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.
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.