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As Buffett Talks Down Japanese Devastation, His Munich Re Announces Massive Loss, Forecast Miss Due To Earthquake

Tyler Durden's picture





 

If one was merely listening to the Octogenarian of Omaha this morning on CNBC, one could easily have left the latest cheerleading attempt by the man who has made both an art and a science of frontrunning the government's rescues of the most incompetent and insolvent organizations in America (and later writing oped's both thanking and criticizing Uncle Sam for doing everything possible to transfer as much taxpayer money into Warren's right pocket just before the hypocrisy medication kicks in) to hypnotize the lemmings into believing all is fine in Japan. If indeed that would be the case, one may therefore be excused for not noting the killer irony of one Munich RE coming out just a few short hours later, saying it expects to not only see $2 billion in losses due the events in Japan, but miss its 2011 profit target by a mile, considering the firm had a $3.4 billion profit target. The kicker, of course, is that Munich Re is owned more than 10% by the same demented individual noted above, who has now gone full retard in his attempts to sucker as many sheep into the slaughter just so he can recover, through secondary and tertiary channels, some of his imminent losses in Japanese insurers and reinsurers. And considering that the Nikkei just reported total earthquake-related losses may be up to ¥25 trillion, or roughly ¥20 trillion more than covered by the Japanese Reinsurance Fund, Buffett better be right...Or if not, he better be petitioning the Japanese government to bend over just like America did 3 years ago, and once again bail out his "genius investor" derriere. 

From Property and Casualty:

 

Due to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Munich Re says it will not reach its profit target for 2011 after reporting an expected loss of more $2 billion from the event.

 

The Munich, Germany-based company says its estimated loss of around €1.5 billion (U.S. $2.1 billion at the current exchange rate) is after retrocession and before tax.

 

The company’s 2011 profit target had been around €2.4 billion ($3.4 billion).

 

Munich Re says its initial loss estimate is based solely on modeling. Owing to the extent of the destruction, further possible aftershocks and difficult cleanup operations, it will be many weeks before the losses are assessed and all the claims notifications from Japanese primary insurers have come in, says the company.

 

And here is why the final "one time" catastrophic loss for Munich Re may mean the company has to say goodbye to its entire projected profitability this year, not to mention further "one time" rescue funding from the likes of the German, US and Japanese governments... or else [insert token End of the World scenario here]:

 

The government estimates direct damage from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami at 15-25 trillion yen, significantly more than the roughly 10 trillion yen for the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995.

 

Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Kaoru Yosano is expected to present the projection to relevant ministers on Wednesday in the monthly economic report. The damage estimate, the first to be released by the government, will serve as a basis for compiling supplementary budgets and drawing up reconstruction plans.

 

 

A JX Energy petrochemical complex in Chiba Prefecture suffered extensive fire damage.

The estimate covers damage to such infrastructure as roads and ports as well as destruction of homes, factories and other buildings. The figure does not include economic losses resulting from the problems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and rolling blackouts.

 

A large area, from northeastern Japan to the Tokyo region, suffered major damage from this month's quake and tsunami. Private-sector research institutions have estimated damage from the disaster at 10-20 trillion yen.

 

Of course, none of this should ever be mentioned by the fawning admirers of the octogenarian at CNBC. After all, considering the vesting schedule of their shares, it very well may have occurred to some that the last thing they want to do is cross the kindly grandfather who just may put up a bid for Comcast when all is said and done, now that the Berkshire empire needs a media outlet from whence to issue its propaganda spin: an event that will result in immediate cash vesting of each and every share, and instant liberation from the clutches of the middle class for such immense reporting talents as Becky Quick et al.

 


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Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:17 | Link to Comment Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Only the good die young.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:41 | Link to Comment jus_lite_reading
jus_lite_reading's picture

Wow TD! You obliterated that old fart! But try to go easy next time... After all, in his senility, he believes that Japan will somehow not only boost the world's economy, it will turn around that 25 year stagflation problem AND fix their demographic issues! ROTFLMAO

F**k him and BEnron too!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:57 | Link to Comment SolidSnake961
SolidSnake961's picture

haha BEnron...so true

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:39 | Link to Comment What does it al...
What does it all mean's picture

I bet Obama invaded Libya to distract most of the US away from Japan.

 

Obama and Buffett are close, he even mentioned Buffett once during the state of the union speech and also the medal of freedom...

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-15/obama-honors-buffett-george-h-w-bush-with-medal-of-freedom.html

Could it be?

 

BTW, OSE just increased their margins...

 

 

Osaka Securities Exchange (OSE), the SPAN margin parameters for Nikkei 225 Index Futures are being increased from ¥270,000/contract to ¥960,000/contract beginning March 28 (effective April 1),

More than 3 TIMES!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:43 | Link to Comment EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

"close" in political speak means he made a substantial donation to his campaign.

Does "cash for honours" in the UK ring a bell? Surprisingly (not), no-one went to jail or was even fired for that.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:03 | Link to Comment What does it al...
What does it all mean's picture

Like all the knights, dukes and sirs?

 

BTW, the MSM gave up on Japan... and the numerous problems it still have.... over the  civilians death in Libya...  (How many people died in Libya?  less than 200? Nuclear Radiation is forever people.)

AP came out less than 2 hours ago, that there are about 4 after shocks in Japan ranging from M5 to M6...  right in fukushima...  no one printed it.

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2060888,00.html

The island of Honshu might just sink... who knows.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:19 | Link to Comment SwingForce
SwingForce's picture

Whatever happened to Swiss Re? They got stuck paying Silverstein for WTC 1&2. Uncle Warren was in on this, I'm sure. His COLUMBO Detective stupidity is an insult to us monkeys, he's not MY uncle, fucker! He got snagged this time, fuck him.

Hey, anybody know who paid for WTC 7? Charlie? Jesse? Soloman Bros. took out ceilings to make trading rooms 2 stories tall inside 4 floors, plus SEC's useless files.

http://www.nytimes.com/1989/02/19/realestate/commercial-property-salomon-solution-building-within-building-cost-200-million.html

Sorry to go so far off topic, however Warren is The Premier Bullshit Merchant. And I'm not buying, we're full up here.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:25 | Link to Comment franzpick
franzpick's picture

The 3 decade long fed-sponsored-credit binge has made almost every investor look good, and some look great (WB).

