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 Movers & Shakers

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PostSubject: Movers & Shakers   Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:34 pm

Since we do not have a thread about people specifically, this thread should be dedicated to specific news about all of the movers and shakers in the financial services industry (i.e. Soros, Robertson, Buffet, Fink).

===============================================================

Via FT:

TPG dealmaker quits to launch Asia fund
By: Sundeep Tucker

TPG Capital’s leading China dealmaker is quitting as a partner of the US private equity group, becoming the latest high-profile investor to launch an Asia-focused investment fund.Weijian Shan established TPG as a pioneer in foreign private equity investing in China and Asia and led a string of lucrative deals after joining the firm in 1998, including its acquisition of Shenzhen Development Bank.

His departure from full-time duties at TPG follows the fund’s recent successful sale of most of its SDB investment, from which Mr Shan is believed to have personally made tens of millions of dollars.Hong Kong-based Mr Shan is planning to set up a fund focused on Asia-wide opportunities, although he will remain as a senior adviser to TPG and continue to serve on the boards of some portfolio companies for an unspecified period.Mr Shan said that his fund would not solely focus on China and that he planned to draw on his investment experience across Asian markets and would likely continue his preference for buy-out deals.He said: “I have really enjoyed my time with TPG and feel that now is the right time to move on”.TPG is expected to help part fund the venture and to co-invest in some deals.David Bonderman, TPG’s founder, said: “Shan is a smart and persistent investor and TPG looks forward to continuing our relationship with him in his future ventures”.Mr Shan, 56, who was exiled to the Gobi desert during China’s cultural revolution, worked for the World Bank and as a Wharton professor before joining JPMorgan as its China country head in 1993.Mr Shan worked on deals across Asia, including investments in Taiwan’s Taishin Financial and Korea First Bank, the largest bank in South Korea at one time.His departure highlights the increasing maturity of the China platforms of foreign private equity firms, including Carlyle Group, which in recent years have assembled large teams and are no longer dependent on a single well-connected rainmaker.

TPG now employs 25 staff in China, including Mary Ma, a former senior executive of Lenovo, the mainland PC maker in which the US fund maintains a small stake.China is central to TPG’s Asia strategy and the fund is part of a consortium which is in advanced discussions to acquire a significant stake from Morgan Stanley in CICC, a leading Chinese brokerage.Several leading executives of overseas financial groups have opted to concentrate on setting up China or Asia-focused funds, using the contacts and networks they have built up in recent years.In 2008, Hopu Investment Management was founded by Fang Fenglei, a former full-time head of Goldman Sachs’ mainland securities joint venture, while Frank Tang, a senior executive of Singapore’s Temasek, also established his own fund.


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PostSubject: Re: Movers & Shakers   Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:07 pm

Hopefully this qualifies for a mover/shaker Eaton its a big player so...


Via HFN Daily

Eton Park Switches to Active on Airgas
Eton Park has switched its status from a passive investor to an active one in industrial gas producer Airgas, as the company tries to fend off a hostile takeover.

Airgas rival Air Products made a $5 billion acquisition offer in February, which was rejected.

Air Products has extended its offer of $60 per share until Aug. 13.

Although Eton Park said in a regulatory filing it had no present plan to weigh in on the acquisition, it also said it might begin to hold discussions with management.
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PostSubject: Ex-Citigroup Trader Hall Raises $1 Billion for Commodities Fund   Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:27 am

Andrew J. Hall, the former Citigroup Inc. energy trader whose proposed $100 million payout became a symbol of excessive Wall Street compensation, raised $1.08 billion for the offshore version of a commodities fund. Hall’s firm, now owned by Occidental Petroleum Corp., lined up 37 investors for its Astenbeck Offshore Commodities Fund II Ltd., according to a filing today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund began raising money in 2008, the filing shows.

Citigroup last year sold the trading firm, then known as Phibro LLC, after the New York-based bank came under pressure from the Obama administration to reduce a potential $100 million payout to Hall, who made a similar amount in 2008. The $250 million purchase price was less than Phibro’s average annual pretax profit of $371 million in the prior five years. Michael Young, an executive vice president at Astenbeck Capital Management LLC in Westport, Connecticut, declined to comment on the filing.

