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.

334 articles in list

Pancho Garza, In Memorium

In April, we lost a dear friend and business leader in Francisco “Pancho” Garza.  Pancho was the long-time CEO of Arca Continental from its formation in 2000 until his retirement in 2018.  Under his leadership, Arca grew from three newly…

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A Sage Resignation Letter

In 1989, Wesco Financial, a Berkshire subsidiary, resigned from the United States League of Savings Institutions.  In this colorful letter, Charlie Munger expresses his disdain for the lobbying efforts of the league to prevent industry reform at the detriment of…

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Buyout Bonanza

Over the last few decades private equity markets, or leveraged buyouts as they were known before being rebranded, have gained a substantial share of global capital markets.  Private markets can be a powerful force for good when they serve as…

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Death of a Reserve Currency

We enjoyed reading this study on the decline of the Dutch florin in the late-1700s and its loss of “reserve currency” status.  This discussion is timely given the recent surge of inflation in the developed world as well as the…

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Data as a Moat

  We enjoyed this talk by Stanford Professor Andrew Ng.  He makes the case that in an era of Artificial Intelligence, access to data with which to train your algorithms can create an economic moat.  While the algorithms themselves can…

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Just-In-Time Shortages & Opportunity Costs

For the first time since 1931, General Motors has been dethroned as the largest U.S. auto manufacturer.  During 2021, Toyota sold 2.3m cars in the U.S. (up 10%) while GM sold 2.2m (down 13%).  The main reason for this sizeable…

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Muslim World Demographics

About 25% (and growing) of the world’s population is Muslim. This map shows the geographic reach of one of the world’s largest and fastest growing religions. CCI, a Cook & Bynum holding since 2018, is the Muslim world’s leading Coca-Cola…

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Chick-fil-A Unit Economics

We have long admired Chick-fil-A’s business both as consumers and as business analysts.  The family-owned company has created incredible wealth and value for its owners through a combination of an ownership culture, a simple but clear value proposition, excellent customer…

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New On Our Bookshelf – Nomad Letters

Nick Sleep and Qais Zakaria’s Nomad Investment Partnership Letters to Partners 2001-2014 offer a treasure trove of great insights. One idea worth highlighting is their concept of “scaled economies shared.” This idea of scaled economies shared lies behind the success…

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China’s Modern Propaganda Machine

Xi Jingping’s consolidation of power in China is not new news.  The ruling party’s re-versioning of history through a modern propaganda effort is both petty and chilling, particularly with the backdrop of widespread human right atrocities in the northwestern part of the country.  Xi’s re-embrace of Mao, rejection…

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Commodity Correlation in LatAm

One of our favorite and most informative sources of information are the charts delivered by The Daily Shot; we would recommend it to you. This chart caught our eye – Gavekal Research shows a strong positive relationship between commodity price…

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From Spud to Sale

We are big fans of Russ Roberts and his EconTalk podcast – it should be on your regular rotation if you like the podcast format.  We recently listened to one from deep in Roberts’ archive.  This interview with a Frito-Lay…

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