Tim Pianta

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On December 1, 2017, Tim Pianta commented on Land Ho! Howard Hughes Should Keep Watch for Drier Real Estate :

I think Matt Michel made a good point about the decision-point facing management on what to do with properties increasingly at risk of experience climate-related events. If I were valuing these properties, these concerns would manifest themselves in reduced revenues in the future, but the question that would define the discount at which these properties would need to be sold would be ‘how far into the future?’ If the view is that these storms will continue to worsen in the next ten years, then the NPV of the projects would be greatly less than if the view is that these storms will not worsen significantly for another fifty years. Given the bar chart in the graph, I would be looking to liquidate these assets quickly because bad weather events seem to be accelerating.

On the supply side, HHC should look for properties that will be benefiting from climate change over the next fifty years. I imagine there are some properties in the northern part of the country that might be experiencing more mild winters and more pleasant summers that could be undervalued right now because many investors might not have the same long time horizons that HHC can have.

On December 1, 2017, Tim Pianta commented on Climate Change is No Walk in the National Parks :

Emily, I really appreciated your article, especially your memeing of the mountain range picture and emboldening of text, both of which I thought added great depth and nuance to your presentation.

I think it is important to drill down the purpose of the NPS when considering how it can best adjust to climate change. If you consider the NPS to be a tourism company, climate change is effectively shifting its product mix by changing environments in its current geographies. To adjust to this, the NPs would need to move around its supply of new tourist locations to perhaps include more norther regions to replace those that are undergoing warming and no longer provide snowy experiences.

If the purpose of the NPS is to protect and demonstrate natural beauty in the United States, then I think there is little the NPS should do to change their operational structure. The landscapes of the US will be the landscapes of the US, even if their climates shift. In this sense, I think NPS should reflect the current state of the US environment, and if that environment is degrading then the park system should reflect that. To your point on education and communication – there would be no clearer demonstration of the dangers of climate change than to show visitors the starkness of climate change’s erosion of the quality of parks.

Matt, great article on an extremely relevant, often overlooked, industry. As lightly discussed above, I think in the short term, it makes sense for Schneider to pursue acquisitions in this space in an effort to grow market share and create value. Their embrace of digitization and consequent over performance on margins indicates to me that they have a competitive advantage over other, smaller carriers, and by pursing those acquisitions and instituting their systems over a larger scale, they have opportunity to create value.

For the long term, Scheinder needs to actively and aggressively pursue investment in autonomous vehicle technology. This should be done in joint ventures with vehicle developers to ensure that they, the end user, has a say in the design of the vehicles so they fit their need. It also gives them the opportunity to bake in certain strategic advantages ( ex. in the form of software platforms) in the design of the vehicles to increase the defensibility of their market position once autonomous vehicles arrive.

On December 1, 2017, Tim Pianta commented on Dark days ahead — SolarCity vs Protectionism :

Hey John, I’m really glad you chose to write on this topic, one I’ve been following closely and that has drastic implications for renewable energy adoption in the US. I think another really important facet of this issue is that the company that brought forward the initial complain to the ITC, Suniva, did so at the urging of SQN Capital Management, the primary creditor for the near-bankrupt company. The suit was brought as a point of leverage on the other investor in Suniva, a Chinese company, to get them to buy out the $55M stake that SQN had acccumulated. Suniva even stated “And if that happened, the company’s assets would be liquidated — leaving no one left to pursue the trade complaint.” Unfortunately, the situation has spiraled and now this hypothetical protectionist threat could have a massive impact on the US solar industry. (https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/suniva-trade-case-now-approaching-farce-was-bankrolled-by-creditor#gs.35mCvIw)

To the point of a tariff encouraging innovation in cleantech – I see the overarching goal of curbing climate change to be nationalistically agnostic. Why does innovation need to be sourced from the US instead of China if the ultimate goal of the industry is to increase sustainable energy as so many industry leaders state?

On November 30, 2017, Tim Pianta commented on Arsenal Football Club: The Accidental Victim? :

I think the best method English football clubs could fight the tariffs is through lobbying of the British government. Given the immense popularity of the sport in England and Europe as a whole, I have to imagine there would be significant public backlash against any tariff that might diminish the quality of the sport and consequently of the ability of English clubs to compete on a global scale. Arsenal and its fellow teams should leverage this public sport to persuade law-makers to ensure adequate protections are in place when Brexit is executed to ensure no additional tariffs on their international supply chain.

I believe the purpose of the homegrown talent rule is to both ensure some level of quality for the English national team and to keep the identity of the league British. However, given the size of professional football rosters (over 25), I do not see the current requirement of 5 as having a significant adverse impact on the quality of the fielded side.

I like HP’s foray into 3D printing, but in order to execute it they will need to expand the current printer use-case for the technology. Today, the strongest use-case for 3D printing is metal printing (typically DMLM, direct metal laser melting) for industrial design, rapid-prototyping, and manufacturing of complex parts. Plastic printers remain somewhat of a novelty due to an unclear use case to the consumer and high cost. As the costs of these machines and their materials continue to come down, I believe those use-cases will be unlocked and 3D printers will be utilized by the consumer market. Imagine a world with 3D printers in every home where rather than purchasing an iPhone case that gets shipped to your door, you purchase the iPhone case manufacturing sequence that enables you to 3D print it at home immediately. I see the process of getting mass adoption of 3D printers similar to that of 2D printers and believe HP, given its successful history of bringing 2D printer technology from the business into the home, would be well positioned to profit from that adoption.