Phibro, formed as Philipp Brothers in 1901 to buy and sell everything from aluminum to grains, began to concentrate on energy trading during the 1970s. Citigroup, which took control of Phibro when it bought Travelers Cos. in 1998, opened the proprietary trading business to outside investors in 2007 through a pair of partnerships called Phibro Oil Funds A and B.

22% Return

The firm mostly trades oil and refined products along with electric power, coal, metals and equities, according to marketing documents for Astenbeck Commodities II. The offshore fund 22 percent after fees from the start of 2008 through August 2009, according to the documents. That compares with the 44 percent decline by the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index. Park Hill Group LLC, a unit of New York-based Blackstone Group LP, helped with the offering. Park Hill, which recruits investors for hedge funds and buyout firms, will receive an estimated $7.5 million in sales commissions, the filing shows.

A U.S. hedge fund is often comprised of two separate partnerships, including an onshore vehicle for investors subject to federal taxes, including wealthy individuals. The offshore version, usually incorporated in the Cayman or Virgin Islands, is marketed to those exempt from paying U.S. taxes, including foreign investors and domestic pension plans. The onshore partnership for Astenbeck Commodities Fund II, formerly known as Phibro Commodities Fund II LP, reported in February that it had raised about $148 million. Citigroup and Hall agreed to defer his compensation until 2010, when it was to be paid by Occidental, after it determined his contract couldn’t be altered, people familiar with the matter said in October.
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PostSubject: Ex-Citi's Andrew Hall Fund Down in May    Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:58 pm

HFN:

Top energy trader Andrew Hall, who left Citigroup last year as his fund was sold, reportedly had a bad May. Hall, whose firm, Astenbeck Capital Management raised more than $1 billion for a new energy fund, was down 10% in May, according to The Wall Street Journal. A spokesman for Astenbeck could not be immediately reached for comment.

The energy trader, who managed Citi's commodities fund, Phibro, left Citi in 2009 after his $100 million pay check was questioned by President Obama's pay czar Kenneth Feinberg. Citi sold Phibro to Hall and Occidental Petroleum for $250 million. Occidental Petroleum has a 20% stake in the renamed fund.

The HFN Energy Sector Index was down 4.47% in May and up 1.01% year-to-date.
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PostSubject: Tudor Exec Goes Over to Perella Weinberg    Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:05 pm

A partner with hedge fund giant Tudor Investment Corp. has gone over to Perella Weinberg, as the boutique investment bank continues to expand into hedge funds. Jeffrey Silverman is joining Perella as a partner, the firm said in a statement. At Tudor, Silverman was responsible for recruiting new portfolio manager groups. He will have similar duties at Perella, according to someone familiar with the firm's plans.

Perella has been expanding its asset management business for the past three years. In January, the firm hired William Johnson from JPMorgan Chase as deputy head for that business. Also in January, Perella acquired Tokum Capital Management, a dedicated healthcare long-short equity firm which had about $25 million in assets under management.

As of June 1, Perella's asset management business had capital commitments and managed assets of about $6 billion, according to the firm's Web site.
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PostSubject: Icahn, Lionsgate Call 10-Day Truce    Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:59 pm

Carl Icahn and film production company Lionsgate have called a halt to their acrimonious proxy fight. Or, at least, the hedge fund manager and his target have called a truce of 10-days duration. Icahn and Lionsgate agreed Friday to work on "certain acquisition opportunities," for a period of time ending July 19 at midnight, according to a regulatory filing.

One of the deals Icahn and Lionsgate may be working on is an acquisition of debt-ridden film company MGM. Icahn, who has amassed more than a 37% stake in the film company, made a takeover offer of $7 per share earlier this year. But that offer was rejected amid the usual round of acrimony between Icahn and Lionsgate. Icahn, however, was still gearing up for a proxy fight with the company before they reached their latest agreement.
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PostSubject: Jamie Dimon   Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:18 am

One of the smartest guys in the room right now....

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NYT:

Jamie Dimon is not the modern-day John Pierpont Morgan. He is not the new king of Wall Street, and he’s certainly not President Obama’s BBF (best banker friend). At least, that’s what he will tell you over lunch at the Park Avenue headquarters of JPMorgan Chase, the descendant of the House of Morgan that came through the global financial crisis bigger, stronger and healthier than its rivals. But taking a victory lap, or even basking in the adulation he has received while his fellow bank chiefs have been pounded, is the last thing Mr. Dimon claims to want. He knows all too well the dangers of swaggering in the footsteps of former Wall Street kings like Sanford I. Weill, his onetime mentor, who helped build Citigroup into an institution so unwieldy it nearly went bankrupt, or Lloyd C. Blankfein, the Goldman Sachs chief whose crown has been tarnished by accusations of double-dealing under his watch.

