Warren Buffett´s Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N) will receive Goldman Sachs Inc (GS.N) stock worth nearly $2.15 billion on Tuesday through warrants acquired as part of a deal originally signed during the depths of the 2008 financial crisis. Buffett received the warrants five years ago when his investment in Goldman was seen as a vote of confidence in the bank, which was reeling from turmoil in the credit market. Under that deal, Berkshire had the right to buy about 43.5 million Goldman shares - or a roughly 9 percent stake then - at an exercise price of $115 per share, for
Comments: Soetoro Sweetheart Deal or plain old fashioned kickback?
One has to have a ready source of cash to be able to be a banker of last resort. He stepped up in the crises and made a deal at crises rates.
Yet both Berkshire and Goldman benefit from the latest twist. Berkshire does not actually have to put up real cash to convert the shares and avoids some taxes and Goldman does not dilute the equity as much.
In a major rant at radio host Sway Calloway this week Kanye West went full tilt against the fashion establishment that is preventing him from unleashing his artistry-in-apparel on the world: “I am Warhol. I am the No. 1 most impactful artist of our generation. I am Shakespeare in the flesh. Walt Disney. Nike. Google. Now, who’s going to be the Medici family and stand up and let me create more? Or do you want to marginalize me til I’m out of my moment?” Dear Kanye Warhol-Shakespeare-Disney-Google-West, So you want to be a fashion designer! You actually did launch a
PHILADELPHIA--A horse pulling a buggy with an Amish family aboard in rural Pennsylvania was struck by a bullet fired from a moving car and later died, police said on Tuesday.(Snip)"At the time, they believed it was a firecracker," Weaver said. "They didn´t realize it was a gunshot." The family continued home, where they realized the animal had been injured. "When they got to the farm, the farmer noticed blood from the horse´s mouth," Weaver said. The horse died before a veterinarian arrived.
The Treasury Department said on Thursday that it would sell its remaining shares in General Motors by year’s end, allowing the government to finally sever ties to the bailed-out automaker a few months sooner than expected.(Snip)Barring a sudden jump in G.M.’s stock price, the government is on track to lose about $10 billion on its investment. So far, it has recovered about $38.4 billion. By contrast, other rescue efforts, including the bailout of the American International Group, have generated profits for taxpayers. But administration officials have long argued that the aim was not to make a profit from its investments
WASHINGTON — A mutiny has erupted among photographers who cover President Obama over what they say is the White House’s increasing practice of excluding them from events involving the president and then releasing its own photos or video.(Snip)“As surely as if they were placing a hand over a journalist’s camera lens,” the three-page letter said, “officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the executive branch of government.” The Obama administration has embraced social media as a way to get its message to the public beyond the traditional news media.
Secretary of State John Kerry just scrapped 190 years of U.S. foreign policy in Latin America, casually declaring the Monroe Doctrine is over.Why didn´t he just ring the dinner triangle for Russia, China, Iran and their terrorist catspaws to set up shop, too? "President James Monroe," Kerry told the Organization of American States in Washington Monday, "declared that the United States would unilaterally, and as a matter of fact, act as the protector of the region... And throughout our nation´s history, successive presidents have reinforced that doctrine and made a similar choice. "Today, however, we have made a different choice. The
After allegations were made about the legitimacy of the author´s account of the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya last September, Simon & Schuster has halted publication and sale of The Embassy House: The Explosive Eyewitness Account of the Libyan Embassy Siege by the Solider Who Was There, by Sgt. Morgan Jones and Damien Lewis. "In light of information that has been brought to our attention since the initial publication of The Embassy House, we have withdrawn from publication and sale all formats of this book, and are recommending that booksellers do the same," said Jennifer Robinson,
