Going soft

You Know How We Feel About This

warren_buffett.jpgWarren Buffett has once again reduced Berkshire Hathaway’s stake in PetroChina. Are you surprised? You shouldn’t be. This is the sixth time since July that Buffett has sold shares in the oil and gas producer, this time unloading 220.5 million worth about $362 million, at an average price of HK$12.80 each. BRK’s holdings in Petro are now down nearly half, to 5.44% from a summer high of 11.05%. The fact that PetroChina’s stock hit a record high last week has caused horribly naïve analysts to cite “money” as being a large factor, if not the only factor, in Buffett’s September 25 sale, though the true pink elephant in the room that no one will touch (not even Punk Ziegal & Co) is that sometime in July, Buffett started making a conscious effort to disassociate himself from genocide.
His choice to stop funding the population project in the Sudan—after rejecting a Berkshire shareholder’s proposal to sell the entire PetroChina stake because of the parent company’s ties to the Sudanese government in May—is just one in a series of truly bizarre decisions on Buffett’s part, including but not limited to (possibly) mulling a stake in a firm at which you can take a few days off to play cards in midst of an enormous crisis but the line is drawn (and fired) at two weeks, and not pressing charges following John Carney’s attempted burglary at Buffett’s Omaha house.
Earlier: Washing Our Hands Of The Situation
Why Doesn’t Warren Buffett Want To Fund Genocide Anymore?
You Say Harem, I Say Whorehouse
Buffett Sells PetroChina Shares for the Sixth Time [CNBC]

warrenbuffettwasrobbed.jpgFor reasons totally lost on us, Warren Buffett has once again scaled back Berkshire Hathaway’s stake in PetroChina. In July, Berk sold holdings in the company worth $27 million. Last week, it was $136 million. And just today, 28 million shares valued at $40 million, reducing BRK’s interest to a paltry 8.93 percent from over 11 percent this year.
For those of you who don’t know what this means, we’ll tell you what this means: slowly but surely, Warren Buffett is distancing himself from a government-run company that human rights activists claim has extensive involvement with the Sudan oil industry, and perpetuates what they call “the humanitarian crisis” in Darfur. (This is an overly dramatic way of spinning the truth, which is simply that the region is going through a restructuring of its population.)
Until fairly recently, Buffett had stood up to the anti-genocists, including BRK shareholder Judith Porter, who told WB that cutting ties with PTR would “send a signal to China and to the Sudan that there are costs for continuing this destruction.” Buffett argued that he and Berkshire had nothing to do with the “situation,” and that Judy and everyone else ought to quit their bitching. And when asked if today’s and last week’s and July’s sale had anything to do with a decision to take responsibility for aiding and abet serial killers, he said no. And analysts are in agreement: they think it’s just about “the money.”
But we know they’re lying. Nobody wants to admit it, but something’s going on with that old kook, and he’s going soft. Is it the new, young, probably liberal wife’s influence? A sudden fear that John Carney, against all odds, might’ve been onto something when he asked, “is Warren Buffett going to hell?” The fact that in May, two months before he started selling, we called him an “Equal Opportunity Genocide Supporter”? (That was a compliment!) A near-death, life-changing experience? An Oreo Blizzard epiphany?
Don’t answer that. ‘Cause we don’t want to know why this happening, we just want it fixed. Let things go back to the way they were, and no one gets hurt (except maybe the Sudanese. Whatever: details). If we isolate the problem now, we may be able to salvage this thing, but we have to act fast. Today he sells a percentage of his stake in PetroChina for allegedly purely monetary reasons. Tomorrow it could be standing up in a local Dairy Queen and saying “not on my watch.” I just pray it’s not too late.
Earlier: Warren Buffett Is An Equal Opportunity Genocide Supporter
Warren Buffett Trims PetroChina Stake for Third Time [CNBC]