Public secrets

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Industry insiders have shared knowledge about the sector that outsiders do not. These are the unknown knowns, the public secrets, the non-obvious obvious pieces of knowledge. Everyone in the business is aware of it, but people outside are not. The list below may seem cynical; I prefer the term realistic. As always, open to being proven wrong.

  1. Companies don’t get value when talking with investment bankers about M&A since the companies know the landscape better. Financing structuring advice is more relevant but also becoming commoditised.
  2. Investors don’t get value from sellside equity research since the published work is by definition consensus. Most value the company connections instead.
  3. Earnings calls are public, but most companies also hold private calls with sellside research after the public one.
  4. Investors meet with company management all the time, and this is totally legal.
  5. A fine based on dollar amounts rather than based on percentage of wealth essentially makes that activity legal for rich people
  6. You can buy your way into most ‘reputable’ news outlets
  7. You can also buy your way legally into universities, as long as your offer price is high enough
  8. After a company succeeds because of product expertise, incentives are biased to force that same product expertise out. This takes a while though since you reap monopoly benefits for a time.
  9. Music competitions are mostly rigged
  10. Most ancient sculptures are partially restored, and for some the extent of restoration is significant. For examples, the entire head of a bronze sculpture might be filled with pins to fix the shape

Let me know if you have anything you’d like to add!

If you like this, you might like my monthly newsletter on finance and tech