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Reading Warren Buffett’s Letter to the Shareholders: Wherein We Kind of Start to like the Crazy Old Guy

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If DealBreaker readers know one thing, it’s that John Carney hates Warren Buffett. Over the last several months JC has publicly taunted and ridiculed the septuagenarian and wondered aloud “how great an investor this chump really is,” polled clergy members regarding the question, “Is Warren Buffett going to hell?” and publicly aligned himself with the Dubya B’s estranged granddaughter, Nicole Buffett, not because she’s easy on the eyes—though she is and C-bombs did indeed nickname her “Nikki Sweetsmiles”—but because it was the seventh in a master 9-point plan to “get Barren Wuffett to snap."
And, to be honest, we enjoyed this inexplicable hatred of Buffett from Carnage, and often found ourselves doing nothing to stop it. When John, in a moment of clarity one afternoon, asked us if we thought it was “taking things too far” to send Buffett’s secretary an email from an anonymous Gmail account, making cryptic mention of WB’s bulldog Maude, and what might be her “unfortunate disappearance,” we said “No, not at all. It’s unclear as to why you want to insinuate that you’re going to kidnap a family pet and not, say, a family member or something a little riskier, though. Unless it’s just that you’re going soft.”
But where Carney went wrong was assigning us the task of reading Buffett’s annual shareholder letter. He’d realized that we were starting to wane on being his “F Buffett” cheerleader and thought that a good twenty-three pages of graphs and utter and complete boredom would be enough to once again fuel the fires. This is where things backfired. Apparently, Carney hadn’t anticipated that Warren Buffett is, to be frank, kind of hilarious. And what’s more, is currently planning what sounds like it’s shaping up to be a pretty, pretty, pretty sweet party, on May 5th (the annual “Woodstock for Capitalists”). But maybe I’m wrong (and drunk), so let’s examine the evidence and you tell me.
+Last year, in an effort to show his gratitude to GEICO CEO, Tony Nicely, who’s delivered “staggering productivity gains in recent years,” Buffett told shareholders, “if you have a new son or grandson, be sure to name him Tony.” After the results of 2006, shareholders were instructed: “Forget births…shareholders [should] immediately change the names of their present children to Tony or Antoinette.”
Comedy gold, example No. 1.
+Buffett owns the company that allowed the making of this video to occur:


We continue, however, to need “elephants” in order for us to use Berkshire’s flood of incoming cash. Charlie and I must therefore ignore the pursuit of mice and focus our acquisition efforts on much bigger game.
Our exemplar is the older man who crashed his grocery cart into that of a much younger fellow while both were shopping. The elderly man explained apologetically that he had lost track of his wife and was preoccupied searching for her. His new acquaintance said that by coincidence his wife had also wandered off and suggested that it might be more efficient if they jointly looked for the two women. Agreeing, the older man asked his new companion what his wife looked like. “She’s a gorgeous blonde,” the fellow answered, “with a body that would cause a bishop to go through a stained glass window, and she’s wearing tight white shorts. How about yours?” The senior citizen wasted no words: “Forget her, we’ll look for yours.”

Creepy old man, comical old man, same diff, no diff.

The good news: At 76, I feel terrific and, according to all measurable indicators, am in excellent health. It’s amazing what Cherry Coke and hamburgers will do for a fellow.

Not above an old “Good news, I’m not dead!" joke.

On Sunday, in a tent outside of Borsheim’s, a blindfolded Patrick Wolff, twice U.S. chess champion, will take on all comers – who will have their eyes wide open – in groups of six. Last year I carried on a conversation with Patrick while he played in this manner. Nearby, Norman Beck, a remarkable magician from Dallas, will bewilder onlookers.

He knows that a trick is something a whore does for money and sometimes cocaine but magic, magic is something truly special.

To add to the Sunday fun at Borsheim’s, Ariel Hsing will play table tennis (ping-pong to the uninitiated) from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. against anyone brave enough to take her on. Ariel, though only 11, is ranked number one among girls under 16 in the U.S. (and number 1 among both boys and girls under 12). The week I turned 75 I played Ariel, then 9 and barely tall enough to see across the table, thinking I would take it easy on her so as not to crush her young spirit. Instead she crushed me. I’ve since devised a plan that will give me a chance against her. At 1 p.m. on Sunday, I will initiate play with a 2-point game against Ariel. If I somehow win the first point, I will then feign injury and claim victory. After this strenuous encounter wears Ariel down, our shareholders can then try their luck against her.

Table tennis? Good
11 year old girls? Good
Making 11 year old girls cry via said game, and then encouraging a bunch of other people to do the same? Good
Warren Buffett's Letter to the Shareholders