Tag Archive | "warren-buffett"

Warren Buffett Makes His Office Debut

Tags: , , , , , , ,


He plays hardball over travel reimbursement and wants to make sure his personal calls are kept on the DL.

[5:00 minute mark]



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Write-Offs: 05.17.11

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


$$$ In Europe, a first call for IMF chief Strauss-Kahn to quit (WaPo)

$$$ This is what Ben Stein had to say about the Dominique Strauss-Kahn situation: “The prosecutors say that Mr. Strauss-Kahn “forced” the complainant to have oral and other sex with him. How? Did he have a gun? Did he have a knife? He’s a short fat old man. They were in a hotel with people passing by the room constantly, if it’s anything like the many hotels I am in. How did he intimidate her in that situation? And if he was so intimidating, why did she immediately feel un-intimidated enough to alert the authorities as to her story?” (American Spectator)

$$$ A Once-Tight Flock at Goldman, Now Scattered [Dealbook]

$$$ Skepticism grows on Geithner’s debt limit deadline (Reuters)

$$$ losing faith in world economy (FT)

$$$ Hedge Funds Line Up for AIG Pitch Meeting (CNBC)

$$$ LinkedIn IPO: Biggest Price Bump Since Tech Bubble (Deal Journal)

$$$ Goldman’s Hatzius: The Next US Recession ‘Is Years Away‘ (CNBC)

$$$ Barclays Pays Its Top Staff 7% Interest on Five-Year Deferred Cash Bonuses (Bloomberg)

$$$ Dennis Berman: The Midwest Medicis’ Favorite Financier [WSJ]

$$$ A colour-coded guide to the Greek crisis (BofA/ML via FT Alphaville)

$$$ Reality vs. Matt Taibbi, Part I [Stone Street Advisors]

$$$ Warren Buffett’s Ride on the Rails Is Paying Off (Businessweek)

$$$ Suit vs Citigroup execs over mortgages tossed out (Reuters)

$$$ Kohn ‘regrets’ pain of millions in financial crisis (FT)

$$$ Warren and Me [The Reformed Broker via Easy Street/Heidi Moore]

$$$ fine fat people for not dieting? (BBC)

$$$ Famed NYC eatery Elaine’s to close down six months after owner Elaine Kaufman dies (NYDN)

$$$ Vikram Pandit Wants You To Like Him [TSC]



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Write-Offs: 05.17.11

Tags: , , , ,


$$$ In Europe, a first call for IMF chief Strauss-Kahn to quit (WaPo)

$$$ This is what Ben Stein had to say about the Dominique Strauss-Kahn situation: “The prosecutors say that Mr. Strauss-Kahn “forced” the complainant to have oral and other sex with him. How? Did he have a gun? Did he have a knife? He’s a short fat old man. They were in a hotel with people passing by the room constantly, if it’s anything like the many hotels I am in. How did he intimidate her in that situation? And if he was so intimidating, why did she immediately feel un-intimidated enough to alert the authorities as to her story?” (American Spectator)

$$$ A Once-Tight Flock at Goldman, Now Scattered [Dealbook]

$$$ Skepticism grows on Geithner’s debt limit deadline (Reuters)

$$$ losing faith in world economy (FT)

$$$ Hedge Funds Line Up for AIG Pitch Meeting (CNBC)

$$$ LinkedIn IPO: Biggest Price Bump Since Tech Bubble (Deal Journal)

$$$ Goldman’s Hatzius: The Next US Recession ‘Is Years Away‘ (CNBC)

$$$ Barclays Pays Its Top Staff 7% Interest on Five-Year Deferred Cash Bonuses (Bloomberg)

$$$ Dennis Berman: The Midwest Medicis’ Favorite Financier [WSJ]

$$$ A colour-coded guide to the Greek crisis (BofA/ML via FT Alphaville)

$$$ Reality vs. Matt Taibbi, Part I [Stone Street Advisors]

$$$ Warren Buffett’s Ride on the Rails Is Paying Off (Businessweek)

$$$ Suit vs Citigroup execs over mortgages tossed out (Reuters)

$$$ Kohn ‘regrets’ pain of millions in financial crisis (FT)

$$$ Warren and Me [The Reformed Broker via Easy Street/Heidi Moore]

$$$ fine fat people for not dieting? (BBC)

$$$ Famed NYC eatery Elaine’s to close down six months after owner Elaine Kaufman dies (NYDN)

$$$ Vikram Pandit Wants You To Like Him [TSC]



