Among the many things Warren Buffett is known for– being an extremely successful investor, (supposedly!) loving Cherry Coke, living in the same house he bought in 1957 for $31,500– one stands out from the crowd: his penchant for mixing folksy business wisdom with aberrant sex fetish. A short list of topics on which Buffett has injected his trademark style include: undervalued stocks (“I like an oversexed guy in a whorehouse“), Bear Stearns (“It’s like a woman taking off half her clothes and asking, ‘Should I continue?’ Even if you’re a 90-year-old eunuch, you let ‘em finish.“), the stimulus package (“First stimulus package was sort of like taking half a tablet of Viagra and having also a bunch of candy mixed in“), why people sell companies to Berkshire (“You can sell it to Berkshire, and we’ll put it in the Metropolitan Museum; it’ll have a wing all by itself; it’ll be there forever. Or you can sell it to some porn shop operator, and he’ll take the painting and he’ll make the boobs a little bigger and he’ll stick it up in the window, and some other guy will come along in a raincoat, and he’ll buy it.“) and bridge (“If I’m playing bridge and a naked woman walks by, I don’t ever see her…don’t test me on that!“). So it was probably only a matter of time until it rubbed off on his business partner, Charlie Munger, and yet this still sort of feels like someone is stepping on someone else’s toes: Read more »
Back in August, we learned that bond guru Jeffery Gundlach was “preparing a possible bid” for the Buffalo Bills, his hometown team. When yesterday it was reported that the organization had reached an agreement with Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula who offered $1.4 billion to become the new owners, we wondered how Gundlach would take the news. After all, this is a man known for getting what he wants, be it his art back from the crooks who stole it, for people to address him as the Pope, the satisfaction of throwing a party specifically designed to tell his former employer to suck it, or a vintage edition copy of Ass Traffic Vol. 49. To that end, he has never bit his tongue when commenting on a situation in which he felt he was done dirty or that others were in the wrong. So it was surprising to read the statement he released today, in which he sounded curiously upbeat about losing out on the team. Read more »
We don’t know if Paul Singer believes in karma or what-goes-around-comes-around or South American witchcraft. What we do know is that immediately after forcing Argentina into default, his hedge fund’s worst month in five years dawned.
Oh yea, by the way? Paul Singer’s worst month in five years was a 0.8% drawdown. So he’s probably not too worried. Read more »
Traders at at the House of Moynihan should reportedly gird their loins as of next Monday. Read more »
Not really! But, seriously, he’s ready to hand out most of what he’s got to give the bankrupt bank’s unsecured creditors before sitting down to fill out some hellaciously complicated tax forms. Read more »
Well, more likely, someone who works for him is. Yesterday, someone forgot to double-check his or her SEC corporate tag glossary and scared the shit out of Gannett management, when he or she was actually trying to scare the shit out of Hertz management, which may not be necessary anymore because Hertz seems to have gotten the message. Read more »
While he’s in a chatty mood vis-à-vis Allergan, the Pershing Square chief might want to tap that flow, since someone who has covered the Botox-maker for a whole year thinks he’s got this thing in the bag. More or less. Read more »
Dollar General Takes Family Dollar Offer to Shareholders (Bloomberg)
Dollar General, based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, has commenced an offer for all Family Dollar shares at $80 each, according to a statement today. The move follows Family Dollar’s rejection of an acquisition proposal at that price last week. The takeover target has accepted a lower bid from Dollar Tree Inc. (DLTR) instead, saying that deal will more easily gain regulatory clearance. The hostile offer ratchets up a three-way takeover battle that has grown increasingly rancorous. Dollar General has suggested that Family Dollar would prefer the Dollar Tree transaction in part because it includes a management role for Chief Executive Officer Howard Levine. Family Dollar, meanwhile, has said that Dollar General hasn’t sufficiently dealt with antitrust concerns for a merger that would create a massive retail chain with almost 20,000 locations.
Currency Markets Jolted After Months of Calm (WSJ)
“A confluence of different factors is provoking or fueling the rising volatility,” said Mitul Kotecha, head of foreign-exchange strategy at Barclays in Singapore. “In the U.K., the Scottish referendum, in Europe, the anticipation around the European Central Bank’s next moves and in the U.S., the realization that the market may be mis-pricing the path of the federal-funds rate; in Japan, the renewed speculation around the Bank of Japan’s actions.”
Trump Entertainment begins race to save Atlantic City casino (Reuters)
Trump Entertainment Resorts received U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval on Wednesday for an agreement that gives it 30 days to craft a cost-cutting turnaround plan to save its Taj Mahal casino-hotel from liquidation. A lawyer for Trump Entertainment said after the hearing in Wilmington, Delaware, that the company could present a plan to end operations. “It could be a liquidating plan, but we hope not,” said Kristopher Hansen, an attorney with Stroock & Stroock & Lavan who represents Trump Entertainment. The company plans to close the smaller of its two casinos, the Trump Plaza, next week. It will become the fourth casino-hotel to close in the New Jersey seaside resort this year.
Dartmouth’s Fall in Rankings Hampers Effort on Reputation (Bloomberg)
Dartmouth College’s fall from the Top 10 in a national university ranking is the latest setback for the Ivy League school that’s trying to repair its image after controversies about hazing, drinking and sexual assault. Dartmouth dropped to 11th place from a tie for 10th in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of top U.S. academic research institutions released yesterday…Dartmouth, ranked ninth by U.S. News four years ago, has been in the spotlight for more than a year for tales of fraternity hazing and a federal sexual harassment probe. The Hanover, New Hampshire-based college has introduced initiatives to address a student behavior. It now needs to adjust its message and present a plan for Greek life that’s more appealing to parents of prospective students, marketing and admissions consultants said.
Ana Botin Succeeds Father at Santander, Now Top Female Banker in Europe (Bloomberg)
Santander’s board today named Botin, 53, to the top executive post at Europe’s second-biggest bank by market value in a unanimous vote. Botin, who is giving up her post as chief executive officer of Santander’s U.K. business, replaces her father Emilio who died of a heart attack at the age of 79.
Man Stabs Coworker Who Ate His Meatball: Cops (HP)
A 31-year-old employee at a Fallston, Maryland business is accused of attacking a fellow employee who ate one of his meatballs, the Baltimore Sun reports. Cops say they were called to the scene at around 11:10 a.m. Thursday, after they say the man stabbed his lunch-pilfering coworker in the arm. The victim was taken to a hospital but has since been discharged. Harford County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Cristie told The Baltimore Sun that charges are pending. Read more »