The ongoing credit collapse will reveal even the very best for what little they are:  selling their silver way too soon, relying on unsustainable credit and consumer demand, and swimming without a suit.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:44 | Link to Comment SilverBaron
SilverBaron's picture

Grandpa Buffet is now a matter of national security.  If he fails, confidence in the ponzi might fail.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:55 | Link to Comment Onohymagin
Onohymagin's picture

Benron?

I'm missing something here.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:12 | Link to Comment Michael
Michael's picture

The old fuck Buffett knows exactly what is coming for him and his share holders in this royally screwed world economy. Those all is right with the world comments of his were his Hail Mary Pass. Fuck Buffett and the horse he rode in on.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:32 | Link to Comment jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

he has passed from being an investor to being a crony capitalist.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:00 | Link to Comment DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

What, a decade or so ago Warren seemed to be his image, an avuncular guy caring for his shareholders by buying good companies at good value.

Now most of what he does is shill...

What happened?  All the fame go to his head?  Did he decide he LIKED politics, especially when it benefits the crony class?

I really do not know!  Someone who knows more about this clown than I do please feel free to reply.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:21 | Link to Comment SwingForce
SwingForce's picture

He cares about nobody, he's giving all his money to Bill Gates! Stupid fucker.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:15 | Link to Comment Michael
Michael's picture

When Buffett bought Goldman preferred, he knew for a fact they were getting a huge bail-out from joe sixpack taxpayer. The decrepit geezer has no morals.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:26 | Link to Comment Michael
Michael's picture

CNBC has no other gods to present as idols to the masses. The golden calfs were purchased by China.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:56 | Link to Comment masterinchancery
masterinchancery's picture

Time for another taxpayer bailout of the aging hypocrite.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:42 | Link to Comment Hedgetard55
Hedgetard55's picture

    Part 3.

 

"Professor, we need to roll out of here, right quick, before your buddies come back".

"Do you think Fred recognized me?" asked the ex-Fed Chairman.

 

"I don't know but I really don't want to take any chances", I replied.

"Help me up, will you? My legs are not working real well".

 

Yeah, I thought, a year of living in the New York City sewer system will do that to you. I pushed the safety on the MAC-10 back into the "ON" position and put it in the holster. I grabbed the Professor's arm with my left hand and pulled him to his feet, he wobbled, then steadied, no play acting here. I noticed, however, that he managed to keep hold on his Cohiba and the flask of what he called "Talisker".

"One second" I said, and I attached a wireless sound amplifier to the slimy sewer wall with a suction cup, and pointed it down the tunnel towards where Fred had disappeared. I flipped the receive switch to "ON" and listened. Nothing...so far.

 

Suddenly I remembered the DNAnalyzer, looked down, and saw the green light - a match. This was the real deal, Professor Ben S. Bernanke, and my bonus suddenly seemed that much closer.

"You have me at a disadvantage, sir. What is your name, if you don't mind my asking?"

"MacLeod. Peter MacLeod, but my men call me Mac".

"MacLeod. Scottish. Good mechanics, the Scotts. Good with a dollar, too. Frugal, like my people."

I checked the heads up display on the Level 2 Bio-Hazard suit's faceplate for the closest exit to the surface, and the glass said 200 yards to the west. I started down the tunnel, supporting the Professor.

"So, you say the Chinese own New England down to New York now. New Xian Province, you said. And they want me to help Bernie run things. What else have I missed while I have been down here?" the Professor asked.

"The Japanese have taken over Northern California to Washington, including Alaska, in exchange for their Treasuries. They have declared San Francisco "New Tokyo", and plan to move the entire displaced population of old Tokyo there and into Oregon and Washington" I replied.

"God, that was a mess, that damn tsunami, who could have known it would cause the evacuation of all of Northern Japan? So now they are coming here."

Suddenly I heard some noise from the receiver I had left behind. "Wait a second Professor". We stopped, I listened.

 

"... dude with a suit... looked like an astronaut... had a big gun... let's find him... Ben Bernanke... bounty... million dollars... hurry".

 

"What is it?" the Professor asked.

 

"Trouble, Professor. We need to move". I pulled the MAC-10 from it's holster, clicked the safety to "OFF" and checked that the 2x15 clip was secure and ready to spit lead if neccessary.

 

"Wait a second. I know your name. Pete MacLeod. Special Forces, right? You rescued Hillary Clinton from Hamas when they kidnapped her in Gaza during her "peace enabling" visit, right after the Libyan war."

"Professor, that was a whole different world, but yeah, that was me, back when we had a USA and a Special Forces. Things have changed big time since then. I'm private contract now. And if I'm not wrong, we have some company coming we need to neutralize now."

 

 

 

 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:04 | Link to Comment Reptil
Reptil's picture

One million dollars? in 2013?

I'll take the Cohiba instead, thank you.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:13 | Link to Comment Hedgetard55
Hedgetard55's picture

Reptil. Good point. I mentioned in "part 2" that the million, after it was offered, eventually bought only a few loaves of bread.  :~)

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:37 | Link to Comment jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

oh i thought the number of millions was lost in transmission, as indicated by the ellipsis. however i would think the last thing hamas would do is kidnap an american diplomat.   

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:22 | Link to Comment SwingForce
SwingForce's picture

JFC where's the video? That's BRILLIANT!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:29 | Link to Comment SwingForce
SwingForce's picture

Did I say BRILLIANT? I meant to say FUCKING BRILLIANTT! Love it! 

To be continued........

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:12 | Link to Comment Freddie
Freddie's picture

Buffett is scum.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:19 | Link to Comment Muir
Muir's picture

-

BUT, but, what about value investing!?

-

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:21 | Link to Comment bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

I'm watching your heart beat.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:39 | Link to Comment SparkyvonBellagio
SparkyvonBellagio's picture

WARREN IS NOTHING BUT A TARP TAKING PONZI.

