Hottest Links: Icahn Out-Tweeted, Debunking Princeton, And Herbalife

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Hottest links for Friday, January 24th, the late edition (see Thursday’s edition here). Get our free daily newsletter (which HAS BEEN RECENTLY UPDATED) and never miss a single linkfest. Also, now if you sign up you will get our new e-book on value investing.

Top stories are included below.  To kick off your weekend, we’ve got Carl Icahn the big game hunter, the idea that banks should start a hedge fund, and a generational look at how kids might be better-off than their parents these days.

Hottest Links: Stories

Value Investing

If Company Market Caps = Countries’ Listed Firms

This map matches the value of an entire countries’ listed firms (in total) versus the cap of a single company. [Barry Ritholtz, The Big Picture]

Not a follower

A recent Jason Zweig piece, “New Warnings from an Investment Pioneer,” profiles Dean LeBaron, the legendary head of Batterymarch.  “As unorthodox as ever,” LeBaron is leaning against the prevailing sentiments of the day and sounding the alarm.  Whether you think he’s spot on, early, or just plain wrong, the article is worth reading. [Tom Brakke, Research Puzzle Pieces]

Daniel Kahneman’s Favorite Approach For Making Better Decisions

Bob Sutton’s new book, Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less, contains an interesting section towards the end on looking back from the future, which talks about “a mind trick that goads and guides people to act on what they know and, in turn, amplifies their odds of success.” [Shane Parish, Farnam Street]


Better off than Parents?

According to this Harvard study, on average people today are just as likely to be better off than our parents than the generation 50 years ago was. I wonder if they adjusted incomes for debt? (I’m too lazy to check). [ChartPorn]

image Hottest Links

Debunking Princeton

Like many of you, we were intrigued by a recent article by Princeton researchers predicting the imminent demise of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). Of particular interest was the innovative use of Google search data to predict engagement trends, instead of studying the actual engagement trends. [Mike Develin, Facebook]

Why Is Carl Icahn Hunting Such Big Game These Days?

Last week eBay Inc. CEO John Donahoe got a call from investor Carl Icahn. Mr. Icahn is a new eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) shareholder who is pretty excited about the potential of PayPal (we are, too). In fact, he thinks PayPal would be even better as a separate company. [Matt Levine, Bloomberg]

Greenberg: Moral of the Herbalife Story*

The asterisk is for the obvious “so far.” When news broke this morning that Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey was calling on the SEC and FTC to investigate Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF). [Herb Greenberg, Herb On TheStreet]

Trouble Mounts for China Hands — But Not CEFs

When it comes to investing in China, pick your nasty headline. Today we’ve got data showing Chinese manufacturing is contracting, a report bad enough to cast a pall on global markets. [Brendan Conway, Focus on Funds]

Nassim Taleb: Bankers Should Start A Hedge Fund

Alas, bankers in their current status are an offense to capitalism; they are in a strange situation of having upside without downside, no skin in the game. [Bess Levin, DealBreaker]

Charlie Gasparino No Longer Has To Waste An Entire Travel Day

Now he can squeeze it in in between his afternoon workout session and his standing reservation at the Grand Havana room. [Bess Levin, DealBreaker]

Did Carl Icahn Get Out-Tweeted by eBay?

On Wednesday afternoon, he told CNBC that he’d be announcing a new position in the next few weeks via Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR). But eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) CEO John Donahoe and its founder and chairman Pierre Omidyar decided they needed to beat Mr. Icahn to the punch. [Maureen Farrell, MoneyBeat]

Largest Q4 investments in venture-capital-backed companies

According to DJX VentureSource, U.S. companies raised $8.9 billion from 901 venture capital deals in the fourth quarter of 2013. On a year-over-year basis, the number of deals and amount of capital raised were up 3% and 7%, respectively, for the quarter. [Timothy Pollard, Pension&Investments]

Hottest Links: Not The Onion

Prisoner rats himself out with Facebook selfie of cell-grown cannabis

A Polish prisoner has taken one of the most head-desk-bang-bang selfies ever: a picture of himself, taken on a contraband mobile phone smuggled into the prison, showing a lush, equally contraband and definitely illegal cannabis plant he grew from seed in his cell. [Lisa Vaas, NakedSecurity]

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