Warren Buffett Has Been Busy

The Oracle of Omaha has had a full dance card lately, as reported by CNBC and The Wall Street Journal:

  • A CNBC article reports that, as of June 22nd, Buffett’s bets on four major airlines came in for a major landing, gaining $174 million from the market’s close the day before (according to SEC filings). The holdings are in American Airlines, Delta, United and Southwest Airlines.
  • According to The Wall Street Journal, Berkshire Hathaway agreed to lend 2.4 billion Canadian dollars ($1.8 billion) to struggling Canadian mortgage banking company Home Capital Group—which has recently suffered an exodus of investors, the article says, “amid worries about overpriced Canadian real estate.” WSJ referred to Berkshire’s decision as a “bold move, because some analysts have said that if Canada’s real estate bubble bursts, midsize lenders like Home Capital could be among the most vulnerable to losses.” The agreement also allows Buffett to park some of his hefty cash balances and score some lofty returns through the nearly 40% stake Berkshire will have secured at a deep discount.
  • Another recent WSJ article recounts the recent “sales pitch” Buffett delivered in New York to encourage investment in Israeli bonds. His efforts raised about $150 million, according to broker-dealer Development Corp. of Israel. According to the article, Buffett commented “I do not tell them that bonds are a place to put your money generally, but I will tell them that you’re going to get paid back.” He views Israel as a “success story, similar to the U.S., the article says, adding that his relationship with the country dates back decades and grew through the friendships and travel of his first wife, Susie.