The Paradox of Trust

“We have listened to the wisdom of an old Russian maxim, doveryai, no proveryai – trust, but verify.”   — Ronald Reagan Trust is the foundation of society. Without a basic level of trust regarding the intentions and expected behavior of other human beings, our modern civilization would very quickly disintegrate into total chaos. If you

Avoid Relegating Investment Errors to the “Memory Hole”

No one enjoys dwelling on past errors whether we are talking about investments, career choices, or poor decisions in personal relationships. It is far more pleasant to think about what has worked well in the past and to relegate unpleasant memories to what George Orwell referred to in 1984 as the “memory hole”. Read this article for a case study in faulty investment decision making.

Wal-Mart’s Upscale Strategy for Growth in China

Companies that attempt to expand from their home base into foreign countries must adapt their operations to suit the preferences and peculiarities of each local market. In the “Tea with the Economist” interview shown below, Wal-Mart’s head of China operations provides some insight into how Wal-Mart has adapted the familiar model we are used to in the United States to suit local preferences in China. Read this article for more details and a video.

Will the “Great Recession” Change Long Term Consumer Behavior?

The Great Depression of the 1930s changed consumer behavior for decades among those who experienced the downturn firsthand. Although the vast majority of consumers today have no direct recollection of the Great Depression, most everyone remembers relatives who were frugal into their old age even decades after their economic fortunes improved. Read this article for more commentary and a video interview of Andy Bond, CEO of British supermarket firm ASDA.

Goldman Sachs Favors Discretionary Retailers in Wal-Mart Downgrade

In what appears to be a downgrade based mostly on a macro call for economic recovery, Goldman Sachs downgraded Wal-Mart stores today from “buy” to “neutral” and lowered the price target on the stock to $56 from $58. While I have not been able to locate the full text of Goldman’s report online, the Wall Street Journal published a couple of excerpts which I have referenced in this article.

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