Instead, Mr. Dimon worries openly that new financial regulations, which are expected to be passed by the Senate on Thursday and signed by Mr. Obama shortly thereafter, will cost his bank billions and that the jittery economy may suffer another setback. And that rivals, lurking in every corner of the world, are devising new ways to “clean our clocks.” In fact, in a lunchtime interview, his outlook was so cautious, his tone so subdued, that it prompted a senior aide to gently interrupt: “Jamie, how about mentioning a few of our positives, too?” For all the talk of gloom and doom, the postcrisis era looks brighter than Mr. Dimon is willing to acknowledge. In Washington, the financial industry was largely successful in blunting the toughest legislative proposals. On Wall Street, the deluge of losses is slowing and ultra-low interest rates are helping all banks make money.

JPMorgan, in particular, is poised to increase its profit and gain market share in several businesses as many of its competitors continue to struggle to get back on their feet. The crisis cemented Mr. Dimon’s reputation as a financial superstar — a bold dealmaker who buys when others are selling, a strict risk manager who resisted the type of exotic businesses that felled others and a charismatic leader who charms lawmakers and credit traders alike. He is now commonly referred to by a single name, like Pelé or Madonna. “Right now, there are virtually no giants on Wall Street except maybe Jamie,” said David M. Rubenstein, a founder of the Carlyle Group and a longtime financial and political hand.

Mr. Dimon earned that distinction by playing as much defense as offense during the housing boom, which insulated JPMorgan more than most when the boom went bust. Then, when the bust became a full-blown financial crisis, Mr. Dimon went hunting for bargains, significantly expanding his position in investment and retail banking while others were shrinking. Now, those efforts are paying off. Even with a slowdown in trading, analysts are forecasting a profit of 70 cents a share when JPMorgan reports its second-quarter earnings on Thursday, about the same as a year ago. At age 54, Mr. Dimon has only begun trying to build the kind of global banking empire he initially set out to create with Mr. Weill at Citigroup. While JPMorgan’s share price fared better than most of the banking sector through the turbulence of the last few years, at around $40.35, it remains roughly where it was when Mr. Dimon took over as chief executive in December 2005.

And analysts point out that while JPMorgan’s overall operation is in better shape than most, the bank does not enjoy a top position in any single business. “They are not Wells Fargo when it comes to retail banking. They are not American Express when it comes to credit cards. They are not BlackRock when it comes to asset management,” said Michael Mayo of Crédit Agricole Securities. “And JPMorgan is not Goldman Sachs in emerging markets.” Mr. Dimon is trying to make up that lost ground. Over the last three years, he has plowed more than $10 billion into his main businesses. He recently announced plans to build up his corporate bank and make an aggressive push into Brazil, China and a dozen or so other emerging markets that were growing at a faster pace than developed economies. That would put him toe to toe with banks like Citigroup, HSBC and Standard Chartered, which have been in these markets for decades.

“We are prepared, and we are already good at it,” says Mr. Dimon, ever-confident but also careful not to overpromise. (He notes the plan will unfold over several years.) It is an approach right out of the Dimon playbook, mixing competitive paranoia with hardball deal-making and careful management of investor expectations. He made a name for himself as Mr. Weill’s young operations whiz, helping assemble Citigroup in the late 1990s through a series of flashy mergers. After arriving at Bank One in 2000, he spent the next few years fixing the ailing regional lender. Then, after Bank One’s merger with JPMorgan in 2004, he orchestrated a similar turnaround. He spent three years stitching together the banks’ disparate computer systems and getting a handle on the financial risks lurking on its balance sheet. Every step of the way, he told investors that he was focused not on lifting quarterly profits but on building a strong company for the long haul. Mr. Dimon has refined that formula in recent years, seizing more than a few opportunities to reposition his bank while his rivals were in deep distress.


With his purchase of the teetering Bear Stearns — subsidized by taxpayers and steeply discounted at $10 a share — Mr. Dimon filled in crucial gaps in his investment bank. Where JPMorgan had traditionally been a big bond house, the addition of Bear invigorated its stock and commodities trading operations and added a lucrative prime brokerage business, which provides financing to hedge funds, that had been high on his wish list. He took Washington Mutual off the government’s hands for a mere $1.9 billion, giving his retail bank a giant share of the nation’s deposits and turning it, overnight, into a major player in California. (It helped, of course, that nobody else entered a bid.) As panic gripped the financial industry, consumers and big corporations saw JPMorgan as a safe place to park their cash, even if it meant accepting a savings rate close to zero percent. With few competitors free to lend, JPMorgan’s bankers demanded big premiums from corporate borrowers to finance deals.

While rivals were retrenching during the crisis, Mr. Dimon ordered his lieutenants to expand. Although they closed scores of Washington Mutual branches, Chase opened more than 300 new retail locations over the last three years and added about 3,000 bankers to its ranks. One of every 13 bank branches opened since 2009 has been a Chase branch, according to SNL Financial. Chase Card Services, meanwhile, has introduced three new types of credit cards in the last year. In the second quarter alone, it mailed out an estimated 164 million applications, according to data from Synovate, a research firm. That was more than twice the number sent out by American Express, the next most active issuer, and made up nearly one-third of the industry’s total mailings.

When the head of the credit card division offered to scale back as losses spiraled, Mr. Dimon was emphatically opposed. “We don’t want to do stupid things because we are losing a lot of money,” Mr. Dimon said, anticipating a rebound in the card business. “Hell no. We are going to do the right thing as fast as we can.” Mr. Dimon was aggressive in dealing with Washington, too. Whereas the heads of Citigroup and Bank of America struck a conciliatory tone with policy makers, Mr. Dimon was downright confrontational. JPMorgan’s 12-person Washington office was spending more than $7.7 million on lobbying over the last five quarters, more than any other bank, according to the Center for Public Integrity. Meanwhile, in speeches and in private meetings with lawmakers, he criticized credit card legislation, protested a proposed bank tax and complained that JPMorgan — which, he reminded them, accepted bailout funds with reluctance — was being unfairly punished for the sins of its competitors.

The result? A sweeping financial overhaul bill that most analysts say will not fundamentally change the way the industry does business. Many of the harshest measures were significantly watered down or delayed. JPMorgan, for example, will be allowed to retain its giant hedge fund unit, Highbridge Capital Management, and its status as a derivatives powerhouse. Despite his semi-victory, Mr. Dimon says being the chief is less fun these days, now that politics are so intertwined with his job. Mr. Dimon insists that the closeness of his relationship with Mr. Obama has been “greatly exaggerated,” as was the portrayal of any fallout with the White House. Still, he remains adamant that Washington’s “indiscriminate vilification” of all banks was wrong. “What I object to is the blanketing blame,” he said. “I think it is not accurate and leads to bad policy.”
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PostSubject: Why Wall St. Is Deserting Obama   Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:42 pm

Via NYT:
By; Andrew Ross Sorkin


Daniel S. Loeb, the hedge fund manager, was one of Barack Obama’s biggest backers in the 2008 presidential campaign. A registered Democrat, Mr. Loeb has given and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Democrats. Less than a year ago, he was considered to be among the Wall Street elite still close enough to the White House to be invited to a speech in Lower Manhattan, where President Obama outlined the need for a financial regulatory overhaul. So it came as quite a surprise on Friday, when Mr. Loeb sent a letter to his investors that sounded as if he were preparing to join Glenn Beck in Washington over the weekend.

“As every student of American history knows, this country’s core founding principles included nonpunitive taxation, constitutionally guaranteed protections against persecution of the minority and an inexorable right of self-determination,” he wrote. “Washington has taken actions over the past months, like the Goldman suit that seem designed to fracture the populace by pulling capital and power from the hands of some and putting it in the hands of others.” Over the weekend, the letter, with quotations from Thomas Jefferson, Ronald Reagan and President Obama, was forwarded around the circles of the moneyed elite, from the Hamptons to Silicon Valley. Mr. Loeb’s jeremiad illustrates how some of the president’s former friends on Wall Street and in business now feel about Washington.

