Warren Buffett: Read All About Him (WSJ) This fall, two more books on Warren Buffett come out. The first, Tap Dancing to Work (Portfolio/Penguin), is a compilation of more than 80 articles about (and several by) Buffett. It’s edited by Carol Loomis, who has worked at Fortune magazine for more than half a century. Loomis knows Buffett as well as anyone – as one of his closest friends, a shareholder in Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A), a fellow bridge player and the pro-bono editor of his brilliantly written annual letters to shareholders. None of the material in Loomis’s book is new (except her introductions to each of the selections), and all of it was previously published in one place: Fortune. However, none of it has been collected previously in one place, much of it is hard to find online, and nearly all of it remains a delight to read.
Warren Buffett bets on US housing market recovery (TheFinancePages) Warren Buffett, the American billionaire and investment guru, is returning to the property sector, with investment in US housing market, by using his fund Berkshire Hathaway to obtain a majority stake in a US estate agent and other housing-related ventures. Warren Buffet feels that the property market is on its recovery mode. “It was just a question of getting households in balance with the supply of homes”, Warren Buffett told Bloomberg Television in an interview. “That happens in different paces in different parts of the country, but you have seen a much better balance developing here in recent months. And that’s why you’re seeing some pickup in prices in places.”
One of the biggest private fortunes in the world. So how will Warren Buffett's son Howard spend it? (TeleGraph) Deep in the South African veldt, Howard Buffett is tracking cheetah. “And we’re not going home until we find them,” he says. The big cats are elusive, but finally he clambers from his Jeep and strides to within a paw’s reach of his nervous quarry. The scar from a previous cheetah bite is just visible on his wrist. “Howard is a risk-taker,” says his chief-of-staff. That instinct runs in the blood of Warren Buffett’s son. The greatest investor and philanthropist of the 20th century, still ranked among the richest men on earth, never took the safe course. Nor has his heir, who bears few hallmarks of corporate America.
How to follow Buffett’s bet on U.S. housing recovery (TheGlobeAndMail) Investors looking to bet on a U.S. housing recovery might take a cue from the Sage of Omaha. Legendary investor Warren Buffett, who owns housing-related businesses through conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc., has been raising his own wager. He recently teamed up with Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management Inc. to more than double the size of his U.S. real-estate brokerage business, and launch Berkshire Hathaway Home Services as a new franchise brand.
Buffett Is Salivating for an Elephant (DailyFinance) In his 2011 letter to shareholders, Warren Buffett expressed a strong desire to make a big acquisition with Berkshire Hathaway's (NYS: BRK.A) (NYS: BRK.B) $38 billion in cash. Since then, many have referenced the "elephant gun" that is Berkshire's cash hoard and speculated as to where that cash could go. Now, after the most recent earnings announcement, we see that the gun has even more ammo -- over $40 billion. At the end of October, Buffett went on CNBC and made his intentions clear: "I'm salivating for a big acquisition." Gross images aside, where could Berkshire's gun be aimed, and how can you profit?
Australian Billionaires Absent From Top Givers List (BRW) There are 23 people who have given at least $1 billion to charity and none of them are Australian, according to a new report from Forbes that names the world’s most generous donors. Topping the list is Bill Gates who has given $28 billion (most figures quoted in this story are in US dollars) to a wide range of causes including the fight against poverty and disease in the Third World. Gates’s $66 billion fortune makes him the second richest person in the world behind Mexican Carlos Slim. (Slim doesn’t feature on Forbes’ top donors list.) Behind Gates are fellow Americans Warren Buffett, who has donated $17.25 billion, and George Soros ($8.5 billion in donations).
Landing deals with the big logo companies (CBSNews) In 1962, Warren merged all his partnerships into one, then invested in and eventually took control of a textile manufacturing firm, Berkshire Hathaway, which would become his holding company. However, he regards the deal not as a great triumph but perhaps as his biggest deal-making blunder. Buffett on Bargain Purchase Folly "You might think this principle is obvious, but I had to learn it the hard way -- in fact, I had to learn it several times over," Buffett wrote in his 1989 letter. "Shortly after purchasing Berkshire, I acquired a Baltimore department store, Hochschild Kohn, buying through a company called Diversified Retailing that later merged with Berkshire.