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Write-Offs: 05.17.11

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


$$$ In Europe, a first call for IMF chief Strauss-Kahn to quit (WaPo)

$$$ This is what Ben Stein had to say about the Dominique Strauss-Kahn situation: “The prosecutors say that Mr. Strauss-Kahn “forced” the complainant to have oral and other sex with him. How? Did he have a gun? Did he have a knife? He’s a short fat old man. They were in a hotel with people passing by the room constantly, if it’s anything like the many hotels I am in. How did he intimidate her in that situation? And if he was so intimidating, why did she immediately feel un-intimidated enough to alert the authorities as to her story?” (American Spectator)

$$$ A Once-Tight Flock at Goldman, Now Scattered [Dealbook]

$$$ Skepticism grows on Geithner’s debt limit deadline (Reuters)

$$$ losing faith in world economy (FT)

$$$ Hedge Funds Line Up for AIG Pitch Meeting (CNBC)

$$$ LinkedIn IPO: Biggest Price Bump Since Tech Bubble (Deal Journal)

$$$ Goldman’s Hatzius: The Next US Recession ‘Is Years Away‘ (CNBC)

$$$ Barclays Pays Its Top Staff 7% Interest on Five-Year Deferred Cash Bonuses (Bloomberg)

$$$ Dennis Berman: The Midwest Medicis’ Favorite Financier [WSJ]

$$$ A colour-coded guide to the Greek crisis (BofA/ML via FT Alphaville)

$$$ Reality vs. Matt Taibbi, Part I [Stone Street Advisors]

$$$ Warren Buffett’s Ride on the Rails Is Paying Off (Businessweek)

$$$ Suit vs Citigroup execs over mortgages tossed out (Reuters)

$$$ Kohn ‘regrets’ pain of millions in financial crisis (FT)

$$$ Warren and Me [The Reformed Broker via Easy Street/Heidi Moore]

$$$ fine fat people for not dieting? (BBC)

$$$ Famed NYC eatery Elaine’s to close down six months after owner Elaine Kaufman dies (NYDN)

$$$ Vikram Pandit Wants You To Like Him [TSC]



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

DB At The Movies: Too Big To Fail

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


If you’ve been keeping up with your HBO original programming schedule, you know that Too Big To Fail, the movie based on Andrew Ross Sorkin’s 2009 book, airs next Monday evening. Last night was the premiere at the Museum of Modern Art and while the trailers looked promising, in order to make sure none of you wasted any of your precious time or DVR space in the event it wasn’t worth it, I attended to see how things turned out and report back. Warren Buffett did the same, though was initially met with some opposition at the door, in an encounter that went like this:

Door girls: Do you have your ticket?
Buffett: Uh…no…
Door girls: You need your tickets.
Buffett: Oh, uh…we were invited..
[One of Buffett's dates]: This is Warren Buffett.
[The group is seated]

Other people in attendance who did have their tickets, included but were not limited to: George Soros (with a entourage of lady friends), Meredith Whitney in a white pinstriped suit, Becky Quick, Rodgin Cohen, Regis Philbin, Michael Douglas and all the actors from the flick (William Hurt, Paul Giamatti, Billy Crudup, James Woods, Bill Pullman, Evan Handler, Tony Shalhoub, Matthew Modine, Ed Asner), though not all the real life people they portray (Jamie Dimon was getting ready for today’s JPM shareholder meeting in Ohio, Fuld was probably busy plotting his comeback).

