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Gasparino Deconstructs Buffett's Hypocrisy

Tyler Durden's picture


Today's rating agency hearing was a total farce: the only useful thing that could come out of it is if someone comes out with potentially perjurious information, as there were a few shaky answers provided by the Oracle of Omaha which could easily explain not only his reticence at testifying in Congress but doing so under oath. If that were to happen, the octogenarian would have to respond to both potential criminality and hypocrisy. As it stands, the only item to be covered is the latter, and Charlie Gasparino does a pretty good job at blowing apart Buffett's hypocrisy. "He believes [the rating agencies are] a sleazy business and he's gonna own it. Well that takes Warren Buffett down three notches in my book... If Moody's had a superior product, investors like Warren Buffett, who does not use the ratings, would be buying them one at a time. They do not have an effective product. They have a deformed product, a product that basically was at the forefront of the mess in 2008 and 2007. Warren Buffett who opines about politics all the time, constantly opines about right and wrong, defends wrong because it was a good investment. He is defending the indefensible. Rating agencies are not defensible at this. He is Mr. Do Good, yet he is defending the most corrupt business model in corporate America." At least one mainstream journalist out there is not afraid to call it like it is. Of course, we get the feeling that Becky Quick is no danger of losing her leathery wrinkled seat on the next NetJets trip to China.




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Wed, 06/02/2010 - 19:43 | 390736 homersimpson
homersimpson's picture

I still think Buffett is a good dealmaker. Unfortunately, the past year is showing he's probably as corrupt as anyone on Wall Street.

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:55 | 390846 Conrad Murray
Conrad Murray's picture

Warren Buffett is Moodys' business model personified.  Junk level slime spun into AAA steak, to be gulped down by eager-to-be-ignorant stooges.

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 19:44 | 390737 RemixTrades
RemixTrades's picture

I disagree with Charlie in regard to the "sleezy business" comment, where he implies that owning Moody's is a "bad thing."


If he's going to follow that logic, he better not be owning a lot of things.


Energy companies.... that pollute the environment (i.e. lots of oil and coal companies)


Finance companies... that intentionally sell you bad products? or say, use your information to front-run trades, and... (refer to the dozens of ZH articles for more examples)


Car companies....that suck and end up sucking (:p) tax payer money. Is that evil?


I can go on and on...

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 19:47 | 390741 Cheeky Bastard
Cheeky Bastard's picture

There is no good and evil; only beneficial or non-beneficial acts. 

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 19:55 | 390749 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

There is no holy and unholy. Only people striving to be viewed as so good and worthy of responsibility that it enables them to treat people with severe disrepect. Even denying them the right to live, the right to speak and hear the truth. The right to love and be loved. The right to support only what supports it and not force people to support something that harms them.

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:07 | 390769 knukles
knukles's picture

Right or Wrong, Good or Evil but Becky loosing her seat on the Wrinkled Leather What? 

But let's not forget, whilst Grandpa talks the talk about Doing Good (Doing God's Work?) his stated investment philosophy makes no reference to such.  He invests in entities with strong, superior, leadership franchises, oft characterized by oligopolistic strangle-hold pricing power, proprietary technology, high barriers to entry, etc. advantages, not all of which are derived from purely competitive, free market forces. 

Don't sound too kindly, altruistic to me none.

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:25 | 390796 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

Pillars of piety are impossible to build. So they just pile up some sticks and stones so at least they got something to throw while the people come to evict them from the building.

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 06:59 | 391304 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

Becky be nimble, Becky be quick...

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:15 | 390780 strannick
strannick's picture

A marine oil volcano might be beneficial to BP shorts, but not to the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:18 | 390786 breezer1
breezer1's picture

last good read for me on the subject, ' without conscience'. highly recommended  

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 21:11 | 390805 geopol
geopol's picture

Situation ethics!!


Let's listen to what America has to offer!! In music...How sad when all dissipates..

Let the whole thing play brother... Ignore the adds!!

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 10:13 | 391591 Inspector Asset
Inspector Asset's picture

Could I suggest an idea to rid the corruption?  Lets take every security, commodity, bond, etc ever listed on an Exchange and put thopse items on Craigslist.  Maybe create a new section for finance investments.  No middle men or paper pushers! 


Next, but more difficult and rewarding would be to put the whole politial process on Craigslist.  Every law, every vote, every idea, onto Craigslist for the people to vote.  No more middle men or representatives. We be representen ourselves via Craigslists.  Craig for President 2012/

Ron Paul 2012

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:29 | 390806 Mercury
Mercury's picture

There is no good and evil; only beneficial or non-beneficial acts.

Maybe for machines but I don't think humans can escape or wish away good and evil. I doubt ZH would be so popular or get it's reader so worked up if everyone were opperating on your premise.

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 21:43 | 390897 aldousd
aldousd's picture

to whom? for whom? from whom? at whose expense? which is the benefit and which is the cost?

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 22:13 | 390948 arnoldsimage
arnoldsimage's picture

wrong again.

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 22:17 | 390954 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

same goes with insects

(the garden kind, not the financial)

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 02:24 | 391219 UpShotKnotHoleGrable
UpShotKnotHoleGrable's picture

"There is no good and evil; only beneficial or non-beneficial acts."

That kind of stunning profundity reminds me of maggie 'lady death' thatcher who once said some thing like "there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families"

 Scary. It's all numbers eh? Step-out of the neolib church, put down the nietzsche, bukowski etc I think you're still finding yourself bro. to help you out, I suggest maybe instead trying zygmut bauman, JC Scott, EP Thompson, Polanyi, Minsky et al. or actually just try Smith, I mean the list is too long and my patience too short to try to school you on how inane your posts are.

I'm so sick of shallow quant analyses by pompous pretend and extend assholes who think they can come up with an equation to model and predict with any high degree of certainty human behavior.

Put away your neo-classical books and the efficient market/rational actor theories, which by themselves, are at most workable with 4-5 variables tops only half the time and do not fit reality at all the rest of the time. yes even game theory.

So all the positivist mathematical gymnastics amount to a circle-jerk cluster fuck and a complete farce, so stop it already, you're embarrassing yourself.

The use of beneficial/non-beneficial utility language has by extension brought us the last 30 years of complete corruption precisely because of asinine statements like yours.

When you reduce humanity to utils, when you strip human behavior of its moral component and try to reduce all human action to "rational utility" you are essentially attempting in a hollow way to eliminate risk.

Do you even understand what I just said? Trying to eliminate risk is impossible and we do not have the math to try to quantify and measure all of the variables.

So the reality we cannot predict we define as "random" or "black swans" as if acausal events are possible. I suppose, only in the neo-classical supply-side world which you obviously subscribe to. Lack of information is not spontaneous, it is precisely that, a lack of information to us.  Get it? not a vacuum, but its absence to us.

A system that strips morality from the analysis is alienating its own humanity and misses a lot of the information willingly and arrogantly. By excluding, or attempting to exclude human morality, simply to make models work, such a structurally hollow system inevitably admits its own failure even prior to probability one!

guess what we are not separate from it.  duh. but you keep playing with that end-all-be-all bullshit.

We do not have the math to map out all the risks and possibilities, yet we pretend we do in our arrogance. I should not have to point out examples of neo-classical model and its incentive model failures but BP?  Does your beneficial/unbeneficial model fit what happened there with any degree of future predictability given the same initial assumptions?

Guess what pal, human existense is life, life is risk, life is zerohedge. uncertainty in economics is not only natural but rational. Holy shit can you believe that? i'm not saying we cannot manage risk in life, i.e. car insurance. however, it is in attempting to reduce all risk to 1-3 or 5 variables where we can come to understand what minksy understood via keynes, that economic uncertainty, read inherently risky human behavior, carries with it uninsurable risks that cannot be statistically correlated to for example, games of dice.  Guess why? because dice are not human and human's are not dice.

Human beings depend on a synthesis of apriori and aposteriori inputs but you apparently believe all human action can be positively reduced to "beneficial or non-beneficial".  That is, your outlook is apriori vis-a-vis human behavior.  How can you even call that scienctific? it's the complete anti-thesis! Your view is digital but you are analog. you are both but it seems like youre still on the fence.  I say on the fence because I know you can see this synthesis for example between your mathematical brain and your love of rachmaninoff's 'the isle of the dead'.  Its just that you still like to see the world via digits, or atleast that is how it seems going by your posts. this is logical but nakedly incomplete.

"As Davidson has stressed, classical expectations formation theory is applicable
only to “ergodic” stochastic processes: 'an ergodic stochastic process simply means that
averages calculated from past observations can not be persistently different from the time
average of future outcomes'. In ergodic processes, 'economic relationships
among variables are timeless (ahistoric) and immutable'. (are there immeasurable behaviors?)

The structure of ergodic stochastic games of chance is unaffected by any particular
pattern of observations it generates: a run of sevens will not change the odds at a dice table.
Similarly, an ergodic stochastic economic model cannot be affected by the particular
choices of the agents who inhabit it; it cannot exhibit hysteresis or path dependency: the
model and its outcomes -- the future states of the world -- must be independent of agent
choice (so that agent choice is not, in any meaningful sense, free).

For if future states of the economy were dependent on the pattern of current and
future agent choice, if, in Shackle’s words, choice was “originative,” then every agent
would have to know the present and future choices of every other agent
(including the process used by each agent to adjust expectations in the light of realized results)
in order to know the future. But there is no way, even in principle, that agents could
gain knowledge of this kind. Indeed, the impossibility of gaining such knowledge is the
foundation of the neoclassical rejection of central planning. Thus, the neoclassical
theory of agent choice is restricted to a world in which agents’ decisions do not “create” the future.
The axioms of New Classical and neoclassical expected utility theory hold if and only if
the future equilibrium path of the economy and the prices associated with it are pre-given,
if they are independent of agent choice, agent forecasting error, and out-of-equilibrium dynamics.
That is, these classical and methodologically individualistic theories must assume
what they are supposed to prove, by positing a stable market-clearing equilibrium path
prior to constructing a theory of agent choice. Failure to do so would leave agents with
nothing solid to anchor their expectations.

The future is unknowable; we exist in an environment of true uncertainty. In such
an environment, neoclassical theory fundamentally misspecifies agent choice. Fortunately,
the price of recognition of the existence and centrality of fundamental uncertainty is not
theoretical chaos as neoclassicists would have us believe. The concept of the socially
constructed human agent and conventional decision making in concert with an
understanding of the institutional foundations of conditional stability create a world with nondeterminist or contingent laws and tendencies, a world that can indeed be appropriated
through theory. However, a theory adequate to its task must be institutionally contingent
and never lose sight of the dialectical relation between uncertainty and the structures and
practices we have created to try to remove its sting.

