John Pabon from strategic advisory firm Fulcrum22 joins me to give his perspective on China – business, political and social. John’s an American who currently lives in Melbourne, and spent the last ten years living in Shanghai. We talk about the ol’ Communism v Capitalism debate, the treatment of the Uyghurs, working conditions in factories, IP theft, and how most Chinese view their government.
My inaugural guest is Dr Nathan Brooks PhD from CQUniversity. He’s a forensic psychologist with a background in researching psychopaths. He (and a couple of colleagues) have a new book that came out just after mine, called “Corporate Psychopaths”. It’s an academic book looking at many of the same issues as mine. It was great to speak to him last week and find that we agreed on everything, from the size and importance of the problem, to the causes and the cures.
When WWII broke out, the Zionists declared their support for Britain. It’s not like they were going to throw their lot in with the Nazis. For the Arabs, the choice was trickier. The British were seen by the Arabs as the protectors of Zionism while the Nazis were against the Jews – and the enemy of my enemy is my friend. And for the first few years, the Nazis looked like the favourites to win.
Then Churchill came to power in the UK and threw his lot in with the Zionists. In May 1942 an Extraordinary Zionist Conference in New York voted to support what became known as the Biltmore Program, for the hotel in which they met. It called for “Palestine to be established as a Jewish Commonwealth integrated in the structure of the new democratic world.”
In 39 CE, Caligula walked into the Senate and tore them all a new one. The gloves came off. The nice guy act was over. He criticized them for enabling Sejanus’ persecution of his family and for criticizing Tiberius when in fact they urged him on. Then he reinstated majestas. The Senate responded by thanking him and singing his praises.
In his later years, Cosimo goes to war with Naples, gets saved by Joan of Arc (kind of) and René of Anjou and Charles VII. Then he joins a Holy League against the Turks and plays “pick the next Pope” a couple of times. Then, in his old age, he retires to his country estate to study philosophy, before finally dying in 1464, at the age of seventy-four.
Steven Mabb is our guest on the show today. He’s a recent QAV Club subscriber but has been a full time investor for the last couple of years, since exiting a very successful footwear business.He and Tony compare notes about investing in International ETFs, why buying stock #201 is a good strategy, neobanks, shareholder associations, and cheap brokerage versus using a full service broker.
In our Club edition, our stock of the week is BPT (again). And we answer a question from Ange about what qualifies as a ‘recent positive upturn’. We also talk again about the decline of our portfolio in recent weeks due to the COVID-19 panic. Tony reminds us about Warren Buffett’s story about “Mr Market” in his 1987 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.
Tony (and Warren) has convinced me that one of the secrets of being a successful long-term value investor is to couple good business judgment together with insulating ourselves from the “incurable emotional problems” of Mr Market.
Caligula built a 3-mile long bridge over the Bay of Naples. Why? So he could ride over it to prove someone wrong. Then he marries his third and last wife, Caesonia. Then he fires two consuls for not celebrating his birthday and starts a general purge of governors who are called back to Rome and, in some cases, charged with majestas. There’s conspiracy in the air.
Jack McCullough is the author of “Secrets Of Rock Star CFOs” and President of the CFO Leadership Council. We chatted recently about his experience, and the experience of other CFOs, of working for psychopath CEOs. He came to my attention through this article he wrote for Forbes about psychopaths. You can connect with Jack on Twitter.
It’s commonly thought in the West that the Soviet Union stole all of the secrets for building a bomb from their spies in the West. Not exactly correct. When nuclear fission was discovered in Berlin in December 1938, the Soviets were as quick to react as the West. But their economy wasn’t as strong, and they had many more problems to contend with, so it didn’t get a high priority. And then 4 million Germans invaded. On this episode we tell the story of the Nobel Prize-winning Soviet scientists who lead the work.
Tony talks about the UNV offer and why we sold it last week and CSV’s recent acquisition, which took it out of our portfolio. To answer a question from QAV Club member Nick B, we also talk more about when and why Tony will exit a stock. Our Stock Of The Week is AQG, Alacer Gold. And then, we watch in amusement as the ASX dives while we are recording the episode and Tony explains why, as a value investor, he worries more about his golf swing than he does and ups and downs of “Mr Market”.
When Stalin and Molotov heard what Truman had said at Potsdam about the USA having a new bomb ready, they saw it as a direct threat to the Soviet Union and increased their support for Soviet scientists. They might have been further advanced if it hadn’t been for the purge of Soviet military strategists like Mikhail Tukhachevskii, aka “The Red Napoleon”.