The movie condenses Sorkin’s 539 page book into about 90 minutes and traces the slightly tense moments that were 2008 just after Bear Stearns was bought to the day Paulson locked the top bank CEO’s in a room and and forced them to accept his capital injections. William Hurt does a pretty badass Hank– who gets the most screen time by far– having spent a few days fishing with him in preparation for the role (during which one would hope HP described what it was like threatening to send Ken Lewis home in a body bag if he backed out of the Merrill Lynch deal). I liked it, you probably will too.** Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

Who Will Like TBTF

- Hank Paulson: The former Treasury Secretary is the lead role; the movie shows his sleepless nights, his afternoons spent vomiting, and his attempt to SAVE AMERICA, all without shotgunning just one beer or a single tablespoon of Pepto-Bismol like you know he wanted to but which Christian Science prohibits. The movie even gets into his bird fetish, opening with Paulson observing a majestic red tailed hawk outside his window.

- Tim Geithner: Who producers decided resembles Billy Crudup (who plays “freaked the fuck out” pretty well)

- Ben Bernanke: Paul Giamatti grew a beard and (adorable) jowls to play the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, which he mostly does from the shadows- in a poorly lit room where he and Paulson discuss the fact that the economy might collapse over breakfast or emerging from a corner, where he might as well be holding a flashlight under his chin as he informs Congress or the bank CEOs that they can 1. do what he and Paulson are telling them to do or 2. don’t and be responsible for a Depression worse than the one he studied at Princeton (his pump up speeches are some of the best parts of the movie)

- Jamie Dimon: Every time JD- played by Bill Pullman- appears on screen we’re told in one way or another that he’s the smart banker, the responsible banker, the King of the Bankers (**Dimon’s only gripe may be that Bill Pullman doesn’t entirely pull off the innate coolness, which isn’t his fault- Jamie was born this way and some things can’t be taught; it’d be like asking Pavarotti, “teach me to sing like you.”)

- Lloyd Blankfein: The Goldman CEO is described as “a superstar,” but more importantly, Evan Handler actually nails the various The Lloyd Face(s), which some of us (me) were very skeptical anyone could do

- John Mack: While Tony Shalhoub’s Southern accent is more of a cross between a Southern and Western accent, Mack’s character fares well and gets one of the funnier (fictional?) lines of the movie: “Great, here comes E-Harmony,” when Geithner is calling him about the idea to merge the investment banks with commercial banks.

- Vikram Pandit: If he can get past the “no one knows if he’s running Citi or Citi’s running him” line, and is ready to laugh about all this, the actor who plays him does justice to the scene in which Pandit turns down Lloyd.

- CNBC: The network financial crisis coverage is threaded throughout the movie with Erin Burnett, Maria Bartiromo and Steve Liesman getting the most shout-outs

- Christian Scientists: They ought to appreciate the scene in which Hank Paulson flushes the sleeping pills someone on his staff gave him, as a commitment to his faith.

- Andrew Ross Sorkin: Someone got a cameo

- The (Our) Lehman Coffee Cart Guy: Oh yeah, there’s a nice lingering shot of his setup.

People Who Will Not Like TBTF

- John Thain: If the (unintentionally hilariously) bad toupee on Matthew Modine doesn’t do it, the fact that he’s pointedly made to look like the world’s biggest prick in every scene he appears might do it (Thain is portrayed as “selfish” (Paulson/Hurt’s words), conniving and greedy, and arguably comes off worse than Fuld)

- Charlie Gasparino: Who is not featured in any of the CNBC footage

- People Who Are “Tim Geithner Can Go Fuck Himself” Purists: This group will likely not appreciate the rewrite of the line uttered by John Mack while trying to do a deal with Mitsubishi and being repeatedly called by Tim Geithner. In the movie, he tells his secretary to pass on the message, “Tell Geithner he can blow me”

Wildcard

- Warren Buffett: On the one hand, when discussed by other characters, the point is driven home that he’s The Most Important Banker/Elder Statesman/ What Have You in the world. On the other, Ed Asner is about 40 pounds heavier, looks like a slob throughout the movie and deploys no folksy business wisdom con aberrant sex fetish. On the third, Buffett said at the 4 Seasons party afterwards that he thought the movie/Ed were great (and that “he did an excellent job portraying such a glamorous guy”)

- Alan Greenspan: Probably proud of the mention (Paulson to Bernanke: “Greenspan suggested we buy up all the vacant houses and burn them down”) but miffed at not having the entire movie be about him and his reign as Grand High Poobah

- Chris Cox: Comes off as kind of a pussy/imbecile but perhaps he’ll appreciate the accuracy?

