Warren Buffett News: Downturn Can Fire The Entrepreneurial Spirit

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAYHow a downturn can fire the entrepreneurial spirit (BelfastTelegraph)
It’s about time we gave thanks for recession. If it weren’t for the downturn, hundreds of brilliant entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland wouldn’t be currently dreaming up business plans which will make them the next Bill Gates, the next Warren Buffett or the next Richard Branson. If well-paid jobs were easy to come by, many of this generation of would-be entrepreneurs would be protectively ensconced by their hefty pay packets and wouldn’t feel the need to take a risk at going it alone.

See’s Candies: Warren Buffett’s Favorite Investment (HuffingtonPost)
What’s Warren Buffett’s favorite investment? Nope, it’s not his cartoon series “Secret Millionaires Club.” And it’s certainly not muni bonds. It’s See’s Candies, the boxed-chocolates company that Buffett bought 40 years ago for $25 million, according to Fortune’s feel-good piece about the West Coast staple. (The San Francisco-based chocolatier is also reportedly a favorite of Nancy Pelosi.) “It’s one thing to own stock in a Coca-Cola or something, but when you’re actually in the business of making determinations about opening stores and pricing decisions, you learn from it,” Buffett, who reportedly keeps a box of See’s lollipops on his desk, told Fortune. “We have made a lot more money out of See’s than shows from the earnings of See’s, just by the fact that it’s educated me.”

The Oracle sees all (TorontoSun)
We should all be worried by a recent decision made by Warren Buffett. The billionaire investor is drawing his money out of municipal bonds. …Buffett isn’t dubbed the Oracle of Omaha for nothing. He’s considered a wise predictor of things to come. He didn’t state exactly why his company is taking more than $8 billion away from municipal bonds. Although in a 2009 shareholder letter he did wager that municipalities would feel more comfortable turning their backs on their creditors on Wall St. than raising taxes or cutting services for their citizens on Main St.

How Nebraska Is Winning Foreign Business (BusinessWeek)
Jie Shi has an easy explanation for why he chose Omaha—a place many Chinese have never heard of—for the U.S. headquarters of his LED lighting company, SFT International. “This is where Warren Buffett lives,” says Shi. The allure of Buffett, widely admired in China, isn’t the only reason Shi didn’t go to New York or Los Angeles. His decision to plant his company’s U.S. roots in the Cornhusker State last year was the result of an aggressive and novel effort begun by Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman.

Berkowitz Leans a Little Less on Warren Buffett (MFWire)
Bruce Berkowitz appears be losing faith in his teacher. Long considered a protegee of Warren Buffet’s value-based investment strategy, Berkowitz has now sold a big stake in Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc, reports Jason Kephart of InvestmentNews. In the second quarter, Berkowitz’s Fairholme Capital Management has dumped nearly all of its A shares of Berkshire Hathaway and reduced its holdings of B shares by about 17 percent, writes Kephart. Fairholme sold a total of 1,567 of the A shares, currently trading at $128,529 a pop, and 163,314 of the B shares, currently $85 each.

BYD targeting for 20 pc of Chinese EV market (MorningWhistle)
BYD Co. expects to account for more than one of every five sales of Chinese alternative-energy vehicles around the world, Chairman Wang Chuanfu told journalists this week in Beijing, where BYD launched the improved version of its F3 compact car. Wang said he believes exports of BYD’s alternative-energy vehicles will start to increase in late 2013.

Older women more generous than men (StarTribune)
Sorry, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. Baby boomer women, and even older women, are more generous philanthropists than men. Older women give 89 percent more of their total income to charity than their male counterparts, according to a survey by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. The study defies the stereotypes of older women being tight with their money, author Debra Mesch said, and shows how women are transforming philanthropy.

‘Chinese Warren Buffett’ Faces $11.8M Ponzi Scheme Penalty (Law360)
An investment manager who dubbed himself a “Chinese Warren Buffett” and then allegedly ran a criminal Ponzi scheme should disgorge $11.8 million in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission fraud suit, a Texas federal judge said Wednesday. U.S. Magistrate Judge Renee Harris Toliver issued an order recommending that Weizhen Tang and three investment companies tied to him — Oversea Chinese Fund LP, Weizhen Tang & Associates Inc. and Weizhen Tang Corp. — fork over $9.1 million in alleged investor losses, plus $2.7 million in prejudgment interest….

Patton: If I Ran a Super PAC (Gopusa)
At one time or another, most people have fantasized about what they would do if they were rich. I’m talking what we used to call filthy rich. I know what I would do. I would start a Super PAC. I would fund it myself, write the ads, make the media buys, and drive liberals crazy. It would be so much fun. I would start with Mitt Romney’s taxes. The Obama campaign points out that Romney pays a lower percentage rate than does his running mate, Paul Ryan. The premise of the argument is faulty, of course, but conservatives don’t seem to know how to stop the other side from defining the issue.

BNSF Railway CEO sounds off on Pacific Northwest coal-export debate (Equities)
BNSF Railway Chairman and CEO Matthew Rose dropped by The Columbian’s office Thursday to weigh in on his company’s involvement in plans to export coal from the Pacific Northwest to overseas markets. “We owe you as a community more information,” Rose said of his swing through Washington state this week, including visits to Spokane, Vancouver, Bellingham and Seattle. …Rose has led Fort Worth, Texas-based BNSF Railway since 2000. His boss is billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who acquired the railroad in 2010 through his Berkshire Hathaway Inc.