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#237 Julio Lobo (Cuba's Last Sugar Tycoon)
March 16th, 2022 | E237

What I learned from reading The Sugar King of Havana: The Rise and Fall of Julio Lobo, Cuba's Last Tycoon by John Paul Rathbone.


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[2:02] Beyond Possible: One Man, Fourteen Peaks, and the Mountaineering Achievement of a Lifetime (Founders #236)

[3:22] This is a cautionary tale.

[6:18] One of the main lessons of the book is just how fast things can change.

[6:25] The History of Cuba in 50 Events

[10:14] Lobo walked with a limp due to a murder attempt 14 years before that had blown a four inch chunk out of his skull.

[12:29] One of the most human of all desires is to perpetuate what you have created.

[12:55] Lobo thinks he has leverage when he really doesn’t.

[18:39] He dies in poverty. Imagine having $5 billion and then at the end of your life having to rely on an allowance from your adult daughters.

[20:30] I think about what Charlie Munger says: Don't try to be really smart. Just try to be consistently not dumb over a long period of time.

[20:58] Hershey: Milton S. Hershey's Extraordinary Life of Wealth, Empire, and Utopian Dreams (Founders #146)

[22:59] Chico, I was born naked. I will probably die naked. And some of the happiest moments of my life happened when I was naked.

[29:01] From an early age it was apparent that Lobo sought not only wealth but glory too.

[30:21] He was an individualist who did not spare himself any sacrifice to attain his objectives.

[31:26] The clearest path to wealth is building a business that benefits somebody else's life. Make a product or service that makes somebody else's life better. Do that for a long period of time and keep improving it.

[33:45] His father told him I would much rather you make your mistakes now than later when I may not be around to pick up your pieces.

[38:16] It turns out that almost being executed makes you impatient for large success.

[40:32] If you instead focus on the prospective price change of a contemplated purchase, you are speculating. There is nothing improper about that. I know, however, that I am unable to speculate successfully, and I am skeptical of those who claim sustained success at doing so. Half of all coin-flippers will win their first toss; none of those winners has an expectation of profit if he continues to play the game. And the fact that a given asset has appreciated in the recent past is never a reason to buy it. —Warren Buffett from The Essays of Warren Buffett (Founders #227)

[45:09] Think about the type of funeral you want. There is a story about a person who died. The minister said it is now time to say something nice about the deceased. After long time a person came up and said, “His brother was worse.” That is not the kind of funeral you want. —Charlie Munger

[50:34] Alfred Nobel: A Biography (Founders #163)

[52:30] The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King(Founders #37)

[54:26] They almost resorted to a duel, which was still common in Cuba at the time, where differences were often settled with machetes at dawn.

[1:04:34] There are times when chasing the things money can buy, one loses sight of the things which money can't buy and are usually free.

[1:05:10] The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness (Founders #191)

[1:05:17] A calm mind, a fit body and a house full of love, these things cannot be bought, they must be earned. —Naval Ravikant

[1:08:52] His business collapsed like a house of cards.

[1:09:34] It was the same ending that befell so many other famous speculators throughout history.


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