Things I Learned This Week – February 25th, 2018

Article: Oil Industry’s Swagger Takes Knocks From Gas Boom, FT

Article: Walmart’s Online Challenge to Amazon Falters, FT

Article: How Low-Code Can You Go? IT Tests Disruptive App Development, WSJ

Article: Kenya Seeks to Raise 30-Year Debt after Ratings Downgrade, FT

Article: BP Says Oil Demand to Peak By Late 2030s, FT

Article: Nobody Wants to Let Google Win the War for Maps All Over Again, Bloomberg

Article: The race to map the world for autonomous cars is on—and messy, MIT Technology Review

Article: Crude Calculus: Oil’s Next Move Could Be Higher, Barron’s

Key Points:

  • If Venezuela descends further into chaos, then oil production from that country could falter and could push oil prices even higher.
  • Venezuela produced 2,072,000 barrels of oil per day in 2017. It was down from 2,373,000 barrels in 2016.
  • There could also be oil production outage in Libya and Nigeria due to terrorist attacks. This could further boost oil prices.

Article: Playing with $100 Billion, Warren Buffett is Giant Trader of U.S. Treasury Bills, WSJ

Key Points:

  • Berkshire Hathaway has amassed a lot of cash, but Warren Buffett does not see any good acquisitions.
  • Treasury bills give him some return while protecting his liquidity.

 

 

 

Article: Chinese Regulator Seizes Anbang Insurance, Owner of Waldorf Astoria, WSJ

Key Points:

  • The insurance company and its founder have fallen out of favor with Chinese rulers.
  • Mr. Wu Xiaohui had been detained by Chinese authorities eight months back.

Article: Buffett’s Annual Letter: Berkshire Records $29 Billion Gain From Tax Law, NY Times

Key Points:

  • The tax law contributed nearly two-thirds of Berkshire’s $44.9 in net earnings for 2017.
  • The company’s book value rose by 23% in 2017 and its stock price rose by 21.9%. The S.&P. 500 climbed by 21.8%.

Article: Black Panther Again Shows its Strength, WSJ

Key Points:

  • Box Office take of $108 million for the second week.
  • Only the fourth film ever to gross $100 million on the second million.
  • Grossed $400 million in the U.S. and $704 million in rest of the world in two weeks.

Article: How Internet is Changing Life for the World’s Poorest People (Smartphone Optional), WSJ

Key Points:

  • This article debunks the notion that a smartphone is required for poor people to have access to services.
  • Millions of the poorest people cannot afford a smartphone or even know how to use a feature phone.
  • PayGo Energy Markets is delivering gas to homes via an internet-connected canister that meters out small amount of gas for cooking and charges for it.
  • World Cover is providing low-cost farm insurance to farmers in rural Africa. It connects with its customers via a handful of people in a village who have a feature phone and have the ability to read. The company uses satellite data to trigger automatic payments to the farmers.

Press Release: Smartphone, IoT, and Connected Car Fueling Rise in LTE Network Traffic, Oracle Corp.,

  • Connected cars continue to show strong network traffic momentum 9.4 million messages per second (MPS) and a CAGR of 30%
  • Voice Over LTE shows a CAGR of 22% with 62 million MPS
  • Africa has the highest CAGR of 63% but currently has one of the lower MPS of 1.8 million (2016 data)

Article: 2018 Energy Roundtable: Don’t Give Up on Oil, Barron’s

Key Points:

  • Global demand continues to exceed supply.
  • Supply side disruptions are possible in Venezuela or Nigeria.

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