 

Go buy some more Candy companies Warren. Something you understand.

 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:18 | Link to Comment Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

I love ZH & TD.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:21 | Link to Comment JohnnieWalker
JohnnieWalker's picture

Time to open another bottle of 'Blue Label' Buffet!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:10 | Link to Comment Don Birnam
Don Birnam's picture

Johnnie ! The finest ID and avatar on ZH ! Well done, sir ! The stuff lost weekends are made of.

Respectfully,

Don Birnam

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:51 | Link to Comment JohnnieWalker
JohnnieWalker's picture

I keep a bottle close at hand when exposed to the fulminations of the suffragettes and bluestockings of CNBC.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:25 | Link to Comment cunningtrader
cunningtrader's picture

Without TARP, buffett was fucked. His  insurance/re-insurance porfolio via AIG etc was decimated, but, like all the

other elites, he just went and punched the shit out of taxpayers for the shortfall, via the printing presses, and voila, he's a "respected guru" again.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:18 | Link to Comment Freddie
Freddie's picture

+1

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:25 | Link to Comment AN0NYM0US
AN0NYM0US's picture

and here's a candid photo of the happy couple

http://bit.ly/dSZNNq

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:34 | Link to Comment Convolved Man
Convolved Man's picture

That's his niece, wink wink.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:20 | Link to Comment Judge Judy Scheinlok
Judge Judy Scheinlok's picture

Here is one of him with squid proper at geezerfest 2009. Getting lucky, oh yea baby!

http://oi51.tinypic.com/ms2ckw.jpg

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:16 | Link to Comment DollarMenu
DollarMenu's picture

That poor woman holding the little flag looks so very unhappy.

 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:21 | Link to Comment Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

the Buffet Bubble is popping

...many more of these Bull market genius' to the slaughter house in the year/s ahead not looking quite so clever now the game has changed . . . . . . it's Bear Time

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:27 | Link to Comment Auricle of Omaha
Auricle of Omaha's picture

That dick should pay more taxes... no one else... just him. And I say we crank it up to about 99%.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:18 | Link to Comment KickIce
KickIce's picture

But he's one of their buddies, that means the Constitution would suddenly become relevant.  (But only on a case by case basis)

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 00:16 | Link to Comment Freddie
Freddie's picture

+1

Buffett is a MF'er.  Idiots who go to Omaha to here the friend of Obama and Nebraska TARP boy are idiot scum too.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:33 | Link to Comment baby_BLYTHE
baby_BLYTHE's picture

uggggh. JFC, Barry Hussein Obummer...

Well, all my friends drank the kool aid. In my High School (Junior-year in 2008), I called it. Sure enough, barry was the exact puppet and total fraud I accuartley predicited him at the time of the election to be!

A so-called Marxist community organizer. Marxist due to his upbringing and menture Frank Marshall Davis<<< some even believe he could have been Obummer's real father!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Marshall_Davis#Davis_and_Barack_Obama

Obama within weeks of his presidency becomes the top-tier most Fascist president in American history alongside his predecessors Bush, Sr. Clinton and Bush. Enacts zero policies that reprsent a lick of so-called "Wealth Redistribution". Just recently, Obama (along with the full backing of the loser GOP) enacted immense trickle-down tax policy, invented by the so-called "Father of Modern Conservatism). Yeah, what a joke!

Obama= beta male

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:46 | Link to Comment baby_BLYTHE
baby_BLYTHE's picture

the Crown Jeweled Kiss of Death for the entire "Obama the commie" campaign,
was when Obummer bestowed the 'honor of the fascist' to Buffet, Medal of Freedom Ceremony.

In the Previous episode: Baby Bush layith upon Alan "I destroyed the dollar" Greenspan. The very man that lay the entire world economy on her rose-peddled deathbed!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:58 | Link to Comment alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

You were in High School in 2008? Damn. I've got a tube of brylcreem that's older than you.

I don't mean this as an insult to you...or brylcreem...just saying...You're young...Me...Not so much anymore...by comparison at least:-(

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:09 | Link to Comment Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

Our young man needs to pretend to be a liberal to give liberal girls "the business."  No shame in that...

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 00:25 | Link to Comment Freddie
Freddie's picture

"Our young man needs to pretend to be a liberal to give liberal girls "the business."  No shame in that..."

LOL!  I remember those days - saying shit like "yeah Dukakis really speaks for me."   Magic words and it did not take much to get their motor started.  

Not like the liberal Connecticut Bush klan is any better.  Poppy was a joke.

 

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 03:02 | Link to Comment baby_BLYTHE
baby_BLYTHE's picture

ha, fuck you all very much...

Go underwater and never resurface, please!

 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:30 | Link to Comment FunkyMonkeyBoy
FunkyMonkeyBoy's picture

Buffet isn't clever or smart, none of these scumbags on wall street are, they are just insiders... if you have inside information on what governments and corporations are going to do ahead of time then even a monkey could do their job.

They are just scum who sold their souls. Their job is to transfer wealth from you to themselves and their masters.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:43 | Link to Comment Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

Buffet was very smart during the Bull market, one of the very best .....but business changes and so does investing, what worked before in a Bull doesn't work at all during a Bear ...Buffet is in a Bear Trap and i doubt he'll be able to unwind (get out) 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:34 | Link to Comment EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

He also started getting heavily into derivatives, after years of telling everyone not to make "investments they didn't understand".

Oh, gee, I got junked for that. Well, here you go:

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/learn-how-to-invest/10-investing-basics-from-Buffett.aspx

One of Buffett's basic rules is: If you don't understand a company's product or how it makes money, avoid it.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 00:30 | Link to Comment Freddie
Freddie's picture

Don't let that folksy Omaha bull shit fool you.  He is a very smart arb who knows his stuff.  He knows all about using OPM through his insurance company.

