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Mon Feb 27, 2012, 11:34 AM

Warren Buffett stands up for the Banksters

(Bloomberg) Warren Buffett, who controls the biggest shareholding of the No. 1 U.S. mortgage lender, said banks were victimized by some homeowners who refinanced their loans before getting evicted.

“Large numbers of people who have ‘lost’ their house through foreclosure have actually realized a profit because they carried out refinancings earlier that gave them cash in excess of their cost,” Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A), said Feb. 25 in his annual letter. “In these cases, the evicted homeowner was the winner, and the victim was the lender.”

Foreclosures have claimed about 5 million homes since the property market began its slide in 2006. That has saddled lenders like Bank of America Corp. with defaults, vacated properties and lawsuits. Berkshire, whose stake in Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), the largest U.S. mortgage lender, is valued at more than $11 billion, invested $5 billion in Bank of America last year.

“It’s the mercenary side of Buffett,” said Jeff Matthews, a Berkshire shareholder and author of “Secrets in Plain Sight: Business & Investing Secrets of Warren Buffett.” “Rationally, it’s an interesting observation. But it ignores the huge human- cost side of the equation.” ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-27/buffett-says-banks-victimized-by-evicted-homeowners-who-emerged-as-winners.html

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Reply Warren Buffett stands up for the Banksters (Original post)
marmar Feb 2012 OP
xchrom Feb 2012 #1
Romulox Feb 2012 #2
CAPHAVOC Feb 2012 #3
babylonsister Feb 2012 #4
stockholmer Feb 2012 #5
whatchamacallit Feb 2012 #7
gratuitous Feb 2012 #6
laundry_queen Feb 2012 #8

Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 11:38 AM

1. du rec. nt

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 11:39 AM

2. But he's *our* plutocrat! nt

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Response to Romulox (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 11:44 AM

3. The .001%


You can have him.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 11:46 AM

4. Think Progress: "Buffett is absolutely right..."



Buffett is absolutely right to note that while corporate profits are at a record high, corporate taxes are at a nearly half-century low. When looking at the rate that corporations actually pay (as opposed to the statutory rate that only exists on paper), the U.S. has the second-lowest corporate tax rate in the developed world, and raises far less than other nations in corporate tax revenue.

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 05:13 PM

5. Buffett is pure oligarchic scum, so sick of poeple calling him a 'hero' (not saying you are, btw)


Do 'hero's' do things like this?

Buffett – trading on inside information – steals $3.7 billion from the American taxpayer.


"Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A) has made about $3.7 billion, including paper profits, from its $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) at the depths of the financial crisis in 2008.

Goldman Sachs today said it will pay $5.65 billion to redeem preferred stock it sold to Berkshire. The price includes the original investment, plus a 10 percent premium and first- quarter dividend. Berkshire still holds warrants to buy $5 billion of the New York-based bank’s common stock with a strike price of $115 per share, which have generated a paper profit of more than $1.9 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Buffett invested in Goldman Sachs following the collapse of rival securities firm Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Under terms of the deal, Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire collected a $500 million annual dividend on the preferred stake. Goldman Sachs closed at $159.96 today on the New York Stock Exchange, compared with $84.39 at the end of 2008..................................."


Key quote: "Goldman Sachs’s redemptions are “unwelcome,” Buffett said Feb. 26 in his annual letter to shareholders. “After they occur, our earning power will be significantly reduced"

In other words, Buffett wants to keep his hand further in the Goldman Sachs till, as they continue to financially rape and pillage.



Buffett Boosts His Oligarch Credentials, Again

Last week, billionaire Warren Buffett bought into Goldman Sachs with a $5 billion investment. Today, General Electric announced that Buffett is buying $3 billion of perpetual preferred stock from it.,GE has fallen 42 percent this year as a result of negative reyurns from its huge finance arm.

