Cat Delights in Hanami (Flower Viewing) of Sakura (Cherry Blossom)

‘Tis the season for ornamental cherry blossom trees and their Sakura blossoms. The Japanese tradition of Hanami (“flower viewing”) involves enjoying the beauty of Sakura cherry blossoms. In contemporary Japan, people gather in great numbers around blossoming flower trees and revel in the outdoor parties beneath the Sakura during daytime, evening, or at night.

Cat Delights in Hanami (Flower Viewing) of Sakura (Cherry Blossom)

It is indefinite as to when Hanami first started, but it was refered to in Shikibu Murasaki’s classic Japanese literary work, The Tale of Genji, written around the 11th or 12th Century.

Cat Delights in Hanami (Flower Viewing) of Sakura (Cherry Blossom)

Hanami is an central Japanese custom. Japanese get away from their conservative reputations and enjoy a picnic with friends and family under the cherry blossom trees. They grab bento boxes and beer from combini (convenience stores) and proceed to one of many viewing spots for a Japanese cultural experience of a unique kind.

Cat Delights in Hanami (Flower Viewing) of Sakura (Cherry Blossom)

The most renowned cherry blossom spots can get really jam-packed. So enthusiasts get to their favorite spots beforehand and claim their spots with picnic rugs or tarps. Their reserved piece of parcel will be respected, even though they disappear and return later in the day.

Bladder Theory of Corporate Finance

Corporate Finance

Apple has $137 billion of cash on its balance sheet (as of 12-Feb-2013.) Microsoft has $68 billion, Google $48 billion, Cisco $45 billion, and Oracle has $34 billion.

Too much cash on a company’s balance sheet is not necessarily a good thing. Large cash balances reduce shareholder value because they produce lower returns on invested capital. Further, excess cash puts pressure on corporate management to put the cash to work. Often, management chases wrongheaded acquisition strategies or make poor capital allocation decisions.

Peter Lynch alluded to a bladder theory of corporate finance in his classic, “One Up On Wall Street: How To Use What You Already Know To Make Money In The Market.”

… as propounded by Hugh Liedtke of Pennzoil: the more cash that builds up in the treasury, the greater the pressure to piss it away.

Bladder theory of corporate finance states that the more cash that builds up in the treasury of an organization, the greater the pressure to piss it away. Stock repurchases, dividend increases, and special dividends are effective uses of excessive cash on balance sheets. J Hugh Liedtke, former CEO of Pennzoil, believed that “companies should pay out cash so the managers wouldn’t drain all the money away.”

Raga Brindabani Sarang (Kafi Thaat)

Raga Brindabani Sarang 'Tum Rab Tum Sahib' from the Kafi Thaat

The raga Brindabani Sarang is a Hindustani North Indian classical melodic form from the Kafi thaat. The notes Ga and dha are not used in this raga.

Brindabani Sarang is generally played in the Madhyanah (around noon) and is believed to evoke the Shringara rasa, or an ambiance of romance and mysticism.

The Arohana is ni (mandra saptak) sa re ma pa ni sa and the Avarohana is sa ni(komal) pa ma re sa. The ni swara is shuddha in the arohana and komal in the avarohana. The vadi and the samavadi are re and pa respectively. The pakad or chalan of this raga is ni sa re ma re pa ma re ni sa.

Brindabani Sarang Composition / Lyric

Perhaps the most famous composition in Brindabani Sarang is by Tansen, the most prominent of Hindustani classical music composers and a musician from the court of Mughal emperor Akbar.

Tum rab tum saheb
Tum hi kartaar
Ghata-ghata pooran
Jal-thal bhar bhaar

Tum hi rahim
Tum hi karim
Gaavat guni-gandharva
Sur-nar sur-naar

Tum hi pooran brahma
Tum hi achala
Tum hi jagat guru
Tum hi sarkaar

Kahe miya tansen
Tum hi aap
Tum hi karat sakal
Jag ko bhav paar

America is Fascinated by Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett Great wealth and entrepreneurial success have always fascinated Americans. The amount of wealth that Warren Buffett has accumulated through astute investing and discipline is awe-inspiring.

Countless portfolio managers, hedge fund managers, investment analysts, mutual funds, institutional pools of capital and individual investors have grown up devouring everything that’s been said or written by or about Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger over the years.

Warren Buffett’s unpretentious life-style draws Americans. His modest, folksy personality is an obvious contradiction to the common American impression of the lifestyles of the rich and wealthy. Warren Buffett does not enjoy the trappings of wealth. He carries a cell phone that usually switched off, does not have a computer at his desk, and drives his own automobile Cadillac DTS. He has lived in the same home he purchased for $31,500 in Omaha, Nebraska since 1958.

For years, Warren Buffett has drawn a moderate base salary of just $100,000 and has denounced excessive executive pay and extravagant purchases by other corporate CEOs.

Warren Buffett’s Legacy

In 2006, Warren Buffett, the world’s third richest man, stunned the world by bequeathing more than 85% of the $44 billion in his Berkshire Hathaway fortune to charity. That is the largest philanthropic gift in history. Five-sixths of his shares in Berkshire Hathaway would go to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Buffett has said that he was inspired by the philosophy of Andrew Carnegie, who had believed that huge fortunes that flow in large part from society should in large part be returned to society.

Warren Buffett has three children: Susie Buffett is the owner of a knitting-shop Omaha, Howie Buffett is a farmer in Illinois, and Peter Buffett is a new-age musician based in New York. Buffet’s three children received a modest inheritance from Buffett. He stated, “They’re comfortable, but they don’t have tons of money. I consider myself lucky to have three children who want to spend much of their time and energy working on projects that will benefit others.”

Millions of Buffett fans all over the world swear by his philosophy of value investing and have profited from the wisdom of the “Oracle of Omaha.” America admires him. In 2010, President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

For a peek at the genius of Warren Buffet, see Alice Schroeder’s “The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life.” “The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America” is a great anthology of Warren Buffet’s writing.