If he bets wrong - Goldman, the Fed or Obama/TARP bails him out.  He is too big to fail.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:59 | Link to Comment jesse livermoore
jesse livermoore's picture

I could not have said it better myself.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:59 | Link to Comment jesse livermoore
jesse livermoore's picture

monkey boy is on the money... insider information is his his magic touch

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:05 | Link to Comment no cnbc cretin
no cnbc cretin's picture

Right on!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:03 | Link to Comment colonial
colonial's picture

excellent and simple observation...how does Buffet, I mean Potter know who to bail out and when?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:04 | Link to Comment colonial
colonial's picture

excellent and simple observation...how does Buffet, I mean Potter know who to bail out and when?

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 00:11 | Link to Comment lawrence1
lawrence1's picture

Well said. Buffet said something to the effect that there is a class war and he is on the winning side. Right, one of the insiders. I just closed a small Fidelity account .. tired of them making the rules, market-makers following rules when it is convenient. Another group of insiders. Now totally physical gold and silver and necessary shelter, etc. STARVE THE MOTHERFUCKERS, THEIR FIAT SHIT, THEIR LYING NEWS MEDIA, THIER SHILLS, THEIR WELL-PAID REPUBLICAN WHORES NOW DESTROYING THE REMANTS OF THE MIDDLE CLASS. This is war.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 00:26 | Link to Comment Freddie
Freddie's picture

+1

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:34 | Link to Comment Convolved Man
Convolved Man's picture

The Buffett National Bank...

The First Buffett Bank...

Oh well, he'll figure it out and become TBTF.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:31 | Link to Comment emsolý
emsolý's picture

Charlie said to suck it up, though.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:34 | Link to Comment Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I'm sorry Tyler, but Uncle Warren would never do the bad things you say. He's a nice old man who just happens to like to look up Becky Quick's skirt when seated across from her in a private airplane during an exclusive interview.

At worst he's a dirty old man. Harmless....but a dirty old man non-the-less. However he would never deceive the American people in the manner you described. Charlie on the other hand..............

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:15 | Link to Comment EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

If given the opportunity, I'd have a look. I guess only age separates me from being a dirty old man.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:19 | Link to Comment Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

There have been several times on CNBC where I swear to God I've seen him catching a peek. The thing is that he insists on only talking to Becky Quick. No one else on CNBC gets the call when Uncle Warren goes to Korea or Japan or Europe.

Enquirering minds want to know.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:22 | Link to Comment EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Enquiring minds wants to know what he got to see.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:09 | Link to Comment DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Great volley Cog Dis and Escape!  LOL...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:24 | Link to Comment Don Birnam
Don Birnam's picture

I have to say, I missed Uncle Warren's airborne interview, but he sounds true to form with the discrete thigh-gazing of his favorite on-air consort and media minx, the fawning, silk-stockinged "Becky" Quick. Truly, the exclusivity granted Quick is a bit unusual for the historically close-to-the-vest Buffett. Someone lit a fire in the old codger...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:31 | Link to Comment max2205
max2205's picture

Becky has suck him off 4 sure.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:35 | Link to Comment LarryDallas
LarryDallas's picture

Long time lurker, first time poster here on ZH. Absurd and ridiculous, front-running his book as usual. Keeping the faith that sanity and a few well-selected shorts will eventually prevail. Fingers crossed, at least...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:50 | Link to Comment traderjoe
traderjoe's picture

Welcome aboard.

If the Chairstan ever losses control of the market - do you think they will pay off your short bets? And will the fiat be worth anything?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:35 | Link to Comment Raynja
Raynja's picture

Well the banks are getting paid back in the FRN they lent me at a fixed rate. So it kinda seems fair, they steal my shorts, I keep their assets.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:39 | Link to Comment 10kby2k
10kby2k's picture

Hey Warren.....liquidate Berkshire-Hathaway to pay off the insurance claims.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:34 | Link to Comment RollinRavenPurple
RollinRavenPurple's picture

That's the path I was on....why do we need to bail him out again?

Isn't he sitting on a cash hoard that the Joker and Jabba the Hut would be proud of?

Buy more companies and flush more cash - but I can't pay out insirance claims.....

 

What a shill.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:45 | Link to Comment dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

full retard..............thats what he called himself while in India.......

 

nakedempire..

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:21 | Link to Comment Judge Judy Scheinlok
Judge Judy Scheinlok's picture

"Never waste an opportunity to go full retard".

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:10 | Link to Comment DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Good one Judge Judy!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:46 | Link to Comment rosiescenario
rosiescenario's picture

..Phuquer cost me on my U.S. Air short years ago...never thought anyone would be dumb enough to buy that loser but got proven wrong....at least he choked on it.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:51 | Link to Comment tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

buffet is a card carrying member of the rockefeller-rothschild axis of evil long with his foul tempered good buddy bill gates...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:11 | Link to Comment Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

Bill Gates, a billionaire delivering the shittest software in history ...still perplexed how the global monopolist ever got away with selling such a lemon for decades!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:51 | Link to Comment Count Laszlo
Count Laszlo's picture

Buffett has turned into a complete WH tool, I've lost all respect for the senile old bastard. Sell Microsoft.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:52 | Link to Comment alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

The fact that anyone still pays attention to this discredited dinosaur is utterly amazing to me. I guess it can only be attributed to that oldest of misconceptions...that money equals intelligence.

A net worth is NOT an IQ folks.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:58 | Link to Comment Coldfire
Coldfire's picture

The Anacle of Omaha. 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:18 | Link to Comment Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

'Obumma from Omaha' soon the number of bailouts he's giving 'Bubble-Popped Buffet' he'll be getting a key to the City!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:01 | Link to Comment no cnbc cretin
no cnbc cretin's picture

Buffet is a financial terrorist, as Max Keiser would say, and me too.

AKA Douche Bag! And just because someone has or makes a lot of fiat (currency), doesn't mean they have brains.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:59 | Link to Comment SparkyvonBellagio
SparkyvonBellagio's picture

The A-Hole of Omaha! 

