across disciplines is one of the best ways to improve our investment acumen.
Here is a summary of some of the best articles I read this week.
I especially try to not post Corona related articles as that is all
one gets to read in all traditional media.
If you like the collection this consider forwarding it to someone
who you think will appreciate.
Corporate rivalry takes down
the internet in a whole country
Can one person take
down a whole country? Surely, Daniel Kaye, a hacker, has proven this. The
attack against Liberia began in October 2016. More than a half-million security
cameras around the world tried to connect to a handful of servers used by
Lonestar Cell MTN, a local mobile phone operator, and Lonestar’s network was
overwhelmed. Internet access for its 1.5 million customers slowed to a crawl,
This attack was done
by Mr. Kaye. And he was hired by Avishai “Avi” Marziano, Cellcom’s chief
executive officer to take on Lonestar. In 2015, Kaye and Marziano discussed
using DDoS attacks to slow down Lonestar’s internet service and irritate its
customers into switching.
The Fall of GE
Founded in 1892 by
Thomas Edison, J.P. Morgan and several partners, General Electric’s corporate
pedigree had been peerless. The company was a charter member of the Dow Jones
Industrial Average, on board at its creation in 1907 and the only one that remained
there 110 years later.
GE grew from the
nation’s premier power and lighting company into a behemoth. By the turn of the
21st century it was valued at $600 billion, encompassing media, plastics,
aerospace, energy, digital, financial services and more.
But in the months
after the retirement of Jeffrey Immelt, Flannery’s predecessor, all its
apparent wealth began to evaporate.
In Flannery’s first
year on the job, more than $140 billion in value vanished from GE’s stock price
— bigger by far than the losses incurred by the epic collapses of firms like
Enron and Lehman Brothers. GE was unceremoniously booted off the Dow.
It turned out the
problems at Power were not unique. For years, GE’s profits had been a mirage
built on whirlwind mergers and accounting sleight of hand. The funds that had
been doled out to shareholders as fat dividends — and had covered its managers’
lavish perks and pay — had largely been borrowed on the strength of the
company’s golden credit.
Insource your thinking
Wisdom is earned,
not given. When other people give us the answer, it belongs to them and not us.
While we might achieve the outcome we desire, it comes from dependence, not
insight. Instead of thinking for ourselves, we’re dependent on the insight of
requires going below the surface. Most of us want to shy away from the details
and complexity. It takes a while. It’s boring. It’s mental work.
Yet it is only by
jumping into the complexity that we can really discover simplicity for
Insects are going extinct by
populations have become a hot topic in Europe since a study in 2017 revealed
that, in some parts of Germany, more than 75% of flying insects had disappeared
over the previous three decades. Soon afterward, researchers at the University
of Sydney estimated that 41% of all insect species worldwide were declining,
and one-third were threatened with extinction.
Human judgement versus
intelligence gets used for more and more routine tasks in the service sector,
exercising judgment may be one area where humans retain an edge over machines.
This is far from certain, however. What people perceive as good judgment may
stem from the ability to spot certain cues in the environment. This ability may
be unconscious, just as a dog can catch a Frisbee in mid-air without knowing
how to calculate wind speed and air resistance. As machines can be taught, so
do humans. In the long run, one of the trickiest aspects of human judgment may
be knowing precisely when to let machines take decisions and when to leave it
Basumallick is the Head of the equity advisory www.intelsense.in for long term wealth
creation and a pure quant focused newsletter at www.quantamental.in. The blog posts should not be
construed as investment advice. Please do your own due diligence before