Dec 24, 2017

Harvey Firestone on success

Success is the sum of details.

~ Harvey Firestone, tire entrepreneur

Dec 12, 2017

Jim Grant on gold vs. cryptocurrencies

I feel as if cryptocurrencies have stolen a bit of the thunder of our favorite alternative monetary asset. But the gold market will respond to the demonstrated failure of radical monetary policy. I have no idea when that collective perception might come that the central bankers are not fully clothed. But it will come, and a good portion of the world will come to the conclusion that gold represents a very good store of value outside the banking system and outside the electrical grid and outside the world of technology. These cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, propagate like rabbits: One day there are 900 cryptocurrencies, the next week there are 1200 and the week after that 1500. On the contrary, gold has been with us for millennia and the only way to get more is by a collision of two neutron stars or something like that. So alchemy may work in the cryptocurrencies but it’s not going to work in gold.

~ Jim Grant, "James Grant: Markets Trust Too Much in the Presence of  Central Banks," December 11, 2017, Finanz und Wirtschaft

Jim Grant on the Swiss franc

In the past, Switzerland had a certain franchise. It was a financial franchise based upon prudence, discretion and judgement in banking. It was based upon tradition and upon some kind of a stiff-necked independence from the rest of the world and the world’s central banks. I think those traditions and that franchise have been eviscerated to a great extend through pressure from the outside world and through the changing mores of worldwide regulation. So the Swiss franchise in judgment and discretion has now been rebranded to a franchise in secrecy which is all about the despots of Africa secreting billions of US dollars into Swiss bank accounts.

 That’s my opinion as an independent observer. I can describe the problem but, for the life of me, I don’t know what Switzerland should do to revert to its privileged place – a privilege well-earned in a world that has gone rather mad. The Swiss brand is still recognized worldwide. »Made in Switzerland» is one of the great phrases in the world of commerce. But I question the validity of the specific financial franchise and the desirability of the Swiss Franc. However, that’s my opinion. The world’s opinion is that the Franc is not the storm in a port but a port in a storm. That’s what the world thinks. So the Swiss must live with that and the way they do that is to depreciate the once sacrosanct Franc. They do it by creating Francs at no costs, convert them effortlessly into Euros, trade in those Euros into Dollars and then buy American equities at record high valuations.

~ Jim Grant, "James Grant: Markets Trust Too Much in the Presence of  Central Banks," December 11, 2017, Finanz und Wirtschaft

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Dec 7, 2017

Ralph Charell on success

Nobody succeeds beyond their wildest expectations unless they begin with wild expectations.

 ~ Ralph Charell, author

Robert Allen on risk taking

Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone.

~ Robert Allen, author and speaker

Proverb on being late to the party

What the wise do in the beginning, fools do in the end.

~ proverb

Dec 5, 2017

Corrie ten Boom on worry

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It robs today of its strength, its courage and its joy.

~ Corrie ten Boom

Dec 3, 2017

Anthony Deden on confusing money printing with wealth creation

Frankly, we now have two generations of economic agents who are entirely ignorant about the nature of money. We welcome rising prices and see them as wealth even as they are merely the result of inflation. We demand more cash to save the system, instead of allowing those who fail to go bankrupt, so that more efficient competitors can emerge. We have tolerated the Swiss National Bank sale of our gold reserves in exchange for American paper money and promises.

We demand cheaper currency to stay competitive because we do not know the true nature of competitiveness. If cheaper currency is the source of wealth, where has Bangladesh gone wrong? If cheaper money means economic prosperity, why not just print as much as we can and give it out to everyone? We have become fools. The customers know nothing and the advisers know even less. And then we have the idiot economists—the neo-classical, Keynesian variety with solutions to problems they did not even anticipate; solutions that have, in fact, long been discredited. And so we lurch from crisis to crisis—eating our meager capital in the hopes of becoming rich in money. It’s a pity.

~ Anthony Deden, "Reflections on the Role of Gold in Investment Practice," November 19, 2009

Dec 2, 2017

Albert Einstein on the pursuit of truth

A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.

~ Albert Einstein

Nov 24, 2017

Ayn Rand on charity vs. achievement

We are taught to admire the second-hander who dispense gifts he has not produced above the man who made the gifts possible.  We praise an act of charity.  We shrug at an act of achievement.