 

 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:04 | Link to Comment duncecap rack
duncecap rack's picture

I think America  would be better off with ten more Buffets. I don't know why all the austrians don't like him- he is all about efficient allocation of capital. Also he treats shareholders like human beings. Read up on why he issued the berkshire b shares. If I was stinking rich I would hope that I could behave like him. I'd probably behave like a master of the universe though and piss on the little people like all the other rich bastards. Of all Americans he is the one I most admire. Junk away!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:16 | Link to Comment equity_momo
equity_momo's picture

Yo , you realize he was toast in 08? You realize he is a huge hypocrite ? (trash talks PMs whilst happy to profit after buying them - trash talks derivs whilst rolling the dice in them - trash talks investment banks whilst helping to bail them out - trash talks the US govn ergo the taxpayer whilst being BAILED out by them)

He is no capitalist.

 

ps: didnt junk you , youre entitled to an opinion however misguided ;)

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:16 | Link to Comment duncecap rack
duncecap rack's picture

I don't know if he was toast. Certainly wells fargo would have been hit hard if there was no tarp but so would a lot of others. Coke would only go down the tubes if there was no economy left whatsoever. In a world where there was no tarp the economy today would be much different than the one we see but I think Berkshire would still be a giant on the landscape.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:48 | Link to Comment BoeingSpaceliner797
BoeingSpaceliner797's picture

how many are on that rack?  enough for a different cap for each day of the week?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:22 | Link to Comment Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

Duncecap  -  i thought Buffet hated small investors so much so he thought they had no right to even be in the same game as him! ...so why the B shares?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:39 | Link to Comment duncecap rack
duncecap rack's picture

He issued them so that he could do a stock swap with the small investors at the railroad. They did not have to redeem their shares and face capital gains penalties on them. He didn't think it was fair to them. I believe he is a man of honour. I do not think you would have to count your fingers after shaking hands with him. That being said he loves the game- not money -the game. There is a great story on here about his silver short squeeze in the nineties. The writer was saved because Warren thought the move that was going to crush the writer was dirty pool. Interesting read - a deep insiders walkthrough on - I can't remeber the whole title but that should be enough to find it.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:53 | Link to Comment Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

Cheers for info... the railway, i wouldn't want to be in those shares for more than a minute ...they'll be worth about as much as GM shares in 2-3 years ...$0.00

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:01 | Link to Comment duncecap rack
duncecap rack's picture

I dunno. Oil is getting more expesive all the time. Rail is a much more fuel efficient way to move freight. He might be right. Our infrastructure efforts should go into a better rail system. If it could compete on convenience it would crush trucking.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:15 | Link to Comment DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

+ 100

We will need the railroads, and Buffett did buy the best.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:21 | Link to Comment lawrence1
lawrence1's picture

" ... and piss on the little people like all the other rich bastards" ...
Fuck you and all the neo nazies.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:03 | Link to Comment What does it al...
What does it all mean's picture

Wow, could it be?  

Obama is friends with Buffett and an attempt to distract the public away from Japan and concentrate on Libya instead.  That would be quite a move...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:06 | Link to Comment Moe Howard
Moe Howard's picture

"who has now gone full retard in his attempts to sucker as many sheep into the slaughter just so he can recover..."

Thank you Tyler, that complete sentence just made my week.

He has gone full retard.

 

 

<HELP> For Explanation.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:07 | Link to Comment chump666
chump666's picture

F*** him and his calls...

He will buy on a Japan fiscal nightmare, have a huge chunk of his margin safety net eaten up.  He aint my hero

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:31 | Link to Comment 10kby2k
10kby2k's picture

He's not buying Japan....he is endorsing buying Japan.  He wants as many of your dollars tied up over there and wants the scene glossed over so he can wiggle out of as much liability as possible.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:14 | Link to Comment bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

word map:

diet coke, burgers, skintags, bailout, coitus

Do you see it?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:38 | Link to Comment Eally Ucked
Eally Ucked's picture

coitus interraptus?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:14 | Link to Comment EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Have you guys read Harvey Organ this evening? After only two silver contract deliveries yesterday, there were zero today. 875 contracts still standing, and only 7 days left to go.

http://harveyorgan.blogspot.com/

Now, where are our local, JPM sponsored shills, telling us to buy SLV (but obviously, don't do so themselves)?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:48 | Link to Comment duncecap rack
duncecap rack's picture

I have been reading it every night but forgot tonight I am glad you gave the recap. Last night he was speculating how little silver must be in slv since none was coming out to save the comex shorts. But they were showing something like 632M oz. on their balance sheet! I think there are some sleepless nights happening in the paper silver crowd!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:09 | Link to Comment equity_momo
equity_momo's picture

His >60 bil net worth has largely come from taxpayers.  He hasnt created jack shit.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:12 | Link to Comment Rainman
Rainman's picture

Looks like this particular Black Swan cost Octoman $2 billion fiatscos so far. That's enough to make any human's asshole pucker up....except the Bernank, of course, where this would be small change lost behind the couch seats.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:12 | Link to Comment Bansters-in-my-...
Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

Rothschilds will be very dissappointed with the "Buffett" if he don't meet his mark.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:17 | Link to Comment web bot
web bot's picture

Every 70+ year old that I know has lost some of their mental capacity. He's no different. Make no mistake, Munger says it because his marble bag is half empty... Buffet thinks it and if you look closely, you can see the holes developing.

When you get to his age, its easy to be grand daddy to Becky and his split up family and to take the great statesman role in soothing everyone...

Don't believe a #uckin word of it. Japan is in the midst of a full scale nuclear catastrophe, Europe is months away from default and the US is on course for a double rating decline. We're already one below. Moody's is just chicken shit to come out and say it.

I never thought in my #uckin life that I would see something like this.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:19 | Link to Comment EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

I don't know about that - I know and have known plenty of mentally sharp 70 year olds, but almost as a rule, the very second they retire, or give up working on their passion to focus "on their garden", they enter a stage of rapid decline.

Not saying Buffett hasn't, but sweeping generalizations and all...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:39 | Link to Comment Eally Ucked
Eally Ucked's picture

you mean he should focus on his carrots?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:16 | Link to Comment jkruffin
jkruffin's picture

Well, well, well, the MSM is 3 days late on this story, but it is OIL,

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110322/ts_yblog_thelookout/of...

