Links for Thought -- April 13, 2012

Speech Notes: Howard Marks at NYSSA (Distressed Debt Investing) -- Hunter from DDI gives us a great summation of a recent Howard Marks speech.  Marks' highly successful Oaktree Capital recently IPO'd on the NYSE and in this speech, Marks shares some of the wisdom that underlies his success.  One of the key points to take is that contrarianism is essential for long term investment success, but it ain't easy.  In order to be a contrarian investor, one must master both analysis and emotional management.

The Tail Wagging the Dog (the JETS blog) -- The Jets Blog digs in to the fact that Woody Johnson is running the Jets for profit first, football second, whereby economic concerns are driving football decisions.  There's an important message here to extrapolate to investment and corporate management: it's a good product that drives good business, not good business that drives a good product.  If the Jets want to make more money, the answer is simple: get better at on the damn football field!

Craft Beers Get Ahead (The Daily) -- Craft brews enjoyed a 15% jump in revenues during 2011, and in my opinion, this trend is only beginning.  Even the big boys are getting into the action, with Budweiser having bought Goose Island in the past year.  I've been thoroughly enjoying the proliferation of high quality craft brews, and look forward to the acceleration of this trend.  In fact, I will be enjoying a fine craft brew (or two, or three...) this evening.

Lunch with the FT: Larry David (Financial Times) -- Larry David gives in and gives us a good little interview, with a couple of humorous quips.  He also gives a pretty thorough answer to the representation of George Costanza and Larry on Curbed in relation to his real life personality.  Hint:people can think certain things but should never say them (you hear that Ozzie Guillen???)

Why a Housing Recovery Could Happen Sooner than You Think (Washington Post) -- Evidence is growing on multiple fronts that a housing recovery is either underway already, or very near.  This particular link takes a look at the mortgage applications and loan-to-value element.  I have spoken much of the rent-buy equilibrium lately, and here is a look from Calculated Risk that adds further conviction to my belief that renters are being forced into buying.  Even the homebuilders are enjoying a huge sales spike.  

One Big Reason to go Public that Nobody Ever Talks About (Business Insider) -- These days many young tech companies are foregoing the IPO while enjoying increasingly liquid private markets and staying away from the macrovolatility that plagues stock picking amongst public market equities.  Here is a compelling argument for why young tech companies should ignore the concerns about volatility and use the platform (or bully pulpit) of the public equity forum to grow their business.