Weekend Reading

17 March 2018 | by Paul Perrino, CFA

A summary of this week’s best articles. Follow us on Twitter (@INTRINSICINV) for similar ongoing posts and shares.

Want to Kill Your Economy? Have MBA Programs Churn out Takers Not Makers. (Rana Foroohar, @RanaForoohar, evonomics)

It’s a problem for stakeholders when “80 percent of CEOs surveyed in one study said they’d pass up making an investment that would fuel a decade’s worth of innovation if it meant they’d miss a quarter of earnings results.” One of the stops on the path for many CEOs is business school. This is could be why many CEOs put short-term results over long-term success. The curriculum of many MBA programs focus on financial theory and appeasing Wall Street than critical and long-term thinking.

Larry Page’s Flying Taxis, Now Exiting Stealth Mode (Andrew Ross Sorkin, @andrewrsorkin, NYT)

While the focus in the news has been about self-driving cars, Alphabet has a team in New Zealand building self-flying planes. Some of the people involved are well suited for the project. Kitty Hawk is run by Sebastian Thrun, “who helped start Google’s autonomous car unit as the director of Google X”.  Zephyr, which was set up by Kitty Hawk, is run by Fred Reid, “who is a former chief executive of Virgin America. Before that he was president of Delta Air Lines and president of Lufthansa Airlines, where he was co-architect of the Star Alliance.”

Walmart to Offer Home Delivery of Groceries in 100 Cities (Sarah Nassauer, @SarahNassauer, WSJ)

In an effort to compete with Amazon Now, Walmart is launching a grocery deliver service. There is no monthly or annual fee. The cost is $9.95 per delivery with a $30 minimum order. The groceries will be sourced and packed in the local Walmart store and delivered by crowdsource deliver companies, like Uber and Deliv Inc.

The Secretive Company That Pours America’s Coffee (Zeke Turner and Julie Jargon, @zekefturner and @juliejargon, WSJ)

JAB may be one of the largest companies you’ve never heard of. Starting out as a chemical manufacturer, they’ve shifted to a coffee powerhouse by acquiring of such household names as Keurig, Peet’s, Panera, and Krispy Kreme. The next step in their coffee conquest is distribution of cold-brew coffee. They recently purchased Dr. Pepper to help with distribution. This is causing the rivalry with Nestle to heat up. (pun intended)

Parts Suppliers Call for Cleaner Cars, Splitting With Their Main Customers: Automakers (Hiroko Tabuchi, @HirokoTabuchi, NYT)

The Obama administration issued mandates that “require automakers to nearly double the average fuel economy of new cars and light trucks by 2025.” Auto part companies were pleased with the mandates because developing and selling newer parts meant they could charge more. With the current administration’s pledge to reduce regulation and undo many Obama-era initiatives, automakers are now pushing to repeal this mandate.

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