~ Ayn Rand

Nov 22, 2017

Hans Hermann-Hoppe on fiat money

More paper money cannot make a society richer, of course — it is just more printed paper. Otherwise, why is it that there are still poor countries and poor people around? But more money makes its monopolistic producer (the central bank) and its earliest recipients (the government and big, government-connected banks and their major clients) richer at the expense of making the money's late and latest receivers poorer.

~ Hans Hermann-Hoppe

Nov 19, 2017

Jeremy Grantham on climate change

Carbon dioxide is going up at an increasing rate, with the three biggest increases occurring in the last three years; the climate is warming at an increasing rate; and the water is warming at an increasing rate; and therefore, the level at which oceans are rising is increasing at an accelerating rate. It’s one thing for the world to be deteriorating, but deteriorating at an increasingly fast rate is particularly dangerous and scary.

~ Jeremy Grantham, "Jeremy Grantham Combats Climate Change, Barron's, October 7, 2017

Nov 6, 2017

Kyle Bass on the long/short investment process

I love being long human ingenuity and short financial innovation.

~ Kyle Bass, video at 20:45 mark: "My investment lessons from the school of hard knocks," September 7, 2017

Nov 4, 2017

William Galston on avoiding poverty

You need only do three things in this country to avoid poverty - finish high school, marry before having a child, and marry after the age of 20. Only 8 percent of the families who do this are poor; 79 percent of those who fail to do this are poor.

~ William Galston

Warren Buffett on learning from experience

When people tell me they've learned from experience, I tell them the trick is to learn from other people's experience.

~ Warren Buffett

Oct 30, 2017

Kurt Vonnegut on insanity

A sane person to an insane society must appear insane.

~ Kurt Vonnegut

Oct 28, 2017

Ralph Waldo Emerson on kindness

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Oct 18, 2017

Marc Faber on freedom of speech and press

If you have to live in a society where you cannot express your views and your views are immediately condemned without further analysis and analysis of the context in which [they’re written] — if you can’t live with that, then it is a sad state of where freedom of the press and freedom of expression have come.

~ Marc Faber, quoted in "Faber says U.S. wouldn’t have made as much ‘progress’ if colonized by blacks," MarketWatch.com, October 18, 2017

George Orwell on history

The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their own history.

~ George Orwell

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Kevin Duffy on alternative lifestyles

Society promotes values/lifestyle choices and marriage/family unit remains the most popular choice even though it's been losing ground to alternative lifestyles since probably the '60s. Marriage/family still clings to a slight lead, but its position is precarious.

Is this trend a good thing? Marriage/family hasn't always been the lifestyle of choice; it evolved and won out after tens of thousands of years of trial and error. There had to be a reason. Men, for example, are biologically wired to populate the planet, not necessarily live in monogamy. Would the human species stand a better chance of survival if we got rid of this quaint custom?

I'm all in favor of having the freedom to make choices. Ultimately good ideas win out and unsustainable lifestyle choices fail. It's just hard to know when.

~ Kevin Duffy

Oct 12, 2017

Jamie Dimon on the health of the global economy and U.S. consumer

The global economy continues to do well and the U.S. consumer remains healthy with solid wage growth.

~ Jamie Dimon, comments made after releasing JPMorgan Q3 earnings, October 12, 2017

Oct 9, 2017

David Hathaway on the social bubble

If natural interest rates prevailed and the state could not create money out of thin air, we wouldn’t have to go through these cycles.  There is a saying in the investment world, “Don’t confuse a bubble with brains.”  Every goofy business or social experiment seems to work during a boom time.  Everyone is a genius.  Let’s see, I will get a lot of tattoos, put decorative metal in my face, chug booze, and crash a motorcycle into a wall.  I will film myself doing these things and become an internet sensation.  The babes and paychecks will flow in like crazy.  It may work like that for a while; until the dam breaks and reality re-imposes itself.

~ David Hathaway, “Cultural Erosion and Violence,” LewRockwell.com, October 9, 2017

Jeff Deist on socialism... in theory and practice

Socialism is absurd in theory, but murderous in practice.

~ Jeff Deist, "From the publisher," The Austrian, September-October, 2017

Oct 3, 2017

Kevin Duffy on gun control

The 2nd amendment isn't about duck hunting. What happens if the country is invaded? Where is the second line of defense? Worse, what happens if the country turns into a dictatorship or police state? What defense would we have from our own government?

