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Old 05-04-2010, 09:13 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by kcowan View Post
Actually at the rates he is getting for his money, he did not make a mistake. He knows about derivatives because he owns a company that invests in them ("Weapons of Financial Destruction"). Anything he says about GS is purely political.
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
The Atlantic :: Business :: Buffett's View Explains Why Goldman Will Be Just Fine
Dealbook Column - From Buffett, Thought-Out Support for Goldman -

I can appreciate Buffett's & Munger's sentiments that everybody at that level should be a sophisticated investor and able to handle the rules.

But the e-mails slinging back & forth from GS indicate that some of the people involved felt that they were getting away with something, indicating that their sense of ethics was even shakier than their understanding of the rules. And by extension, the SEC's split vote isn't very complimentary of their ethics experts either.

I think the fact that the case is civil rather than criminal says "You guys know you were doing something wrong, now pay a lot of money to get these irate taxpayers off our back".

I agree with Alice Schroeder... Buffett sold his name too cheap.

Blankfein needs some tutoring on the finer points of body language. He may be doing "God's work", but at that level it never hurts to show a little marketing skill to go with all the brains.
I am as effusive in my admiration of WB as anybody, but it appears to me that he has been a bit to aware of his legacy recently. He has always been folksy and honest, but now he's getting a little too involved into the "appearance" of his decisions and statements. Can't blame him, really, but it's sad to watch. I think it would be hard to be the Oracle of Omaha in his twilight years during a really crappy economic period, trying to manage expectations, maintain his rep, and do the right thing for the country all at the same time. JMO.

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Old 05-04-2010, 11:42 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by harley View Post
I am as effusive in my admiration of WB as anybody, but it appears to me that he has been a bit to aware of his legacy recently.
I don't know how much he's changed. Reading his shareholder letters (and Charlie's speeches) over the last 20 years, they've been doing this for quite a while.

There have certainly been persistent inconsistencies between what they say and what they do. But as long as they're building intrinsic value and not visibly ripping off the shareholders, we're willing to put up with those "quirks".

I think Buffett's latest efforts have been devoted to locking up capital so that his successor can't waste it. It'll be interesting to watch him spend the rest of his cash through India & Japan over the next few months.


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Old 06-04-2010, 12:18 PM   #63
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I just finished Michael Lewis' "The Big Short". DD is working through it. It is probably a slower slog for her as she needs to understand not only the investments themselves but the players. She understands that Lewis's next book will be about the European meltdown.

Bonds are typically an important part of a retiree's portfolio. I told her that I am considering solid dividend stocks instead. She commented that the strength in Fed issues is the result of people needing to be confident of preservation of capital as the bond issuers and rating agencies are not trustworthy.

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