There is a related problem with subjectivist theory. If subjective probability distributions are not anchored
in a pregiven objective equilibrium state, then what can possibly give them stability across time? Conversely,
if the subjective probability distributions of orthodox theory were dynamically unstable, then the neoclassical
investment function would be unstable as well. In this case, the economy's future time path would itself be
unstable because it would depend on unstable subjective probability distributions. Since there is no
neoclassical theory of the "laws" governing unstable subjective probabilities, the future would be
unknowable. Thus, the core assumption that there exists a predetermined equilibrium path that is independent
of agent ignorance and therefore of agent choice is the sine qua non of neoclassical and New Classical
investment theory. As Katzner noted, 'without the opportunity of at least hypothetical replication, the notion of probability
simply does not make sense.'"

And listen, stop trying so hard, we see you ok? please, stop with the music bullshit. nobody cares what the fuck you like to listen to.
don't brag here, you want to talk music and educate the masses on your trivial tastes go ahead and post on youtube dude.

Davidson, P. (1987), “Sensible Expectations and the Long-Run Non-Neutrality of
Money,” Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, vol. 10, pp. 146-153.
Davidson, P. (1991), “Is Probability Theory Relevant for Uncertainty? A Post
Keynes- ian Perspective,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 5, pp. 129-144.,%20Uncertanty%20and%20Macro-th...


Thu, 06/03/2010 - 02:28 | 391231 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

I'm so sick of shallow quant analyses by pompous pretend and extend assholes who think they can come up with an equation to model and predict with any high degree of certainty human behavior.


Wrong. By experience, people dont think they come up with an equation to model and predict with any high degree of certainty human behaviour.

They hope they developp a model they can claim to model etc...

Fraud works. Especially when you are able to convince the other that it is not fraud.

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 02:47 | 391234 UpShotKnotHoleGrable
UpShotKnotHoleGrable's picture

They pretend and act as if their models work.  Some really believe it, some do not and use them in a fraudulent manner.  The fact that control fraud does not even enter into quant models or the general theory speaks for itself.

Wed, 06/16/2010 - 14:15 | 391264 UpShotKnotHoleGrable
UpShotKnotHoleGrable's picture


Thu, 06/03/2010 - 03:01 | 391243 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

impressive effort.  thanks.

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 07:18 | 391321 Escapeclaws
Escapeclaws's picture

This website is slowly losing its edge. It seems to have lost its focus and there are too many articles that have only a tangential relation to finance and economics. Some of the articles seem to be designed expressly to generate hundreds of comments by those who have nothing to say. I'm getting tired of slogging through hundreds of comments to find little nuggets of gold here and there. Most of the comments, probably including this one, are just venting. But I find I'm spending more time on other blogs such as as I become more aware that time is precious.

Also, frankly, I get tired of the hate speech and vulgarity--calling a poster a moron or worse--internet road-rage. Also tired of incessant rock-lyrics. Gold bugs are tedious, Ayn Rand is an intellectual Mary Baker Eddy, and libertarians are selfish.

I'm sure I'm not alone in these sentiments.



Thu, 06/03/2010 - 10:22 | 391616 giddy
giddy's picture're not...alone... intellectuals are a dime a doz... MBE is singular...

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 11:42 | 391914 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

libertarians are selfish

And we see how shallow your thought process is. WE the PEOPLE get to decide who can benefit from our individual resources and sweat on an individual basis - not busy-body fuckups. It is pretty damn clear now, down to the Americans who have been paying the least amount of attention, that fuckups are running the show. The Constitution is a Libertarian document. FREEDOM to exchange, to travel, to love, to live. If you fuck up you pay the consequences - not pay the consequences regardless. The loser kid doesn't get to ruin it for everyone - but that's public policy.

ZH doesn't control the growing number of individuals that are trying to figure out what the hell is going on. Let them be heard. Let them feel real.

I'm sure I'm not alone in these sentiments.

Sure, we get to be abused by JB et al and it's pissing me off (especially the disjointed threads that result from unexplained comment scrubbing) so in that regard I agree about edge - but status quo fucks piss me off.

Next time we of Project Mayhem would appreciate it if you would acutally pass on a nugget of gold to us - do you even get the concept of Fight Club? If you don't like the free coffee then find your own self-help group.

Let's evolve:


Thu, 06/03/2010 - 14:41 | 392412 PhattyBuoy
PhattyBuoy's picture

You are welcome to allocate your precious time where ever you desire ... so shut the fuck up & post your dribble on another site!!

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:14 | 390777 hound dog vigilante
hound dog vigilante's picture

No.  Charlie is correct. 

Owning equity in polluters/front-running financiers/GM is not necessarily "evil" but it is hypocritical if you are also Sierra Club/SEC/US citizen, respectively.


The old excuse that good "investors" must ignore such conflicts is absolute bunk... it's EXACTLY the mentality that has brought the entire system to it's knees. 

Do as I say, not as I do... what a cop-out.  Buffet is a hack... his reputation has been shot to pieces over the past 4 years, and rightfully so.


Wed, 06/02/2010 - 21:08 | 390871 nmewn
nmewn's picture

There is a difference between ethics (manmade) and the spiritual realm of good & evil.

An agnostic cannot be convinced of what they cannot see, touch, prove, disprove, taste, etc. Most have made a valid attempt at discovery because they are analytical in nature.

An atheist flatly denies any higher being than themselves at all.

IMHO, soon to be challenged no agnostic must have "faith" that there is not requires "faith" and I might add, a "belief" that there are NO unknowns to be discovered...for if there are no unknowns to them, they could, in fact, be defined as a god...which is against their "belief".