Gun control will not keep guns out of the hands of criminals. It will keep guns away from the good guys, making us more vulnerable to armed criminals.

~ Kevin Duffy, October 2, 2017, in response to calls for gun control following the mass shootings in Las Vegas

Sep 29, 2017

Josh Brown dismisses CBNC survey where 87% of strategists expect higher stock prices in Q4

It's too easy just to fade optimism all the time.

~ Josh Brown, CNBC's Fast Money, September 29, 2017

(In response to CNBC poll of Wall Street strategists in which 87% expect higher stock prices in Q4.  Brown dismissed a contrarian interpretation of this one-sided view as a "knee-jerk reaction.")

Kevin Duffy on capitalism vs. socialism

capitalism: serving others while serving yourself
socialism: stealing from others while serving yourself, justified by "serving the common good"

capitalism: motivated by improving your lot in life (ambition)
socialism: motivated by bringing others down (envy)

~ Kevin Duffy

Sep 26, 2017

Ray Dalio on confirmation bias

I think most people, too often, they start with an opinion.  There are psychological tests that show that people start with an opinion and filter information that comes to them to be consistent with their opinion.

~ Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates ($160 bil hedge fund), interview with Tim Ferris, September 13, 2017

Sep 25, 2017

Woody Allen: "mankind faces a crossroads"

More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.

~ Woody Allen

Sep 24, 2017

Mario Draghi: "We don't see systemic danger coming from bubbles." (2017)

We don't see systemic danger coming from bubbles.  If you look at the various markets - the stock market, the bond market - the prime commercial real estate is the only area where you actually see stretched valuations... We don't see the other component of a bubble which accompanied the crisis in the pre-crisis time, namely an increase in leverage.  We see that credit remains pretty subdued all across the board.

~ Mario Draghi, ECB press conference, September 7, 2017

Jim Grant on the great interest rate suppression experiment

An interest rate is a price.  Prices convey information.  Distorted prices convey misinformation.  Build a new factory?  Reckon the value of a future cash flow?  Deduce financial risk from a credit spread?  Manipulated rates give you the data you need to arrive at the wrong conclusion.

Like the flu, mispricing is communicable.  Like a sneeze, arbitrage transmits the disorder from one place, and one asset class, to the next.  Pygmy interest rates lead to tiny real-estate cap rates and towering equity P/E multiples.

~ Jim Grant, "Meet the Carrefour S.A. senior unsecured 1 3/4s of 2022," Grant's Interest Rate Observer, September 22, 2017

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Sep 23, 2017

Christopher Ailman on the limits of diversification this cycle

For the past 30 to 40 years, the common wisdom has been that diversification reduces risk, and the main diversifying asset has been fixed income. With interest rates in the U.S. at 200-year lows and negative interest rates elsewhere in the world, you can’t say fixed income is a diversifier.

~ Christopher Ailman, chief investment officer of CalSTRS, "The Trendsetter: Christopher Ailman of CalSTRS," Barron's, September 23, 2017

Sep 22, 2017

Zachary Karabell thinks it is time to add risk

Risk. Mention the word, and many investment professionals pause. Traders, hedge funds, and a few quantitative firms and their algorithms may love risk. But these days, the preponderance of investors, advisors, strategists, and their clients—not to mention the individual investor—see risk as a negative to be avoided. And that is why, dear readers, it may be time to consider adding some to clients’ portfolios.

[...]

Given investors’ paltry appetite for anything that has a whiff of risk, and given how crowded the “safety” trade remains, it is an opportune time to consider investments that, relative to one’s current allocation, appear riskier.

~ "Investors Can Afford to Take on More Risk," Zachary Karabell, Barron's.com, September 18, 2017

Warren Buffett: "Being short America has been a loser's game."

It has been 241 years since Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. Being short America has been a loser's game. I predict to you it will continue to be a loser's game.

~ Warren Buffett, "Warren Buffett predicts Dow will hit 1 million and that may actually be pessimistic," CNBC, September 21, 2017

Sep 21, 2017

Ron Paul on Alexander Hamilton

Hamilton is the architect of big government in America.

