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Monthly Archives: November 2013

“It takes character to sit there with all that cash and do nothing. I didn’t get to where I am by going after mediocre opportunities” – Charlie Munger

Found via Old School Value

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Interesting read from the WSJ about how horizontal drilling technology is breathing new life into an old Texas oil field.  I especially like their graphic…

I still want to know how on earth you drill horizontally but I don’t have time for an extended wikipedia worm-hole session today.

From the WSJ: Second Life for an Old Oil Field

One of Texas’ oldest oil fields, in decline for decades, has become one of the hottest places in the country to drill for crude, as energy companies create clusters of wells with layers of horizontal branches.

The Permian Basin—86,000 square miles centered on Midland, Texas—has been pumping oil since the 1920s, though production peaked at about 2 million barrels a day in the early 1970s. For decades, geologists have known that oil could be found in different layers of rock piled up like a stack of geologic pancakes.

But now drillers are starting to tap those layers simultaneously from a single site—and are committing billions of dollars to do so.

 

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I’ve posted this quote before but it bears repeating:

“For as long as I can remember, veteran businessmen and investors – I among them – have been warning about the dangers of irrational stock speculation and hammering away at the theme that stock certificates are deeds of ownership and not betting slips… The professional investor has no choice but to sit by quietly while the mob has its day, until the enthusiasm or panic of the speculators and non-professionals has been spent. He is not impatient, nor is he even in a very great hurry, for he is an investor, not a gambler or a speculator. The seeds of any bust are inherent in any boom that outstrips the pace of whatever solid factors gave it its impetus in the first place. There are no safeguards that can protect the emotional investor from himself.”

Source: John Hussman by way of Value Investing World 

Presenting the family tree of systemically important, Too Big To Fail banks.  Usually family trees grow up and out – not the case with banks.

We’ve come a long way from the early 1990s when risks were relatively compartmentalized and spread across a few dozen institutions.  Sure the risks become more concentrated among fewer institutions but think of all the synergies that will be realized and think of all the shareholder value that will be created!

This reminds me of an old saying about eggs in a basket but I can’t remember how it goes…

Too_big_to_fail

Found via The Big Picture