C&B Notes

Investing is a discipline built on cumulative knowledge, and it requires a continuous evaluation and assessment of new information. The purpose of C&B Notes is to pass along the ideas, concepts, stories, and information that are informing, influencing, and updating our worldview. We use them to build on our “latticework of mental models” that help us make better decisions.

204 articles in list

The Dollar Saves Venezuela

Thankfully and mercifully, daily life in Venezuela is evolving.  We did not expect this level of relief without a leadership transition, but the Maduro administration has quietly allowed free market reforms to take shape.  The country is now essentially dollarized,…

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Digitizing the Renminbi

Most of the discussion we have heard about digital currencies is around their use as a replacement or alternative to a sovereign fiat currency.  China is exploring ways and investing in methods to integrate digitized currency into its existing, centrally-controlled…

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If You Can’t Beat ‘Em

We have visited hundreds, if not thousands, of “mom and pop” stores throughout Latin America, as they account for a large portion of retail sales in the region.  Kiranas, which are akin to Latin American bodegas, are of similar —…

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Progress in Brazil

In our most recent partner letter, we identified the importance of pension and tax reforms to unlock economic growth in Brazil.  Lawmakers successfully passed some long-awaited long-term fixes to the country’s social security equivalent earlier this month.  Tax reform is…

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Food Delivery Landscape

On our recent trip to South America, we were struck by the growth in delivery sales for large QSR brands like McDonald’s and Burger King.  We are interested in whether delivery’s impact on the global restaurant industry will be enduring…

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India’s Shadowy Lending

Borrowing short and lending long are typically ingredients for a financial disaster.  India’s shadow banking system, which gets its name because participants are more lightly regulated, is creating problems in the country’s formal banking sector.  The tone of this piece…

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Turkey Looks Ahead

It remains to be seen if this week’s resounding win by AKP’s opposition in Istanbul’s mayoral election is the beginning of a reversal of President Erdogan’s quasi-autocracy in which party, legislature, judiciary, and the media have become subordinate to the…

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Nigeria Is Powered Down

This month, Enrico spent a week in Nigeria researching businesses and experienced first-hand the power generation challenges the country faces.  Even on Victoria Island, the nicest neighborhood in Lagos, brownouts and blackouts occur daily.  Fixing this problem is a key…

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Privatization on a Grand Scale

During his reelection campaign, Narendra Modi struck a nationalist tone.  His economic policy of privatizing India’s state-owned enterprises and industries has not aligned with this rhetoric, as the country has increasingly allowed business to function in growing free markets. Among…

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China “Detains” Its National Sweetheart

Xi Jinping’s consolidation of power and nominal campaign against corruption continues to change the rules in China, with a recent high-profile example occurring in the Chinese film industry.  The country’s most famous actress, Fan Bingbing, disappeared for six months as…

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Modi’s Re-Election Bid

India’s 900 million (!) registered voters started going to the polls earlier this month with voting taking place from April 11th to May 19th.  The key issues in the election are similar to those in the West — the economy,…

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Ghana Reach for Yield

With the U.S. Federal Reserve Board announcement that it is pausing rate increases and will soon stop shrinking its balance sheet, investors’ reach for yield could continue unabated.  A huge over-subscription for Ghana’s just-issued 30-year bond, now the longest-maturity bond…

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