Buffett Says European Bank(s) Have Asked Him For Money

Tyler Durden's picture

While Buffett hemmed and hewed in his usual populist rhetoric, discussing how multi-billionaires can afford to be generous with other people's tax rates, all of it completely unremarkable and highly hypocritical, the Octogenarian did release, whether by accident or on purpose, something quite critical, namely that European banks have approached him with requests for money.  From Bloomberg: "They need capital in their banks, in many of their banks," Buffett, Berkshire's chairman and chief executive officer, told Bloomberg Television's Betty Liu on "In the Loop" today. "We would not be a good prospect," he said in an interview from the New York Stock Exchange. He's received "very, very few" calls about putting capital into European banks. "Not quite none at all," he said, declining to name any institutions."And that, as they say, is a word out of place, because while one my pretend that borrowing $500MM from the ECBs Fed swap line is really just an (inverse) arb on Libor or some other useless excuse, a bank begging for Buffett to take a bath can not be explained away.

Furthermore, since something tells us La Troisieme Banque d'Avignon does not have Warren on speed dial. So yeah, now begins the great scramble to figure out just who it is that can not even rely on the Fed or ECB for funding, but has to rush all the way to the"Really Poor Man's" central bank, located in downtown Omaha. And the inevitable risk flaring in Europe which will result once this latest data is processed will certainly lead to even more weakness for Bank of America. Which begs the question: why is Buffett trying to push his own investments lower with careless words: accelerate dementia or an attempt to double down on BAC shares at even lower prices?

As for bank [X], the Oracle had bad news:

Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s Warren Buffett, who has sold most of his company's holdings of European sovereign debt, said his firm isn't interested in helping to bail out lenders on the continent.


Berkshire sold most of its European holdings about year and a half ago, the billionaire said today on CNBC. A German reinsurance unit still holds some bonds from that nation, and Berkshire is "fine" with the investment, he said.


The European debt crisis is bound to have some fallout in the U.S., he said. "It's hard to tell" what would happen if Greece fails to pay its debts, Buffett said in an earlier interview with Fox Business Network. "That's the reason I'm scared."

Full interview:

And transcript:

Buffett on stepping out to advocate the tax rule for the ultra-wealthy:
“It’s to have the ultra-rich who are paying very low tax rates pay more taxes. There’s all kinds of ultra-rich who pay normal taxes, but there’s a small segment who pay very low taxes including me.  People who make money with money only pay very low taxes at very high levels of income. People with jobs like yours or all those around us pay perfectly normal taxes. What I am talking about would apply to 50,000 people out of 310 million in the country. It would simply mean that if you make tens of millions of dollars and your tax rate was 16% or 17%, you would start paying like the person who made $100,000 or $10 million who paid normal tax rates. An athlete making $10 million would not have a change in his tax rate at all. Somebody who buys a stock index future and sells it 10 seconds later and gets 60% by long-term gains, he would have a different world to live in.”

On whether he’s heard from people who qualify as ultra-rich:

“I get some letters [that are negative], but I get more letters saying thanks. A lot of people do not understand it. It would really only apply to about 50,000 people. The rest of it would be unchanged. But it would raise as much as $20 billion per year. That’s $1,000 to 20 million families.  If you give me a choice between taking $1,000 from 20 million families or hitting 50,000 people who shuffle money around all day, I will take it from the people who shuffle money.”

On why he doesn’t just write a check to the government:

“If you have a trillion dollar plus deficit and you have this child-like faith that people can solve that by writing checks to the government, I sort of admire it.  I heard Senator McConnell  suggest that. I think it’s wonderful that he has such faith in the American people that he wants to solve a trillion dollar deficit problem by people voluntarily sending checks to the government. If something should be policy, it should be enacted as policy.”

“If there were a group of ultra-rich people who wanted to take that out as a program, I will join with them.”

On Governor Rick Perry saying that Buffett doesn’t know what’s going on in the places where job creation is zero:

“I think it’s a real problem of society but it will not be hurt in the least.  The top 400 in taxpayers in 2009 averaged $227 million of income per person.  The economy will not be hurt at all by taxing those who paid low rates at a higher rate. Creating jobs. We have billions in cash at Berkshire  that we are looking to put out to satisfy demands of customers and that creates jobs…Jobs are created by demand. The capital that supports demand is huge. There is $1 trillion plus at the Federal Reserve left by banks earning 0.25%. They do not want to leave it there. They want to put it into business that need it. There has been an increase in need, But it isn’t galloping.”

