The sharp words, big losses and parting of ways signal the end of one of the great one-way bromances in Wall Street history, that between Bill Ackman and Warren Buffett, they say. Yes, the former, as so many others, idolized the latter; yes, Buffett’s timeless wisdom was the turning point in Ackman’s career. But all things must come to an end, and so, it seemed, had the Oracle of Omaha’s usefulness to the Asshole of 11th Avenue.

In fact, it seems, Ackman believes Buffett’s loss of relevance to him is mirrored more broadly. A new oracle is needed, one to whom America can turn in its time of need. And if Buffett isn’t going to be that man, Ackman believes he is his rightful successor.

“We think the next couple of months unfortunately are going to be tragic and very difficult for the global and for our country in particular,” Ackman said on a Pershing Square quarterly earnings call Thursday. “We have basically a 9/11 every day.”

Ackman told investors that he’s “happy to be long” on equity exposure and is “bullish” on 2021 at a time of low interest rates, more expected stimulus and infrastructure spending…. While he is generally optimistic, the investor said it is “prudent” to insure his portfolio now amid a range of uncertainties that can lead to market volatility.

Think that’s just some boilerplate pablum from a guy who (sometimes) likes to hear himself talk, and not a serious effort to don the mantle of capitalist sage? Well, explain this lifting of a page from Buffett’s playbook, which is apparently not going to be just a one-off.

Bidding kicked off Thursday on the auction site Charitybuzz, offering the highest bidder and one guest the opportunity to meet the billionaire activist investor over lunch — either virtually over a platform like Zoom or in person “when both parties feel it would be appropriate to have an in-person meeting” — to “discuss the world of finance,” according to the website.

“I’ll make it worth the person’s while,” Ackman told Yahoo Finance in a telephone call.

Still, Ack’s got a long was to go before he reaches Buffett status on the charity-lunch index.

Canadian-based entrepreneur and investor Andrew Wilkinson, the CEO of tech holding company Tiny, shelled out $57,700 for lunch with Ackman in 2018…. Last year’s auction fetched $75,000, but the lunch with the winner hasn’t happened yet because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pershing Square’s Ackman ‘bullish’ on 2021 [Reuters]
Bill Ackman is bullish on stocks for 2021, but has a hedge position for a ‘tragic’ end to 2020 [CNBC Pro]
Bill Ackman is auctioning off a lunch meeting and promises to make it ‘worth the while’ [Yahoo! Finance]

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