Atheist's assert...flatly...that there is no God. One is naturally led can they know??? Are they proclaiming themselves to know everything there is to know and therefore godlike themselves??? Seems rather contradictory to me also.

If one believes there is evil in the world, then there must also be good in the world, for evil to be even defined.




Wed, 06/02/2010 - 23:36 | 391069 knukles
knukles's picture

Of the Temporal and Spiritual, Thoughtfully Considered and Nicely Stated.  More Contemplation of Such Horribly Lacks these Days. h/t

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 06:38 | 391313 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Thank you knukles.

My opinion of Buffet is, he is just another promoter of situational ethics, of which we see so much these days, who just happens to have a Senator or two his pocket.

Men like Buffet could not be as they are without support.

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 10:36 | 391636 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

Good and evil are just words, and they are not particularly useful words at that.  It is more useful to understand that actions have consequences and those consequences effect your life and the lives of others.

Even helpful or "good" (seeming) actions can have bad results (socialism for example.)

It is best to avoid asserting your will (volition) when possible, but to be aware and ready to act, but act only when necessary.

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 19:45 | 390738 Mactheknife
Mactheknife's picture

The last time "Uncle Warren" sat in front of a committee on the hill, he was strongly in favor of keeping the estate tax intact. He forgot to mention during his "testimony" the fact that most of the sixty some odd companies that Berkshire has bought over the years were private, family owned and were sold to good ole Uncle Warren because the surviving families couldn't pay (wait for it)..... ..the ESTATE TAXES. Go figure.



Wed, 06/02/2010 - 19:50 | 390743 Hephasteus
Wed, 06/02/2010 - 19:48 | 390739 Cheeky Bastard
Cheeky Bastard's picture

Dis guy eh !! Dis fuckin guy !! He aint no Nono. Hey, oh !!

-The Chazonator Goombah, Jersey Shore NJ

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 21:53 | 390908 Sqworl
Sqworl's picture


Wed, 06/02/2010 - 19:49 | 390742 Privatus
Privatus's picture

The Anacle of Omaha.

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 19:54 | 390748 Monkey Craig
Monkey Craig's picture

Ratings Agencies = another great example of our flawed corporatocracy

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:14 | 390774 bada boom
bada boom's picture

Exactly.  Warren said this in another article, “They succumbed to the same mania that prevailed throughout the investment world”

Well, if that statement is true they have no purpose existing at all.  They should only exist to be prudent and to be independent, regardless of what the masses do.  If they only echo what people foolishly believe, they do more harm then good.


Wed, 06/02/2010 - 19:57 | 390751 Rick64
Rick64's picture

At worst he is a hypocrite. He invests and makes money, what do you expect. Our own politicians lie, cheat, steal, take bribes, ect... and we pay them. We found out that he is like all the rest, so what. How in the hell are you going to hold him accountable for what Moodys does? He is an investor.

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 19:58 | 390756 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

Sad to see someone who is/was very respected look so completely out of touch. His testimony was laughable. 

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 21:09 | 390873 AccreditedEYE
AccreditedEYE's picture

He's desperately trying to save his empire. When your entire life's work revolves around the market you'll say anything. BRKA/B will suffer greatly from what is to come. Let's see what his derivatives holdings do to him on the next violent wave down.

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 06:31 | 391309 huntergvl
huntergvl's picture

"He's desperately trying to save his empire. When your entire life's work revolves around the market you'll say anything."


That is it, in a nutshell. Just talking his game while wearing the world's worst cologne. Buffett knows what the alternative is to QE. His entire life of investing and his model is swirling down the toilet. He has just become a market cheerleader, just one of many. And, no telling how much derivative (counterparty) risk he is carrying now that he has drank the Kool-Aid. Every investor makes mistakes. Every investor takes that big hit that makes him/her re-evaluate their strategies. Buffett is much too long in the tooth to recover from what is ahead and he knows it. He will join Bill Miller of Legg Mason, soon in the completely forgotten investment Hall of Fame.

I have been investing for over 15 years now...I am still here and so are all of you. I know many who have given up, or lost it all. It's not what happens to your portfolio in the good years that counts nearly as much as what happens in the bad years. One single bad year can wipe your ass out. I know that sounds simplistic, but the self discipline required to avoid catastrophe while taking minimal investment risk, is very complex.

Buffett is 'out' of position. He knows this, too. It will be up to his successor to right Berkshire's ship. Buffett is out of time.

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 23:03 | 391024 Rusty_Shackleford
Rusty_Shackleford's picture

Couldn't agree more.  The whole "corn-pone home spun wisdom" thing has worn a little thin.  

At one point he was singing the merits of monopolies. 

It was completely absurd.  Just about as bad as Obama's speech today. 

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 01:30 | 391201 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

Oh my god. I just listened to obama's speech. He is going to go head long into carbon credits. This thing is falling apart rapidly. You'd think getting pissed on at your memorial day speech would be enough of a message.

They worked and worked and built for this and they are going to sure as hell go on whether people are willing or not. And they are going to lose everybody they try to rape.

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 04:58 | 391273 Pondmaster
Pondmaster's picture

BP : So the plan is to burn the "Horizon ", and sink the evidence?  Carboneers : Yes , that is the very disaster the Adminsitration needs to push through carbon credits legislation over a Holiday weekend . BP: And you we have a promise of taxpayer funded spew cleanup , just like the TBTF got? Carboneers : You bet pal ... now lets go have a beer  


Thu, 06/03/2010 - 06:20 | 391305 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

Knew it.

Oil will skyrocket. Gold will not sell off. The game will end.

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:01 | 390759 John McCloy
John McCloy's picture

The actions of the past year make me furious. Furious because you are called insane for speaking the truth..,Furious because our politicians before our eyes prove their incompetence and indiffernence. Maybe I am most furious because most Americans do not notice that when the bankers of the world have stolen their families and future families lives that when they finally decipher who has stolen their liberty it has the name of an LLC and everyone is complicity and nobody is compicit and such is the goal only the names change.
People need to just say no. They need to trade for products only in gold or metals. They need to repudiate all debts( I have only student loans),,, they need to say I WONT WATCH YOUR MEDIA.
I know it's hard to learn we gave cancer..but we need to just say I have cancer because of the following buy I want my Childen not to have it so I shalll suffer. They are children and they will have children and they only know greed if we teach it an hatred if they learn it. How can we pass this on to them?
We are dealing with a 21st century Indenture of the middle class. Just because they cloud it with technology and slower extraction of liberty does not make it non existent. We have modern modern it is stealth.this diatrabe comes from
someone reliant upon Wall Street for a living but it is not worth a living aYurokur expense.
" Altough the Lord Keepeth the watchmen waketh in Vain"

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 21:11 | 390878 LeBalance
LeBalance's picture

lol: go further:


Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:15 | 390776 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

It's true that he is not the first fund manager to talk his book, or to invest in businesses he finds personally repugnant.


The thing that makes him a hypocrite is that he is so outspoken on issues he can't do anything about, but  in this case he was in a position to influence Moody's business model and he didn't do it.


That alone is enough to take the shine off his halo.


If there was anyone in the world who was capable of analysing investments, and seeing that Moody's ratings were bogus, it was Buffet. Yet he never did a damn thing about it.

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:25 | 390798 hound dog vigilante
hound dog vigilante's picture

Good post.  You nailed it.


If regulators/authorities will not bring these sorts of businesses to heel, then the market MUST do it.  Like the 'move your money' campaign against TBTF banks, a well-informed market can and will enforce discipline where otherwise corruption reigns...

Individuals and investors MUST demonstrate moral and ethical outrage. In the end, it is not a choice, it is a responsibility.

Of course, plenty of assholes ignore their responsibilities every day. That's why they're assholes.


Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:18 | 390785 masterinchancery
masterinchancery's picture

If Buffet didn't spend so much time opining about business and political morality, he would just be a greedy sleaze, not a massive hypocrite.

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:25 | 390787 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

To be fair, if the world had listened to Buffet and followed his advice the whole bubble economy would never have gotten off the ground. So Buffet is hardly to blame for that.


What he can reasonably be criticized for is keeping his trap shut when he must have known one of his companies was selling a defective product, and he had the power to fix it. But he wanted the easy profits just like everyone else.

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 10:26 | 391627 giddy
giddy's picture


Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:21 | 390788 east paris trader
east paris trader's picture

small correction...that isn't a wrinkled leather seat becky is sitting on, it's Uncle Warren's face.   Pay backs are hell, and Warren always gets paid back.

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:23 | 390793 Double down
Double down's picture

I like G


Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:27 | 390800 King_of_simpletons
King_of_simpletons's picture

You don't become the 2nd wealthy american by being a saint.

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:32 | 390811 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

Ya you do it pretending to be a saint. Because face it. Doing it honestly is going to get you mired in resistance.

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:30 | 390809 jory
jory's picture

I'd like to know why Becky Quick is Warren's favorite.  Does she do a Maria on the corporate jets?  

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:33 | 390813 percolator
percolator's picture

I don't like to wish bad things on people, but WB sickens me to the point I can't wait until he's six feet under.

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 21:58 | 390918 Busy-Body
Busy-Body's picture

I agree.  And when the 'quickening' comes, his old cabasa will fall neatly into that wicker basket as cleanly as the rest........

Lots of Love,


Wed, 06/02/2010 - 22:18 | 390955 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

he was arnolds economic advisor for about two minutes. he said california does not pay enough property tax (evidently NE does, but perhaps WB was thinking of what he pays, and not the lower class working folks. there's no fool like an old fool.

Wed, 06/16/2010 - 14:15 | 391271 UpShotKnotHoleGrable
UpShotKnotHoleGrable's picture


Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:35 | 390814 banksterhater
banksterhater's picture

Buffet has NO credibility anymore. He ought to shut the f up. He said Moody's "missed it... everyone did...bad model" PURE BULLSHIT. They are the ones who are supposed to do the final dd and analyze better than the rest of the nation, no matter what bubble. They failed and were in collusion. Buffet should do no more interviews unless he wants to be remembered like Greenspam.

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:37 | 390819 imapopulistnow
imapopulistnow's picture

You know all is lost when Warren goes to the dark side.

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 05:38 | 391293 Yes We Can. But...
Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

You may just hope that all is not lost when Warren is at last exposed for having all along been on the dark side.

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:41 | 390825 bullchit
bullchit's picture

Apart from the great ass-hole of Oregon, here's a few more holes that have opened up over the past few days to join BP's "Damned hole".


Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:51 | 390842 Remington IV
Remington IV's picture



break a story for a change , you're almost as boring as Tin Foil Hat  Taibbi

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:56 | 390849 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

"potentially perjurious information, as there were a few shaky answers provided by the Oracle of Omaha..."

