Buffett's $10 Billion Win on Crisis Bets, and 4 More Things You'll Want to Know Today

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A Conversation With Warren Buffett And Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Here's a quick rundown from the world of business and economics this morning: the things you need to know, and some you'll just want to know.

• Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) has earned $10 billion from the $26 billion it invested in six companies during the depths of the financial meltdown, when credit was too tight for them to get funding through their usual channels, the Wall Street Journal reports. Those profitable buys: Bank of America (BAC), Goldman Sachs (GS), Dow Chemical (DOW), General Electric (GE) Swiss Re, and -- his biggest winner -- candymaker Mars/Wrigley. "An average investor could have done just as well investing in the stock market if they bought during the panic period," Buffett says.

• We all thought the government shutdown was an argument about Obamacare -- because that's what the GOP told us -- but apparently, we were wrong. Speaker of the House John Boehner added a new condition for reopening the government on Sunday. Boehner now says he won't introduce bills to either fund the government or raise the debt ceiling until the Democrats agree to "a serious conversation" about reducing the deficit. He also suggested that the nation is on track to a default, in sharp contrast to his statements late last week that he wouldn't allow that to happen. Stock markets worldwide sank on the news.

• For the first time ever, Japan Airlines has decided to buy some Airbus planes: 31 A350s valued at $9.5 billion. That's bad news for Boeing (BA), which has dominated the Japanese market. Perhaps the move should come as a shock, given that JAL has been the airline most affected by the glitches plaguing Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, which fills the same niche as the A350.

• Nielsen, the measurement service whose ratings are life or death for TV network, has a new innovation up its sleeve: measuring the Twitter traffic connected to shows. No surprise, the number of tweets can diverge wildly for shows with similar numbers of viewers. As the New York Times points out, just 98,600 people tweeted about last month's "Grey's Anatomy" premiere, though 9.3 million watched it. By comparison, 10 million people watched the "Breaking Bad" finale, and 1.2 million tweets were sent about it.

• And finally, in what sounds like an article from The Onion, Google's (GOOG) is attempting to patent a process for splitting the restaurant bill at the end of a meal. (And in fact, it was an article from The Onion, back in 2006. But that doesn't make it any less true today.)

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26 Comments

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Brucie

Way to go, Mr. Buffett!

October 08 2013 at 2:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
composerr

YEAH, GOOD OLE WARREN BUFFET-THE LOAN SHARK!!

Ye old Democrat, Warren Buffet made about 40% on the loans he made to Goldman-Saks,
Bank of America and others during the Crisis. He showed he had not problem at all in
taking advantage of stockholders of these Companies, and got Userous Interest rates which at
one time would have been criminal to get ,and about what the Mafia charges.

AINT WARREN A FINE OLD DUDE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF STOCKHOLDERS AND
THEIR 401 k PLANS WHEN HE HAD A GOOD CHANCE AND SOME MONEY.

FOR SHAME WARREN-YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF FOR NOT
CHARGING ONLY REASONABLE AMOUNTS AT A TIME OF YOUR NATIIONS CRISIS.
bUT THEN YOU ARE A DEMOCRAT AND THAT MAKES IT A LITTLE MORE UNDERSTANDABLE.

An army combat veteran

October 08 2013 at 1:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rkeeeballs

....And I just won a $2 dollar scratch off and my jock itch went away and I found out the baby wasn't mine and my boss didn't
catch me bang'in his girl.....

October 07 2013 at 10:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jktejas

Buffet handed over a great deal of his wealth to the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation. Now why would he want to contribute more taxes to the government (as many on this board have suggested) anymore than any of us would? At least with the Gates Foundation he has confidence in the manner in which money is handled. How many of us have confidence in the way the government handles our taxes. Warren Buffet has proven more than once that he has an advanced analytical mind in the market, backed up by years of hard earned experience and he invests/speculates with his own or his company's money. I wish he was handling my investments. I am always amused when people crow about whatever petty achievements they may have......but when someone else does it big time.....they will always attribute the greater achievement to dumb luck or being crooked.

October 07 2013 at 8:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jktejas's comment
pdbocc

Jktejas,
If you want Waren Buffet to handle your investments simply buy some Berkshire Hathaway series B stock,(BRK.B) It's about $110 a share compared to the over $100,000 a share A series stock. I bought about 3 years ago when it was in the $70 dollar range. Don't plan on selling it for years and years.

October 07 2013 at 9:45 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Ex Related Shit

How much money does this guy need? I think he is a joke. He is the face of greed.

October 07 2013 at 8:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Ex Related Shit's comment
granaryst

Aren't those the companies Obama bailed out? "Average investor could have done just as well" my A___! It was payback for him supporting our most corrupt President ever.

October 07 2013 at 6:54 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to granaryst's comment
pdbocc

granaryst
Of all the stocks listed in the article only Bank of America and Goldman Sachs received government assistance. And guess what, you could have bought those same stocks. I bought Bank of America at $5 and sold it at $14 and I'm certainly no Warren Buffett.

October 07 2013 at 9:48 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
rkeeeballs

Don't post......too ignorant !

October 07 2013 at 10:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fishmanpm345

Believe it or not his investments are good winners" taxes are paid only by the middle class not John boehner or warren buffett" A short term debt hike would help us get to the next level." as we buy time we can then attack some small problems with the USA.

October 07 2013 at 5:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
prinsovdarqnezz

Has he ever paid the 1 BILLION DOLLARS in back taxes he owes? I be he gets the TURBO TAX pass.

October 07 2013 at 4:48 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to prinsovdarqnezz's comment
wwelbes

That is an IRS dispute over the value of a company he purchased and how the transaction was handled. His legal advisors structured the buy out so it would not be taxable. The IRS disagrees and it is in dispute resolution. Your post is misleading and false.

October 07 2013 at 9:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
boyadj45

Its not possible that Buffet never loses money. He has very good press being rich, but thats about it. Many times he talketh too much.

October 07 2013 at 4:42 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
bad9iron

Hey JRb359 Buffet may have been publishing the fact that most of his income comes as long term capital gains and not from ordinary income like most working people. He may of said that he agreed that he should pay more but you can bet your last dollar that he didn't pay any more than he was legally required to. Buffet loves money and doesn't "waste" any on himself. When he dies most of his money will go to charities that he supports and to pay the Government's death tax where they continue to rob you even after you departed this world. Politicians would steal the gold from your teeth if they could figure out a way to do it, especially this President who loves to spend and give away other people's money. But when it comes to his he is pretty frugal especially with charities.

October 07 2013 at 4:31 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply