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  1. I found the paper on QE published by UK Parliament to be quite informative: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld5802/ldselect/ldeconaf/42/4202.htm
  2. I think the families are cashing out sooner to take advantage of current lower rates on capital gains taxes which will almost certainly go up next year if Biden's proposal is enacted by the Congress.
  3. Pilot Flying J levering up to buyout the Haslam and Call families. Looks like a mini levered buyout inside Berkshire: https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/berkshire-backed-pilot-seeks-3-164604204.html. Haslams will continue to own 20% of the business after 2023.
  4. If you read Levine's article, the underlying structure you own is still VIE even if you buy shares in HK. So the risk exists whether you buy shares in NY or HK.
  5. Matt Levine has a must-read piece in Bloomberg on the VIE structure: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2021-07-07/owning-chinese-companies-is-complicated Levine discusses the "nuclear" option CCP has (that it may or may not ever use it): that is declare that all VIE structures violate Chinese law on foreign ownership of Chinese companies and declare them illegal. Essentially all the supposed equity in these listed shares then could go to 0. The very fact that this risk exists is troublesome. When buying BABA shares, the buyer is underwriting this risk.
  6. Cigarbutt, I have learned a lot from your posts. They are always thoughtful, respectful, well reasoned and analytical. Moreover you are trying to teach others (like me) with your posts. Please keep them coming!! IMO you are one of the best contributors to the board. -MD
  7. I haven't analyzed Micron in detail so I have no particular insight on it. My guess is that Micron is still a commodity business that is perhaps slightly better than it used to be. I cannot imagine Micron having pricing power in negotiations with a customer like Apple.
  8. Buffett also said that you need to "adjust" reported BNSF earnings downward to come up with a true picture of its earnings power. So he obviously understands & took into consideration that maintenance capital at the railroad is higher than depreciation. Even taking this into account BNSF is a decent business unlike a construction equipment rental company. These two are very different businesses; BNSF is a duapoly with zero chance of new entrants in the market unlike an equipment rental business with almost no barriers to entry (other than wasted capital which will be earning poor returns). It is like comparing apples and elephants. Lesson: you need to take wholistic view of the businesses, not just look at one aspect.
  9. What Munger was trying to say is that in some businesses you are forced reinvest all the cash the business generates to simply stay in the business at the same spot (i.e., not grow unit volumes and things like that). This happens because your depreciation charges are much lower than maintenance capital. As the old construction equipment rusts or dies, the new one you need to buy to replace it costs way more than your depreciation charges. And you are not doing more volume of business necessarily. This is in sharp contrast to See's Candies type business where you are swimming in cash at year end and you don't need to reinvest much if anything back in the business.
  10. wabuffo, Interesting hypothesis on the relationship between higher tax rates and higher inflation. Do you think this relationship holds in other countries? I think most European countries seem to have higher overall tax rates than the US but there wasn't much inflation in the Eurozone during the last decade. -MD
  11. It is possible that Ted had some flow through business losses that were related to the wind down of his hedge fund management entity which partially offset the $131M income from Roth conversion.
  12. After reading Ted's letter, in addition to being blown away by his investing prowess all I can think of is "What a Class Act!" Those of us who are Berkshire shareholders are lucky that the company has such an outstanding bench that includes Ted, Todd, Ajit & Greg ready to step up to the plate when the time comes.
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