Both, Goldman Sachs and General Electric will be major beneficiaries if the $700 billion Paulson Plan is passed. Thus, the most significant beneficiary of the $700 billion Paulosn Plan is the richest man in America. Cute. Buffet's father, Howard, is surely turning in his grave. The senior Buffett was an old school conservative. He most assuredly would have preferred dying a pauper then to accept or benefit from government "bailout" money in anyway.

On CNBC today Boone Pickens said that "[Treasury Secretary] Paulson is in communication with Buffett; that's good. The coach is out there in Nebraska. It's a nice, quiet place to think. He's available." So Pickens, who has been hawking a bailout in advance of his future money losing wind turbine project, knows Buffet is talking to Paulson. Guys, this is one small club.



flashback video

Charlie Munger (Buffett's long time Berkshire partner), tells the US people that "Thank God that bank bailouts came before handouts" to them and that the Americans need to just "Suck it up and cope"


What bailouts you might ask? The $700 billion in Tarp? No no no, how does over $23.7 TRILLION (much to foreign banks) sound?

U.S. Rescue May Reach $23.7 Trillion, Barofsky Says (article from 2009)


Now, many said that this figure would NEVER come into play, that at most the totals would be another 700 billion (similar to TARP).

well.......................................... HELLO:


Senator Bernie Sanders: The FedRes Audit – “U.S. Provided a Whopping $16 Trillion in Secret Loans To Bail Out US And Foreign Banks”


(go to page 144, 3 of the Buffett-related banks, Wachovia, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo, got over $1.1 TRILLION in guarantees and zero or near zero interest loans)

and this

Another disclosure, different from Bernie Sanders' audit:


Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2 Trillion in Fed’s Secret Loans


Goldman Sach's (whilst Buffett was a significant share holder (see above), got around $70 Billion in bailouts and loans, Wells Fargo, another $45 Billion, and Wachovia got $50 Billion. That is another 165 billion to Buffett-related banks.

Between just these 2 Federal Reserve disclosures, 3 of the Buffet-related, partially or majority Buffett-directed received almost $1.3 TRILLION in secret bailouts, guarantees, and zero or near zero loans (which they turned around and leveraged out for billions in skimmed profits.)

Buffet and Drug Laundering Money:

Wachovia (now Wells Fargo under Warren Buffett) laundered $378.4 BILLION in drug cartel money, yet paid a fine of only $160 million.

That is equal to laundering a million, and paying a 423 dollar fine. A speeding ticket is more than that in certain cities. Buffett was completely involved in the negotiations to lower the fines.



Buffett and the Mortgage Fraud Class Action Lawsuit (Buffett now has massive shares in 2 Huge Banks, Wells Fargo and Bank of America that are squarely in Schneiderman's Target Zone):

Buffett Is Betting Against Eric Schneiderman


Perhaps. But, if so, the next time banks get government help won't go down like it did last time.

Warren Buffett announced Thursday he will take a stake in Bank of America, paying $5 billion for 50,000 cumulative preferred shares, each with a liquidation value of $100,000.

This investment has already raised red flags in the investment community, with the announcement coming days after Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan vehemently denying that the bank needed capital. Also, the terms of the deal -- specifically the outsized dividend -- have led at least one prominent analyst to declare: "There's no way the bank can make money." http://www.thestreet.com/story/11230870/1/buffett-to-invest-5-billion-in-bank-of-america.html



So what exactly are Bank of America(BAC_) and Warren Buffett up to?

They're betting against New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Schneiderman is investigating the foreclosure practices of major banks; http://www.legalnewsline.com/news/233633-schneiderman-removed-from-mortgage-deal-committee opposing any mortgage/foreclosure settlement that gives banks a release from criminal investigations in exchange for civil fines.

