Category Archives: Business News

Watching the Big Bets Made in Disrupted Oil and Gas Markets

Courtesy Beatnik Photos. cc

Courtesy Beatnik Photos. cc

I just published a new post on LinkedIn. You can find it here.

Oil and gas markets have faced choppy waters for the past nine months or so. Oil prices have fallen over 50%, as have the number of oil rigs performing new work across the United States. Oil and gas companies, and their employees, are feeling the effects.

In this market, big companies are placing big bets on the future of the industry. If you pay enough attention to these bets, and any corresponding patterns, you’ll get a sense of how the most important players expect the oil and gas game to change.

If you’re interested in that, please check out my LinkedIn post. Thanks.

How Replaceable Is Warren Buffett?

Warren Buffett

Photo courtesy Fortune Live Media. cc

How do you replace Warren Buffett, one of the most iconic businessmen in American history? And what does the word “replace” even mean in this context? Stephen Foley at CNBC covered some of this ground in an article published yesterday.

To be clear, Mr. Buffett has no intention of going anywhere. He’s about to publish his annual letter to shareholders, and this one is special: it’s the 50th year since he took a controlling stake in Berkshire Hathaway. But given his age (84), speculation mounts regarding what will happen to Berkshire when Mr. Buffett is no longer in charge.

The conversation around the evolution of Berkshire Hathaway is particularly interesting today, when activist investors push aggressively for large companies to spin off divisions that might be more attractive investments on their own. Berkshire Hathaway is in many senses the perfect target of activist investors. It holds a candy business (See’s Candies), an insurance business (GEICO), and a private jet time share business (NetJets), among many others. What do those businesses have in common? What “synergies” exist in that portfolio?

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