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Old 05-03-2010, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,486 posts, read 15,979,692 times
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Quote:
1. Goldman Sachs is a significant Berkshire investment that contradicts many of the philosophies that are the foundation of Berkshire company investments, including fair executive compensation and business integrity beyond reproach (and indictment). Short of Goldman Sachs & Company being found guilty of violating the law, when do you say you have had enough? Many Berkshire shareholders and the American people are already there.

2. Were you naive in basing your trust on people and an image of Goldman formed years ago when it was an investment bank, rather than what it has become: a proprietary trading organization that feels no obligation to look after the interests of its customers?

3. After spending your life preaching about the ills of the modern financial system and what it stands for - including advising new grads to go there only with 'noses closed' - why did you invest in the absolutely worst practitioner of that kind of finance…and then defend its 'legal but blatantly immoral and socially reckless' practices all this year?

4. You tell your managers not to do anything they wouldn’t want to read about on the front page of a national newspaper. Even if they are legally exonerated, Goldman Sachs & Company violated that fundamental principle. Berkshire owns preferred stock in Goldman. What are you doing about it? (jeff matthews)
Buffett answered your 1st and 4th question at the shareholders meeting. He defended Goldman Sachs and very thoroughly explained his position. It was quite interesting to hear his take on the entire situation.
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
2,884 posts, read 5,395,484 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teak View Post
I agree. I like his homespun wisdom, but realise that he is just another part of the Big Star Syndrome that infects Americans. Our Constitution does not allow for titles of nobility, but that has not kept Americans from putting people up on the pedestal as someone to emulate, listen to, follow, imitate and etc. (Other examples, Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey, sports stars, movie stars, etc.)

I just wish that I had the teaching and discipline to have begun investing at age 11 like he did. If I was worth $Billions (and giving it away to charity now), there would be hordes of people hanging on my every word also.
I think this whole Buffett investing era is baby food for the average investor (with less than $50 or $100 k to invest). You get soft ball, baby questions from Becky Quick and other "reporters"/"journalists" (fan groupies? Who wonder, why did I become a journalist when I could just ride around in Buffetts jet all the time?) who gush over his every move.

-They miss the *REAL Story*, that he started investing when he was 11, he studied under Ben Graham and formed a solid investing foundation *long before* CNBC or Becky Quick came on the scene. CNBC needs to acknowledge that there was investing, before CNBC.

-They miss the guts of Berkshire and Buffett. It'd be like an architect gushing over the design of a building and worrying about a few windows or spots on the top floor or two. But missing the guts of the building, the engineering, the structure, the support beams and columns that have made it so sturdy for so long. They do no one a service over gushing about external physicalities. How often is Ben Graham or Phil Fisher mentioned on CNBC? Never.

-The real money was made when Berkshire only got 50 or 250 people at their annual shareholder meetings. 25 years ago.

-But I think to Buffett's credit, he' a great communicator. He's great at using analogies and metaphors. There's so little plain economic language used on tv (most of it is filler or 2nd hand knowledge). When he talks about the economy in simple terms, it seems like a revelation.

-Also, I think the media has missed the boat on Munger. Somewhat different than the oprah and movie star analogies. Because he's contributed so much to it. I recommend Mungers book, Poor Charlie's Almanack, a great collection of his speeches.
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:57 PM
 
12,869 posts, read 13,684,310 times
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buffett may not be so popular moving forward. here is a pretty simple revelation from buffett- pushing the VAT tax on americans:


headline:
Buffett: Don’t See Anything Wrong at Goldman
Buffett: I’ll Invest in Good Companies Anywhere in World
A value added tax is likely a foregone conclusion in the United States, three of the leading lights of American business told FOX Business on Monday.