It's like wheeling in ole "Pork Barrel" Bobby Byrd to testify. Wrinkled old Uncle Warren can just claim senility on any "inaccurate" answers...

"Forgot my Reagan brand Alzheimer's meds this morning with my Metamucil..."

"Thank god for Geritol and the fact we get Lawrence Welk on cable in this hotel..."

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 21:01 | 390856 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

I want to see Charlie Gasparino fight with Dylan Ratigan in a cage match tag team event against Warren Buffet and Llyod Blankfine.

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 05:45 | 391296 Yes We Can. But...
Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

And where shall the proceeds of said big dollar charity event be directed?

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 21:12 | 390881 Sqworl
Sqworl's picture

My favorite scene of Kabuki: Transcript at 


12:00pm: The nature of bubbles. “That’s the nature of
bubbles, they cause a sort of mass delusion,” said Mr Buffett. No one
saw it. Mr Angelides corrects him: Nouriel Roubini, Robert Shiller did...


Wed, 06/02/2010 - 21:12 | 390882 Thomas
Thomas's picture

I own MO and Rai. That's not the problem. Sir Blowhard goes on TV and gets all preachy about shit like derivatives and then ends up being the number 10 biggest derivatives holder behind two sovereign states and 7 investment banks. He's a goddamned stock jobber yackin' like a friggin' nun. I have expressed my opinion more benignly before...


BTW-The math problems keep getting harder. Gonna have to dust off the chapter on Bessel functions before the year is over.

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 11:50 | 391938 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Do like Johnny Bravo: Click save until it's easy enough or you get a freebie.

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 21:41 | 390894 nopat
nopat's picture

Hypocrite?  Eh, such a strong word that is.  He's a pipe-swinger and knows it, but he's not going to hate fuck you like some ill-mannered East Coaster (or worse, some Mid-Atlantic Yale graduate...yeah, /that/ Yale thing).  Don't get me wrong, he's an OG and will get medieval with the 40-grit, even make you beg for it in one-page facsimile form from your shoebox low-rise in the UES to his downright pedestrian office park in that shitheel of a midwestern town.  He'll remind you that your country-club upbringing, Ivy League schools, Exeter alumni reunions, upwardly-mobile social circle, and ethnically-ambiguous yet aesthetically-pleasing (in otherwords, fly) girlfriend can.  all.  be.  bought.  And while you thought you were accomplishing something, he knew that hardest thing to let go of is a lie you've been lead to believe your whole life.

The man has spent his whole life crafting the myth of Warren Buffett.  Hypocrisy say you?  I call it image management.  Steve Jobs is just a turtleneck-wearing self-fellating ego-whore, Bill Gates is just a socially-awkward computer nerd.  When the zombie army is laying waste to our metropolitan financial districts looking for anyone in a Burberry tie, he'll be at the head of the line, selling them pitchforks, pre-lit torches (as a service to you!), and large-print maps of Greenwich, CT.

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 21:52 | 390904 Sqworl
Sqworl's picture

+100 lol...and to think he looks down his nose at Carlos

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 22:27 | 390963 Client 9
Client 9's picture

"Steve Jobs is just a turtleneck-wearing self-fellating ego-whore"

I think I just let out a loud gaffow.

Thanks for sharing that line- you shook me from my gotta-have-it-but-I-don't-know-why iPad induced trance.

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 05:51 | 391299 Yes We Can. But...
Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

Ha!  Please tell me where to find your book - really want to read it...

And if it hasn't been written yet, stop ignoring your talent and get busy.

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 09:16 | 391466 nopat
nopat's picture

I was working on a men's relationship self-help book, but quickly realized Hugh Heffner and Larry Flynn already cornered that market.  Who knows, the pussification of the American male looks to be an unwinding trade at this point, might be time to short...

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 10:33 | 391654 giddy
giddy's picture blog of the week award...

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 21:55 | 390910 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture

Liz is hot when she gets fired up. And look at Charlie - who ever would of thunk he likes the dominatrix type.

Wed, 06/16/2010 - 14:16 | 391275 UpShotKnotHoleGrable
UpShotKnotHoleGrable's picture


Wed, 06/02/2010 - 21:55 | 390911 wowser22
wowser22's picture
Come gather 'round people wherever you roam
And admit that the waters around you have grown
And accept it that soon you'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin'
So you better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone
For the times, they are a-chang - in'
Come writers and critics who prophecies with your pen
And keep your eyes wide the chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon for the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who that it's namin'
For the loser now will be later to win
For the times they are a-chang-in'

Come mothers and fathers throughout the land
And don't criticize what you don't understand
Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin'
Please get out of the new one if you can't lend a hand
For the times they are a-changin'

Come senators, congressmen please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway, don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside and it's ragin'
It'll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'

The line it is drawn the curse it is cast
The slow one now will later be fast
As the present now will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin'
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'
Wed, 06/02/2010 - 21:55 | 390912 wowser22
wowser22's picture
Come gather 'round people wherever you roam
And admit that the waters around you have grown
And accept it that soon you'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin'
So you better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone
For the times, they are a-chang - in'
Come writers and critics who prophecies with your pen
And keep your eyes wide the chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon for the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who that it's namin'
For the loser now will be later to win
For the times they are a-chang-in'

Come mothers and fathers throughout the land
And don't criticize what you don't understand
Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin'
Please get out of the new one if you can't lend a hand
For the times they are a-changin'

Come senators, congressmen please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway, don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside and it's ragin'
It'll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'

