Warren Buffett News: Inside Warren Buffett’s Private Poker Tournament

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAYInside Warren Buffett’s Private Poker Tournament (BRW)
Via Forbes comes a read on what it’s like to go to Warren Buffett’s private poker tournament from staff writer Randall Lane, who scored an invite to Berkshire Hathaway’s NetJets Poker Invitational. Run by Berkshire private jet subsidiary NetJets, the comp has a prize pool of $US500,000, but Lane says invitees are more interesting in winning bragging rights over fellow successful business types.

Should You Follow Buffett’s Lead On Wells Fargo? (SeekingAlpha)
Wells Fargo (WFC) is now the second biggest holding in Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) portfolio. Bloomberg reported that Berkshire’s stake in Wells Fargo is now $13 billion. The Sage of Omaha thinks that Wells Fargo is a good value buy, but is it? Buffett thinks Wells Fargo is a good value play because of the bank’s hugely successful residential mortgage operation. Bloomberg reported that Wells Fargo created one out of every three residential mortgages issued in the U.S. in the first half of 2012. Buffett told Bloomberg that he thinks the mortgage market might rise as high as $3 trillion. If it did, Wells Fargo might make as much as $1 trillion off its mortgage business.

France Debt ‘Significantly Overvalued,’ Buffett’s Gen Re Says (SFGate)
General Re-New England Asset Management Inc., a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said investors seeking to cut risk in Spain and Italy are paying too much for French sovereign debt. “France is significantly overvalued,” GR-NEAM Chief Investment Officer John Gilbert wrote in a newsletter on the unit’s website. The country should be paying 4.5 percent to 5 percent yields on 10-year bonds based on its risks, closer to Italy and Spain’s rates than what Germany pays, he said.

Why Warren Buffett Stayed Far Away From The Facebook IPO (BusinessInsider)
At the Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) annual meeting on May 5, 2012, Warren Buffett stated (in response to a shareholder question): “We should stay away from things we do not understand”. He (Buffett) “needs to understand competitive position and and earnings power 5-10 years into the future. BRK has not bought an IPO in 30 years. IPO’s come to the market when sellers want to sell. It makes no sense to spend 5 seconds on a new issue. The idea that a new issue is going to be the cheapest thing to buy among thousands of stocks is crazy.”

Warren Buffett Gives Back Most Gains on BYD (Forbes)
Chinese car and battery manufacturer BYD has not been Warren Buffett’s most successful investment, and another poor earnings report came out on Friday. The company announced that its net profit decreased almost 90% year over year to RMB27 million. The news sent shares down almost 3%, bringing the stock down almost 74% for the last five years. Buffett’s history with the company began in 2009, when he bought 10% of the company for $230 million, or slightly over $1 per share, on an idea from his partner, Charlie Munger. As recently as the second quarter of 2012, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A)(BRK.B) subsidiary MidAmerican Energy is the company’s second-largest shareholder.

Top 5 Stocks George Soros and Warren Buffett Both Own (Forbes)
George Soros and Warren Buffett are two of the world’s most successful investors. While Buffett holds stocks for the long term, Soros is more likely to trade in and out of positions with greater frequency. Both of their viewpoints overlap on eight stocks. The largest positions they hold in common are: Walmart (WMT), Kraft (KFT), DirecTV (DTV), DaVita (DVA) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ).

European Stocks Slide Following Spanish GDP Data (MSNBC)
European stock markets have pushed into negative territory before the U.S. open Tuesday, losing ground after Spain posted a 0.4% fall in GDP from the previous quarter thanks to the government’s austerity push and a slump in consumer spending. Earlier this morning the Spanish government successfully sold 1.67 billion euros in three-month bonds, with strong demand and favorable rates. …As always, this morning’s European news saw some winners and losers — and perhaps some European buying opportunities. Indeed, legendary investor Warren Buffett has recently spent more than $1 billion buying the stock of a prominent European large cap. If you want to know why Buffett has bought into Europe, this special Motley Fool report — “The One European Share Warren Buffett Loves” — reveals everything, including the price he paid. You can download the report today for free, but hurry — the report is available for a limited time only.

Adam Smith and the Theory of Wages (BullionVault)
ONE GETS an almost cruel pleasure in seeing someone deploy irrefutable logic to destroy an opponent’s arguments, writes John Phelan for the Cobden Centre. I felt it this week reading George Reisman’s ‘Open letter to Warren Buffett’ where the well booted doctrines of Karl Marx got another kicking. By now Marx and his followers ought to be used to this sort of punishment at the hands of Austrians. Eugen von Böhm Bawerk produced his devastating destruction of Marx’s economics, Karl Marx and the Close of His System, back in 1896.

The Retirement Portfolio: American Express – Best In Class (SeekingAlpha)
With 97.4 million cards-in-force worldwide, $822 billion in worldwide billed business, and 162 operating years under its belt, American Express (AXP) is an icon of the modern world. Warren Buffett himself has 151,610,700 shares of American Express, a holding whose market value is approximately $8.7 billion (Berkshire Hathaway 13F). Only IBM, Coca Cola (KO), and Wells Fargo (WFC) represent larger positions in the Berkshire fold. They are the third largest general-purpose charge and credit card provider by charge volume, behind Visa (V) and MasterCard (MA). They are the 20th most admired company, according to CNN Money.

Why This Tobacco Company Should Spark Your Interest (DailyFinance)
With anti-smoking campaigns on the rise and regulatory hurdles mounting, Big Tobacco has come under a lot of pressure in recent years. But one tobacco company stands out from the rest and should continue to deliver. A perfect business model? In 1987, Warren Buffett told us why he likes the cigarette business. It costs a penny to make. Sell it for a dollar. It’s addictive. And there’s fantastic brand loyalty.

Buffett’s firm drops Intel, buys oil stocks (FederalNewsRadio)
Warren Buffett’s company has dropped its stake in Intel and added new investments in National Oilwell Varco and Phillips 66. Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc. revealed the moves in a regulatory filing after the market closed Tuesday. The report also detailed other shifts in the company’s $74.3 billion stock portfolio. In the three months ending June 30, Berkshire dropped all of its 7.7 million shares in Intel Corp. It bought 2.8 million shares in National Oilwell Varco Inc. and 27 million shares in Phillips 66.