AVANNAH, Ga. — The uninsured pour into Memorial Health hospital here: the waitress with cancer in her voice box who for two years assumed she just had a sore throat. (Snip) Now, in a perverse twist, many of the poor people who rely on safety-net hospitals like Memorial will be doubly unlucky. A government subsidy, little known outside health policy circles but critical to the hospitals’ survival, is being sharply reduced under the new health law. The subsidy, which for years has helped defray the cost of uncompensated and undercompensated care, was cut substantially on the assumption that the hospitals
The Affordable Care Act’s website debut has been compared to the Titanic disaster. The analogy is fair, in that the ship’s captain demonstrated an inexplicable lack of interest in and respect for the risks presented by the iceberg-infested waters through which his vessel was sailing. (Snip) As many parallels as there are between the fateful maiden voyage of the Titanic and the launch of Healthcare.gov, however, there is another colossal technological disaster that may be even more apt: the catastrophic 1986 explosion of the space shuttle Challenger just 73 seconds after liftoff. Exhaustive postaccident analyses revealed that the immediate cause
Insurers say the early buyers of health coverage on the nation´s troubled new websites are older than expected so far, raising early concerns about the economics of the insurance marketplaces. If the trend continues, an older, more expensive set of customers could drive up prices for everyone, the insurers say, by forcing them to spread their costs around. "We need a broad range of people to make this work, and we´re not seeing that right now," said Heather Thiltgen of Medical Mutual of Ohio, the state´s largest insurer by individual customers. "We´re seeing the population skewing older."(Snip)The average enrollee age
Here’s the latest leading theory about those mystery barges in Portland and San Fransisco: They’re party boats for launching Google Glass, the Internet giant’s computerized eyewear.The barges, and the odd-looking structures on top of them, have been linked to Google in documents from the Coast Guard in New London, Conn., and in an apparent slip-of-the-tongue by a Coast Guard official in California.(Snip)But new evidence indicates the barges will be towed to large coastal cities, where wealthy customers will be invited aboard for exclusive looks at Google Glass. The wearable computer, still under development, would enable people to communicate with the
The four-story structure that has been docked in Portland Harbor since Oct. 10 is connected in some way to Google, according to Coast Guard documents obtained by a Connecticut newspaper through a Freedom of Information Act request. (Snip)The purpose of the structure and the barge it rests on is not described in the documents, which do reveal a plan to operate the vessel in various ports, the first being New York Harbor. Tugboats from Portland towed the barge from New London, arriving Oct. 10 at Rickers Wharf on Portland’s waterfront, a facility owned and operated by Cianbro.Cianbro’s Chief Executive Officer
POLACCA, Ariz.—-The group of boys head out toward the mesa, setting their feet upon dirt trails that are lined with scrub brush and corn fields. It´s the same earth that their Hopi ancestors would tread as they ran in prayer for rain, prosperity and all of mankind. For these boys, the drive is as much about the competitive spirit as the enduring spirit of their culture. Hopi High School, where they are students, has earned 23 state cross-country titles in a row, and according to its coach, is one of three schools in the country to earn a perfect score Source corrected and removed from text by Staff.
President Obama requested Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu take a “breather” from his harsh criticism of the U.S. strategy regarding Iran during a call betwee the two leaders, The Washington Post reported on Thursday. The request came as the administration girds up for a push in the next six months to reach a final settlement on Iran´s nuclear program. The president reportedly urged Netanyahu to tone down his rhetoric for the sake of diplomacy and urged him to dispatch officials to Washington who could help negotiate a resolution agreeable to both countries. The president called Netanyahu last Sunday, promising to
In 1947, Sen. Harley Kilgore (D-W.Va.) condemned a proposed constitutional amendment that would restrict presidents to two terms. “The executive’s effectiveness will be seriously impaired,” Kilgore argued on the Senate floor, “ as no one will obey and respect him if he knows that the executive cannot run again.” I’ve been thinking about Kilgore’s comments as I watch President Obama, whose approval rating has dipped to 37?percent in CBS News polling — the lowest ever for him — during the troubled rollout of his health-care reform. Many of Obama’s fellow Democrats have distanced themselves from the reform and from the president.