~ Ron Paul, from the forward to How Alexander Hamilton Screwed Up America, by Brion McClanahan

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Henry Hazlitt on why economics is prone to fallacies

Economics is haunted by more fallacies than any other study known to man. This is no accident. The inherent difficulties of the subject would be great enough in any case, but they are multiplied a thousandfold by a factor that is insignificant in, say, physics, mathematics or medicine — the special pleading of selfish interests.

 ~ Henry Hazlitt, Economics In One Lesson (1946)

Economics in One Lesson (ebook)

Sep 9, 2017

Casey Stengel on preparation

The best time to think about losing is when you’re winning.

~ Casey Stengel

Aug 30, 2017

Henry Ford on aging and learning

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.  Anyone who keeps learning stays young.  The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.

~ Henry Ford

Benito Mussolini on the difference between classical liberalism and fascism

The fascist conception of life stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with the State . . . . It is opposed to classical liberalism . . . [which] denied the State in the name of the individual. If the XIXth century was the century of the individual (liberalism implies individualism), we are free to believe that this is the ‘collective’ century, and therefore the century of the State.  If classical liberalism spells individualism, Fascism spells government.

~ Benito Mussolini, Fascism: Doctrine and Institutions 

(As quoted by Tom DiLorenzo in "An Open Letter to This Year's College Freshmen Class on the Subject of Fascism," August 28, 2017

Aug 23, 2017

Jeffrey Tucker on the rise of protests since 2008

Remember that the protests we see are only the visible ones. Underneath them, there is a seething in the very foundations of society among all classes, races, and political outlooks. For every protester in front of the camera, there are hundreds of thousands of sympathizers, which is what happens in a country where government impositions have stopped household incomes from rising in real terms for 20 years. (And this reality has struck us during a time of explosive technological improvements that would have otherwise conferred massive material benefits on society!)

~ Jeffrey Tucker, "The Same Revolt: Tea Party, Occupy, Black Lives Matter," Foundation For Economic Education, December 11, 2014

Aug 21, 2017

Alexis de Tocqueville on how slavery was already dying an economic death in the 1830s

A century had already passed since the founding of the colonies and an extraordinary fact began to strike the attention of everyone.  The population of those provinces which had virtually no slaves increased in numbers, wealth, and prosperity more rapidly than those which did have them.

In the former, however, then inhabitants were forced to cultivate the ground themselves or to hire someone else to do it; in the latter, they had laborers at their disposal whom they did not need to pay.  With labor and expense on one side and leisure and savings on the other, nevertheless the advantage lay with the former.

This outcome seemed all the more difficult to explain since the immigrants all belonged to the same European race with the same habits, the same civilization, the same laws, and there were only barely perceptible shades of differences between them.

As time went on, the Anglo-Americans left the shores of the Atlantic Ocean to plunge day by day ever further into abandoned spaces of the West, where they encountered new land and climates and had to overcome various obstacles.  Races mingled; men from the South moved North; men from the North moved South.  Amid all these circumstances, the same fact repeated itself at every step and, in general, the colony without slaves became more populous and prosperous than the one in which slavery flourished.

As further advances were made, people began, therefore to perceive that slavery, as cruel as it was for the slave, was fatal to the master.

But the truth of this provided its final proof when civilization reached the banks of the Ohio.

The stream named by the Indians as the Ohio, or the Beautiful River, irrigates one of the most magnificent valleys in which man has ever made his home.  On both banks of the Ohio stretches undulating land whose soil lavishes upon the plowman inexhaustible riches.  On both banks, the air is equally healthy and the climate temperate; each bank forms the frontier of a vast state: the one to the left tracing the many windings of the Ohio is called Kentucky, the other takes its name from the river itself.  The two states differ in only one respect: Kentucky has accepted slaves but Ohio has rejected them from its lands.

The traveler who, positioned at the center of the Ohio River, drifts downstream to its junction with the Mississippi is, therefore, steering a path between freedom and slavery, so to speak, and he only has to look about him to judge immediately which is the more beneficial for mankind.

On the left bank of the river the population is sparse; occasionally a troop of slaves can be seen loitering in half-deserted fields; the primeval forest grows back again everywhere; society seems to be asleep; man looks idle while nature looks active and alive.

On the right bank, by contrast, a confused hum announces from a long way off the presence of industrial activity; the fields are covered by abundant harvests; elegant dwellings proclaim the taste and industry of the workers; in every direction there is evidence of comfort; men appear wealthy and content: they are at work.

