A selection of great books, articles, and essays

  • “Time is running out to prepare for the next pandemic. We must act now with decisiveness and purpose. Someday, after the next pandemic has come and gone, a commission much like the 9/11 Commission will be charged with determining how well government, business, and public health leaders prepared the world for the catastrophe when they had clear warning. What will be the verdict?” — Source: “Preparing for the Next Pandemic,” written in 2005 following the 2003 outbreak of SARS.
  • “SARS [2003], MERS [2012], the 2009 H1N1…

A selection of great books, articles, and essays

  • “The SEC estimates that $2.7 trillion was raised on private markets last year, compared with $1.2 trillion on public markets.” — Source: WSJ
  • Ball Corp. sold $1.3 billion of bonds due 2030 with a coupon of 2 7/8%, the lowest-ever for a junk-rated company (Ball Corp is BB+, per S&P) according to Refinitiv. Visa also recently bested Alphabet and Amazon for the title of lowest-ever coupon on an investment-rated issue with a 0.75% coupon on notes due in 2027.

A selection of great books, articles, and essays

Philip C. Ordway — July 2020

  • “Before Robinhood added options trading in 2017, [co-founder Baiju] Bhatt scoffed at the idea that the company was letting investors take uninformed risks. ‘The best thing we can say to those people is ‘Just do…

  • “Short selling should be illegal.” — Elon Musk
  • Chewing gum sales by volume from 2010 to 2018 dropped 4% globally. U.S. sales were down 23% in the same period. (Euromonitor)
  • The price of a 50-inch 4k HD television fell more than 80% between 2012 and 2018, and the average price of all TVs fell 20% just in the past year.
  • $200 million — the annual budget for the California Public Utility Commission during its most recent fiscal year, and a period in…

  • “If you constantly express anger in your private conversations, your friends will likely find you tiresome, but when there’s an audience, the payoffs are different — outrage can boost your status…Human beings evolved to gossip, preen, manipulate, and ostracize. We are easily lured into this new gladiatorial circus, even when we know that it can make us cruel and shallow. [S]ocial media turns many of our most politically engaged citizens into [James] Madison’s nightmare: arsonists who compete to create the most inflammatory posts and images, which they can distribute across the country…

  • “In 1971 the social scientist Herbert Simon anticipated the attention economy when he wrote that in an information-rich world, the most scarce resource is the one that information itself consumes: attention. ‘A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently.’” (Source: “All I Ever Wanted Was a One-Trick Pony”)
  • In 1996, 59% of SEC filers used non-GAAP figures; in 2017, 97% did. (Source: Audit Anaytics via WSJ)
  • The U.S. homicide rate fell 6.8% in 2018, the second consecutive annual decline. In the 30 largest cities…

  • “All Americans need to recognize that our democracy is an experiment — and one that can be reversed. We all know that we’re better than our current politics. Tribalism must not be allowed to destroy our experiment.”Jim Mattis
  • “Nations with allies thrive, and those without them wither. Alone, America cannot protect our people and our economy. At this time, we can see storm clouds gathering. A polemicist’s role is not sufficient for a leader. A leader must display strategic acumen that incorporates respect for those nations that have stood with us when trouble loomed.”

  • Things can change very quickly.
  • Predictions are hard, especially about the future.
  • We all need more humility.
  • Most of the materials that consume our…

Phil Ordway

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