Monday, February 27, 2012

Warren Buffett - The Crony Crusader?

Back in 2008, Warren Buffett was working as an economic adviser to then candidate Obama. It was also during this time frame that Mr. Buffett invested a whopping $5,000,000,000 into Goldman Sachs. And, not only that, folks, he basically admitted that the only reason that he did so was because he knew that the government would "act" (i.e., dole out copious amounts of bailout money). How, pray tell, is this action not considered insider-trading? I mean, seriously.

23 comments:

Rusty Shackelford said...

The "sage of Omaha" my ass! Has anyone seen any occupy protesters out side this crooked old farts house?

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

As of yet, no.

w-dervish said...

You really don't like Warren Buffett do you? I liked how Tao slapped you down when you tried to slander Mr. Buffett on Truth's blog. Good stuff.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Tao didn't respond to my final volley and so I feel quite vindicated, thank you......And, no, I don't like him. I think that he should pay his taxes from 2002 and stop taking advantage of his position of power to profit from insider information. Your lack of holding him accountable does nothing but underscore what a biased and partisan little troll that you are.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

This was the comment - "And you're the one that doesn't have a clue, dude. What are Mr. Buffet and his minions over at Berkshire Hathaway saying here? THEY'RE SAYING THAT THEY DON'T TRUST THE GOVERNMENT - this, while, at the same time, Buffet is demagoguing that he isn't paying sufficient taxes....to this very same government! Do you not see the irony there?......And, yes, I understand - not everything that I read is gospel (you might want to tell that to wd - he seems to take everything that thinkregress says as coming from Olympus). That's why I didn't go with the New York post piece until I also read it in the Huffpo (again, they didn't dispute a single fact from the Post story)."

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

And then I pointed out to Les - "Les, one of the years in question is 2002. 2002!! That's a decade ago. Either Berkshire Hathaway is trying to get away with something OR the federal government is totally incompetent. Or both." Oh, yeah, the dude (who's really little more than a slightly more intelligent version of you) really "slapped me down" fierce.

w-dervish said...

Will: ...the dude... really "slapped me down" fierce.

It looks like we're in agreement on this.

Also, I said nothing about whether or not I hold Mr. Buffett "accountable". I haven't really looked into it so I've got no opinion at this time.

dmarks said...

Considering the derision that WD has time and again heaped on the "1%" who have earned a lot of money (especially those who 'game the system' which it certainly looks like Buffet has), his defense of someone who is the 1% of the 1% of the 1% does look kind of odd, doesn't it, Will?

BB-Idaho said...

I suppose that is one the 1% does.
But he seems more likeable than the Donald...

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

wd is a flat-out partisan, dmarks, you know that just as well as I do.............I agree, BB Idaho, but I also think that a salamander is a lot more likable than Donald.

w-dervish said...

dmarks: his defense of someone who is the 1% of the 1% of the 1% does look kind of odd...

I don't see how something that didn't happen could look odd. I didn't defend Warren Buffett. Next time how about responding to what I actually wrote, instead of what you'd have liked me to have written?

Will: wd is a flat-out partisan, dmarks, you know that just as well as I do...

Well, in this case you're "knowing" something that is false. I think most (if not all) extremely wealthy people have gotten that way by gaming the system, and can be criticized for it... that includes Buffett.

But I think Tao pointed out to you that Warren Buffett did pay his taxes and you're wrong on that account.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

No, Mr. Buffett (as even the HuffPo has acknowledged) and his firm, Berkshire Hathaway, owe Uncle Sam a lot of money dating all the way back to 2002.............Yeah, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates really gamed the system by forcing us to but all of that stuff. I don't know, wd, it sounds like you're whining and dishing out a lot of sour grapes yet again.

w-dervish said...

Henry Ford isn't a wealthy person, he's dead. Jobs outsourced Apple products and didn't have to pay the import tariffs he should have been charged. Bill Gates' Microsoft is a monopoly and should have been broken up long ago.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

They didn't "game the system". They worked within the system and gave the world products that the world wanted. And Mr. Jobs wouldn't have been the one paying the tariffs. The American consumer and workers not protected via this favoritism would have been the ones paying this highly regressive tax.............I would also assert that Mr. Gates is doing far more good for the world with HIS money that the U.S. government is currently doing with OURS (you, not included, of course).

w-dervish said...

Sure, Microsoft worked within the system... that's why they were sued by the US government, I suppose? And it must also explain why "the suit was settled on terms generally considered favorable to Microsoft" when Microsoft jumped into lobbying big time?

This most certainly is gaming the system in my book.

And tariffs aren't "highly regressive", they're exactly the opposite. It's "highly regressive" to take good paying jobs from Americans and send them overseas. WHY would someone without a job (or a lower paying job) care if he can buy a cheaper iPod?

w-dervish said...

Will: Tao didn't respond to my final volley and so I feel quite vindicated...

You responded last and you think that means you were "vindicated"? IMO there was no need for Tao to respond again. He made his point (and made it very well)... you were just flailing.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Bullshit, he had nothing. Mr. Buffett has outstanding taxes all the way back to 2002 and all that this Tao character could do was cry bias about it. And now it looks like Buffett is even more of a hypocrite with all of this insider trading shit.

w-dervish said...

Tao didn't say anything about bias. He laid out the legal reason the IRS thinks Buffett's company owes back taxes. It looks to me like BH is doing everything legally, disputing what they owe, as is their right.

Also, what you described in this post does not fit the legal definition of insider trading.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

2002, wd - 10 years. That says to me that either Mr. Buffett doesn't trust the government or that he's trying to screw the government. Mr. Buffett wants to pay more in taxes, supposedly? Fine, I say start with what he already owes.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

You may be right about the insider trading (the letter of the law component - what Boehner and Pelosi did wasn't "illegal" at the time, either). But he did use information that the rest of us didn't have to make a huge investment. It's at the very least an abuse of power and privilege.

w-dervish said...

It was his company, not him, that the IRS is claiming owes these taxes (right?). Also, he doesn't want to pay more. That is the stupid conservative argument; that if he wants to pay more he should write a check.

He doesn't want to pay more; he thinks the rate should be higher (so all wealthy people pay more). There is a significant distinction.

Also, why would you think he either doesn't trust or is trying to screw the government? Perhaps the accountants at BH and those at the IRS simply disagree? You can be for an increase in marginal tax rates and still think the IRS gets it wrong sometimes, can't you?

As for the "insider trading"... certainly he could have guessed that GS was going to be bailed out. I mean, finance is what he does for a living. You're suggesting that either Obama told him there was going to be a bailout OR he suggested it to Obama (and knew he'd take his advice)?

Perhaps neither happened? You're the who's been saying the banks knew they were going to be bailed out... but WB didn't?

Also, Nancy Pelosi says she was not involved in any insider trading (legal or illegal)... I believe her.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

wd, a) he basically admitted that he wouldn't have made the investment had he not known about the bailout (this, via his association with Mr. Obama - ergo, the insider trading), b) 10 years - that is MORE than enough time to straighten out a tax situation, and c) Pelosi is obviously lying (Steve Kroft nailed her and made her look like a deer in the headlights at the press conference).

w-dervish said...

Will: he basically admitted that he wouldn't have made the investment had he not known about the bailout...

Do you have a quote and a link? Due to your use of the word "basically"... I'm guessing no.

Will: 10 years - that is MORE than enough time to straighten out a tax situation.

Apparently not. In any case, why is the IRS not to blame then?

Will: Pelosi is obviously lying...

I disagree.