The following is another exclusive transcript put together by the guys at Santangel's Review. In his must read testimony in front of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, Warren Buffett explains what he believes saved the global financial system during the depths of the crisis.
Who needs the barbarous relic? Not the Oracle of Omaha. But his anti-hard asset strategy only works if you are Warren Buffett.
The first two bids in the Glide Foundation's annual Warren Buffett lunch at Smith & Wollensky are in. Both are barely enough to cover the minimum bid of $25,000. Of course, even that price is ridiculous, as this is a totally useless way to spend a day in which the Oracle says nothing of substance, regurgitates a few anecdotes about Benjamin Graham, and discusses the latest shade of red in Becky Quick's lipstick. Alternatively, it would be amusing if Zero Hedge readers can raise the required several hundred thousand (after Warren's numerous highly hypocritical appearances, the last of which under subpoena, this year, we doubt last year's $1.68 million paid by Courtenay Wolfe of Salida Capital will be matched) so that Zero Hedge can send a representative and actually ask Mr. Buffett the tough questions that he has managed to avoid for the entire second half of his multi-billionaire life, even better that no subpoena would be required. Alternatively, for those whose greatest desire in life is to hang out with the octogenarian, they can find the E-bay auction at this link.
The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission has started its hearing on the worthlessness of Rating Agencies. As was previously reported, Warren Buffett was subpoenaed to participate in this hearing after the refused to testify voluntarily. Interested readers can watch the full hearing live and commercial free at the following C-Span 2 site.
We will never become dependent on the kindness of strangers. Too-big-to-fail is not a fallback position at Berkshire. Instead, we will always arrange our affairs so that any requirements for cash we may conceivably have will be dwarfed by our own liquidity. Moreover, that liquidity will be constantly refreshed by a gusher of earnings from our many and diverse businesses. When the financial system went into cardiac arrest in September 2008, Berkshire was a supplier of liquidity and capital to the system, not a supplicant. At the very peak of the crisis, we poured $15.5 billion into a business world that could otherwise look only to the federal government for help. Of that, $9 billion went to bolster capital at three highly-regarded and previously-secure American businesses that needed – without delay – our tangible vote of confidence. The remaining $6.5 billion satisfied our commitment to help fund the purchase of Wrigley, a deal that was completed without pause while, elsewhere, panic reigned. We pay a steep price to maintain our premier financial strength. The $20 billion-plus of cash equivalent assets that we customarily hold is earning a pittance at present. But we sleep well. - Warren Buffett
While the markets are in a finicky mood from the China and Greek factors, the rising rig count and producer's capital budget suggests that oil service markets are probably in the process of bottoming this year. Current trend of Offshore & subsea bodes well for oil infrastructure services companies that even Warren Buffett will concur.
SEC & DOJ Amend Witness Immunity Rules: Hank Greenberg, AIG, Warren Buffett, Berkshire & Gen Re Continue Raping Main StreetSubmitted by Chopshop on 01/21/2010 19:17 -0400
The SEC / DoJ rewrite witness immunity rules 'to protect investors and the integrity of markets' ... yet, just one week after unilaterally 'updating' said rules, Hank Greenberg, AIG, Warren Buffett, Berkshire and Gen Re are each given a cursory slap on the wrist after the SEC charges General Re for its role in AIG and PRU accounting frauds. Protecting the public from egregiously rampant, market manipulating fraud sounds great; essentially letting Hank Greenberg, AIG, Buffett, Berkshire and Gen Re off the hook for egregiously rampant fraud doesn't look so hot.
Is Warren Buffett's pro-bailout, anti-public interest philosophy going to cost him one of his bigger fans:
"We must stop subsidizing speculators with cheap funding and tax breaks. We have to hold people accountable for malfeasance, break up large financial institutions, and allow them to fail instead of bailing them out. (Click here for my suggestions.) As for high pay and tax breaks for speculators, even Warren Buffett says: “Hell no!” But he won’t help us make changes. U.S. taxpayers will have to figure it out, or we will pay." Janet Tavakoli
The latest AAR data is out and it is far from justifying Buffett's optimism in railroad traffic. Carloads this week were down 13.7% over one year, and 18.2% lower compared to 2007. In the ever important western section (so conveniently served by Burlington Northern) the decline is even more pronounced at 14.3% YoY. Year to Date total carloads are down an expected 18%. Maybe Warren's thinking is comparable to Steve Liesman's: from here things can only get better. Of course, unless they don't.
The fight against HFT, and intraday speculation just got serious. According to the WSJ, Warren Buffett, together with John Bogle and 25 others, have endorsed a petition that focusing on speculative stock gains "hurts the economy and may require regulation."
No, not with regard to who can put more money into struggling Hell's Angels' favorite company Harley Davidson, or who can launch another failed bond wraparound insurance company... No, we are talking Becky Quick of course, who somehow has a knack for attracting males 2-4 times her own age.
No, not with regard to who can put more money into struggling Hell's Angels' favorite company Harley Davidson, or who can launch another failed bond wraparound insurance company... No, we are talking Becky Quick of course, who somehow has a knack for attracting males 2-4 times her own age. In the clip below pay attention to Kit Bond's last words.