The state of Kentucky was founded in 1775, Ohio just twelve years later: twelve years in America is more than half a century in Europe.  Today the population of Ohio is already more than 250,000 greater than that of Kentucky.

The contrasting effects of slavery and freedom are easily understood and are enough to explain many of the differences between ancient and contemporary civilization.

On the left bank of the Ohio, work is connected with the idea of slavery, on the right bank with the idea of prosperity and progress; on the one side, it is a source of humiliation, on the other, of honor; on the left bank of the river no white laborers are to be found as they would dread to like like slaves; they have to look to Negroes for such work.  On the right bank it would be a waste of time to look for an idle man, as the whites extend their energy and intelligence to every sort of work.

Thus, the men in Kentucky who are responsible for exploiting the natural abundance of the soil lack both enthusiasm and knowledge, whereas those who might possess these qualities either do nothing or cross over into Ohio in order to be able to profit by their efforts and do so without dishonor.

[...]

On both banks of the Ohio, nature has endowed man with an enterprising and energetic character but on each side of the riven men use this shared quality in different ways.

The white man on the right bank, being forced to live by his own efforts, has made material prosperity his life's main aim.  Since he lives in a country offering inexhaustible resources to his hard work and continuous inducements to his activity, his enthusiasm for possessing things has passed the normal bounds of human greed.  Driven on by his longing for wealth, he boldly embarks upon all the paths which fortune opens before him.  He does not mind whether he becomes a sailor, a pioneer, a factory worker, a farmer, enduring with an even constancy the labors or dangers associated with these various professions.  There is something wonderful in the ingenuity of his talent and a kind of heroism in his desire for profit.

The American on the left bank not only looks down upon work but also upon those undertakings which succeed through work.  Living in a relaxed indleness, he has the tastes of idle men; money has lost a part of its value in his eyes; he is less interested in wealth than excitement and pleasure and he deploys in this direction all the energy his neighbor devotes to other things; he is passionately fond of hunting and war; he enjoys the most vigorous of physical exercise; he is well versed in the use of weapons and from childhood he has learned to risk his life in single combat.  Slavery, therefore, not merely prevents the whites from making money but even diverts them from any desire to do so.

The same reasons which have for two centuries worked in opposition to each other in the English colonies of the northern part of America have in the end created an amazing difference between the commercial capabilities of men from the South and those from the North.  Today, only the North has ships, factories, railroads, and canals.

[...]

Gradually, as the truth of this became evident in the United States, slavery retreated little by little in the face of the knowledge gained by experience.

Slavery had begun in the South and had then spread toward the North; at the present time, it is receding.  Freedom, starting from the North, is moving without interruption toward the South.

~ Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (1840), pp. 404-409


Alexis de Tocqueville on who goes into politics

In the United States, men of moderate desires commit themselves to the twists and turns of politics.  Men of great talent and passion in general avoid power to pursue wealth; it often comes about that only those who feel inadequate in the conduct of their own business undertake to direct the fortunes of the state.

These reasons, quite as much as any poor decisions of democracy, have to account for the great number of coarse men holding public office.  I do not know whether the people of the United States would choose men of superior qualities who might canvass their votes but it is certain that such men do not bid for office.

~ Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, p. 238

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Aug 19, 2017

Stefan Molyneux defends free speech

If peoples' ideas are so bad, so wrong, so egregious, let them speak! Don't pull a Blues Brothers and drive them off a bridge. You let them speak so that everyone can hear how bad the ideas are. And if their ideas are so bad, you should be able to rebut them and dismantle them very easily.

[...]

Make an argument, or unmake civilization itself.

~ Stefan Molyneux, "CHARLOTTESVILLE" video, August 14, 2017

Aug 15, 2017

David Tepper: "You're nowhere near an overheated market" (2017)

Any comparisons to past overheated markets are ridiculous. Look at where multiples and rates were in 1999. I'm not saying stocks are screaming cheap, but you're nowhere near an overheated market.

~ David Tepper, telephone interview with Scott Wapner, CNBC's Fast Money, August 15, 2017

Steve Weiss: Stocks of Facebook and Alibaba are "extraordinarily inexpensive" (2017)

As you go out and you look at a Facebook or you look at an Alibaba, and you look at their growth rates and you look 2, 3 years, they're extraordinarily inexpensive.

