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.

326 articles in list

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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Chilean Immigration

We met with an official at the Central Bank of Chile today. He has been researching the big jump in immigration in Chile, including a large, recent influx of Venezuelans. On balance, these Venezuelan immigrants are more educated than the…

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Places in Time

Ollie Bye takes an ambitious cut at summarizing world history in a single map.  The video has its limitations, of course, but we appreciate the attempt to report on population levels, political entities, cultural events, and key inventions and discoveries…

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Topo Chico Breakout

Procor, a predecessor of our long-time portfolio company Arca Continental, began bottling Topo Chico in the late 1800’s.  Coca-Cola recently purchased U.S. rights to the brand to increase awareness and expand the availability of the drink.  Coke will have to…

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Is Enhanced the Right Word?

Our past notes about the growth in ‘covenant-lite’ loans appear almost quaint in retrospect.  In today’s U.S. leveraged loan market, which has doubled over the past decade to almost $1.2 trillion, 80% of all loans have these cov-lite structures.  Market participants…

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China’s Hidden Foreign Lending

According to a new study, about half of China’s foreign loans to developing economies are undisclosed or otherwise hidden.  Is China leveraging its balance sheet to pursue global ambitions and achieve geopolitical objectives concealed from the rest of the world? …

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Private Labels’ Large Impact

Private labels continue to grow in the U.S. and are increasingly disrupting branded products.  Domestic grocery looks more and more like parts of Europe, where house brands at retailers like Tesco (a former investment) long ago captured a large part…

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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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What Could Go Wrong?

Preqin recently estimated private equity’s dry powder stockpile at $2.5 trillion, even as funds invested $256 billion in the first half of this year — a record amount excepting 2007’s outlier.  Compounding the purchasing power of this equity, leverage continues…

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Writing Puts for Art

In what is a growing “insurance” market, third-party guarantors are writing puts for art pieces up for auction.  While it is perhaps a more aesthetically pleasing form of speculation, let’s hope these insurers like the art that they may well…

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