The line it is drawn the curse it is cast
The slow one now will later be fast
As the present now will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin'
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'
Wed, 06/02/2010 - 22:07 | 390936 tmftdoyle
tmftdoyle's picture

the real gem today from the wolf in sheep's clothes was his expressed concern regarding the need for the gfederal government to step in and provide financial support to prevent municipal bankruptcies. Mr Buffet likes to say he doesn't care about "the market", just individual stocks. Well his foray into municipal bond insurance during the last three years, predicated on his cost of credit, not on a thorough understanding of the risk he was underwriting is certainly revealed here. The do good guy basically used his "testimony" to start the lobbying for his next rape of the american taxpayer. I guess he must be comfortable that his mark-to-market risk on his S&P puts is settled his way and it is time to fight the next battle. Investor, my _ss. World's greatest extortionist is more like it. 

Wed, 06/16/2010 - 14:17 | 391278 UpShotKnotHoleGrable
UpShotKnotHoleGrable's picture


Wed, 06/02/2010 - 22:21 | 390957 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Nursery Rhyme: Little Miss (Muffet) Buffet by the Teletubbies!

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 22:28 | 390964 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

It just seems you cannot become as rich as Warren Buffet w/o compromising a few ethical and moral principles along the way.  

And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God" (Matthew 19:23, 24).

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 22:34 | 390971 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

  As much as the current rating agency model is flawed, me thinks that they are going to take a fall for the big boys. Look, I modeled RMBS, CDOs and CDO^2 in my former life at a monoline. The IB's took the rating agencies for a ride, they knew the models that were used to rate the products and designed the products to meet the AAA guidelines. If you were smart enough, you worked for the IBs, not the rating agencies. The agencies were staffed by flunkies and as long as the bottom line looked good, management was oblivious (not that they had a clue what was going on).

The system was gamed and it is now time to pin the tail on the donkey.

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 22:55 | 391007 I am a Man I am...
I am a Man I am Forty's picture

Fucking has been.


I think he is sick or something.  Doesn't look well.  Maybe his conscience is getting to him or something.  Maybe he didn't want to appear in public cuz he was ill.  He eats like shit.  He had his shit together for a long time, but 50% of his investments now aren't worth a shit or he is making a deal with the devil like GS and Moody's.  Overpaying for COP.  He's getting old, wouldn't invest in Berkshire today, no fucking way.

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 23:04 | 391025 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Seems like the ratings agency problem can be fixed, or ameliorated, by the same methods that real estate appraisers have.   For FHA and VA loans, the appraisers are selected in rotation.  The lender never knows who is up next, and the appraiser never knows what property is going to come up next.  It keeps some distance between the lender and the appraiser.  So, what's wrong with doing that for the ratings agencies?  Just run them thru a sorting program for random selection with quotas imposed to prevent off-balance loading.  Set up a fixed fee menu for the services selected.

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 23:15 | 391044 Dr. Goose
Dr. Goose's picture

"Triple-A," admits Warren Buffett, 
"Is a term one may rightfully scoff at, 
But as owner of Moody's, 
I'll tell you the beauty's 
Their business plan still turns a profit."

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 23:24 | 391054 faltoner
faltoner's picture

never thought i'd see the day when gasparino's opinion mattered to someone


Wed, 06/02/2010 - 23:39 | 391085 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

he's a douchebag but he has, on occasion, shown some insight and disgust at the shenannigans on Wall street. Maybe he has "come to Jesus moments" just before the percocet kicks in



Thu, 06/03/2010 - 00:11 | 391134 faltoner
faltoner's picture

his main purpose is making the rest of us look good

repeating his name quickly is also fun



Wed, 06/16/2010 - 14:17 | 391280 UpShotKnotHoleGrable
UpShotKnotHoleGrable's picture


Wed, 06/02/2010 - 23:49 | 391103 walküre
walküre's picture

The banks and rating agencies acted in a conspiracy.

Both profited from selling garbage real estate "investments" to Norwegian pension funds for example.

In fact, the US government knew about it. Money was flowing into the US to support an expensive war effort.

It will never be proven in any court of course. The US doesn't acknowledge the international courts for a reason. Actual war crimes commited in Iraq have little to do with it.

European politicians know the truth but can't do much about it - yet.

Koehler resigned because he understands what is going on. He couldn't stand to visit the German troops in Afghanistan knowing the Germans would fight in an illegitimate war supporting Anglo-US imperialism.

Unless there's a war to set the record "straight", there will be different history told on either side of the Atlantic. History is written by the winner. If there's no match, we can all tell our own history.

Next problems with terrorists or home grown dictators, don't come knocking on Europe's doors.

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 00:24 | 391152 Hillbillyfreak
Hillbillyfreak's picture

The whole rating "agency" thing is bs.  These aren't agencies.  They're private companies.  To call them an "agency" implies something  they are not (government sanctioned, endorsed or related).

Bonds based on the revenue stream from home mortgages (private citizens staying employed and financially sound) are and were the most idiotic thing I'd ever heard of.  Questioning moodys, or Mr. Omaha wasn't even good entertainment.  What a waste of time.  The only person they should be questioning is Mr. Big, the man in charge of this whole mess, the fearless leader, the enabler, yes, Mr. Greenspan.  He presided over this whole mess.     

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 02:11 | 391224 PhattyBuoy
PhattyBuoy's picture

Warren is complicit in this "SCAMerica" global MBS fraud ... he was along for the $$ ride just like everyone else.

