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Buffett: Give Peace A Chance, When I'm Gone-(Can Buffett Be Both Businessman & Saint?)
MarketWatch ^ | 05/10/2007 | David Weidner

Posted on 05/10/2007 7:56:02 AM PDT by fight_truth_decay

Help is not on the way to Darfur, Berkshire shareholders say.

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Here's hoping that Warren Buffett isn't with us as chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. for much longer, or at least that he has a change of heart. The world will be better off.

Nearly a year after Buffett pledged to give $37 billion of his personal wealth to charity, the 76-year-old and his shareholder flock at Berkshire (BRKA109,150.00, -25.00, 0.0%) shot down a series of do-gooder proposals that would have required the company to spare some profits in the name of social responsibility, and maybe saving a few lives. Buffett and his followers believe it doesn't matter how you make your money, as long as you give it away when you're dead. Embrace businesses such as PetroChina Co. Ltd. (PTR Last: 124.19-3.07-2.41%)-- which arguably is aiding the genocide in Darfur by investing in the Sudanese government's oil explorations -- or risk that extra penny a share in profit.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: abortionrights; berkshirehathaway; buffettfoundation; darfur; reproductiverights; warrenbuffett
In an earlier editorial, Weidner writes:

'Act of war'

The most glaring of Buffett's transgressions occurred six days after Sept. 11, 2001. Earlier that year, Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway had agreed to pay more than 70% of face value for $500 million in bonds issued by bankrupt finance company Finova Group. He broke the contract after 9/11 by invoking an "act of war" clause in his contract, citing the World Trade Center attacks less than a week earlier.

It was that decision, to not honor an agreement at a time when the country needed to come together, that for me solidified the notion that Buffett was not, after all, an outsider, but the coldest of Wall Street operators to the core. As Roger Lowenstein once wrote, "Wall Street's modern financiers have got rich by exploiting their control of the public's money: their essential trick has been to take in -- and sell out -- the public at opportune moments."

Warren Buffett did that in the days following Sept. 11. That was not the only time Buffett has been ruthless in his business dealings. From his early years in the 1960s, Buffett has favored managers who slash costs, often through layoffs, to shine up his investments.

Does Buffett have any primary allegiance other than make money for his "upscale" investors? Should Buffett be just a "businessman, not a saint"(unlike George Soros? sarcasm light blinking)

1 posted on 05/10/2007 7:56:05 AM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: fight_truth_decay

Oh, I don’t know. The liberals needn’t worry about their hero, Warren Buffet.

When he kicks the bucket, billions of dollars will go to work killing babies, destroying economies, and reducing populations all around the world.

That should warm their little hearts.

2 posted on 05/10/2007 8:01:36 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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"Shareholder Judith Porter stood before 27,000 investors at the company's annual meeting in Omaha, Neb., and told Buffett that dumping the Berkshire stake "will send a signal to China and to the Sudan that there are costs for continuing this destruction," according to reports. Buffett defended the investment by arguing that it's the Chinese government that's condoning the actions in Darfur....."

.."PetroChina in no way tells the Chinese government what to do," Buffett was quoted as saying. "We have no disagreement with what PetroChina is doing." He could see "no effect whatsoever in Berkshire Hathaway trying to tell the Chinese government how to conduct their business."

"Hey, if you could make a few bucks dealing with someone you know is helping hide a serial killer, why say anything? It probably wouldn't help, right? --Weidner--

3 posted on 05/10/2007 8:04:03 AM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: Cicero
In an essay on CEO stock options, he writes, "Negotiating with one's self seldom produces a barroom brawl." This is his way of saying that an executive who can give himself compensation totally disproportionate to his performance surely will.

Take a snip from one of these essays, taken from the annual reports he writes for Berkshire Hathaway: "What could be more advantageous in an intellectual contest--whether it be chess, bridge, or stock selection--than to have opponents who have been taught that thinking is a waste of energy?(Liberal Mantra: that's what the Left want their followers to believe)"

4 posted on 05/10/2007 8:14:43 AM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: Cicero

That’s a pretty good gambit:

“I’ll be generous after I’m dead.”

I’m sure we all will.

5 posted on 05/10/2007 8:24:56 AM PDT by MikeHu
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To: fight_truth_decay

I own a very small stake in Berkshire Hathaway, and I admire Buffett as perhaps the best investor in modern history.


He should stick to business. I’m sick & tired of brilliant people (in one area) sounding off like they’re experts in another area that they know little or nothing about.