On President Obama’s jobs plan:

“I have not looked at all of the details of the plan.  What I look to do is when they coalesce around a plan I will look at it and see if it will work.  The real question is whether you can get a majority of Congress and the Administration to agree on something to move the country forward, and we’ll see what happens on that.”

On whether Obama’s plan will get CEOs to start hiring:

“It’s a stimulus plan and fiscal stimulus is one piece of the pie in keeping a recovery going.  We have a recovery going.  We are not in a double-dip recession or anything like that.  I’ve got 70 something business and most of them are doing very well.   Fiscal stimulus, monetary policy, those are the conventional tools.  We’ve used them big time already.  I don’t think that fiscal stimulus or monetary policy from this point forth will do a lot, to be perfectly honest.”

On whether Berkshire would help bail out lenders in Europe:

“They need capital in their banks, in many of their banks, but they have not called us. Not quite none at all.  We would not be a good prospect.”

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TruthInSunshine's picture

Buffet was taking a bubble bath, watching Beck Quick while defecating whimsically, per his 3 p.m. daily routine, and as he was mulling over the idea of buying billions worth of C while writing another fat check to the 'Obama 2012' re-election fund, the rubber duckey phone rang, and it was SocGen calling him.

High Plains Drifter's picture

berkshire doesn't have any money. they are too busy buying back their own stock. this old bullshit artist ought to fade into the darkness and go fishing. but he can't . no not really. this is all he knows. this is his heaven. soon enough will begin his hell..............

nope-1004's picture


People who make money with money pay very low taxes.

True, but people who make money with money also produce NOTHING.  They are using system infrastructure and contribute NOTHING back.  They are a total liability.  What does Buffet make?  What is his contribution?  Anyone can tithe to a poor country out of their excesses.  I'm not judging him, I think it's great that he sends money to poor nations.

But the country is falling apart at the seams, not because the ultra rich don't pay enough taxes, because the only growing industry is "financial innovation", a transcation middleman, broker - total ponzinomics.  We need people to be productive and to work.  We don't need another broker telling everyone how little his taxes are.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Buffet is the worst kind of fraud. He projects the image of the wise grandfather and good steward of sound financial advise, when his entire fortune was made off of his incestuous dealings with government, which supported or saved - ala 2008, so many train wrecks of companies he had large ownership stakes in that absent such governmental intervention he'd be the bankrupt fool his DNA predetermined him to be.

I'd actually dislike Buffet a tiny bit less if he was more direct and honest, like his co-kleptocrat, Charlie Munger.

nope-1004's picture

I also find it incredibly interesting to listen to Buffet explain his views on gold.  "It's in the ground, we dig it up, purchase it and it just sits there, producing nothing."

Beautiful epitaph for him, whether or not he knows it.  Couldn't of said it better myself.

The ponzi system convinced people like this that money can be made on money without productivity entering the equation.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Buffet said that Nebraska Furniture, Dairy Queen and BAC are all inherently more valuable than the extremely stable (in purchasing power for thousands of years) barbaric relic.

bigdumbnugly's picture

damn straight.  if i was a bank and saw the old geezer drop a wad like that on BAC i'd be calling on him too.

i wonder if becky quick is earning a few extra bucks on the side from these guys while she's out on maternity leave since she's the one with warren's private yellow rubber ducky number.

i'll have to go back and check his quotes.   did he say "becky called and asked if soc gen..."?

lolmao500's picture

He's wrong about gold. Gold is used in a lot of technology. Computers for example. Gold is way more useful that Buffet. Buffet is just breathing air and filling the sewers with his BS.

theotheri's picture

For industrial use gold is probably worth a few hundred bucks.  Do you want to call that the floor price then?  I was going to give you $1000/oz for jewllery but heck, a few hundred makes more sense.

macholatte's picture


The ponzi system convinced people like this that money can be made on money without productivity entering the equation.

How about making a ton of money for getting fired. That's very productive for the new unemployed.

Outsize Severance Continues for Executives, Even After Failed Tenures


I am a Man I am Forty's picture

making money on money is called capitalism

AldousHuxley's picture

Capitalism is when Koch brothers who inherited oil industries use money to cut public education funding so no ambitious smart kid doesn't come up with alternative energy that will replace oil. Because then that's a real competition unlike the fake one where Koch brothers just inherit their position in society.