In this sense, he's a lone wolf, getting booted from multi-state mortgage-settlement talks http://www.thestreet.com/story/11229482/1/new-york-ag-booted-from-mortgage-talks.html while facing pressure from the Obama administration to accept "blood money" in exchange for banker immunity. http://www.thestreet.com/story/11226640/1/obama-wants-schneiderman-to-back-off-banks-report.htmlThe proposed settlement of $20 billion would protect mortgage servicers such Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Ally Financial from further mortgage investigations. For perspective, the laughably small settlement is less than a single year's Wall Street bonus pool.


Billionaire Warren Buffett will get huge profits from Obama’s cancellation of Keystone oil pipeline


President Barack Obama has a lucky policy pal who may richly benefit from his administration’s latest energy decision. Now that his State Department has decided to withhold approval for the Keystone XL pipeline that would have delivered millions of barrels of Canadian crude along with tens of thousands of jobs, a likely alternative is to transport that oil via the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad. That’s the 32,000 mile line with the best north-south infrastructure that Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway purchased a 22% ($34 billion) share of one year after Obama was elected.

BNSF is already a major oil player in North Dakota where production from the enormous Bakken fields has maxed out existing pipeline capacity. Keystone XL would have relieved that bottleneck, and its delay or death serves as still another BNSF business boon. North Dakota pumped a record 113 million barrels of oil in 2010, and State officials estimate that daily production will reach 700,000 barrels in four to seven years.

Now with the TransCanada pipeline on hold, Canada’s best remaining choices are to reverse an existing Embridge-Kinder Morgan Northern Gateway pipeline and ship Alberta oil sand bitumen east, move it by rail to ports accessible for transport by ship to Asian markets, or deliver it via a North Dakota BNSF spur to U.S. refineries. Transport by rail costs more than by pipeline, but routing is more flexible and can begin almost immediately.

The Obama administration’s original decision to postpone Keystone approval until after the 2012 elections followed loud opposition on environmental grounds led by an anti-pipeline group called “Bold Nebraska”. This occurred despite three previous years of State Department environmental impact studies addressing likely risks and reasonable alternatives that determined it would have “no significant impacts”. The BOLD Nebraska campaign was largely funded by Dick Holland, a close Buffett friend and business associate since the 1960s and an original Berkshire Hathaway investor. The two men share a similar political philosophy and are strong Democratic Party contributors...............


Did Warren Buffet-Owned Company’s Prison-Made Product Break U.S. Law?


Earlier this month, a company owned by Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway—Shaw Industries Group Inc.—admitted to violating Canadian law http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203436904577155042652527240.html by shipping flooring made by U.S. prison labor into Canada. But a prison industry expert tells In These Times that the company may have also broken American law by not clearly labeling its goods as partly deriving from prison labor.

American prisoners currently help Georgia-based Shaw Industries produce wood flooring that appears "time worn" and is sold under its Anderson Flooring brand. While prisoners have traditionally only produced items like state-issued license plates and equipment for governments, many states are now expanding the use of prison labor to produce goods for sale in public markets through a federal program called Prison Industries Certification Enhancement Program (PICEP). There are currently about 200 "factories" in U.S. prisons certified through PICEP that manufacture goods sold on the general market. (Multiple certified "factories" can be located in the same prison.)

The use of prison labor has grown dramatically as the prison population has expanded by 290 percent since 1980. One in 100 American adults are now in prison. According to one study by Noah Zatz at UCLA Law, "well over 600,000, and probably close to a million inmates are working full-time in jails and prisons throughout the United States” (These prisoners in some cases produce goods for as little as 23 cents an hour.

Earlier this month, Shaw Industries wrote in a letter http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203436904577155042652527240.html to customers that it "recently learned that our importing into Canada of goods that are manufactured utilizing prison labor is prohibited by Canadian law." After 15 years of selling prison-made goods in Canada, the company said http://hwfmag.com/editors/blog/default.aspx?id=889&t=Anderson-Stops-Shipping-PrisonLabor-Pro it only learned of the problem recently and notified distributors of its product that it would stop sending prison-made goods into Canada. The fact that Shaw Industries employs prisoners didn't come as a surprise to others in its industry. Last October Wu Shengfu, director of marketing for the China National Forest Products Industry Association, criticized the use of prison labor by companies like Shaw Industries. U.S. laws bar foreign companies from shipping prison-made goods into the United States. In a Wall Street Journal story, Shengfu was quoted as saying, "We should not apply one standard to China and another to the U.S.”



my thoughts

The $20 billion settlement is is actually 7 and a half times less than Wall street paid itself in bonuses for just 2010.($150 billion)


Buffett despises a true investigators like Schneiderman, and actively worked, along with the other bankster oligarchs behind the scenes to pressure his removal.

