Warren Buffett News: The wit and wisdom of Warren Buffett

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAYThe wit and wisdom of Warren Buffett (CNN)
Fortune met Warren Buffett by accident in 1966. I was writing an investing article about another man, Alfred Winslow Jones, who wasn’t famous at that moment, but was about to be because of the article. Jones was running something called a hedge fund, and Fortune’s description of what that was and how Jones operated started a miniboom in the hedge fund business. Buffett Partnership Ltd. — a sort of competitor of Jones’s fund — got a single line in the article. To my everlasting dismay, I misspelled Buffett, giving it only one “t.” A bit later, my husband, John Loomis, met Buffett and came home saying, “I think I have just met the smartest investor in the country.” I’m sure my eyes rolled. But then I, too, got to know Warren (and his wonderful late first wife, Susie) and realized how impressive this largely unknown fellow was. The Loomises bought stock in his small company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A); we became good friends of the Buffetts; and ultimately I became the pro bono editor of his increasingly famous annual letter to shareholders.

Buffett’s Iscar Can Weather Gaza Tumult, Wertheimer Says (Bloomberg)
Iscar Metalworking Cos., the Israel- based firm owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A), can withstand the Gaza conflict and tensions in Syria and Lebanon to the north, said unit Chairman Eitan Wertheimer. Iscar operates in other nations and always has a “fallback position,” including inventories, Wertheimer said in an interview for broadcast today on Bloomberg Television. “We operate around the world, we have thousands and thousands of people everywhere,” Wertheimer said yesterday in Caesarea, about 62 miles (100 kilometers) south of Iscar’s headquarters in Tefen in northern Israel. “We’ve been used to it ever since we were here.”

Warren Buffett buys more bank stock (BizJournals)
Warren Buffett bought another 11 million shares of Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) stock in the third quarter, boosting his stake in the bank to put it close to his largest investment, according to the San Francisco Business Times. The latest purchases bring Berkshire Hathaway’s total holdings to 422.5 million Wells shares and makes it 19.4 percent of Berkshire’s portfolio, according to an SEC filing this week. That puts it just behind Coca-Cola, which is 20.1 percent of Berkshire’s investment portfolio. International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) was a close third, at 18.6 percent of the portfolio.

Obama Sells Fiscal Cliff Agenda To Jamie Dimon, Warren Buffett And Other Major Business Leaders (HuffingtonPost)
President Barack Obama’s intensive lobbying to avert big year-end tax hikes and spending cuts resumed over the weekend as he spoke with senior corporate chieftains, including JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon and legendary investor Warren Buffett. Dimon has been a harsh critic of tougher rules imposed on the financial services industry after the 2007-2009 recession, but last month backed Obama’s goal of raising taxes on top earners to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. The president, who is on a four-day Asia trip, also spoke with Apple’s Tim Cook, Boeing’s Jim McNerney, and Costco’s Craig Jelinek, a White House official said.

Warren Buffett’s Predictable Career Advice: ‘Follow Your Passion’ (HuffingtonPost)
It must be fun to be rich and tell people to follow their passion, especially if you can gloss over the whole student-debt, broke-artist thing. “Follow your passion,” the Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, said during a recent interview with FORTUNE. “I always tell college students to take the job that you would take if you were independently wealthy. You’re going to do well at it.” The advice echoes that of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs during a 2005 commencement address at Stanford University, where he urged young people to “to find what you love.” “The only way to do great work is to love what you do,” Jobs added. “If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle.”

Buffett Has Plenty of Company, Among Fund Managers, in Buying Deere: Here’s Why (Nasdaq)
We all know Warren Buffett’s fondness for farm analogies and the heartland, so perhaps it’s no surprise that his Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.B ) team picked up a stake in tractor maker Deere & Co. ( DE ) last quarter. But Buffett’s not the only smart guy buying Deere lately. John Rafal of Essex Financial Services, an independent famous for good individual stock picks, likes Deere’s combination of income (there’s a 2.2% dividend yield now) and growth. So does Neel Kashkari, managing director of fund giant Pimco. Thomas Russo of Gardner Russo & Gardner has been adding Deere to his hedge fund all year.

Warren Buffett on the Fiscal Cliff (WealthDaily)
Worried about the fiscal cliff? Warren Buffet isn’t. Despite a report from the Congressional Budget Office stating that the fiscal cliff—more than $600 billion in automatic tax increases and spending cuts which will kick in on January 1, 2013—will almost certainly send the nation spinning into another recession and increased unemployment numbers, Buffett thinks differently. From Business Insider, quoting Buffett’s interview with CNN: “If we go past January 1st, I don’t now if it will be January 10th, or February 1st, but we’re not going to permanently cripple ourselves because 535 people can’t get along. He’s convinced that newly re-elected President Obama is justified in seeking $1.6 trillion in revenue.