Although no one can be sure of Buffett's motives, it would be naïve to believe that someone as intelligent as Buffett has not considered the benefits of pushing through this tax structure. Higher taxes are always problems for entrepreneurs and regular people in the economy. However, they're often beneficial to the well-connected, who receive government bailouts and favors. And with Buffett even on the president's lips, he is becoming more connected to the power mechanism in D.C. every day. With many of Berkshire's companies, your loss as a taxpayer will be their gains.
SOTU Post Mortem:
The best news possible: "Nothing will get done this year, or next year, or maybe even the year after that." Barack Hussein Obama
The worst news: Everything else.
Here is the text of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address as prepared for delivery at 9 p.m. ET. "Jobs" 33 vs. "Fat Cats" 0, Rich 3 vs Poor 1, Hope 2 vs Unicorns 0, Change 9 vs Tooth-Fairy 0, Mortgages 5 vs Apple 0, Main Street 1 vs Wall Street 3, China 4 vs Europe 1; DEBT CEILING 0
Humans are a flawed species. Our minds are easily manipulated. We don’t like pain. We prefer instant gratification. We are susceptible to mass delusion. We will often choose hope over critical thought. Those with higher IQs will regularly attempt to take advantage of those with lower IQs. Fear and greed are the two motivations used by the minority in power to control and manipulate the majority. The American people have been led astray by a small group of powerful men. We were herded through a door in the wall of perception that promised an American dream of material goods, entitlements and pleasure with no obligations or responsibility to future generations. There is only one choice that can save this country from ruin. Each individual must make a choice to either to continue supporting the manipulative, corrupt status quo or coming back through the Door in the Wall.
“The man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser but less sure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable mystery which it tries, forever vainly, to comprehend” – Aldous Huxley
Just when one thinks American crony capitalism couldn't hit new lows, here comes Warren Buffett and his personal puppet, the president, proving everyone wrong once more. Because if one thinks there is no (s)quid pro quo for all that "sage" advice that Buffett has been giving to Obama on extracting as much wealth as possible from future wealthy Americans (before they decide they have had enough with this crony shit and leave the country for good), one would be fatally wrong. As it turns out, it is not just natural resources and aquifer purity that Obama had in mind when sealing the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline. No - it appears there were far more relevant numerial metrics that determined Obama's decisions. Such as the bottom line number of Buffett's Burlington Northern, which according to Bloomberg, is among U.S. and Canadian railroads that stand to benefit from the Obama administration’s decision to reject TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL oil pipeline permit. '“Whatever people bring to us, we’re ready to haul,” Krista York-Wooley, a spokeswoman for Burlington Northern, a unit of Buffett’s Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A), said in an interview. If Keystone XL “doesn’t happen, we’re here to haul." And quite delighted to reap the windfalls of unfounded populist fears she forgot to add. Because while the whole "carbon-credit" multi-trillion top line expansion scheme for Goldman under the pretense of actually caring for the environment may have collapsed, it is not preventing others from trying and succeeding where even Goldman has failed.
After months of increasingly aggressive shareholder activism, the long-standing co-CEOs (Balisillie and Lazaridis) of the struggling Blackberry maker have resigned as the former COO takes over as CEO and former-exchange executive takes over as chairperson.
- *RESEARCH IN MOTION CO-CEOS/CHAIRMEN QUIT POSTS :RIM CN, AAPL US
- *RIM NAMES BARBARA STYMIEST INDEPENDENT BOARD CHAIRMAN :RIM CN
- *RESEARCH IN MOTION NAMES THORSTEN HEINS PRESIDENT, CEO
Research In Motion has clearly morphed into Activism-in-Motion as the Globe and Mail reports: "The catalyst for change appears to have been the entry of a new personality: reserved but revered investor Prem Watsa, the CEO of Fairfax Financial. Mr. Watsa, who has been called Canada’s Warren Buffett." While chatter appears to be that change-is-good, G&M go on to note, "Critics of the company’s performance may not be immediately impressed by a management shakeup that involves so little fresh blood." as the Playbook fiasco is fresh in many people's minds but perhaps new CEO's Heins view that "We are not at a point where we try to define a strategy, that’s done" will not hearten those looking for real change.