Capitalism DOES NOT equal meritocracy when you only measure merit as money


We are entering a world where everything has a price. One caveat: there are  those who are born with so much money, they can buy everything

nope-1004's picture

making money on money is called capitalism

Bullshit.  Your definition is USURY.  And Usury is what the ultra rich have to keep in place to maintain their standard of living at the expense of the masses.

From Wiki:

"There is no consensus on the precise definition of capitalism, nor on how the term should be used as a historical category.[2] There is, however, little controversy that private ownership of the means of production, creation of goods or services for profit in a market, and prices and wages are elements of capitalism."

Capitalism without productivity is fractional theft.  Lack of goods produced and traded means that to make money, one has to invent a way to skim off of the transaction.  Buffet is a perfect example.


AldousHuxley's picture

I'm all for making money on money as long as the rich kid doesn't start out with $100M + massive connections vs poor kid starting out with $100K in education debt


In America, capitalism has turn rich gaining wealth by taking it from the middle class instead of rich growing because their base is also getting richer. The pie is actually shrinking and rich are taking greater share of the pie because they are spoiled brats who can't compete in the real world.


Buffet plays the same game banksters play, except banksters got too greedy due to their arrogance and lost and need bailout from uncle warren now.

Buffet > Rubinite Clintonian banksters

macholatte's picture

Huxley, I think what you said is not well thought out.

Your concept of the righteous only being poor is silly and shows that you have been brainwashed by the liberals. Howard Huges inherited a fortune and made several more fortunes from it. There are many others who did likewise as well as people who came from poor families who did very well.

Your accusation that bad deeds are done only by Americans is also rediculous. Look at the European and Mid East royalty. What have they produced in 500 years besides children? 

Open your eyes and look out the window and you just might see a world filled with capitalists from the street vendor in Mexico City to the pavement contractor in China to the Italian and German automobile makers to the wine makers in France and on and on.

Remove government control and set people free and they become capitalists. It's the law a nature.

AldousHuxley's picture

I'm not standing up for those who choose to be poor nor look down on those who choose life is not all about money as banksters may have you believe.

For every Horward Huges, there are dozen more who didn't make it. yes 1% of people make the forbes 400 list, but majority of richest 400 families inherit or inherited privilege at least upper middle class upbringing.


But capitalist competition does not produce optimal results when you don't have FAIR competition. You can't remove government protection for labor and still have bailouts for the capital.


Open your eyes and see that the real elites are anything but gifted. Bush for president? really? by sheer population statistics out of million street vendors, none of them are smarter than George W. Bush? Out of millions of Arabs, only the Saudi family is smart and fit enough to rule and control the entire oil wealth?


Admit that opportunity is not equal and you will see capitalism is just another justification for the unmerited but inherited.


You cannot be a capitalist without capital. Dumbass with $100B will win over diligent genius born with $100, 99% of the time.



macholatte's picture

I think you have a chip on your shoulder which is clouding your thinking because what you said again is not reality... at least not in the America I grew up in. I know Viet Nam immigrants who came to the USA with shit and have done very well for themselves. I have close friends who are from Mexican peasants and they have done very well. Good, honest, hard working people who grabbed for the brass ring and got a piece of it. None of them are on the Forbes list. So what? Stop being focused on the 0.5% of ultra wealthy and look and the millions who have taken advantage of their own abilities and a system that rewards their efforts.

Build a better mouse trap......

TruthInSunshine's picture

Corporations ARE part of the solution WHEN TRULY FREE, CAPITALISTIC MARKETS, and not some rigged, kleptocratic, tortured farce of a system allows literally a hundred people to decide on and plan a set of global designs, in a foolish (and ultimately futile and highly destructive) attempt at 'controlling humanity's future.'


Scamming (subsidized) corporations and financial teet suckers like General Electric and JP Morgan would not exist in a world of free markets and no central banking fraudsters. Free markets would suffocate them with their efficiency.

tmosley's picture

Corporations can't exist in a free market, as they are a creation of the state.  Companies, however, can.

FMR Bankster's picture

Rick Santeli mentioned a wealth tax this morning just to get a reaction out of the venture capital guy playing co host this morning on CNBC. Thought the guy was having a stroke. Another liberal venture cap/private equity/hedge fund type wanting to raise taxes on everyone else but himself. Hopefully Santeli will remember that suggestion the next time Buffet's on.

brew's picture

i know i'm going to get junked but, he's not one of the wealthiest people in the world by mistake.  he's rarely wrong...

