compounders with strong yields in the 1970s and then sit back and let the twin tailwinds of lower taxes and lower yields drive the portfolio value into the stratosphere. Not saying these aren't smart people, just that Ben Graham, who was quite a bit older, did much less well because he was born at the wrong time to have the strategy truly work for him; he died before the really big revaluation could work it's magic. [Strategic Investor]
  • Many unknowns exist about human immune responses to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. SARS-CoV-2 reactive CD4+ T cells have been reported in unexposed individuals, suggesting pre-existing cross-reactive T cell memory in 20-50% of people. However, the source of those T cells has been speculative. Using human blood samples derived before the SARS-CoV-2 virus was discovered in 2019, we mapped 142 T cell epitopes across the SARS-CoV-2 genome to facilitate precise interrogation of the SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ T cell repertoire. We demonstrate a range of pre-existing memory CD4+ T cells that are cross-reactive with comparable affinity to SARS-CoV-2 and the common cold coronaviruses HCoV-OC43, HCoV-229E, HCoV-NL63, or HCoV-HKU1. Thus, variegated T cell memory to coronaviruses that cause the common cold may underlie at least some of the extensive heterogeneity observed in COVID-19 disease. [science]
  • It's a little hard to get your mind wrapped around the Cherokee's mission in life, but Jeep tries to help by calling it "SportWagon." It's a station wagon with extra-functional overtones, an American car in Oshkosh overalls—part car, part truck. It's easy to believe the Cherokee was designed in Kenosha and Toledo, because it harks back to America before the Interstates, when it was tough just to get around. The Cherokee can take you to town in the winter or haul a ski boat in the summer. It has four-wheel drive to bust through the snowdrifts in your driveway or muck through the bog on the way to the summer cabin. [Car and Driver]
  • According to the Governor, a governmental body forcing a business to shut down for absolutely no reason cannot be a Constitutional violation because no property interest is implicated. This is incorrect. The operations of a business and the ability to earn income from that business are clearly property interests. The Court previously found that a short shutdown might not implicate a protected property interest. At the same time, it is evident that the government forcing a business to shut down indefinitely, to the point where it might not be able to survive, implicates a property interest. An ongoing revenue stream, and the goodwill attendant thereto, is certainly a property interest. There is no legal or logical support for the proposition that a permanent or long-term forced shutdown of a business does not involve a Constitutionally-protected property interest. [Mountainside Fitness Acquisitions, LLC]
  • I recently rewatched “Nixon”, and honestly, I don’t think Stone got it quite right. All kinds of critics on both the left and the right blasted Stone for being too soft (or too hard) on RMN. But I disagree with both sides – Stone’s take was off because he missed on the central question: Why did Nixon have such a penchant for secrecy and working outside mainstream government channels to conduct policies? To Stone, Nixon’s method of governing was a function of Nixon’s personality (his “paranoia”). Stone even invented dialogue for Pat Nixon to say exactly that. But that didn’t explain it. Instead, Nixon’s governing style was what it was because of his own long experience with the American Deep State. For more than a quarter century, Nixon had been a first hand witness to political machinations largely hidden from public scrutiny. Especially during his time as Eisenhower’s VP (a period excised in Stone’s movie), Nixon saw how Deep State forces could pressure or even countermand presidential decisions. (Eisenhower didn’t press for the May, 1960 U-2 flight – but Allen Dulles and the CIA prevailed. The ensuing disaster wrecked Ike’s hopes for a peace summit with Khrushchev, and the Cold War continued for another three decades.) Nixon’s secret diplomacy and his determination to keep the State Dept., the military, the CIA, and the rest of the Military Industrial Intelligence Complex away was due to Nixon’s fear that those institutions would dominate and corrupt his policies. Nixon’s fear was well placed – they forced him out eventually. So, in my view, Stone missed the reason Nixon was the he was: Nixon’s own personality was less a factor than Nixon’s knowledge of and concern with the dark forces able to counter the highest levels of American government. [Sailer]
  • Today, the revisionist account of Pearl Harbor is more widely accepted, and is gaining ground fast. Another journalist, Robert B. Stinnett, recently found the “smoking gun” — an 8-page 1940 memo by a lieutenant commander in the navy on how to get Japan to attack us, a memo that Roosevelt adopted, point by point. His book is titled, Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor (Free Press, 1999). [Gary North]

1 comment:

Allan Folz said...

Great take on Nixon, glad you shared it (though I think the link is incorrect).

I've heard the glib takes like "just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get you," but I never really spent time thinking about it. Seeing all the dirty tricks that have been used on Trump gives me a new appreciation for what Nixon was probably dealing with.