Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"Buffett Testimony: Live Blog" (BRK.B; BRK.A)

I hate to live-blog, thank goodness some people are actually good at it.
From MarketBeat (link at bottom):
  • Angelides to Buffett, should there be a board and management shakeup at Moody's?

    "In this particular case I would say they made a mistake that virtually everybody in the country made," Buffett said.

  • Buffett seems to be taking this tack that the American public bears a lot of responsibility for the housing bubble too. Picked up on it in some of the pre-testimony interviews too. "The entire American public eventually was caught up in a belief that housing prices could not fall dramatically,"Â he tells the panel. "Very very few people could appreciate the bubble."

  • Angelides starts with some trash talk for Moody's chief Ray McDaniel. Flipping a coin would have been five times better than your ratings in 2007, he says.

  • McDaniel: "We believed that our ratings were our best opinions at the time that we signed them." Though he says he's "deeply disappointed" by the performance of the ratings associated with the housing sector. Says "regret is genuine and deep" with regards to housing sector related ratings.

  • I'm no Buffett-ologist. But I've got to say the man looks pretty cranky and unhappy to be testifying.

  • Moody's CEO, Raymond McDaniel, launches into his prepared statement.

  • Angelides asks for opening statements.

    "I have no statement," Buffett says.


  • Ok, looks like the Oracle is ready for his close-up. The panel is back in session.

  • Buffett just wrapped up his fourth TV interview. The last question: How would he advise an investor who had an extra $1,000 to put to work? He said with a long time horizon, say 20 years, he'd go with an index fund.

  • Buffett is fresh off a round of TV interviews just outside the hearing room at the New School on 13th Street before he testifies in front of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. Interviews with Fox Business, CNBC and Bloomberg Television revealed that Buffett regrets not selling Moody's stock a couple years ago, that he didn’t believe employees would be forced to give too-high a credit grade on securities, and that he hasn’t talked to Moody's management in "a long, long time."

    In fact, he said he wouldn’t recognize the Moody's CEO, Raymond McDaniel, if he met him. Mr. Buffett, here's a hint: hell be the one sitting next to you in a few minutes.

...MUCH MORE (and they might have their techs do the reverse chron. order thing)