TruthInSunshine's picture

Riiiight. And he also wouln't have lost 17 billion minimally had Hank 'Tanks In The Streets' Paulson, Bernankincide and TIMMMAY not bailed out AIG with some 220 billion of taxpayer monies, so that AIG could make good on its asinine bets made with/to many of Warren B's core holdings, or had the same criminals not bought toxic crap from many of Warren B's other main investments via TARP/TALF,etc.

bonddude's picture

U were scooped weeks ago on this by IMF. Captain Obvious here.

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

Should have gone lean hogs today, Warren.  You'd think an aw-shucks "salt of the earth" type would have his finger on the pulse of basic ag commodities.  Man, you're nearly as genuine as that computer nerd persona that Gates constructed for himself.  

Dave Thomas's picture

Did you notice how giddy and kind of loopy he was? And with the coughing too? I don't want to sound like a jerk or nothing but Warren is starting to remind me of Wilbur Cobb of Ren and Stimpy fame.


I mean roll that video again, and compare it to this:



covert's picture

is warren getting senile? seems so, hope not.



gojam's picture

I can confirm that the Bank of Gojam (BoG) has asked Mr Buffett for money.

He said "no".

Which was a shame as I had my eye on a Greek Island.


cabtrom's picture

Would you please just fucking die you miserable old fucking liar.

Taint Boil's picture

Don't sugar coat it or beat around the bush ..... just tell us how you really feel.

sgt_doom's picture


Neither this blog post nor that old fucking liar bothers to mention that his company has been engaged in a legal battle with the IRS regarding their owing billions in back taxes --- and this has been going on for years now.



X.inf.capt's picture

well, his daddy was a congressman...

he knows how to work the system...

AcidRastaHead's picture

Obviously the "Recovery" is now in the "you'd better find your own sugar daddy" phase.

DCFusor's picture

It might not mean much.  WB probably gets asked for money every day by everyone who knows how to reach him.  My own wealth isn't well known, but I get it all the time.  Teaches you how to say no really well.  I'm sure he gets a lot more attention than I do (thank heavens).

PulauHantu29's picture

I guess the EuroBanks read that the Nobel Peace Prize Winner Barry gave The Buffet his very own Medal of Freedom for all his generous help (in getting him re-relected).

Now they want to Tap the Buffet in turn for perhaps 20% return on EuroBonds?

I am a Man I am Forty's picture

cut a check you old sack of shit, get your hand out of my pocket!

Nascent_Variable's picture

I like how Buffett bravely volunteered to join any group that wants to voluntarily give money to the government, if anyone else was to ever choose to start such a group, and if multiple other "ultrarich" people were to join the group before he did, and if...

He's such a bold visionary in the field of pretending to have principles and indicating that you may or may not stick to them, given the right conditions.

I am a Man I am Forty's picture

Exactly, like he just can't do it on his own, just can't, always finds an excuse.

He is so full of shit and so fucking transparent.  Spends his whole life avoiding taxes and now its time for him to be the overlord of other people's money.  Wants other people to give their money to the most irresponsible, crooked, thieving slime balls in the world.

unerman's picture

Do you make $10 million per year from trading/investing?

No? Then this won't effect you. There will be no hand in your pocked over this tax.

My try to watch something other than Fox "news."

unerman's picture

Do you make $10 million per year from trading/investing?

No? Then this won't effect you. There will be no hand in your pocked over this tax.

My try to watch something other than Fox "news."

unerman's picture

Do you make $10 million per year from trading/investing?

No? Then this won't effect you. There will be no hand in your pocked over this tax.

My try to watch something other than Fox "news."

ValidName's picture

Crying about tax rates for the upper brackets is best left to an audience with lower income, and we would assume no knowledge of how the tax system really works.   Switching to a system where we all just voluntarily "cut checks" would work fine for me to as long as I designate where the money goes.  But you would cry over that too.

The bottom line is quite simple, if you are making over 300k and paying a higher rate than someone at $30k you are either to inept to hire an accountant, or your accountant is incompetent.

youngman's picture

Thats funny...no one asked me.....

Dr. Engali's picture

I wonder when Margin Stanley asked him for money?

baby_BLYTHE's picture

So Buffett says we are not in a double-dip recession, but Soros does.

tekhneek's picture

how many billionaires are ever in a recession?