The "Oracle of Omaha", Warren Buffett, known for the stellar performance of his Berkshire Hathaway stock price, has already admitted many times officially: when he makes money, it's for himself, and it's thanks to his talent, but when he's losing money, he expects the government and the government and the people to come to the rescue and bear the burden of the losses, without ever seeing any of the profits. So the talent might be in some other area than "investment management" and might be more located in the "friend making in government entities".
I'm never surprised by corruption at the state level as any Government is always the breading ground for corruption and wealth transfer from the people to the well-connected few. But I am revulsed that Warren Buffett is still enjoying the image of a white knight / angel / savior or someone whose opinion should be sought after in matters of politics or public policies.
Feb. 10 (Bloomberg) — Billionaire Warren Buffett said his $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs Group Inc. at the depths of the financial crisis was a wager that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and then-Treasury Department Secretary Henry Paulson would take on debt to prop up the economy.
“It was a bet essentially on the fact that the government would not really shirk its responsibility at a time like that to leverage up at a time when the rest of the world was trying to deleverage,” Buffett said in an interview released today by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.
Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. bought preferred stock in New York-based Goldman Sachs in 2008 after the collapse of rival securities firm Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Paulson had left the chairmanship of Goldman Sachs in 2006 to join the administration of President George W. Bush. Bernanke had been an economist at Princeton University.
“I made the fundamental decision that we had the right people, in Bernanke and Paulson, in there with a president that would back them,” Buffett said.
Berkshire gets a 10 percent annual dividend on the investment and received warrants to buy $5 billion in common stock with a strike price of $115 per share. Goldman Sachs traded for more than $165 a share today on the New York Stock Exchange, compared with $84.39 at the end of 2008.
Buffett had said in 2008, when Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire announced the investment, that he was betting on an “exceptional institution.”