Gongol.com Archives: May 2007
Brian Gongol

May 24, 2007

Business and Finance Missing the point of what Warren Buffett does
Berkshire Hathaway shareholder complains that (a) his stock hasn't risen in value much lately, and (b) Warren Buffett is going to invite several individuals to essentially act as investment interns before he picks a successor. The writer seriously misses on the first point, because the essence of value investing is not embedded in the stock price: The issue is whether you bought something for less than it's really worth. Since Berkshire Hathaway has a P/E ratio of less than 15 and is extremely profitable, perhaps the problem isn't with Warren Buffett but rather with the stock buyers who are undervaluing the company. On the second point, Buffett has never claimed he's going to run a Trump-style "Apprentice" competition (from which most people could probably learn a few things not to do). The point is to watch the candidates in action and learn how they operate; the best candidate may not be the one who made the most money in a certain period of time, and Buffett's clearly smart enough to know that. Anyone too impatient to understand either of those two issues should probably not be buying Berkshire Hathaway stock.

Humor and Good News How to save hassles with a "landing strip" at home

Threats and Hazards How ten decisions influenced the outcome of WWII
Related: Documentation of al Qaeda's torture methods being used today

Aviation News Chinese government using space access to make friends with other countries
China is also making big inroads with African governments in an effort to get access to natural resources like oil (and, perhaps, cheap labor later on). Not only is the US not effectively countering this method of international outreach, the government here is killing the Voice of America and ignoring Latin America (which should, by all rights, be brimming with pro-American sentiment). It's really, really bad news.

Computers and the Internet Antigua may retaliate against US for online-gambling ban
The unnecessary ban on most Internet gambling that the US put into place is hurting Antigua so much that the country has asked the WTO to suspend the rules on intellectual property that protect American patents. Their argument is that a ban on Internet gambling is an unfair method of trade protectionism for US casinos, and that in turn suspends America's right to IP protection.

Science and Technology Dinosaurs did the crawl stroke

Threats and Hazards Seriously disturbing "Frontline" episode on privacy

Socialism Doesn't Work Iowa governor signs $100 million subsidy for "renewable energy"
When will the subsidies for economic growth rightly end? Why are Iowans in every other line of work being punished just because their industries aren't trendy enough? The Iowa Legislature went through a mountain of bad policies this year.

The United States of America Bill Richardson serves up the funniest campaign commercial so far
(Video) Richardson is pretty average as a Presidential candidate, based on economic policies, but he's much better than some of the other Democrats in the race. One of his biggest shortcomings is a lack of private-sector experience, which is par for the course: Only Cox, Gravel, Huckabee, Paul, and Romney have ever really spent time in business. All of the others are either career politicians or lawyers-turned-politicians.

Health 10 extra-healthy foods
Apples, almonds, spinach, vegetable juice, and wheat germ are five of the ten

News Rich Russian ex-pat says he's planning a coup against Putin
A totally different group is looking at carrying out a coup in Iran

Business and Finance What we'll have to pay tomorrow dwarfs what we're paying today
Future obligations, on both the state and Federal levels, could be crippling. The Federal government is whistling past the graveyard, and it's inexcusable. At the rate we're going, Treasury Bonds could fall to junk status in less than 20 years.

Graphics Graphic of the day: Signs

Water News New heavy rains soak parts of Iowa