Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Wednesday Links

Very cool video of a lathe that can turn a 120 ton steel blank. "[T]he ability to produce large-scale, high-precision critical equipment, like these turbine shafts, is a little-discussed aspect of national security — and it’s an ability the U.S. has allowed to largely slip away."

Another great Oddball Stocks post; on biotech net nets: "The key difference between a biotech net-net and a normal net-net is the purpose of the company. A biotech will be seeded with cash to spend down as they develop their invention (either a drug, or a device) that will eventually be submitted to the FDA for approval. A net-net is focused on delivering a product or service to customers and turn a profit while doing so. Very few net-nets state their purpose is to spend down their assets to zero in the hope of hitting a jackpot with a new product. The problem is this is exactly the mission of these little biotechs."

There is ~7B ppl in the world. According to WHO stats, ~10% of those earn > $25k/y. $AAPL has a mkt cap of ~$1,000 for each of them

From the Journal of Prediction Markets (?): "Late-season away favourites so profoundly underperform expectations that the set of all favourites underperforms on average. Prior research shows that in prediction markets having asset prices ranging from $0 to $100, win rates are below (above) expectations when prices are low (high)."

I've never heard of that journal but it looks interesting. Check this out: Business Cycle and Optimal Timing for Investment. "The interesting finding in our model is that the best time is after the point of the economic trough."

"Michael Mauboussin offers two simple techniques to improve the quality of your decision making" This is a cool idea: "buy a very cheap notebook and start keeping track of your decisions. And the specific idea is whenever you’re making a consequential decision, something going in or out of the portfolio, just take a moment to think, write down what you expect to happen, why you expect it to happen".

A recent Zambian bond offering of $750MM was oversubscribed 20x! The GDP/capita of Zambia is $1,400. The $15 billion of orders was equal to 80% of total GDP.

From The Signal and The Noise: "The weather — 'the epitome of a dynamic system' — has been increasingly predictable due to the National Weather Service's use of modeling on supercomputers. They've halved the average error in a temperature forecast since 1970, and they've been able to cut down the average error in the location of hurricane landfall from a 350 mile radius to a 100 mile radius in a mere 25 years."

Struggle between chemicals companies and natural gas producers: "The U.S. must still address the laws prohibiting or heavily regulating the export of oil and gas. Some businesses, such as Dow Chemical, want to keep the gas at home to cheaply fuel manufacturing here."

"Kickstarter is so keen to remind everyone exactly what they agreed to. It’s reminding antsy users that it isn’t a store, it doesn’t have two-day shipping options, and its return policy is still kind of sketchy."

Fantastic piece on the benefits of driverless cars: "The cost of automobile accidents in the U.S. (measured in death, disability, health care and property loss) totals $300 billion annually, according to AAA estimates. The cost of traffic congestion (lost productivity, wasted petroleum, among other factors) AAA reckons at about $100 billion. Taken together, the costs of automotive death and delay equal 2.6% of GDP." My previous post on driverless cars.

Paul Graham on startups and growth: "If you want to understand startups, understand growth. Growth drives everything in this world. Growth is why startups usually work on technology—because ideas for fast growing companies are so rare that the best way to find new ones is to discover those recently made viable by change, and technology is the best source of rapid change. Growth is why it's a rational choice economically for so many founders to try starting a startup: growth makes the successful companies so valuable that the expected value is high even though the risk is too."

Bronte on China: "The trade has been a winner, with commodity prices weakening and Chinese stocks cooling. 'But Macau casinos, and companies that sell $500,000 watches and $3000 a bottle cognac have been very strong. These are straight derivatives of Chinese corruption,' Hempton says."

"Bloomberg Speed Desk, a mindblowing operation that spits out real-time news headlines from all over the world, 24/7 to customers who rent their fabled terminals. "

1 comment:

CP said...

Something like this is happening with ultra-high-capacity hydraulic presses capable of forging at pressures above 10,000 tons. http://www.machinedealer.com/category/forging-presses/forging-presses-hydraulic/
No press is built in the Western Hemisphere larger than 10,000 tons,
50,000-ton press in South Korea
30,000-ton press in Germany
American looting of German presses post=World War II.