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Avenue of Giants: Weekend Reading

It’s the weekend. And that means I’ve got some news and research for your reading enjoyment.

It’s the weekend. And that means I’ve got some news and research for your reading enjoyment.

First, the news:

- New SWFs: Every. Single. Day. There are more articles out about West Virginia getting ready to launch a new "Future Fund.”

- Real Estate: Asian pensions and insurance companies are looking to Western capitals for real estate assets.

- Old SWFs: Citizens of the "single worst, poverty-prone, death spiral state' (New Mexico) apparently just noticed they have a massive SWF. Some have finally asked if they can use any of that money to resolve that ‘death spiral’ problem.

- Deal Flow: The Oman Investment Fund is apparently in talks to buy a stake in an agri-futures exchange.

- Close Out: Thailand is apparently trying to reverse course on its plan to launch a new National Savings Fund.

- Cash Money: According to the Chairman of New Jersey’s investment council: "There is no doubt that the number one reason both Christine Pastore and Tim Walsh left was compensation." Gasp: Shut the front door, really?

- AoG: Sign up for the daily brief here.

Second, the research:

- Local Knowledge: Researchers find that, in China, local knowledge and privileged networks lead to worse returns. This finding, which breaks with convention, is apparently due to the agency costs of favoritism and cronyism. Very interesting.

- Ventured Gains: I'm pretty sure this new NBER paper says venture capital is only justified when you're investing directly in companies. If you’re doing funds ... not so much.

- Perpetrating Performance:New research shows why throwing darts is better for your portfolio than hiring a financial advisor.

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