6 posted on 05/10/2007 8:29:31 AM PDT by Ancesthntr
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AKA Warren Edward Buffett

Born: 30-Aug-1930
Birthplace: Omaha, NE

Gender: Male
Religion: Agnostic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Business

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Billionaire in Omaha

Warren Buffett’s father, Howard Buffett, was a stockbroker, a Republican, and a U.S. Congressman who consistently spoke and voted against what he called President Roosevelt’s “big government” plans. The elder Buffett adamantly opposed U.S. membership in the United Nations, and is now remembered as almost a “pure Libertarian”. The younger Buffett is a self-made billionaire, a Democrat, and an outspoken advocate of corporate integrity who seems to practice what he preaches.

Warren Buffett always found numbers fascinating, and bought his first stocks at age 11 — three shares in Cities Service Company, now known as CITGO. He also sold soda pop door-to-door, had a paper route, and saved enough from those earnings to buy 40 acres in Nebraska at age 14. Then he made more money renting the land. By the time he’d finished college, Buffett was investing everything he earned that he didn’t need for food or housing. His early strategy was to buy stocks he thought would outperform the Dow Jones average by at least 10% annually, and they always did. This has since evolved into an investment pattern: Buffett focuses on well-established but under-performing companies, and often holds his stock for years or decades.

In the mid-1960s, Buffett took control of Berkshire Hathaway, which until that time had been a textile mill in New Bedford, Massachusetts..


Buffett is believed to be the second or third wealthiest man in the world, and still lives in the house he bought for $31,000 in 1958. “It’s dumb”, says Buffett, “to let possessions rule you”. He’s said his children won’t inherit any great wealth when he dies. “There’s no reason why future generations of little Buffetts should command society just because they came from the right womb. Where’s the justice in that?”

Both Buffett and his wife have stipulated that upon their deaths, the lion’s share of their wealth will go to the Buffett Foundation. The foundation provides scholarships for Nebraska kids who want to attend Nebraska colleges, but its largest donations go to reproductive rights and family planning groups. Buffett strongly supports abortion rights.

He drinks 12-15 cans of Coke daily. He provided the voice of James Madison for Liberty’s Kids, a PBS cartoon set during the Revolutionary War. Buffett is California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s economic advisor and long-time friend.


7 posted on 05/10/2007 8:33:14 AM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: Ancesthntr

Yes. He’s been a brilliant investor. But he’s got the liberal bug. Good economics, bad politics. Bad moral vision.

8 posted on 05/10/2007 8:41:55 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Cicero

It just seems to be the height of ostentatious liberal hypocrisy to declare to the world how generous and noble one’s “intentions” are/will be.

I’m only impressed with what people do in their lives — when they’re actually living.

I think it’s fine if he does will his money to noble purposes after he’s dead. But to be pounding his chest for advanced credit, is his reward.

“God, I’m not like the rest of these selfish son of a bitches.”

9 posted on 05/10/2007 8:54:55 AM PDT by MikeHu
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To: fight_truth_decay

Wasting away in Marguerita-ville!

Oops...wrong Buffett

10 posted on 05/10/2007 8:56:46 AM PDT by montomike (If you didn't find this funny and were offended...have a riot.)
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To: MikeHu

“Truly, I say unto you: It is far easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle — than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

God shall not be fooled — no matter how many stories one has written in the press testifying to one’s good intentions.

11 posted on 05/10/2007 9:37:37 AM PDT by MikeHu
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To: All

Yo...fellow Christmas Baby - GIVE WAR A CHANCE. Let our guys take the gloves off, untie their hands, and let ‘em WIN!

12 posted on 05/10/2007 9:39:09 AM PDT by NordP (The greatest gift God can give us is LIFE. The greatest gift man can give to another is FREEDOM.)
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To: NordP
Whoops...Jimmy / Warren... s00ry. Message is the same though ;-)

(Pays to READ through the WHOLE story before posting - lol)

13 posted on 05/10/2007 9:40:30 AM PDT by NordP (The greatest gift God can give us is LIFE. The greatest gift man can give to another is FREEDOM.)
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To: fight_truth_decay

One other note;He played a kind of modern JP Morgan back in 1991 at Solomon Brothers,when he took over their government bond trading operation.Solly had been accused of attempting to corner the mkt. in gov’t bonds,and Buffett,who had a stake in the company,assumed the chair of the Board,and fired traders and managers.

14 posted on 05/10/2007 11:39:26 AM PDT by hschliemann
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