Cher told her fans on Wednesday that she does not celebrate Thanksgiving. In fact, she appears to deplore the American holiday, calling in the “beginning of a great crime.” Cher said that the American settlers were guilty of taking land from native Americans who had no concept of property ownership and also intentionally infected them with smallpox. “You don’t celebrate the holiday I thought?” a fan asked Cher. “I DON’T,” Cher replied emphatically. She said that, to her, Thanksgiving is a day to see family, eat food together and watch a movie. “Not 2 celebrate the beginning of a GREAT Crime.” When asked
For all the gnashing of teeth over the lack of comity and civility in Washington, the real problem is not etiquette but the breakdown of political norms, legislative and constitutional. Such as the one just spectacularly blown up in the Senate. To get three judges onto a coveted circuit court, frustrated Democrats abolished the filibuster for executive appointments and (non-Supreme Court) judicial nominations. The problem is not the change itself. It’s fine that a president staffing his administration should need 51 votes rather than 60. Doing so for judicial appointments, which are for life, is a bit dicier. Nonetheless, for
President Obama's weekly remarks: Hi, everybody. On behalf of all the Obamas — Michelle, Malia, Sasha, Bo, and the newest member of our family, Sunny — I want to wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. We’ll be spending today just like many of you — sitting down with family and friends to eat some good food, tell stories, watch a little football and. most importantly, count our blessings. And as Americans, we have so much to be thankful for.
LEE COUNTY - The Lee County Sheriff´s Office has arrested a juvenile in connection with two random attacks reported in Lee County. Traveshia Blanks, of Fort Myers, is charged with two counts of battery on a person 65 years of age or older. On Tuesday around 3:50 p.m., deputies responded to a report of a group of people who randomly attacked an unsuspecting victim (Snip)We talked to students from nearby Cypress Lake High School who didn´t seem to think the teens did anything wrong. "I´m not gonna say it´s not right and it´s not fun, because it is fun," said
Economics: It seems the official position of Pope Francis is that the free market is a wicked enemy that must be restrained. With all due respect, he´s mistaken. The free market has been a heavenly blessing. Two days before our American Thanksgiving, the Argentinian pontiff, in his first apostolic exhortation, called the free market a "new tyranny." "Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world," he wrote in the Vatican report. Claims of free-market success, he said, have "never been confirmed
President Obama is concerned these days with the "young invincibles," the 20-somethings he needs now to buy into his program, but who probably won´t because they feel (you guessed it) invincible and think they will stay so for quite a long time. But it takes one to know one, as the irony is Obama himself is, or once was, an ultra-invincible, unstoppable and doing what people said couldn´t be done. Could he become world famous on the strength of one speech? Yes, he could. Could he beat Hillary Clinton, a president´s wife and a feminist icon? Yes, he could. Could he
One day after a new poll showed that only a minority of Americans trust President Barack Obama, the president told an audience that his policies are based on kindness. “Kindness covers all of my political beliefs,” Obama told his audience of wealthy investors, high-tech donors, journalists and fellow Democrats Tuesday, only two months after he slashed at GOP legislators, calling them arsonists, nuclear blackmailers, economic wreckers, hostage-takers, obsessives and irresponsible extremists. “When I think about what I’m fighting for, what gets me up every single day, [kindness] captures it just about as much as anything,” he told his audience at the DreamWorks
Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin are starting to sour on the new pope. In response to Pope Francis’ first Apostolic Exhortation, in which the pontiff denounced “trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world,” these two paragons of the far right – both of whom regularly invoke the teachings of Jesus to bolster their own political views – have suddenly turned their backs on the man whose actual job description is to speak for Jesus. Sarah Palin complained that Pope Francis sounded “kind
In the wake of the Obamacare fiasco, President Obama’s poll numbers are collapsing in two industrial Midwestern states — the quintessential swing state of Ohio and his home state of Illinois. In Illinois, the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling found Obama’s approval rating falling to just 50–46 positive in a state he carried by 17 points just a year ago. His biggest drops in support came among women voters (only 50 percent positive) and Hispanics (only 51 percent positive). Without his overwhelming support among African-Americans (92 percent), his approval rating would easily be in the low 40s. The liberal website
So this is how first lady Michelle Obama imagines Americans should spend their Thanksgiving dinner: Talking about Obamacare. That’s her call to supporters, via an email invitation to Democratic Party backers, The New York Post reported. “As you spend time with loved ones this holiday season, be sure to talk with them about what health care reform can mean to them,” she said, in the email that contained 14 talking points that could be raised. Among her touted topics, The Post reported: Talk about the need to sign up for Obamacare. And, ask guests to bring W2 tax forms, or