Berkshire Hathaway Chief Executive Warren Buffett, Vice Chairman Charlie Munger and board member and Microsoft (MSFT: 30.86, 0.325, 1.06%) Chairman Bill Gates said that for the U.S. to continue to compete on the world stage, revenue must increase - and the VAT is the best option to ensure that.

they certainly are willing to offer up OUR money for the cause.

for those who want to take a pop quiz on buffett and gates, BFFs here you go:
http://www.cnbc.com/id/33835966/Warr...FFs?question=1

Last edited by floridasandy; 05-03-2010 at 04:15 PM..
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Old 05-03-2010, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Warwick, RI
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Quote:
He can't be people's messiah forever, and bigger money could be made elsewhere in the next 5-10 years
You may be right, but don't forget that the experts, and Buffett himsefl was saying that back in the 1980s, when BRK-A shares were trading under $5,000. And besides, I own Berkshire stock more for the added safety and reduced volatility that it provides rather than it's growth potential. As Buffett himself says, "Rule number one in investing is "Don't lose money.", Rule number two, "Refer to rule number one."



Quote:
-They miss the *REAL Story*, that he started investing when he was 11, he studied under Ben Graham and formed a solid investing foundation *long before* CNBC or Becky Quick came on the scene. CNBC needs to acknowledge that there was investing, before CNBC.
Oh, CNBC FULLY understands that there was investing before they came around. The problem is that most of the American public doesn't realize that, and CNBC is not about to go out of their way to educate them. God forbid people start to realize that not only do they not need the CNBC "experts", they're actually better of not listening to them. Besides, if I could choose which CNBC reporter I wanted to have interview me, I'd pick Becky Quick too.

Last edited by treasurekidd; 05-03-2010 at 05:30 PM..
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Old 05-03-2010, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
2,884 posts, read 5,395,484 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treasurekidd View Post
You may be right, but don't forget that the experts, and Buffett himsefl was saying that back in the 1980s, when BRK-A shares were trading under $5,000. And besides, I own Berkshire stock more for the added safety and reduced volatility that it provides rather than it's growth potential. As Buffett himself says, "Rule number one in investing is "Don't lose money.", Rule number two, "Refer to rule number one."





Oh, CNBC FULLY understands that there was investing before they came around. The problem is that most of the American public doesn't realize that, and CNBC is not about to go out of their way to educate them. God forbid people start to realize that not only do they not need the CNBC "experts", they're actually better of not listening to them. Besides, if I could choose which CNBC reporter I wanted to have interview me, I'd pick Becky Quick too.
I agree, it's an excellent safety play. But I think the press turns it more into a growth play. Like the motley fool, or financial ads that say..."Be the next buffett". Or, "Buffett bought $10,000 worth of this company and it turned into $450 million." And you can do the same. They tie Buffetts name to growth. I think they want it to be a high growth play, because that's more exciting to sell.

-And very, very true about not losing money. He's understood that rule for 50 years. But berkshire could still get holes in its armor, its involved in so many different businesses (with so many transactions among those businesses), you get things like gs, or derivative problems. I think with Buffetts ability to pick successful managers, probably 80% of it has been skill, and 20% luck. You can never fully control what other people are going to do.

-I always save his annual letters and partnership letters from the 60's (which use to be online, not sure if they are now). Here's a part from his 2009 letter,

"We’ve put a lot of money to work during the chaos of the last two years. It’s been an ideal period for investors: A climate of fear is their best friend. Those who invest only when commentators are upbeat end up paying a heavy price for meaningless reassurance. In the end, what counts in investing is what you pay for a business – through the purchase of a small piece of it in the stock market – and what that business earns
in the succeeding decade or two."

How many people take to heart that when they invest only when commentators are upbeat, they get meaningless reassurance. They don't understand the fundamentals.
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:03 PM
 
3,328 posts, read 4,323,286 times
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Originally Posted by treasurekidd View Post
Besides, if I could choose which CNBC reporter I wanted to have interview me, I'd pick Becky Quick too.
Yeah, hard to choose. I might go with Betty Lu of Bloomberg on that one. (She is also one of the females chosen to interview Buffett from time to time.)

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