Sunday was daylight savings time.
Shout-out to fellow Hamilton Alum and journalist extraordinaire David Andreatta for this fun fact – during WWI, Germany was the first country to institute a national daylight savings program so its factory workers would have more daylight hours to make bombs. Now I just want to sleep in.

By Charles Ruff, CFA

Putin and Russian Kleptocracy.

How I Figured Out the Achilles Heel of Vladimir Putin | William Browder | TEDxBerlin

Bill Browder is the founder of Hermitage Capital and specialized in Russian securities. His book Red Notice is a great read.

This TED talk is a short summary of that book and it is very relevant today.

Oil and Gas in the USA

Third Point: Fourth Quarter 2021 Investor Letter

The below chart pulls GDP numbers from here and gasoline expenditure numbers from here. Both are updated through 4Q21 but do not include 2022’s most recent spike.

Gasoline prices could stay here, fall back down, or go much higher. We don’t know where they will go. The point is that by historical standards, expenditures on gasoline are not high.

There was a time when high gas prices meant more US dollars heading major oil producers like Venezuela and the Middle East. The shale revolution changed that.

The US is the largest energy producer in the world!

Country 2020 Oil & Gas Production mmbe/d
US 16.5
Russia 10.7
Saudi Arabia 11.0

Source: BP Statistical Review of World Energy

Mmboe/d= million barrels of oil equivalent per day

The US produces more oil and gas than ever before. Higher energy prices benefit a significant portion of the US economy. In states like Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, the energy industry directly accounts for about 15% of jobs and an even higher percentage of income. (PWC Report attached for reference). The median oil and gas job pays over $90,000/year. This is 2x the national median wage. Higher prices will result in more economic activity- more drilling, investment in equipment, payments to landowners, tax revenue. Think of all the economic activity required for a single well-site (below).

This PWC study found the O&G industry’s total impact amounted for 5.6% of US employment and 7.9% of GDP. Yes, rising oil and gas prices impact economies very differently. For instance, Oklahoma will be a net beneficiary of higher oil and gas prices. The People’s Republic of New York State will not. Moderately higher oil and gas prices on their own are a net GOOD thing for the US economy. The problem is that ALL costs that are rising, not just energy.

A Hater’s Guide to Coach K & Duke Basketball

Last year, the Duke basketball coach, Mike Krzyzewski announced that he was retiring at the end of next year! His enormous ego needed a full season worth of attention.
The Coach K love-fest is both annoying and inaccurate. It will be nice at the end of this season when it’s finally over. This thread could go on forever- everyone has at least one story about why they hate him. But let’s look at the numbers.

In the last 15 NCAA tournaments, Duke basketball has:

  • Started 42 NBA rostered players (averaging about 3 a year!)
  • Earned a 3 seed or higher 13/15 years
  • Bounced in the first two rounds 5/15 years
  • Appeared in the Final 4 just twice (2010, 2015)
    • Duke won both years.
    • The 2010 team had 4 NBA players (Seth Curry, Mason Plumlee, Kyle Singer, Lance Thomas)
    • The 2015 team had 5 NBA players (Quinn Cook, Grayson Allen, Tyus Jones, Justine Winslow, Jahil Okafor)
  • Despite solid seeds (Duke favoritism) and plenty of NBA-caliber talent, I would say the program has underperformed.
  • Coach K looks like a great recruiter but the data do not support claims that he is a good coach

The Barkley Marathons…

As first mentioned in last April’s Reading List, the 2022 Barkley Marathons just ended. No one finished all 5 laps. Just 5 people completed the “fun run” which means completing 3 laps.

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