Wondering why with the S&P and Nasdaq both down, the DJIA is up 60 points? Wonder no more: courtesy of a few strategic index-weighing calculations, IBM is responsible for 59.4 DJIA points, or virtually the entire up move in the most popular stock index. One company, the one which Warren Buffett so strategically picked last year to invest in, now biases the entire market to make it seem that "all is fine."
Everyone's favorite oracular-orifice-of-the-oval-office may perhaps have met his match (if not in real terms, in rhetoric) as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Warren Buffett call each other's bluff...again. As reported in Time's Swampland, the cantakerous Kentuckian said that if Buffett was feeling 'guilty' about paying too little in taxes, he should 'send in a check'. The flim-flam improves though, as Buffett mocks the 'Buffett Rule Act' that enables the rich to donate 'extra' money on their tax form as a "policy only a Republican could come up with" and then goes on to lay down the gauntlet, pledging to match one-for-one all such voluntary contributions made by Republican members of Congress. "I'll even go three for one for McConnell", Buffet pronounced (with a metaphorical white glove to McConnell's face) noting that he was not worried about the bill. So there it is, Republicans only have to donate $50 billion toward paying down debt to bankrupt Buffett.
If the pundits are counting on the US to be the engine that drives Global growth - it's going to be a very slow year indeed!
In light of last week's surprise announcement of Buffett's bailout redux of Bank of America (the first one being Goldman back in 2008), and following today's even more surprising objection by the FDIC which threatens to scuttle the Bank of Ameria settlement and force Bank of Countrywide Lynch to raise far more capital, pushing Warren to double down on his investment throwin more good money after bad, especially if the legal case moves from an Article 77-friendly NY state court to Federal, here are the philosophical thoughts from the Berkshire's oracles contained, in his "Collected Writings", on his desire to put money into banks.
Placing one’s chips on the “Don’t Pass” line when Warren Buffett holds the dice may seem ill-advised, but we’re not so sure about that $5 billion bet he just made on Bank of America. The news media inferred with all its might that it was a vote of confidence — not only in B of A, but in the U.S. banking system. Yeah, well, maybe.
Warren Buffett's Wells Fargo Busted For Lying To People, Wristslapped With $85 Million Fine By The Emperor Of Moral Hazard HimselfSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/20/2011 15:06 -0400
Shocker: the bank of Warren Buffett, that paragon of virtue and decency, busted by the capo di tutti ZIRP capi itself for lying to grandma? Surely WFC investors, who don't have to deal with their investment either admitting or denying wrongdoing, can "suck it in" and we can get Charlie Munger to preach some more fire and brimstone morality about the evils of gold and the miracles of taxpayer bailouts.
Gold has risen to new record highs in pounds and euros as concerns about contagion in the eurozone and stagflation in the UK deepen. The euro has fallen sharply in international markets and is down 1.5% against gold so far this morning. European Council President Herman Van Rompuy has called an emergency meeting of top officials dealing with the euro zone debt crisis as concerns deepen over the sovereign debt crisis spreading to Spain and Italy. Spain’s 10-year yield spread over Germany widened to a euro-era record of over 300 basis points. Italian and Portuguese bonds are also under pressure with Portuguese 10 year yields surging to 13.4%. The risk of contagion affecting European and international banks and a new banking crisis rises by the day. Meanwhile, in the U.S., President Obama is seeking a massive $4 trillion in a deficit reduction package. Failure to do so may lead to a U.S. and global sovereign debt crisis.
This guy hasn't got the slightest idea (or wants it to appear that way), and more Silver Shenanigans from Europe...
Michael Steinhardt Tells The Truth, The Whole Truth, And Especially The Truth About The Greatest "Con Job": Warren BuffettSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/05/2011 14:49 -0400
Just after dawn, hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt appeared on CNBC as the token contrarian in the Titans of Groupthink series. After some pleasantries we hit the 6 minutes mark where the formerly trite narrative experienced a flash crash. In the most candid discussion of the truth in America, Steinhardt said that “we live in an inland sea of calm waters while surrounding us are turbulent, horrible places,” to which everyone nodded soberly in agreement, unaware of what was coming next. “America seems almost as insular as it has in times past,” He continued. “America is not the wonderful place it used to be... Look at the rest of the world compared to America, look what’s happening all over and then here the biggest thing we have to worry about is how long it will take Buffett to come down to earth…how long until people like you begin to realize his reality and get off some…cloud.” Yet the smackdown of the Becky Quick/Joe Kernen Buffett-sycophant brigade was the prime attraction by far.