Furthermore, Buffett, per the terms of his $5 billion investment in Bank of America, gets paid back before ANYONE else, even the US government, in the event of BOA's demise.


Buffett also played his typical disinfo campaign in regards to the rating agencies (talking trash about them, but reaping huge profits through his large holdings in Moody's, as they blatantly mis-rated mortgages in the sub-prime debacle)



Buffett and derivatives:

Let’s Hold Benedict Arnold Billionaire Warren Buffett Accountable



Lastly, let me turn to Buffett and his widely played remarks calling for higher taxes on the rich for capital gains and dividends.

Buffett owns HUGE shares in companies, he cannot easily pull out of a stock without destroying its market value. He also is known for long term holding, and reaping huge profits, and if his companies get in trouble, he goes running to the government to bail him out.

So, what better to ensure a stock's price than raising the penalty on ALL OTHERS for pulling out by taxing that capital gain at a much higher rate. He is actually calling for the government to force people to stay in stocks much longer than they would have, due to tax penalties. Meanwhile, he completely benefits, as this captive group of investors now is much less likely to abandon the firms that he holds huge shares in. Meanwhile Buffett and his fellow ilk will use ultra-complicated (and previously illegal) accounting methods to offset the increase in taxes he would have paid via losses that he will say he incurred.

I completely agree the truly rich should pay more, as the US tax system is designed to smash small and medium sized firms, whilst the big multinationals, who basically wrote the tax code through lobbyist pressure, pay next to nothing. But Warren Buffett's plans are a sham, a scheme, and also will hurt, once again the small investor and small businesses, who employ 70% of all Americans.


If Warren Buffett, (a billionaire who has consistently used his privileged position to suckle off a bastardized version of crony capitalism which has morphed into corporate fascism through its confluences with the deepest cores of state power) is a 'hero', then........... HOW LOW the thresholds for the heroes of our age have fallen..........

Warren 'The Aw Shucks Billionaire' and Lloyd 'Just Doin' God's Work Here At Goldman Sachs' Blankfein

“A Goldman Sachs victory would be a rebuke to the whole idea of civilisation –- which, after all, is a collective decision by all of us not to screw each other over even when we can. It’s an important moment in the history of modern global capitalism: whether or not to move forward into a world of greed without limits.”

--Matt Taibbi

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Response to stockholmer (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 06:42 PM

7. Thanks stockholmer!

He's another bloodsucker disguised as one of the "good rich".

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 05:41 PM

6. "Large numbers" Warren? How many?

And how much did they loot from those hapless lenders who didn't require anything beyond a signature on a re-finance because the housing market was so overheated and the money was too good to pass up? And how do those numbers stack up against the total losses racked up by this reckless deregulation of the mortgage finance market? How much money did the lenders actually lose? How much did individual home-buyers lose? And how much federally-insured money went where the woodbine twineth (in robber baron Jay Gould's immortal pronouncement), covering institutional losses while people were turned out of their homes and whoever swooped in first got to claim title to the lost property?

Don't expect me to feel too badly for the gang that set fire to so much money because a couple of them got their eyebrows singed.

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Response to gratuitous (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 07:19 PM

8. Exactly.

Not to mention that if some poor sap made out with a few extra thousand bucks, he probably spent all of it and helped out the economy that Buffet has so profited from - unlike his pals that have hoarded every last cent.

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