Links for Thought -- February 17th

The IPO of the Decade? My Valuation of Facebook (Musings on Markets) -- Aswath Damodaran, professor at finance at NYU, takes his stab at constructing a valuation analysis on Facebook.  This is an outstanding post for anyone who has an interest in the Facebook IPO, and even better for those who want to learn the "how to" of valuation analysis from an outstanding teacher.


Memo to Lyle LaMothe: The Die is Cast (The Reformed Broker) -- Josh Brown offers some strong points on why the Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) platform is gaining momentum at the expense of the traditional wirehouse brokers.  Great read on the state of the investment industry today.


Kodak: A Parable of American Competitiveness (Harvard Business School) -- Very interesting analysis of Kodak's decline as a company and what lessons can be drawn for America at large.  A key point is the idea that outsourcing manufacturing resulted in the outsourcing of the means through which people derive innovation.


Allan Mecham: The 400% Man (Frankly Speaking) -- Frank Voisin takes a look at the recent SmartMoney profile on an under-the-radar investor from Utah who has earned a 400% return for his investors over the past 12 years.  Embedded in this post is an interview with Mecham conducted by the Manual of Ideas in 2010 which is a must read on how to become a successful investor (clue: one must think differently than the herd).


Lasry Sees Europe Bankruptcy Bonanza as Bad Debts Obscure Good Assets (Bloomberg) -- This article is as much an expression of Marc Lasry's belief that there are good values to be bought in Europe, as it is a mini-biography on one of my favorites in the investment business.  Lasry is a Moroccan immigrant, who studied hard to become a lawyer and then a successful investor.  A lot can be learned from this man, both as a person and a fund manager.


What Does Declining Gasoline Consumption Mean (Ritholtz) -- With oil prices on the rise yet again, James Bianco bring to light an important fact.  Gasoline consumption in America has been falling since 2007, and recently accelerated the pace of the decline.  What does this mean?  Go ahead and read the link to find out what Bianco thinks.