Mr. Loeb isn’t the first Wall Streeter to turn on the president. Steven A. Cohen, founder of the hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors and a supporter of the Obama campaign, recently held a meeting with Republican candidates in his home in Greenwich, Conn., to strategize about the midterm elections, according to Absolute Return magazine. Other onetime supporters, like Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, also feel burned by the Obama administration, people close to him say. That the honeymoon between Washington and Wall Street has turned to bitter recriminations is not news, given that the administration had long pledged to revamp Wall Street regulation in the wake of a crisis that rattled the global financial system.

Less than two years ago, Democrats received 70 percent of the donations from Wall Street; since June, when the financial regulation bill was nearing passage, Republicans were receiving 68 percent of the donations, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan research group. But what is surprising is that some of the president’s biggest supporters have so publicly derided his policies, even at the risk of hurting their ability to influence the party in the future. Issues like the carry-interest tax on private equity or the Volcker Rule have become personal. Why so personal? The prevailing view is that bankers, hedge fund mangers and traders supported the Obama candidacy because he appealed to their egos.

Mr. Obama was viewed as a member of the elite, an Ivy League graduate (Columbia, class of ’83, the same as Mr. Loeb), president of The Harvard Law Review — he was supposed to be just like them. President Obama was the “intelligent” choice, the same way they felt about themselves. They say that they knew he would seek higher taxes and tighter regulation; that was O.K. What they say they did not realize was that they were going to be painted as villains. That Wall Street view of itself as a victim has prompted much of the private murmurings and the unfortunate — or worse — outburst from Stephen A. Schwarzman, who likened the administration’s plan for taxes on private equity to “when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.” Mr. Schwarzman later apologized for the “inappropriate analogy.”

Now Mr. Loeb, who manages about $3.4 billion at his firm, Third Point Partners, has articulated in a more thoughtful way what a lot of others in finance and business are saying. “We have given a great deal of thought about the impact that public policy has on individual companies, industries and the economy generally,” he said. Third Point has sold its investments in big banks as a result of “regulatory headwinds”; got rid of its stake in Wellpoint, which Mr. Loeb described as “a statistically cheap stock owned by several hedge funds, but which we saw as being overly exposed to unpredictable government regulation”; and taken a short position against for-profit education companies as a result of “the government’s increased willingness to use its regulatory muscle.”

Mr. Loeb’s views, irrespective of their validity, point to a bigger problem for the economy: If business leaders have a such a distrust of government, they won’t invest in the country. And perception is becoming reality. Just last week, Paul S. Otellini, chief executive of Intel, said at a dinner at the Aspen Forum of the Technology Policy Institute that “the next big thing will not be invented here. Jobs will not be created here.” Mr. Otellini has overseen two big acquisitions in the last two weeks — the $7.7 billion takeover of the security software maker McAfee and the $1.4 billion deal for the wireless chip unit of Infineon Technologies. If he is true to his word, those deals will most likely lead to job cuts in the United States, not job creation. Mr. Loeb declined to comment.

But it seems clear that he wrote the letter because so much of his fund’s investments were being driven by the impact of politics. It appears he is no longer betting that a chief executive will make his numbers; he’s betting on what legislation Congress will pass next. Mr. Loeb, whose poison pen is legendary, usually targets obstinate corporate managers or rivals. In one such note to the chief executive of Star Gas Partners, Mr. Loeb wrote: “It is time for you to step down from your role as C.E.O. and director so that you can do what you do best: retreat to your waterfront mansion in the Hamptons where you can play tennis and hobnob with your fellow socialites.”

In his letter to investors, he took issue with a number of Washington initiatives, including the Credit Card Act of 2009 and a proposed “enterprise tax” that would be levied on hedge fund managers who sell their firms. “So long as our leaders tell us that we must trust them to regulate and redistribute our way back to prosperity, we will not break out of this economic quagmire,” Mr. Loeb wrote. “Perhaps our leaders will awaken to the fact that free market capitalism is the best system to allocate resources and create innovation, growth and jobs,” he continued. “Perhaps too, a cloven-hoofed, bristly haired mammal will become airborne and the rosette-like marking of a certain breed of ferocious feline will become altered. In other words, we are not holding our breath.” Critics of Wall Street will rightfully complain that it was the actions of free market capitalists that prompted a push for regulation. On that point, Mr. Loeb does not entirely disagree.