~ Steve Weiss, CNBC's Fast Money, August 15, 2017

(Facebook closed at 171.00; Alibaba closed at 157.82.)

Aug 4, 2017

George Burns on memory and aging

First you forget names, than you forget faces.  Next you forget to pull your zipper up and finally, you forget to pull it down.

~ George Burns

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Mark Twain on aging

Age is an issue of mind over matter.  If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

~ Mark Twain

George Eliot on aging

The years between 50 and 70 are the hardest.  You are always being asked to do things, and yet you are not decrepit enough to turn them down.

~ George Eliot

Muhammad Ali on aging

A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.

~ Muhammad Ali

Jul 30, 2017

Pierre Corneille on winning

To win without risk is a triumph without glory.

~ Pierre Corneille, French playwrite

Jul 24, 2017

Gustave de Molinari on property

Private property is redundant.  Public property is an oxymoron.  All legit property is private.  If property isn't private it's stolen.

~ Gustave de Molinari

Jul 3, 2017

Alan Meltzer on capitalism and failure

Capitalism without failure is like religion without sin.

~ Alan Meltzer, economist

(Meltzer died May 8, 2017 at age 89.)

David Rockefeller on American capitalism

American capitalism has brought more benefits to more people than any other system in any part of the world at any time in history.

~ David Rockefeller

Jul 2, 2017

Doug MacKay: "tech will be best performing sector next 5, 10, 15 years" (2000)

In tough times, it's often more what you don't own than what you own that is important.  We don't have a lot of dot-com stocks.  Instead, we have focused on Internet infrastructure, and that has helped us outperform.

(IBD: MacKay thinks the worst might be over.  He says the correction was probably caused by the Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan raising interest rates, even though earnings have remained strong in the  tech sector.)

It looks like he's on hold for a while, and earnings will again come to the forefront.

Technology is going to be the best performing sector for the next five, 10 or 15 years.

~ Douglas MacKay, portfolio manager, Red Oak Technology Select Fund, Investors' Business Daily, July 7, 2000

(Red Oak Technology Select was up 45.69% in first half of 2000, placing it #1 on Morningstar's list of tech funds.  Over the past year it was up 183.68%.  Holdings include Brocade Communications, PMC Sierra, Juniper Networks, and Newport.)

Michael Jordan on failure

Failure always made me try harder the next time.  That's why my advice has always been to "think positive" and find fuel in any failure.

~ Michael Jordan

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Anonymous on flexibility

Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.

~ Anonymous

Samuel Butler on creativity

To do great work a man must be very idle as well as very industrious.

~ Samuel Butler, writer

Matthew on forgiveness

If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

~ Matthew 6:14-15

Mark Twain on praise

I can live for two months on a good compliment.

~ Mark Twain

Jul 1, 2017

Raife Giovinazzo on separating emotion from investing

In investing you have to deny your emotions, like Odysseus sailing by the sirens in Greek mythology. Put wax in your ears or tie yourself to the mast - otherwise, you're going to drown along the cliffs.

~ Raife Giovinazzo, research director, Fuller & Thaler Asset Management, "Beware of Happy Memories," Fortune, March 1, 2017

Jun 30, 2017

Zachary Slayback on the difference between education and schooling

Schooling is a process.  Schooling is something that is set up, and not all schooling is necessarily bad.  But schooling that is forced on people is usually bad, and it is a process that people go through.  Education is substance.  Education is something you engage in in order to learn things, in order to adapt, in order to change.  It's something that doesn't have a beginning or an end.

[...]

Education is something that is highly individually driven.  It has certain ends.  I think that the end and the purpose of education is to equip people to identify what meaning is in their life and to try to achieve that meaning from their life.  School on the other hand is usually meant to just impress bureaucrats.

~ Zachary Slayback, co-founder of Praxis, Tom Woods Show podcast, "The End of School: Reclaiming Education from the Classroom," March 22, 2016

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Jun 28, 2017

Nassim Taleb and Mary Blythe on suppressing volatility

Complex systems that have artificially suppressed volatility tend to become extremely fragile, while at the same time exhibiting no visible risks.

~ Nassim Taleb and Mary Blythe

Jun 26, 2017

Lao Tzu on leadership

A leader is best when people barely know that he exists; not so good when people obey and acclaim him; worst when they despise him.

~ Lao Tzu