DealBreaker’s Birthday

Thanks for the Memories: Aleksey Vayner!

vaynerinthenewyorktimes.jpgFinally we come to the man who needs no introduction, Aleksey Vayner. We discovered Aleksey when his resume reached our desks, and on its second page there was a web address for his personal website. That led to his video resume, which was one of the most amazing things we had ever seen.
It had the vague feeling of a bad infomercial. The fake interview format. The cutaways to demonstrative videos of Aleksey skiing, dancing, lifting weights, playing tennis and using his ninja powers to break bricks like he was Vice Chancellor Leo Strine. The completely straight forward way it used motivational speaking clichés as if they were part of an actual human dialect. The bad lighting.
The video was so good—by which we mean awful—that we thought we were being set-up. The guy was at Yale, where the publish the Rumpus. Maybe this was some sort of smart-alec ivy-league prank. Was some clever kid inside Calhoun hall rocking back in his dorm room, waiting for the world to take his bait.
But it was all too real. Very soon the video was everywhere, and Aleksey Vayner was everywhere as well. Newspapers tracked him down, and he went into hiding somewhere in an area of Manhattan called “uptown.” As far as we can tell, he’s never been heard from again.
We wouldn’t have had the same year without you Aleksey. Whenever we raise a glass and think about DealBreaker’s first year pounding the pavement keyboard, we’ll raise it a bit higher because of you. Thanks man.
And a big cheers to Warren and Lucy, too. And to all the other stories that made this such a fun and wild first year. May there be many more to come, years and stories.
And another thanks to you, our readers. This was all made possible because of you—literally, you guys sent us most of what we used. So thanks. Really. Keep it coming. Tips(at)dealbreaker(dot)com. And keep reading, commenting and making money. It’s what makes our world go around.
After the jump we bring you the original Aleksey Vayner video: Imposible Is Nothing.
Here is the link to our first ever Aleksey Vayner post. And here is our entire Aleksey Vayner archive.

[And one more note: there’s still so much we couldn’t get to today that we’re extending our birthday through tomorrow! All weekend, in fact. It’s a DealBreaker birthday extravaganza!]

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Thanks for the Memories: Warren Buffett!

warrenbuffettbirthday.jpgWarren Buffett is probably the most beloved figure in American finance. He is adored by his shareholders, and the annual statements of his company are read like they came from a burning bush with a better sense of humor. The shareholders meeting in Omaha is Woodstock for the financially conservative. And, as we discovered when we started picking on him, his fans lash out at his detractors like members of some cult who are defending their sacred idol.
Which gave us an idea.
Warren Buffett has often used the phrase “there are many ways of getting to heaven” to refer to the idea that there are lots of paths to success. At some point he decided to refer to his decision to donate most of his fortune to a charity founded by his friend Bill Gates as one of the ways of getting into heaven.
So we decided to take him literally. We interviewed a Catholic theologian and a Baptist minister about the various ways of getting in to heaven…sorry, Heaven…and asked whether Buffett had discovered one in the charities of Gates. The answer was not a happy one for the soul of the revered Mr. Buffett.
But what really surprised us was that the Oracle of Omaha responded. He wrote a letter to our Catholic theologian explaining that we had him all wrong. After the jump you can check out Warren Buffett’s letter about why he may not be going to Hell after all.

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Happy Birthday DealBreaker!

dealbreakerbirthday.jpgToday marks the one year anniversary of the launch of DealBreaker. We started under the theory that greed is good entertaining and the past year has certainly borne that out.
We also suspected that there were plenty of stories lurking on Wall Street and on the streets and behind the hedges of Greenwich that deserved to be told. And, usually, made fun of. That has turned out to be truer than we could have ever hoped.
We’ve grown over the past year, and changed in little ways. We’ve lost our superman stytle mascot—Mr. DealBreaker—and cleaned up the look of the site. Elizabeth still oversees operations, David Minkin still manages the show and tells advertisers where on our website we’ll let them hawk their wares, Joe wakes up earlier than everyone else, we’ve got Bess now, and a guy named John Carney showed up one day to poke fun of Donald Trump. Somehow he never left.
Much of our success has come from little Dutch boys who occasionally take their fingers out of the Chinese Walls that hold up our great financial institutions and send an email to tips(at)dealbreaker(dot)com. This day is officially dedicated to you guys, our sources. We couldn’t have done it without you. Thanks so much. And please keep them coming. No story is too small—from the fifth floor copier that lights on fire in the compliance office to the worst experience you’ve ever had riding in a town car on the way home from work—and certainly no story is too large.
So happy birthday to us! And thanks to everyone who helped make this happen.