“Many people see the collapse of the subprime markets, along with the failure and subsequent rescue of many banks, as failures of capitalism rather than a result of a vile stew of inept management, unaccountable boards of directors and overmatched regulators not just asleep, but comatose, at the proverbial switch,” he wrote
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PostSubject: Buffett Compares Wall Street to Church With Raffle    Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:05 am

(Bloomberg)--Warren Buffett, the billionaire chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said Wall Street is like a church that benefits society, then falters by operating a gambling venture on the side. Wall Street “does a lot of good things and then it has this casino,” Buffett, 80, said today at Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women conference in Washington. “It’s like a church that’s running raffles on the weekend.”

Buffett relies on investment banks to help finance acquisitions such as his $27 billion purchase of railroad Burlington Northern Santa Fe and to offer derivative contracts that allow him to speculate on stock markets. Omaha, Nebraska- based Berkshire invested $5 billion in Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in 2008 at the depths of the credit crisis. Buffett has also faulted Wall Street for excessive bets on U.S. housing. “People have a propensity to gamble, and it gets made easier and easier for them,” Buffett said. “One of the problems we still have is we have unbalanced incentives for managers of huge financial institutions.”

Buffett has called for greater accountability from bank executives whose risk-taking produces losses for shareholders and imperils the economy. The use of derivatives has allowed banks to add risk and “makes a mockery” of federal rules designed to limit losses, Buffett said. “You should go broke,” he said of chief executive officers whose firms require government bailouts to protect society.

‘Your Wife Should Go Broke’

“And I think your wife should go broke, too,” he said.

Berkshire, where Buffett serves as CEO, weathered the financial crisis without taking a capital injection from the U.S. government. Some of Berkshire’s biggest investment holdings took bailouts, including Goldman Sachs, the most profitable Wall Street firm, which got $10 billion in taxpayer funds. Wells Fargo & Co., which counts Berkshire as its biggest investor, got $25 billion.

Buffett reiterated praise for financial-company bailouts, and said government’s treatment of shareholders won’t create a so-called moral hazard in the equities market. Stockholders of companies including insurer American International Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. lost at least 90 percent of their investments, Buffett said. “The common shareholders did not get bailed out of those institutions, they lost hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of billions,” Buffett said. “There is no moral hazard in terms of big financial company stockholders.”

Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs and San Francisco-based Wells Fargo repaid their U.S. rescues. Buffett built an equity portfolio of about $55 billion by buying and holding stocks of companies that he believes have durable competitive advantages. Berkshire is the largest investor in Coca-Cola Co. and American Express Co. His investment in Goldman Sachs came with warrants that enable him to buy $5 billion of the company’s stock at $115 a share, compared with yesterday’s closing price of $146.57. Exercising the option at that price would generate a profit of more than $1.3 billion.

Buffett’s pronouncements on markets and on the economy are watched by policy makers and investors. Buffett, the world’s third-richest person, oversees more than 200,000 employees at Berkshire and the company’s more than 70 subsidiaries. At the conference today, he said his businesses are “coming back” after the recession. When asked for his outlook on equity and fixed-income markets, Buffett said investors buying bonds after yields fell this year “are making a mistake.”

‘Stocks are Cheaper’

“It’s quite clear that stocks are cheaper than bonds,” Buffett said. “I can’t imagine anyone having bonds in their portfolio when they can own equities.” Buffett said wealthy individuals should pay higher taxes. The billionaire, who said he probably pays a lower tax rate “than the cleaning lady,” criticized cuts made under former President George W. Bush. President Barack Obama, whom Buffett advised during his election campaign, is seeking lawmaker support to phase out breaks for families making more than $250,000.

“I have no tax shelters, I have no tax accountant, my tax shelter really was the Bush administration,” Buffett said. “They took care of me. They thought here’s this endangered species, kind of like the bald eagle out in Omaha, and if we don’t take care of this guy they’ll all quit working and we won’t have any arbitrageurs or hedge fund operators. So we’ve gotta give this guy a special kind of break.” Lawmakers are considering measures to raise revenue under the shadow of a U.S. deficit previously forecast by the White House budget office to be a record $1.47 trillion for 2010 and $1.42 trillion for fiscal 2011, which started Oct. 1.

“If you’re not going to get it from guys like me, why should we get it from the people who served us lunch today,” Buffett said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Andrew Frye in New York at afrye@bloomberg.net; Natalie Doss in New York at ndoss@bloomberg.net.

====================

That line about 'your wife should go broke too' is an instant classic from the 'Oracle' Razz
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