Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything – First Look

Wednesday, 21 November, 2012

Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything by Carol J. Loomis - pix 1

Forty-two months! Thats how long I’ve been eagerly awaiting for Carol Loomisnew book “Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything, 1966-2012: A Fortune Magazine Book” (368 pages, on sale Nov 26th and online amazon.com & indigo.ca). Carol is Fortune magazine senior editor-at-large and a long time (40+ years) close friend of Warren Buffett! I am thrilled to see Carol’s book published and in my hands as it feels like having an insightful person who knows Warren really well to guide me through some important and insightful articles. It will take me some time to read & review the book, please stay tune for my detailed review. Until then, my first impression of the book is it looks awesome!

Long time readers of Warren‘s news and insights will be familiar with some of key articles in this collection and also see many (for me) new articles that are important but less well known. Carol has added many insightful commentaries before the articles to give us context and share with us her views. For example, the article “The Inside Story of Warren Buffet” (April 11, 1988) is Fortune’s first profile of Warren and Carol’s preamble explains what lead her to finally wrote the first profile about Warren after knowing him for 20+ years at that point! And then the afterword for articles like “Buffett Hits $200 million Downdraft” (Nov 17, 1994) reminds readers that Warren actually made money on the USAir investment (which many people may have an impression of it being a money losing investment).

P.S. Now, let me explain my wait of almost forty-two months in this postscript. You see, in April 2009, shareholders of Warren Buffett‘s Berkshire Hathaway NOT physically presented at the annual shareholders’ meeting in Omaha were given opportunities to ask Warren & Charlie remotely in advance via email for the first time. And I jumped at the chance by emailing my question to Carol! Along with my question, I told Carol that,

I am a big fan of your Fortune articles about Warren and BRK. (I have taken the time to look up some of your older articles and really enjoy reading them.)”

In Carol’s email reply was where I first read of the mention of a possible book (the book that I am finally holding in my hands)! So, yes, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the book since Apr 2009, and that is about forty-two months! :)

P.P.S. Sharp-eyed readers may have noticed there is a stack of five books in the above picture. Can you guess the titles of the Warren related books in the stack? Find out how many you guess correctly by clicking here to see this picture.

P.P.P.S. If you have read this far, you might as well check out my review of Warren’s biography “Snowball” by Alice.

note: this article is cross-posted by me at examiner.com


Warren Buffett and Debbie Bosanek: Full Interview

Monday, 30 January, 2012

ABC News (video), “Warren Buffett and Debbie Bosanek: Full Interview” [HT FT.com]


Warren Buffett on Charlie Rose talking about his NYT op-ed “Stop Coddling the Super-Rich”

Tuesday, 16 August, 2011

Have watch of the insightful Warren Buffett, in his own words, chatting with the great interviewer Charlie Rose about his NYT op-ed “Stop Coddling the Super-Rich” 14, Aug, 2011. With respect to business insights, Warren loves data and he sees data from 70+ businesses, so insights from him are worth considering.

update: Last night, Aug 15, 2011, program is now on YouTube. Have a watch.

P.S. As a side note, I not only have read Warren’s 62 chapters and 960 pages biography “Snowball”, I also frequently read Alice’s blog. Including, belatedly, this Aug 6 article “Buffett Makes First “Unfriendly” Takeover Offer“.


Inspired by …

Wednesday, 10 August, 2011

Here is a list of people & song that is currently inspiring me.

(Borrowing and expanding an idea from Wired magazine.)

[Note: I've added this list to the About Kempton page.]

Thinker: Marshall McLuhan

Artist: Oscar Claude Monet

Investor: Warren Buffett

Inventor: James Dyson

Entrepreneurial creativeness: Richard Branson

Advertiser: Kevin Roberts

Hotel: Four Seasons, Issy Sharp

Fashion: Fashion TV

Song: Firework by Katy Perry


#FuckYouWashington and Black Swans

Monday, 25 July, 2011

The #FuckYouWashington meme and Black Swans

#FuckYouWashington and Black Swans

Warren Buffett: “I can end the deficit in five minutes.
You just pass a law that says that any time there’s a deficit of more than 3 percent of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election. Yeah. Yeah. Now you’ve got the incentives in the right place, right? So it’s capable of being done.

And they’re trying to use the incentive now we’re going to blow your brains out, America, you know, in terms of your— of your— in terms of your debt worthiness over time, and that’s being used as a threat. A more effective threat would be just to say if you guys can’t get it done, we’ll get some other guys to get it down.”

***

Don’t think I agree with all of David’s points here but there are a few interesting points for sure. For one, if there is no debt deal, it is one depressing large man-made lake full of black swans! Black swan lake! Have a read of  “Depression and Decline: American Irresponsibility is Ending the American Era with a Bang


Warren Buffett talks about David Sokol and the Lubrizol deal at BRK Annual shareholders meeting

Saturday, 30 April, 2011

Check out NYT DealBook Live-Blogging of the Meeting. Highly recommended. I’ve excerpted a few sections related to David Sokol that is important to read (with emphasis added),

“12:50 p.m.  Buffett’s message on compliance: Trust me

DealBook’s Andrew Ross Sorkin asks: Given what’s happened, why doesn’t Berkshire institute stricter controls for employees’ trades?

Buffett’s answer hinges on trust. The company lays out what he says are clear rules about what is and isn’t permitted. Berkshire isn’t an investment advisory firm, and it isn’t a mutual fund, he says, suggesting that it’s not obligated to have a big compliance department.

He also cites the expansiveness of Berkshire — some 260,000 employees — and how subsidiaries handle most of the issues with their workers.

To Buffett, his view appears to boil down to this. People determined to break the rules will do so, regardless of compliance policies. How can the company stop someone from trading in his cousin’s name?

“If there’s anything we can do in the rules that will make it even more explicit that rules are not made to be danced around … we want to make sure we do it,” he says.

Munger adds that having a big compliance department doesn’t necessarily preclude problems. Wall Street banks have armies of compliance officers and still suffer huge numbers of scandals. (His exact words were “the most scandals.”) [note: True but this means another scandal can happen.] Read the rest of this entry »


Worth Reading: Michael Douglas headlines fundraiser for McGill, Berkshire Hathaway Insider Trading/Shareholder Suit, Herzog/McCarthy/Krauss talk science & art

Tuesday, 19 April, 2011

* CBC News, “Michael Douglas began cancer journey in Canada – Star will headline Montreal fundraiser for head and neck cancer

* Alice Schroeder, Berkshire Hathaway Insider Trading, Shareholder Suit [Here is a link to the shareholder suit filing http://www.scribd.com/doc/53362856/kirby-v-sokol]

* Filmmaker Werner Herzog, novelist Cormac McCarthy, and physicist Lawrence Krauss talk about the connection between science and art (NPR Science Friday).


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