Gabelli and Munger on the Economy, Markets

“Woodstock for Capitalists” — the annual meeting of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway — has been going on throughout the weekend in Nebraska, and Buffett’s comments have already made a lot of headlines. (More on those comments later today.) But Buffett isn’t the only one dishing out pearls of investment wisdom at the Omaha event. In separate interviews with CNBC, Mario Gabelli and Berkshire Vice Chairman Charles Munger — two Buffett fans who have compiled tremendous… Read More

Kass Turns Bullish on Berkshire

On the same day that Moody’s announced its credit rating downgrade of Berkshire Hathaway, Doug Kass — who’s made some hay by being short on Berkshire shares for the past year — writes on TheStreet.com that he’s now bullish on Warren Buffett’s firm. “When conditions change, as they appear to be doing now … opinions must change, and opportunities must be embraced,” writes Kass. “This is especially true in the case of Berkshire Hathaway as… Read More

Buffett, Berkshire Focusing on U.S.

Warren Buffett tells Bloomberg that the odds are his Berkshire Hathaway — still on a buying binge — is more likely to make its next acquisitions in the U.S. rather than abroad. “The statement is a reversal for Buffett, who spent four days at press conferences and meetings in Switzerland, Germany, Spain and Italy last May to drum up potential buyouts when U.S. opportunities were scarce,” notes Bloomberg. “With rival bidders cut off from funds… Read More

Buffett Bonanza: Government vs. Fear, Bank Prognosis, and Why You Should Still ‘Buy American’

Warren Buffett spent three hours on CNBC’s Squawk Box this morning discussing the economy and stock market from all angles. Buffett says the economy will turn around, but that it won’t happen quickly — and he says government actions will be crucial in how quickly it gets back on track. “I’ve never seen the consumer, or the Americans just generally, more fearful than this,” Buffett said. “And they’re also confused. And you can get fearful… Read More

Even Buffett Makes Mistakes — and You Can Learn from Them

In his latest Wall Street Journal column, James B. Stewart examines some of the mistakes Warren Buffett acknowledged making in Berkshire Hathaway’s 2009 letter to shareholders, and explains what average investors can learn from “The Oracle of Omaha’s” mistakes. Most interesting is Stewart’s discussion of Buffett’s decision to buy $7 billion in ConocoPhillips shares last summer, around the time that oil was hitting its peak. Since then, Conoco shares — and those of most oil… Read More

Buffett, the Long-Term Optimist: “America’s Best Days Lie Ahead”

Berkshire Hathaway published its long awaited annual report on Saturday. Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire, penned the first 20 pages or so. For those who haven’t read the letter yet, we encourage you to take a look as it provides Buffett’s thoughts on a host of issues, including the performance of Berkshire, the mistakes Buffett made last year, his outlook for the economy and other things. Link: Berkshire’s 2008 Annual Report & Letter

Buffett Cut J&J Stake, Other Holdings in Fourth Quarter

Berkshire Hathaway has released the list of its holdings for the fourth quarter of 2008 — and it looks like Warren Buffett has made some substantial changes to his company’s portfolio. While Buffett has recently said he is “buying American” with his personal portfolio, the biggest news from Berkshire’s filing doesn’t involve new purchases, notes Alex Crippen of CNBC’s Warren Buffett Watch, “Instead of asking what Buffett has been buying,” Crippen says, “we should have… Read More

Munger on Morality, Higher Taxes, and How The Founding Fathers Can Help Us Now

Charles Munger, Warren Buffett’s long-time sidekick at Berkshire Hathaway, offers some tough medicine for the U.S. in an editorial written for today’s Washington Post. Calling the current situation “dire”, Munger says that the current bust goes well beyond the normal boom & bust cycle, and measures should thus be taken to keep it from occurring again. “Should we opt for even more pain now to gain a better future?” he asks. “For instance, should we… Read More

Buffett: Fear Is Winning — But It Won’t Win In The End

In a wide-ranging interview with Dateline NBC’s Tom Brokaw, Warren Buffett says that fear is currently winning out over hope in the U.S. economy — but that he wouldn’t bet against the country’s ability to recover from this crisis and go on to new heights. “Right now fear is [winning],” Buffett said. “It really is an economic Pearl Harbor. … The country is facing something it hasn’t faced since World War II. And [people] are… Read More

Buffett’s ’08 Bargain Binge: $20 billion +

The final tally from Warren Buffett’s 2008 buying spree: $20 billion-plus. “While most investors panicked or were forced to sell, [Buffett] put more than $20 billion to work last year, positioning his insurance-focused conglomerate to profit if the economy and markets recover in coming years,” writes Alistair Barr of MarketWatch. Buffett’s firm had about $44 billion in cash entering ’08, according to Barr, who notes that Buffett had had trouble finding attractively valued investments in… Read More