Not the dredging crap the Coast Guard spewed the other day to everyone.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:39 | Link to Comment Judge Judy Scheinlok
Judge Judy Scheinlok's picture

I like that:
"Officials remain baffled over source of oil slick".

I'm just completely baffled. Where in THE heck is this stuff coming from?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:22 | Link to Comment buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

The Orifice of Omaha plans to prop up all the markets in the world with his mad skilz!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:25 | Link to Comment RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

Futures are selling off, maybe we can short and scrape up a few pennies the next few days....

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:26 | Link to Comment buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

OT - Dick Fisher is a maggot!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:34 | Link to Comment monopoly
monopoly's picture

I placed an order for gold and silver on March 15th, gold spot at 1388 and Silver at 33.99. Every order prior to this one shipped within 2 days. My dealer just advised should have the Buffalo's in this week and will ship as soon as they arrive. Not sure which silver bars yet will ship. She advised supplies are tight and not getting better. Regular customers so far have not had any premium increases.

I love the blogs that talk about another top in gold. Correct me if I am wrong, but this would be the 84th top so far in this bull run. Why do I think we are in the 4th or 5th inning of this game that will run into extra innings.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:51 | Link to Comment Auricle of Omaha
Auricle of Omaha's picture

Took me two weeks to get a bag of junk silver! Thought I'd get some just in case of a barter survivalist scenario ;-)

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:33 | Link to Comment The Count
The Count's picture

 

Who says you cant put lipstick on a pig? Buffet is exactly that, smiling, grandfatherly, but still a money hungry pig.]

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:41 | Link to Comment chump666
chump666's picture

Gunfire in Syria...selling on, another Earthquake in Japan freaking markets too

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:00 | Link to Comment Wakanda
Wakanda's picture

Check out who gets things done fast in the emergencies in Japan:

http://www.asianewsnet.net/home/news.php?id=18012

Hint:  Think "Japanese Mafia"

They don't have to have attention or save face, just quietly get things done - my type of people.  My daughter said "They're like a militia." 

I am so proud of her.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:47 | Link to Comment Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

private sector pisses over the public sector for getting things done from any angle ....and criminals aren't half as bad as society (Govt propaganda) makes out ...the real 'enemy within' is the Govt, the biggest thief and scumbag in society by fuking miles

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:46 | Link to Comment 6 String
6 String's picture

Yup, it's all about incentives as Chalie says. And his dirtbag buddy, Warren, has about as perverse incentives as they come, to wit:

Go buy some nothing good for you Coca-Cola with your we'll screw you on debit fees and your tax-payer money Wells Fargo debit card while you stand at Wal-mart buying your fruit-of the loom made in china underwear using your also would be bankrupt credit card of American Express without taxpayer ongoing subsidies for the rest of their days as you clog up your arteries thinking about all this shit at a good old fashioned Dairy Queen just before you head out for your worthless Sanfi Avenis shots....

Yeah, Fuck You Warren!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:49 | Link to Comment rew2
rew2's picture

Last week I bought DFJ (Wisdomtree Japanese small capital dividend ETF) near the bottom.  It's now up 20%.  Neener, neener, perma bears.

 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:08 | Link to Comment Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

Playa! One bottle of Cystal on your sprint to the poor house...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:57 | Link to Comment Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Buffett Claus is coming to town
He's making a list
And checking it twice;
Gonna find out Who's naughty and nice
Santa Buffett Claus is coming to town
He sees you when you're without car insurance 
He knows when you're without choo choo trains 
He knows if you've been bad or good cuz Becky will report on CNBS 
So be good for goodness sake!
Or take it in the rear without any paste
O! You better watch out!
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Buffett Claus is coming to Tokyo town, with GE Nuclear plans
Santa Buffett Claus is coming to Tokyo town, when it all cools downnnnnnnnnn

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:29 | Link to Comment disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

this is my take.  and if Buffet slaps his hand on his knee then I do indeed hope Ms. Quick(ie) has the "lack of good sense" to oblige.  I mean I see "a whole bunch of billionaires" carrying on and "having a time of it."  Obviously I'm no expert on wtf "reinsurance" is...but i will say this:  i don't see Geico "racking up the losses."  I see "foreign insurance companies" getting annihilated.  this is what "Buffet and boyz" appear to be celebrating--what they could barely even touch is now "on firesale."  of course "the Japanese market rallied on news of a nuclear disaster" so who the hell knows....

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:06 | Link to Comment Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

Once you understand that Mr. Buffet is just another greedy sack of shit, and that all of his public pronouncements are couched solely for the purpose of driving FRNs into his saggy, note-filled pockets, you get the entire Wall Street gig.  The only good thing about his public statements of leaving his money to charity is that once these bequests become effective, and let's hope it's sooner rather than later, we won't have to listen to his avuncular aw shucks horseshit anymore. 

Other than that, he's a cool old dude. 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:14 | Link to Comment AN0NYM0US
AN0NYM0US's picture

please don't call his posthumous trust a charity, nothing could be further from the truth

 

instead think of it as a withered hand reaching from the grave to continue to manipulate the world of the living

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:31 | Link to Comment disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

kinda like calling the old NYSE a "not for profit" eh?  I mean "legally it was...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:10 | Link to Comment AN0NYM0US
AN0NYM0US's picture

lol lol lol

headline from HuffPuke

Obama Cutting Latin America Trip Short

and buried in the article

"The president is returning to Washington on Wednesday a couple of hours earlier than scheduled."

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:44 | Link to Comment Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

so 2 hours less jawboning in Brazil, 2 hours more waffling in America ...this is all the 'international trade' politicians do, a trade in hot air from a profession of useless fuking windbags

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:10 | Link to Comment blindman
blindman's picture

wiki
Humans have inhabited the atoll for at least 2,000 years.[4] Bikini was visited by only a dozen or so ships before the establishment of the German colony of the Marshall Islands in 1885. Along with the rest of the Marshalls, Bikini was captured by the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1914 during World War I and mandated to the Empire of Japan by the League of Nations in 1920. The Japanese administered the island under the South Pacific Mandate, but mostly left local affairs in hands of traditional local leaders until the start of World War II.

Following the end of World War II, Bikini came under the control of the United States as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands until the independence of the Marshall Islands in 1986.

Radio.Bikini.FALLOUT.avi
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6964047559871098453#

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:24 | Link to Comment AN0NYM0US
AN0NYM0US's picture

|

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:27 | Link to Comment blindman
blindman's picture

http://ampedstatus.org/empire-state-rebellion-an-idea-whose-time-has-come-a99-video/

UPDATED WITH TRANSCRIPT – Empire State Rebellion: An Idea Whose Time Has Come (A99 Video)

.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPR3GlpQQJA
THE WAYSEER MANIFESTO – [Official Video] (HQ)

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:28 | Link to Comment JuicyTheAnimal
JuicyTheAnimal's picture

Amen.  Only thing better would be a video clip of the old fart having a fucking stroke.  

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:33 | Link to Comment blindman
blindman's picture

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bikini_Atoll

Between 1946 and 1958, twenty-three nuclear devices were detonated at Bikini Atoll, beginning with the Operation Crossroads series in the summer of 1946. Preceding the nuclear tests, the indigenous population was relocated to Rongerik Atoll, though during the Castle Bravo detonation in particular some members of the population were exposed to nuclear fallout (see Project 4.1 for a discussion of the health effects). For examination of the fallout, several sounding rockets of the types Loki and Asp were launched at 11°35′N 165°20′E? / ?11.583°N 165.333°E? / 11.583; 165.333.

The March 1, 1954 detonation codenamed Castle Bravo, was the first test of a practical hydrogen bomb. The largest nuclear explosion ever set off by the United States, it was much more powerful than predicted, and created widespread radioactive contamination.[5][6][7]

Among those contaminated were the 23 crewmembers of the Japanese fishing boat Daigo Fukury? Maru.[6] The ensuing scandal in Japan was enormous, and ended up inspiring the 1954 film Godzilla, in which the 1954 U.S. nuclear test awakens and mutates the monster, who then attacks Japan before finally being vanquished by Japanese ingenuity.

The Micronesian inhabitants, who numbered about 200 before the United States relocated them after World War II, ate fish, shellfish, bananas, and coconuts. A large majority of the Bikinians were moved to Kili Island as part of their temporary homestead, but remain there today and receive compensation from the United States government for their survival.[8]

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:33 | Link to Comment onarga74
onarga74's picture

Maybe WB owns some Hitachi...looks like the smoking gun has seen the light of day. Engineer admits steel flaw in containment build.

Mitsuhiko Tanaka says he helped conceal a manufacturing defect in the $250 million steel vessel installed at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi No. 4 reactor while working for a unit of Hitachi Ltd. (6501) in 1974. 

Two years later Tanaka says he went to the Trade Ministry to report the cover-up he’d been involved in more than a decade earlier. The government refused to investigate and Hitachi denied his accusations, he said.

“They said, if Hitachi says they didn’t do it, then there’s no problem,” Tanaka said. “Companies don’t always tell the truth.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-23/fukushima-engineer-says-he-cove...

 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:44 | Link to Comment strannick
strannick's picture

Buffet's true genius lies in postitioning himself to hold his Berkshire basket under the exact spot that the FED will screw into the pocket of the taxpayers.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:53 | Link to Comment AN0NYM0US
AN0NYM0US's picture

and here is a month old vid of Junior Buffett with Bloombergs Betty liu

like father like son

 

http://bloom.bg/gUV0kS

 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:55 | Link to Comment Clapham Junction
Clapham Junction's picture

I find Buffett intensely sickening.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:55 | Link to Comment Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

Just fucking die already.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 03:13 | Link to Comment squexx
squexx's picture

The one that REALLY needs to die is that joo vampire Soros! That fucker should have been slowly and painfully killed decades ago!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 21:56 | Link to Comment Pez
Pez's picture

I'd take a Monte Cristo wrapper over a dollar.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:12 | Link to Comment slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

a)  he owned a ratings agency before the '08 meltdown and bailout.  still does.

b)  during the crisis, he came to the rescue of the "new" bank, goldman sachs, flooding them with capital ($5 bil), then getting behind the "bailout".  JP morgan did about the same a century earlier.

c)  he endz up with the Burlington No./Santa Fe RR, for which he "paid" $34 bil.

d)  last thing i heard him say about goldman sachs was it might be good to take it private.

now, i'm not up to speed on insurance, i'll admit.  but i know an act of god when i see one. 

i have no idea what this means.  trust me.  but i feel cleansed.  now, where is the bong?

 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:17 | Link to Comment Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

Har, chew on this:

URGENT: Japan's megabanks eye lending over 1 tril. yen to Tokyo Electric

TOKYO, March 23, Kyodo

Japan's megabanks are considering extending loans totaling more than 1 trillion yen to Tokyo Electric Power Co. by the end of March to help the utility raise funds for measures to boost electricity supply following a quake-triggered accident at its nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture.

==Kyodo

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:20 | Link to Comment InconvenientCou...
InconvenientCounterParty's picture

"Shih-Yew Chen, a researcher at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, said the levels found so far in milk and vegetables could cause a slight increase in the number of cancer cases.

“A person would really have to continue to eat that food grown locally that’s contaminated,” he said."...

OK got that? That's two weeks. we have minimum 4 more. Could be 4 months.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:23 | Link to Comment SparkyvonBellagio
SparkyvonBellagio's picture

ONARGA74 posted the Link here's the WHOLE STORY- Thanks Onarga74

 

 

 

Fukushima Engineer Says He Covered Up Flaw at Shut Reactor

One of the reactors in the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant may have been relying on flawed steel to hold the radiation in its core, according to an engineer who helped build its containment vessel four decades ago.