Rating agencies reap profits from bogus AAA ratings for MBSs bundled profitably by Wall Street which are disbursed profitably by Wachovia. All along the stuff is garbage!

Only good old American ingenuity (greed) could create such obscenely colluded rip-off "blow a bubble" scam bullshit, and then market it to the world!

And these assholes didn't care that the scam would bankrupt their own country (USA) in the process ... why aren't these cocksuckers in jail ??!!!

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 02:14 | 391225 bjennings
bjennings's picture

Seems the major talking point with respect to the ratings agencies is "I don't use them for my investment analysis" as if to say only a chump who deserves to lose his/her money would use a ratings agency.  My question is what about those institutions that are required to only invest in those debt instruments above a certain rating (i.e. universities, municipalities, etc..) and conversely if those debt instruments fall below that rating, they must sell.

Seems to me that you can't write off this debacle simply by saying no good investor uses the ratings agencies anyway when a significant portion of the investment community must by charter use them to make buy/sell decisions.

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 03:03 | 391246 Hillbillyfreak
Hillbillyfreak's picture

Just because something is rated AAAAAAAA, doesn't mean you have to buy it.  Read that again.   Again, the revenue stream for mortgage backed securities is based on private citizens remaining employed and in good financial standing.  I'm sorry, but only a moron would buy that product thinking they were getting a AAA product.  A 3A MBS is an oxymoron.  The rating gives the buyer their out, their cover.  The people who bought this crap don't deserve to be money managers.  Idiots bought this crap. 

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 04:12 | 391262 bjennings
bjennings's picture

So if there are AAA products that are crap then there are likely products that are not crap but still don't have AAA and there are also likely good products that were AAA but downgraded.  So what happens to the institutions that own these downgraded products and by their charter are required to sell upon downgrade even if they are not crap?

What you are saying is there is no correlation between the quality of a product and its ratings.  Why then are several institutions tied to the ratings by their charter?  I'm not saying I disagree with you.  I'm saying its not as simple as writing this off as caveat emptor when several institutions must make decisions in accordance with ratings including selling when a product is downgraded, for a profit or for a loss and whether the product is quality or not.


Wed, 06/16/2010 - 14:18 | 391283 UpShotKnotHoleGrable
UpShotKnotHoleGrable's picture


Thu, 06/03/2010 - 03:42 | 391252 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Corruptoid+Blovioid=Toxic Crony Gas (See columns 1 and 2):


Wed, 06/16/2010 - 14:20 | 391297 UpShotKnotHoleGrable
UpShotKnotHoleGrable's picture


Thu, 06/03/2010 - 04:04 | 391261 mikjall
mikjall's picture

My goodness! Five whole minutes of reasonably intelligent discussion on Fox? But don't worry, we'll be seeing less there of Charlie Gasparino. I think that Buffett used to have a semi-plausible message that he perhaps actually believed in (color me gullible). Now, he is just another ugly creature in the cesspit. As the man said, "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven."

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 04:38 | 391268 Fíréan
Fíréan's picture

Thank You for speaking honestly in public, Mr. Gasparino.I hope we have th eopportunity to hear or read more of your observation.

I have two questions : why the "new school" placard placed behind Mr. Buffet during the interview ?

And why does that woman start shouting ( raising her voice), and interupting, when up staged by Gasparino ?

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 04:38 | 391269 Fíréan
Fíréan's picture

Thank You for speaking honestly in public, Mr. Gasparino.I hope we have th eopportunity to hear or read more of your observation.

I have two questions : why the "new school" placard placed behind Mr. Buffet during the interview ?

And why does that woman start shouting ( raising her voice), and interupting, when up staged by Gasparino ?

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 05:00 | 391279 Crummy
Crummy's picture

Jesus, can a hearing go 10 minutes without the chair breaking into the questioning to mention how well respected various hoop-jumpers, boot-lickers, and well compensated civilian adjutants are?

Either their statements have merit or they don't. I don't see the need waste public time/money to paint their fragile egos up like a fucking Fabergé egg.

Wed, 06/16/2010 - 14:18 | 391286 UpShotKnotHoleGrable
UpShotKnotHoleGrable's picture


Thu, 06/03/2010 - 05:27 | 391290 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

Kiss each others ass and hope monkey see monkey do.

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 06:16 | 391303 Cerulean
Cerulean's picture

Spot on article in The Pragmatic Capitalist :

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 11:28 | 391862 MoneyMcbags
MoneyMcbags's picture

As I said yesterday, Buffett said ratings agencies ""were wrong like everyone else" due to a widespread "bubble mentality" that believed housing prices couldn't crash".  Wow.  So let me get this straight, the ratings agencies who are paid NOT TO BE WRONG like everyone else because they are the SUPPOSED EXPERTS, fucked up just like everyone else.  So riddle me this Mr. Oracle of Omaha, why the fuck would anyone pay these "experts" if they are providing the same information or reaching the same conclusions as everyone fucking else?  WHAT THE FUCK ARE THEY EXPERTS IN?  This is more perplexing than the fact that neither of the participants of Stocking-Huang wedding were stocking a "huang."

There's more:

Fri, 06/04/2010 - 22:04 | 396378 Political Athiest
Political Athiest's picture

Warren Buffet is the conservative foil to the liberal George Soros. He just doesn't come across like Darth Sith. Don't be fooled.

Fri, 08/12/2011 - 07:34 | 1553633 ytpl22
ytpl22's picture

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