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Thursday 16 July 2020

Weekend Reading

Reading across disciplines is one of the best ways to improve our investment acumen. Here is a summary of some of the best articles I read this week.

I especially try to not post Corona related articles as that is all one gets to read in all traditional media.


If you like the collection this consider forwarding it to someone who you think will appreciate.

The Unsung Hero
Please read this. It is the story of an unsung hero who has left an indelible mark in the world with his contributions.



Meditation changes your brain

As science begins to dig into the long-term impacts meditation has on the brain, researchers are turning to the minds “Olympic-level” meditators for answers—people who have done up to 62,000 hours of meditation in their lifetime.

Davidson found their brainwaves showed never-before-seen levels of gamma, one of the strongest types of brain waves,  theorized to appear when the different regions of the brain harmonize.

The typical person will have a gamma wave very briefly, for example when we’ve solved a problem we’ve been grappling with, and for a second all of our sensory inputs come together in harmony. The brainwaves of long-term meditators, however, show gamma all the time as a lasting trait, no matter what they are doing. “It’s their everyday state of mind,” says Goleman. “Science has never seen this before.”



China's ballooning debt problem

An Institute of International Finance report published in May 2020 suggested that China is now the world’s largest creditor to low income countries, with China’s outstanding debt claims on the rest of the world having risen from US$875 billion in 2004 to over US$5.5 trillion in 2019 – more than 6 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP). The Institute of International Finance (IFF) estimated that China’s total domestic debt hit 317 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2020, up from 300 per cent in the last quarter of 2019 – the largest quarterly increase on record. China’s consumer debt is the fastest growing segment of overall debt, particularly in the form of mortgage and consumer loans. Household debt rose to 54.3 per cent of China’s GDP in the last quarter of 2019 compared to 51.4 per cent in the last quarter of 2018.



From Rags to Riches

Few consumers, anywhere, have heard of the wiping-rag industry. But it bails out everyone. Approximately 30% of the textiles recovered for recycling in the U.S. are converted to wiping rags. And that’s probably an undercount. The 45% of recycled textiles that are reused as apparel eventually wear out, too. When they do, they’re also bound for the wiping-rag companies. Nobody counts the number of wiping rags manufactured in the U.S. and elsewhere every year. But anyone who knows the industry acknowledges that the numbers are in the many billions—and growing. The oil and gas industry, with its network of pipes and valves, requires hundreds of millions of rags per year to wipe leaks, lubricants, and hands. Hotels, bars, and restaurants need billions of rags to clean glasses, tabletops, and railings. Painters need them for spills and drips. If these businesses can’t reuse clothes and sheets, they’ll opt for disposable paper towels, synthetic wipes, and new cloth rags, complete with all their environmental and financial costs.



An Introduction to Booneisms

From walking off my first job to start my first company to closing down Mesa Petroleum and to opening up my own hedge fund at 68, it’s three quarters of my life laid bare.

The book is built around little bits of advice I’ve been known to give over the years. At some point, family, friends and staff began writing them down and they became their own genre, now known as “Booneisms.” Many of them are about life and leadership, and other lessons I’ve learned through my ups and downs over 90 years.


Disclaimer: Abhishek Basumallick is the Head of the equity advisory www.intelsense.in for long term wealth creation and a pure quant focused newsletter at www.quantamental.in. The blog posts should not be construed as investment advice. Please do your own due diligence before investing.

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