Edward, Ex Cathedra

edward, ex cathedra

We can be certain of some things about Edward Studzinski. As an investor and co-manager of Oakmark Equity & Income(OAKBX), he was consistently successful in caring for other people’s money (as much as $17 billion of it), in part because he remained keenly aware that he was also caring for their futures. $10,000 entrusted to Edward and co-manager Clyde McGregor on the day Ed joined the fund (01 March 2000) would have grown to $27,750 on the day of his departure (31 December 2011). His average competitor (I’m purposefully avoiding “peer” as a misnomer) would have managed $13,900.

As a writer and thinker, he minced no words.

The Equity and Income Fund’s managers have both worked in the investment industry for many decades, so we both should be at the point in our careers where dubious financial-industry innovations no longer surprise us. Such an assumption, however, would be incorrect.

For the past few quarters we have repeatedly read that the daily outcomes in the securities markets are the result of the “Risk On/Risk Off” trade, wherein investors (sic?) react to the most recent news by buying equities/selling bonds (Risk On) or the reverse (Risk Off). As value investors we think this is pure nonsense. 

Over the past two years, Ed and I have engaged in monthly conversations that I’ve found consistently provocative and information-rich. It’s clear that he’s been paying active attention for many years to contortions of his industry which he views with equal measures of disdain and alarm. 

I’ve prevailed upon Ed to share a manager’s fuss and fulminations with us, as whim, wife and other obligations permit. We’re pleased to announce that we’ve collected his essays here.  We’ve dubbed it “Edward, Ex Cathedra,” since he, like the pontiff, speaks quietly but with unquestioned authority (on this point, Ms. Studzinski demurs).

Behind the Curtain

“If you sit by the […]

A Fine Kettle of Fish

“There is no such thing […]

Value Versus Culture

“In order to become the […]

Between Scylla and Charybdis

“What is this optimism?” asked […]

Run-Away Train Coming

“It’s a scientific fact that […]

Summer Solstice

“The predicament You find yourself […]

Currency Games

“Look straight ahead. What’s there? […]

Chaff from Wheat

“The idea that a nation […]

Scale Matters

“Socialist governments traditionally do make […]

Do As I Say …….

“Snow on the pines thus […]

Which Way to Sherwood Forest?

Amateurs talk about strategy and […]

Another Year of Living Dangerously

“Finance is the art of […]

Holiday Reading List

“Imagine the Creator as a […]

The End of Many Eras

“A genius is the man […]

Feet of Clay

“Advertising is the rattling of […]

“He said what?”

“Why shouldn’t things be largely […]

Rebound, What Rebound?

“Historian: an unsuccessful novelist.”  H.L. […]

What We Do Not Know!

“Pessimist: one who, when he […]

The Sparrow’s Revenge

“The only way to success […]

Quo Vadis, America?

“Look straight ahead. What’s there? […]

The Quality of Research

“Until life goes out Memory […]

Time Flashing By …. Again

An instance of an Inability […]

Rearranging the Deck Chairs

Democracy is grounded upon so […]

Liquidity, Always Liquidity

“The only way a man […]

What You Don’t See ………

“A democracy is a government […]

Beginning of the End or End of the Beginning?

“Men become civilized, not in […]


“Dogs look up to you, […]

One Hand Clapping

“In wartime, truth is so […]

What Color Are the Swans?

 “Bureaucracy is a giant mechanism […]

Asymmetric Investing

“If more than ten percent […]

Brand or Generic?

The Romans had a maxim, […]

Ketchup is Ketchup, Mustard is Mustard

The typical American of today […]

Problems, What Problems?

“Life is a predicament which […]

The Year That Wasn’t!

“Human life is punishment.” Seneca […]

Coal in Your Stocking

Snow on the pines Thus […]

The Market at Ebb Tide

“In three words I can […]

Consequences – Unintended or Not?

“The danger is not that […]

Antitrust Law, What Antitrust Law?

“A smooth sea never made […]

Dotcom 2018 – This Time It’s Different?

“If you attack stupidity you […]

Not in Kansas Anymore!

“Twenty years from now you […]

Active Value versus Indexation – Godzilla versus the Smog Monster

The surest way to corrupt […]

Rolling Down the Appian Way

“To succeed in the world, […]

Popping the Balloon

“We live in an age […]

It Was the Best of Times ……

“I have to change to […]

What You See …

“If you can’t annoy somebody, […]

Conflicts and Contradictions

“Success is never final. Failure […]

Rearranging the Deck Chairs

“In wars then let our […]

Fall Frolics

“Maybe this world is another […]

“One for the Gipper”

“There is much to be […]

Ruminations at Summer’s End

Silence is the most perfect […]