Click here for the PDF: The Weekly Beacon – April 14 2023

We will be giving some macro economic market updates on a weekly basis. No equity recommendations will be given in this commentary, and we encourage you to contact us if you have questions regarding any observations.

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This weeks issue: Defense spending, Defense sector, Rare Earth Metals, Copper, Industrial Metals, EV metals, Renewable energy, Trade restrictions, Interest rates, Inflation, CPI, Energy prices, Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, Bitcoin, Japanese trading houses, Conglomerates, WeWork, Adam Neumann, Credit conditions, FED, FED Funds Rate, Jerome Powell, Fyre Festival, China, NATO.

Buffett goes abroad

Warren Buffett is in Japan this week. Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway announced that they had raised their stakes in five major Japanese trading houses.

Japanese trading houses known as “sōgō shōsha”, trade in a wide variety of materials, products, and food, often serving as intermediaries and providing logistical support. These trading houses are also deeply involved in the real economy in such areas as commodities, shipping, and steel. Japanese trading companies are known to be extremely diversified in terms of their separate business units and have a heavy focus on risk management. These trading houses played a huge role in Japan’s modern-day economic development. These trading houses are like a conglomerate with different business units, eerily similar to Berkshire Hathaway.

According to the announcement, Berkshire Hathaway has raised its stakes in all five trading houses (it previously owned) to 7.4%. That’s up from positions of 6.6% in Mitsubishi Corp., 6.6% in Mitsui & Co., 6.2% in Itochu Corp., 6.8% in Marubeni Corp., and 6.6% in Sumitomo Corp, according to November filings.

Here are the seven major trading houses in Japan:


Click here to continue reading: The Weekly Beacon – April 14 2023