Sean Bracken

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On December 1, 2017, Sean Bracken commented on Sunrun: Confronting Solar Panel Import Tariffs :

Fascinating read, Mike! Indeed, very interesting to see the working capital implications of stockpiling a large inventory in anticipation of trade tariffs. Further, given the pace with which PV technology is advancing, carrying a large inventory of PV cells may pose an obsolescence write-down risk to the company, further exacerbating the issue of tying up cash in inventory.

On December 1, 2017, Sean Bracken commented on Smart Contracts To Disrupt Energy Trading :

Fascinating read, especially in light of the FRC Noble case yesterday! I wonder how the “new” commodity speculators will carve a niche in this industry of huge computing power and peer-to-peer trading. I also wonder who will provide many of the services traditionally provided by a commodity trading platform (i.e. delivery of off-take, etc.). Lastly, given how computationally intensive this block-chain trading would be, I wonder if we would one day see something similar to the “front running” that exists with high-frequency trading firms on Wall Street (i.e. commodity firms investing heavily in servers, locating their servers as close as possible to block chain servers where the “market” resides and then front-running orders or manipulating the market in some other way, and those with the most computing power being the victor.

On December 1, 2017, Sean Bracken commented on Shell: “printing” your oil :

Fascinating article, Konstantin! Indeed, 3D could be seen as a huge benefit for companies operating in remote parts of the world with long lead times and expensive shipping costs (in Chukotka it the lead time was +13 months by ship to Pevek). As you touched on, liability for replacement goods “printed” may be a concern. This may void the warrant on complex pieces of machinery, for example (i.e. print a coupling for the drill and the drill is no longer under warranty). Also a lot of safety equipment is rigorously tested and certified which may protect the company in the event of an incident. Using safety equipment (i.e. supports) that are not “stamped” and certified may pose a liability to the oil and gas company. Nonetheless, having this technology on a remote oil and gas platform or somewhere else remote will be a huge benefit one day!

Great article! I wonder given the various aviation and military applications of FLIR Systems’ products, that the various governmental clients may prefer less rather than more transparency regarding FLIR Systems’ supply chain. Reducing visibility as to the vendors, suppliers, raw materials, etc. may be preferential in order to mitigate risk against disruptors/saboteurs considering the product applications to aviation, national security, etc.

On December 1, 2017, Sean Bracken commented on Do You Know Where Your Papers Have Been? 3M Does. :

Very interesting to see the use of bar coding trees for supply-chain tracing of forestry products! Outside of sustainability initiatives, I wonder if forestry companies could use this to run more granular data analytics on their forests, harvesting and demand for their product. Perhaps more data on the individual trees that comprise their forests could provide more accurate valuation of their assets.

On December 1, 2017, Sean Bracken commented on Will Artificial Intelligence push CN off the rails? :

Fascinating read, Olivia! AI will definitely, displace workers; however, given cargo loads can be valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars, CN and other rail companies may still require a crew on their locomotives even once they adapt more AI to “drive” (to manage the train in the event of emergency stops, etc.). Would be really interesting to see if there is an AI push in terms of safety measures given what happened at Lac Magantic in 2013. The CanaPux is a fascinating idea considering the challenges with building pipelines in BC to access asian markets for oil sands products. Lastly, perhaps CN would partner with certain AI logistics companies for “last mile” delivery of goods.