Warren Buffett

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 »

The economy really is back, at least in Singapore, home to the mysterious Andy Chua, non-communicative businessman and last-second eBay bidding expert, who snagged the chance to have the Oracle translate what exactly he scrawled in support of a California pension trustee’s opposition to hedge funds. Read more »

The highlight of Buffettstock is always Warren’s five-hour, off-the-cuff Q&A session with Berkshire investors at Omaha’s CenturyLink Arena, and this year was no different. The Berkshire chief and sidekick Charlie Munger ranged over a variety of topics for 38,000 adoring fans, including: Did they fuck up, re: Coke? Should a 59-year-old volunteer sheriff and college dropout take over as Berkshire chair when the 83-year-old Buffett expires? Can they invest all of the money they’re making?* And, last but not least, stuff they don’t like, notably high-frequency trading and activist investors. Read more »

In a few short weeks from now, Berkshire Hathaway will hold its annual shareholder meeting in Omaha. For many, this is the social event of the year, a chance to buy deeply discounted products owned by the company and a rare opportunity to stand in close proximity to Berkshire CEO Warren Buffett. But for the last number of years, a dark cloud has hovered over the festivities, thanks to local hotels who see the meeting, to which thousands of people flock, as a convenient time to hike their prices. The opportunistic increase in rates rankles many, but none more than Buffett, who has reportedly had it up to here with the bull shit. And this is what he’s doing about it:

The billionaire investor is planning to mention the [Airbnb] at Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s upcoming annual shareholders’ meeting on May 3 as a low-cost alternative for shareholders who don’t want to pay the jacked-up rates that Omaha hotels charge while the gathering is taking place every year…This price-gouging annoys Mr. Buffett, who says shareholders shouldn’t have to pay through their noses for a trip that, when the plane flight and other expenses are included, can add up to several thousand dollars. (Another annoyance for Mr. Buffett: Airlines also raise their Omaha fares for the weekend.) Many shareholders bring their spouses or families along for the weekend, where Berkshire’s more than 70 operating companies offer discounts on their wares. What’s more, many hotels enforce a two- or three-night minimum stay for the weekend.

If it seems unusual for the CEO of a multinational conglomerate to get involved in details like the accommodations of shareholders, you’re right, it is unusual. Brian Moynihan doesn’t call up the Marriott and try to negotiate a better price for investors flying in for the weekend and Jim Gorman doesn’t stock welcome bags with bottled water and pretzels for stakeholders coming in to see him. But Warren Buffett isn’t a regular old CEO. He’s one part chief executive, two parts self-described Mama Bear. Read more »

Not-so-poor old Warren Buffett is taking a beating: First, Marc Andreessen went for the low blow re: bitcoin. Perhaps staggered by the epithet, or perhaps unable to see the “Welcome to New York City” signs on the Outerbridge Crossing from the top of Berkshire Hathaway HQ in Omaha, or perhaps having failed to memorize all 6,000 Dairy Queen locations, or perhaps thinking (correctly) that Staten Island doesn’t look much like New York City, or perhaps taking sides in a contentious non-debate about whether in fact Staten Island should make like the Crimea and secede, a position supported by dozens of Staten Islanders and many more beyond its shores, for whom the city’s fifth borough lost its utility upon the closing of the Fresh Kills Landfill in 2001, or perhaps simply making a minor mistake, the Blizzard purveyor has committed a faux-pas tailor-made for the modern outrage industry. Read more »

A middle-aged white guy (who is also an innovator in the field of conflict-of-interest resolution) has some harsh words for an older white guy who had the audacity to question the validity of something that appears highly validity-impaired at the moment. Read more »

  • 17 Mar 2014 at 9:30 AM

Pay Raise Watch ’14: Warren Buffett, Bill Gates

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc has urged shareholders to vote against a proposal that it consider spending some of its $48.2 billion of cash on a “meaningful” dividend. According to a Berkshire proxy filing on Friday, David Witt, a Cincinnati resident who owns nearly $8,600 of Berkshire stock, will propose the payout at the company’s May 3 annual meeting. Berkshire has not paid a cash dividend since 1967…Berkshire also disclosed that Buffett’s compensation rose 15 percent last year to $485,606. That includes his usual $100,000 salary, plus $385,606 for personal and home security. The company also said it paid most directors an extra $300 last year. That meant Bill Gates, the Microsoft Corp co-founder and world’s richest person, was awarded $2,100 last year for his work as a Berkshire director. [Reuters]