…the question is, why didn’t your firm have the foresight to gather everyone round to shoot a live-action holiday card that includes: the aforementioned talking camel, a middle-aged white guy pulling a Miley Cyrus, young men dressed as unicorns, a guy attempting to twerk, an elf humping air, a guy wheelbarrowing a zebra, and more twerking? Next year, do better. (We’re looking at you, Blackstone, KKR, Goldman Sachs, Citadel, Icahn Enterprises,1 and SAC.2) Read more »

According to the cover story of Bloomberg Markets Magazine’s Junes issue, entitled “Buffett and the Prince,” yes. Before we get into all that, however, just take a moment to appreciate the setting in which this interview took place:

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal sits under an almost full moon near a campfire at his rustic retreat in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He’s surrounded by a zoo with zebras and giraffes, an artificial lake and a lodge that has an indoor pool, saunas and steam rooms. Three hooded falcons are perched on stands in front of him. Five young women, dressed in black miniskirts and jackets and orange knee-high boots that match their nail polish, serve clove-and-cardamom tea to Alwaleed and his entourage.

Now, the Prince and his infatuation. Is it so much an obsession with the Oracle of O as it is one with simply being as rich as him? Obviously that’s part of it, though with a net worth of $16.6 billion, his highness has a bit of catching up to do to Buffett’s $48.7 billion (a disparity Big Al is not sweating. “When he was my age, he was not as big as me,” Alwaleed says. “I still have 20 years.”) And former aides say “being the best, being the wealthiest is what motivates [the Prince], whose preoccupation with his status and wealth is on display at Kingdom Holding’s headquarters, where bookshelves display reprints of magazine articles about his ranking on billionaire lists. After rankings are published, he sometimes issues a press release touting his position.” But there’s more than just a “I would like to have a few more billions in my name” thing going on than a serious “I want to be Warren Buffett, I want to posses Warren Buffett, if I can’t have Warren Buffett no one can” vibe emanating from Alwaleed. First off, he refers to himself as “the Buffett of Arabia.” And he takes pains to prove to reporters that he and Buffs are basically two bodies, one soul, as indicated by similarities such as the fact that they both use filing cabinets and they both wear pants (sometimes).

Read more »