On Being Stingy, Dishonest, and Egotistical (they are choices you know)

solar eclipseMy coach friend Jim Early has reminded me of a Warren Buffetism that is the heart of success in business and life.

Energy and Integrity are Warren’s core requirements with a wink to having a good brain.  While good brains are important and some argue that birth is the determining factor in brain power, more and more evidence points to the cell being a machine that turns experience into biology.

I’ve many years as a volunteer working with troubled youth and it’s apparent to me that mental abilities can be built just like muscle mass and coordination (practice and a little more practice).

Integrity and energy are choices and with discipline, practice, and guidance a “C” student can become a superstar in just about any human endeavor.

Another Inconvenient Truth

graphics failed acquisitionsOur two Foreign Exchange students (sisters – 1 year each) came from Culiacan Mexico.  Their father Humberto, was a Sinaloa legislator with a sweet demeanor and sharp mind.  He liked to argue.

My most memorable discussions with Humberto put me on the wrong side of  arguments over American Exceptionalism.  10 years later, I must agree that a core problem impacting everything from schools to public health is how we are giving away the very heart and soul of our nation each time a Bain Capital buys another outgrown American Family business.

Humberto’s argument was that American Capitalism had shifted from businesses founded by real people, delivering real products and important services, to large capital organizations that absolutely do not care about the people, products, or services being delivered by the entities that are acquired.

I argued with Humberto that the Warren Buffets of our world really did care about these things.  Humberto challenged me to name names.  How many Warren Buffets can you give me?  His position was that Mitt Romney, junk bonds, and Bain Capital were the driving force in American Capitalism today and not Warren Buffet.

The article that follows is concise and powerful and has clarified the tortured thoughts that man has visited upon me. Continue reading “Another Inconvenient Truth”

Geeks Bearing Formulas and other Warren Buffetisms

penguinsGeeks Bearing Formulas and other Warren Buffetisms

(Repeated from M and A’s April Dealmaker’s Journal and Warren’s annual Letter to His Shareholders);

“Private equity is a name that turns the facts upside-down: A purchase of a busines by these firms almost invariably results in dramatic reductions in the equity portion of the acquiriee’s capital structure compared to that previously existing.”

“Long ago, Ben Graham taught me that ‘Price is what you pay; value is what you get.’ Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down.”

“Economic medicine that was previously meted out by the cupful has recently been dispensed by the barrel… Moreover, major industries have become dependent on Federal assistance, and they will be followed by cities and states bearing mind-boggling requests. Weaning these entities from the public teat will be a political challenge. They won’t leave willingly.”

“regulation…could be a catalyst for positive change…it doesn’t have to be a negative” General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, quoted by Wall Street Journal.

Only one thing is more important than learning from experience, and that is not learning from experience. John M Templeton.

“America’s financial architecture is about to be remade…to be brought under federal supervision“Matt Cooper, Portfolio, as quoted in Mergers and Acquisitions Magazine.

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. Buddha

Thomson Reuters reported that about one third of M & A chapter 11 purchases involved financial services business. Mergers and Acquisitions Magazine, December 2008.

The nature of men is always the same; it is their habits that separate them. Confucious

“You’re not bankrupt until people know you’re bankrupt” By which he meant, I’ve come to understand, that money is a complicated reality. It’s a master illusionists game.

The artifice is everything. Transparency is the enemy of making it really big-which is one reason the word ‘private’ got joined to ‘equity’.

(Michael Woolf, in an article The Ultimate Bubble found in the February issues of Vanity Fair as reported in Mergers and Acquisitions magazine.)

No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave. Calvin Coolidge

You cannot discover new oceans until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. Anonymous quote

Have something to add? Your own business wit?

Got a different point of view, want to play devil’s advocate, or just think we’re all wet? Post your experiences or examples.

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