- Barney Frank: Totally at a loss for whether or not he’ll approve of the outside the box casting of Dan Hedaya.

- Dick Fuld: Hear me out on this one. Yes, the movie (accurately) depicts Dick Fuld thinking that everything at Lehman was all good in the hood, that the only problem was “the god damn shorts,” that Lehman, as late as August 2008, would “stand strong and eat Goldman’s lunch,” that he wouldn’t fuck up the potential deal with Korea Development Bank by coming in and making the case that Lehman’s real estate holdings had a lot of value. But Fuld is also portrayed as actually caring about the bank and it’s employees, in his own way (which, if he wanted to show he cared, shouldn’t have blown a hole in their balance sheet and done some other stuff but retrospect, etc). Plus, he gets to watch himself be played by James Woods and who wouldn’t like that?

- Blankfein Humor Scholars: These people will likely be divided in their opinion that LB’s quips are generally more of the more subtle variety than, when discussing Paulson’s failure to get the authority from the FSA to do the Barclays/Lehman deal, “He didn’t drop the ball- he dropped the ball, kicked the coach in the nuts and took a shit in the quarterback’s mouth”

**Although you might not like the closing captions which I think some of you should probably close your eyes for if you’ve got blood pressure/heart problems and which I want to mention so badly but I won’t so see it and then we can discuss.



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Warren Buffett’s Years Of Regional Theater Finally Starting Pay Off

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


Last month, Warren Buffett received some devastating news- his beloved soap, All My Children, was getting the ax. The cancelation was difficult to take not only because Buffett has faithfully kept up with the characters, who felt more like friends, every day for the 50-odd years it’s been on, but because as a struggling actor, it was the one gig he could count on. Over the years, Buffett has appeared on AMC a handful of times and with the pricks at ABC killing it off, it was unclear what he was gonna do. Show up to open casting calls? Take his clothes off for some producer looking to take advantage? Luckily, it appears as though we may not have to find out.

The Hollywood Reporter said that Mr. Buffett had joined the roster of guest stars planned for the “Office” finale, which NBC will show on May 19. That lineup includes Ricky Gervais, Will Ferrell, Jim Carrey, Will Arnett, Ray Romano and others better known for their comedy chops than their business acumen. Mr. Buffett is to play one of many characters seeking the vacated regional manager’s post at the Scranton, Pa., branch of the Dunder Mifflin paper company.

Clearly this has the trappings a big break moment.

[ArtsBeat via Dealbook]



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Andrew Sorkin Wants To Hear Warren Buffett Say “I’m Upset With Myself”

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


As you may have heard, this weekend is Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting. As he has in the past, CEO Warren Buffett will speak at length, and unlike time’s past, this year’s talk will include at least one awkward topic, that being the David Sokol/Lubrizol incident. We previously came up with a bunch of WB-esque words he could offer that would get him back in everyone’s good graces, including but not limited to:

“While nothing illegal went down on Berkshire’s watch, what David did is not the way we expect people to conduct themselves and it certainly left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. Not unlike what I imagine would be the result of some boyhood experimentation on the farm and a cow with some funky tasting spunk.”

According to Andrew Ross Sorkin, who will be at the meeting, if Buffett wants to make things cool with shareholders, he can’t just say he was disappointed in David Sokol but that he was disappointed in himself.