Mitsuhiko Tanaka says he helped conceal a manufacturing defect in the $250 million steel vessel installed at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi No. 4 reactor while working for a unit of Hitachi Ltd. (6501)in 1974. The reactor, which Tanaka has called a “time bomb,” was shut for maintenance when the March 11 earthquake triggered a 7-meter (23-foot) tsunami that disabled cooling systems at the plant, leading to explosions and radiation leaks.

“Who knows what would have happened if that reactor had been running?” Tanaka, who turned his back on the nuclear industry after the Chernobyl disaster, said in an interview last week. “I have no idea if it could withstand an earthquake like this. It’s got a faulty reactor inside.”

Tanaka’s allegations, which he says he brought to the attention of Japan’s Trade Ministry in 1988 and chronicled in a book two years later called “Why Nuclear Power is Dangerous,” have resurfaced after Japan’s worst nuclear accident on record. The No. 4 reactor was hit by explosions and a fire that spread from adjacent units as the crisis deepened.

No Safety Problem

Hitachi spokesman Yuichi Izumisawa said the company met with Tanaka in 1988 to discuss the work he did to fix a dent in the vessel and concluded there was no safety problem. “We have not revised our view since then,” Izumisawa said.

Kenta Takahashi, an official at the Trade Ministry’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, said he couldn’t confirm whether the agency’s predecessor, the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, had conducted an investigation into Tanaka’s claims. Naoki Tsunoda, a spokesman atTokyo Electric Power Co., which owns the plant, said he couldn’t immediately comment.

Tanaka, who said he led the team that built the steel vessel, was at his apartment on Tokyo’s outskirts when Japan’s biggest earthquake on record struck off the coast on March 11, shaking buildings in the nation’s capital.

“I grabbed my wife and we just hugged,” he said. “I thought this is it: we’re dead.”

For Tanaka, the nightmare intensified the next day when a series of explosions were triggered next to the reactor that he helped build. Since then, the risks of radioactive leaks increased as workers have struggled to bring the plant under control.

Fukushima No. 4

Tanaka says the reactor pressure vessel inside Fukushima’s unit No. 4 was damaged at a Babcock-Hitachi foundry in Kure City, in Hiroshima prefecture, during the last step of a manufacturing process that took 2 1/2 years and cost tens of millions of dollars. If the mistake had been discovered, the company might have been bankrupted, he said.

Inside a blast furnace the size of a small airplane hanger the reactor pressure vessel was being treated one last time to remove welding stress. The cylinder, 20 meters tall and 6 meters in diameter, was heated to more than 600 degrees Celsius (1,112 degrees Fahrenheit), a temperature that softens metal.

Braces that were supposed to have been placed inside during the blasting were either forgotten or fell over when the cylinder was wheeled into the furnace. After the vessel cooled, workers found that its walls had warped, Tanaka said.

Warped Walls

The vessel had sagged so that its height and width differed by more than 34 millimeters, meaning it should have been scrapped, according to nuclear regulations. Rather than sacrifice years of work and risk the company’s survival, Tanaka’s boss asked him to reshape the vessel so that no-one would know it had ever been damaged. Tanaka had been working as an engineer for the company’s nuclear reactor division and was known for his programming skills.

“I saved the company billions of yen,” said Tanaka, who says he was paid a 3 million yen bonus and presented with a certificate acknowledging his “extraordinary” effort. “At the time, I felt like a hero,” he said.

Over the course of a month, Tanaka said he made a dozen nighttime trips to an International Business Machines Corp. office 20 kilometers away in Hiroshima where he used a super- computer to devise a repair.

Meanwhile, workers covered the damaged vessel with a sheet, Tanaka said. When Tokyo Electric sent a representative to check on their progress, Hitachi distracted him by wining and dining him, according to Tanaka. Rather than inspecting the part, they spent the day playing golf and soaking in a hot spring, he said.

Wining and Dining

“The guy wouldn’t have known what he was looking at anyway,” Tanaka said. “The people at the utility have no idea how the parts are made.”

After a month of computer modeling, Tanaka came up with a way to use pumpjacks to pop out the sunken wall. While it would look like nothing had ever happened, no-one knew what the effect of the repair would have on the integrity of the vessel. Thirty- six years later, that reactor pressure vessel is the key defense protecting the core of Fukushima’s No. 4 reactor.

“These procedures, as they’re described, are far from ideal, especially for a component as critical as this,” Robert Ritchie, Professor of Materials Science & Engineering at the University of California of Berkeley, said in a phone interview. “Depending on the extent of vessel’s deformation, it could possibly lead to local cracking in some its welds.”

Chernobyl Breakdown

Tanaka quit Babcock-Hitachi in 1977, when he was 34 years old and became a writer. A graduate of Tokyo Institute of Technology, his Japanese-language books include “Options in Complex Systems: Natural Science and Economics on the Edge of Chaos,” and a book for young adults called, “How do we Know the Earth is Moving?”

After the meltdown at Chernobyl in 1986, Tanaka was asked to narrate a Russian movie documenting the disaster. A team of Soviet filmmakers had taken 30 hours of footage inside the plant, getting very close to the ruptured core. The movie’s director died of radiation poisoning about a year after the filming. While watching the footage, Tanaka had a breakdown.

“All of a sudden I was sobbing and I started to think about what I’d done,” Tanaka said. “I was thinking, ‘I could be the father of a Japanese Chernobyl.’”

Two years later Tanaka says he went to the Trade Ministry to report the cover-up he’d been involved in more than a decade earlier. The government refused to investigate and Hitachi denied his accusations, he said.

“They said, if Hitachi says they didn’t do it, then there’s no problem,” Tanaka said. “Companies don’t always tell the truth.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Jason Clenfield in Tokyo at jclenfield@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Langan at plangan@bloomberg.net

 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:30 | Link to Comment gwar5
gwar5's picture

I'm tired of the tedious Mr. Buffett.

If he really thinks everybody should hand their money over to the government as the most efficient use of capital then why does he hide his Billions in a foundation to keep it away from the government after he croaks?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 22:58 | Link to Comment yxhlhq
yxhlhq's picture

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Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:00 | Link to Comment yxhlhq
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