It’s possible (though highly unlikely) that ARS and I are wrong. If you’re a Berkshire Hathaway shareholder, what would get you to decide the whole thing is water under the bridge? Is it a mea culpa or something else? As Buffett may not have found the words himself, perhaps you should just tell him what you want. A walking tour of his favorite whorehouse? His butler services for one year? An all-access pass to walk into any Dairy Queen across the country and stick your mouth under the soft serve machine without getting shit for it?



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Berkshire Hathaway Was Just Kidding When It Said David Sokol Hadn’t Done Anything Wrong

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


The audit committee has concluded he “violated the company’s standards of ethics” vis-a-vis the whole Lubrizol incident.

Berkshire Hathaway audit report

[via Dealbook]



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Warren Buffett’s Head Of Security Makes Roughly Three Times More Than His Boss

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


And other things you may not have known about the guy who will be all over your ass should you so much as look at WB the wrong way (such as his name: Dan Clark).

* Clark got the gig protecting Buffett after meeting his daughter buying bagels.

[Seventeen years ago] Dan Clark was a young Weed and Seed officer patrolling Omaha’s north side. He happened to lunch in the same spot as Buffett’s daughter, Susie, who was bothered by breaking news that Wisconsin bank robbers had plotted to kidnap her father. Susie Buffett asked the uniformed Clark why police wouldn’t have informed her family earlier. Clark recalled telling her that he was not privy to details, but that the Buffetts should have been contacted. Before he left, Clark offered his private security services — and shortly afterward, he was hired to protect the famed CEO of Omaha’s Berkshire Hathaway.

* He’s “a buff martial arts practitioner”

* The early days on the job were rough.

“The first year it was me, with a protein bar in my pocket, with Mr. Buffett,” Clark recalled. “I didn’t take a meal break, and I didn’t sit down. By the end of the weekend, I was dog-tired.”

* He’s a great defensive driver

Another time Clark swerved to avoid a car running a red light. “It was one of those reaffirming moments,” he said, “that you can never let your guard down.”

* His biggest threat? The animals in the press.

“The reality is I have protected him more from the press and crowds than from assaults.” He recalled a backpedaling photojournalist who, in his persistence to get a good shot, rammed into and broke off the side mirror of the CEO’s car. “Mr. Buffett just shook his head.”

* He’ll do anything for a job.

In 2008, Clark was named Crime Stoppers Officer of the Year for his role in taking apart two large narcotics operations. Road Trip II had him in deep disguise, gaining the trust of drug lords. He once engaged in a semi-friendly coin toss to settle a negotiation over the price of an assault weapon. (Clark won the flip, reducing the cost by $100.) Clark had so changed his appearance for that bust — his red, short-cropped hair was dyed dark, and he had a beard and extra weight — that his own daughter backed away when he showed up to drive her home from dance class.

* He made $349,946 last year, versus Buffett’s $100,000

* He can’t get over Buffett’s reflexes (like a cat) and speed (of a mongoose)

This week’s Berkshire meeting, however, presents Clark with his largest annual task. His associates are busy climbing through ductwork, examining catwalks, sweeping meeting rooms. Security guards will be dispatched throughout the city. Clark also coordinates with area law enforcement agencies. The pre-planning phase grows each year with the crowd. But one thing hasn’t changed, Clark said. Buffett, now 80, still walks quickly, “can change directions on a dime” and keeps Clark’s guys hopping.

He Follows Buffett’s Every Move [Omaha via Dealbook]



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Goldman Sachs Officially Pays Back Warren Buffett

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


On the heels of a no good very bad month that’s included a (former) lieutenant causing trouble and his beloved All My Children getting canceled, Goldman Sachs has really put the icing on Warren Buffett’s cake.

The bank apparently bought back the preferred stock it sold Berkshire Hathaway when things got tense in 2008. As Goldman and Wall Street were in a bit of a bind at the time, Buffett was able to demand a set-up that made him more than $15 a second. That gravy train officially ended today, when GS sent WB $5.5 billion, not even having the decency to make him feel better about it by sending a camera crew, some balloons, and couple of employees bearing a massive cardboard check, doing this thing up Publisher’s Clearing House-style. [CNBC]



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker