Thursday, December 30, 2010

New York Mayor Bloomberg is now Mayor Snowman

Didn't GQ Magazine name this moron billionaire mayor their Leader of the Year or Man of the Year for his unwillingness to shut-the-hell-up????? Or, are we mistaken New York? New York???

"Start spreading the news"....salt....New York, New York......

From the NY Times comments:

Among the things I witnessed that make me feel this way:

* Sanitation trucks running back and forth along already-plowed main streets — plows up — for hours, while secondary streets remained unplowed.
* Bus routes plowed along main streets, but the streets that they need to use to turn around remaining unplowed, resulting in four buses stuck in the snow for three days, a few blocks away from my home.
* A fully loaded salt spreader tooling back and forth along the main drag in my neighborhood for at least four hours — with the spreader turned off.

Mayor Bloomberg says he will investigate blizzard sabotage...

VIDEO: NY's Dumbest; NYC sanitation workers destroy a Ford Expediton

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mark Cuban's Stupid College Football Playoff Idea

As you already know, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks (Mark Cuban), is always talking and thinking. Typically at the same time.

This week, our favorite sports owner told that he was “actively interested but in the exploratory stage” of trying to bankroll a 12 or 16 team playoff to replace the controversial BCS (Bowl Championship Series).

What a humanitarian. Just when we need it the most.

BCS executive director Bill Hancock commented today, as expected:
“Given how much support our current system has among university presidents, athletics directors, coaches and athletes, I don’t think any amount of financial inducement will make people abandon” the BCS.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Allen Stanford: The Other Ponzi Schemer

Yes, the other Ponzi scammer, Allen Stanford (see: The $8-billion Caribbean confidence game of Allen Stanford), is back in the news because now the authorities are going after others associated with the former Texas billionaire and former sponsor of the PGA Tour.

We here at Think Billion$ smell the irony of Allen "Stanford" in a different direction.

Here we have scammer Allen Stanford, who claims lineage to the Stanford family of Stanford University; who was a former sponsor of the PGA Tour which produced former billionaire Tiger Woods, a former Stanford golfer (but, not a graduate of Stanford University); who scammed Elin Nordegren who now has a new boyfriend.

This makes us think back to some of the lessons from The Lion King (1994):
Zazu: What's going on?
Mufasa: A pouncing lesson.
Zazu: Oh, very good. Pouncing. *Pouncing*? Oh, no, Sire, you can't be serious...
[Mufasa signs for "turn around"]
Zazu: This is so humiliating.

Article: Stanford Probe Widens

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mark Zuckerberg says he'll give it all away. Eventually.

Facebook's founder, Mark Zuckerberg, is among the latest to join the Giving Pledge, an effort by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to commit the country's wealthiest people to increase their charitable donations (or, be publicly humiliated for not doing so???)

Giving Pledge has now signed up over 50 people and their families.

Giving Pledge is not a formal contract. The goals is to give away at least half of their wealth to philanthropic causes either before or after they die.

Both Gates and Buffett are both on record agreeing that it is not wise to give more than a modest sum to their children and families.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mark Cuban to LeBron James: I told you, and you didn't listen

Mark Cuban, billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, regarding LeBron James:

“When he was making his decision, what I told him, and I told Maverick, was that no team had ever blown up a team of all their core, then added a couple of free agents and won,” Cuban said. “It’s always taken someone to come into a good team to make it better and put them over the top. That’s what I told him.”

Saturday Nov. 27, 2010:

Miami 95
Dallas 106

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Jim Rogers to Ireland: Just Go Bankrupt

Jim Rogers: "It would teach everybody a good lesson, and in the end Europe would be stronger for it, and the EUR would be stronger... You can not spend staggering amounts of money that you don't have of other people's money that you don't have because somebody has to pay the piper. This is ludicrous. This will cripple the Irish economy for years to come. In the future Ireland will be crippled because everything they earn will go to pay off old debt. There is no reason why taxpayers around Europe or in Ireland should pay for other people's mistakes. The bondholders and the stockholders of banks should lose money"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Warren Buffett Just Loves Government Bailouts

Warren Buffett, newfound Oracle of Big Government, just loves U.S. government macroeconomic policy, circa 2008. This enabled him, among other things, to invest in and make 10% off of Goldman Sach preferred stock. Good for ya Warren! (less good for taxpayers)

Listen to Uncle Warren yuck it up:

In an op-ed in Wednesday's New York Times, Warren Buffett offers a belated thank-you to the U.S. government for averting a financial collapse back in 2008. "In this extraordinary emergency, you came through," writes the Oracle of Omaha. "And the world would look far different now if you had not." Buffett praises Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, current and former Treasury Secretaries Henry Paulson and Tim Geithner, and FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair for acting with "courage and dispatch."


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bill Gates: feeling less capitalistic these days

Bill Gates: Capitalism Has 'Systemic' Problems Government Should Address

( - The CEO and Chairman of Microsoft Bill Gates said that capitalism’s “systemic" problems are not doing enough for research and “the needs of the poorest.”

“In general, the world under funds research because the person who takes the risk of doing the research doesn’t capture the full benefit of having done it and so you know, capitalism does amazing things but it has one systemic problem in terms of research that it won’t do enough,” Gates said at the mHealth summit in Washington on Tuesday.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mortimer B. Zuckerman on President Obama

Mort Zuckerman, magazine editor and Canadian born real estate billionaire on the state of presidential politics in the country:

It was the worst of times for the Democrats and the best of times for the Republicans—almost. The GOP did not succeed in capturing the Senate, or dethroning the Democratic leader, but with an energy boost from the Tea Party movement it certainly reflected the anger and dismay of voters who see their country foundering at home and abroad.


Donald Trump for President?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A stock market buy recommendation or a market disguised as a sucker's bet?

Billionaire Ken Fisher Sees 16% S&P 500 Rally After Elections article

11/03/2010 Market Closes:

Dow Jones
11,215.13 +26.41 (0.24%)

S&P 500
1,197.96 +4.39 (0.37%)

2,540.27 +6.75 (0.27%)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Paul Allen is bullish on biotechnology

Seattle's hometown billionaire and biotech entrepreneur Paul Allen is chipping $20 million into a new infusion of cash for Omeros, which also hauled in $5 million from the state's life sciences fund. The money will be used to finance Omeros' quest for new drugs that can hit some 100 potential GPCR targets--a field that backers expect will deliver new therapies for currently "undruggable" targets.

Read more: Billionaire Allen helps inject $25M into Seattle's Omeros - FierceBiotech

Saturday, October 16, 2010

World’s Richest Man (Carlos Slim): Get a Job!

Carlos Slim:

“The only way to fight poverty is with employment.”

“Trillions of dollars have been given to charity in the last 50 years, and they don’t solve anything.”

Wall Street Journal article

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Buffett backed British retailer not having a Fresh or Easy time in Foreclosureville

With financial backing years ago from billionaire Warren Buffett, Tesco PLC continues to mothball stores in the Valley of the Sun (Phoenix) and elsewhere.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hey Trib: "Show us" your Bankrupt Culture

If there ever was an example of a classic business school case study showing how, as a billionaire tycoon acquiring a business for mostly sentimental value (Sam Zell), not to hire a CEO for the job (The Chicago Tribune) this is it. Enjoy the story from The New York Times about the life and times of Randy Michaels in Chicago as CEO of The Trib:

In January 2008, soon after the venerable Tribune Company was sold for $8.2 billion, Randy Michaels, a new top executive, ran into several other senior colleagues at the InterContinental Hotel next to the Tribune Tower in Chicago.

read>>>full article

Ex-billionaire, Donald Trump, thinking about running for president in 2012

(former billionaire) Donald Trump said today he's "seriously" considering running for the presidency in 2012.

"For the first time in my life, I'm actually thinking about it [running for president]," Trump told Fox News Channel. "I see what's going on with this country and it's never been worse. What's happening is a disgrace."

Billion dollar trader get billion dollar fine and gets locked up for 3 years

Ex-Societe Generale SA trader Jerome Kerviel was convicted on all counts today in history's biggest rogue trading scandal, sentenced to three years in jail and ordered to pay his former employer an incredible $6.7 billion in total damages.

Friday, October 1, 2010

RUMOR: Billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg to become Billionaire Treasury Secretary

Larry Kudlow on CNBC just insisted on a rumor heard several times today: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is going to be treasury secretary. Kudlow says he heard from "deep insiders" that the pick has been made and it's Bloomberg.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

("Undervalued") Facebook won't be an IPO until 2012 or later

Seven years ago Peter Thiel made a $500,000 angel investment in Facebook for 10% of the company and was on Fox Business on Monday commenting about Facebook and business related issues.

Of prime importance to Facebook watchers is news about the status of the IPO that everyone knows eventually will come.

Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported that Facebook was holding off on its IPO for another couple of years and Thiel seems to confirm this line of thinking.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Warren Buffett to U.S. Taxpayers: Pound Sand Cry babies!!!

Some select Warren Buffett quotes this week:

“Sentiment has turned very sour in the last three or four or five months.”

“I hope we get over it pretty soon, because it’s not productive,’’ Buffett said. “We will come back regardless of how people feel about Washington, but it is not helpful to have people as unhappy as they are about what’s going on in Washington.”

“The truth is we’re running a federal deficit that’s 9 percent of gross domestic product,” Buffett said. “That’s stimulative as all get out. It’s more stimulative than any policy we’ve followed since World War II.”

Friday, September 24, 2010

Mark Zuckerberg gets richer and Facebook celebrates by crashing

Mark Zuckerberg moved up the list on the Forbes Richest Americans list this week.

Since timing is a big part of life and other things, Facebook celebrated by crashing several times this week.

Techcrunch:::Facebook Gives A Post-Mortem On Worst Downtime In Four Years

Mashable:::Facebook Engineer Explains “Worst Outage in Over Four Years”

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Not worth billions: A Subprime "Wall Street"

...Mr. Douglas's performance in the sequel measures up to Gekko's rep, but the rest of the movie is pumped up to the bursting point with gasbag caricatures, overblown sermons and a semicoherent swirl of events surrounding the economy's recent meltdown. The story certainly holds your attention, but it's a dramatic bubble about a financial bubble.

Although the action starts in 2001, the time frame soon shifts to 2008, and a superheated economic climate that even Gekko could not have envisioned. There's a nice irony in the veteran conniver coming on, during public appearances, as a cross between Cassandra and a common scold—he rails against speculation as the mother of all evils, and denounces leveraged debt.

But his preachments sound awfully familiar at this juncture, and they're played against a crisis that unfolds much too slowly to capture the frenzy of the September 2008 meltdown. In a fictionalized version of those events, an old-line investment bank with a strong resemblance to Lehman Brothers goes belly up, and all hell threatens to break loose in the media surround—Jim Cramer in full cry, Warren Buffett likening derivates to WMDs. Yet the fall of other dominoes is delayed while the scatterbrained script, by Allan Loeb and Stephen Schiff, takes time out for Gekko's warnings, and plunges into the turgid complexities of a morality melodrama that involves the next Gordon Gekko—a provisionally idealistic young trader who falls under the old man's malign spell while making plans to marry his estranged daughter.

Shia LaBeouf plays the trader, Jake; he's effective within the limits of Mr. Stone's ham-fisted direction. (Jake's idealism is signaled by his ardent belief in the green promise of fusion energy.)...

WSJ movie review

Warren Buffett on American Consumer, Economic Outlook [Interview]

Warren Buffett on American Consumer, Economic Outlook [Interview]

Warren Buffett shares his latest thoughts on the American consumer's mood, economic policy, taxes and more. Aired today.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bill Gates is the richest American

Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft Corp., remains the richest American with estimated assets of $54 billion, according to Forbes magazine’s annual ranking of the 400 wealthiest Americans.

Warren Buffett, the chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., ranked second in the U.S. with $45 billion. Gates, 54, and Buffett, 80, were Nos. 1 and 2 last year.

Bloomberg article

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mark Cuban shares his opinion about Lebron James

Current billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, shared his thoughts with the Dallas Morning News about future billionaire Lebron James.....

"LeBron has every right to go wherever and do whatever, whatever team he wants to," Cuban said. "Going to the Heat was his choice, those guys working together. I don't even have a problem with the three of them working together, as long as they follow all of the NBA rules, which I think they did.

Where I think LeBron made a mistake, was in how he did it. I don't even have a problem that he had the tv show. But it turned out to be the largest public humiliation in the history of sports. He humiliated the organization, he humiliated the state of Ohio , the city of Cleveland. All of a sudden he became a bad guy, he lost a billion dollars in brand equity, give or take a couple bucks here or there. ...

"I told his folks that I think he got bad advice. It's not about 'Can he move?' He can move, he can play for any team. I think he picked the wrong team (chuckles). There's a team in Dallas that could have used him and that would have been better served but it's his choice. But the way he did it I thought was just a huge mistake."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Secret billionaire meeting. Don't tell.

Shhh. Secret billionaire meeting. Don't tell. Here's what happened:

For 25 years, legendary Wall Street strategist Byron Wien, now with The Blackstone Group, has held summer meetings with high net worth individuals to get their outlook on the global economy and investing. This year’s group, totaling fifty individuals and including more than 10 billionaires, was decidedly pessimistic on the U.S. economy, investment opportunities and the Obama administration.

“They saw the United States in a long-term slow growth environment with the near-term risk of recession quite real,” said Wien, in a commentary to Blackstone clients. “The Obama administration was viewed as hostile to business and that discouraged both hiring and investment. Companies and entrepreneurs were reluctant to add workers because they didn’t know what their healthcare costs or taxes were going to be.”

Again. Remember. Keep this quiet.

read article>>> CNBC article

Friday, September 3, 2010

Warren Buffett ... the former "credible, respected investor"

There was a time when Warren Buffett was actually a credible, respected investor, when his views were prescient, and when his every action was not predicated by some supreme hypocrisy merely seeking to perpetuate the ponzi market, and/or praise the status quo which forces his record bet on "endless" American growth to be aligned exclusively with what the Fed does each and every day, i.e., destroy the value of the dollar. Yet 7 short years ago, the very same Warren Buffett wrote a scathing op-ed in which he lamented the decline of the dollar, the surging US trade deficit, and pointed out that any profits he and Berkshire may make courtesy of his then brand new non-US FX longs, "would pale against the losses the company and our shareholders, in other aspects of their lives, would incur from a plunging dollar." Well, the dollar continues to plunge courtesy of QE, and the pain is about to be far more acute once Bernanke really gets involved in the next 3-6 months.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

BK is consumed by Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann

Forbes Magazine is reporting that the fast food chain Burger King [Burger King Holdings (BKC) ] has agreed to be bought by private equity investment firm 3G Capital.

3G Capital is controlled by the Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Elin Nordegren Gets Almost a Billion

Tiger Woods is banned from letting girlfriends near his kids in a divorce deal netting his ex a record $750 million settlement, The Sun reported Wednesday.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The $600 billion challenge

Instead of "shop until you drop," it is "give until it hurts" time for Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

Billionaires Gates and Buffett are asking the nation's billionaires to pledge at least half their individual net worth to charity, in their lifetimes or at death, to change the face of philanthropy.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Buffett's Big Warning: State's Facing A "Terrible Problem" In Rolling Over Their Debt

Warren Buffett's appearance in front of the FCIC approved very few fireworks. By our estimation, the Oracle totally charmed the panelists, preventing them from landing a blow on anyone. 

But this is interesting, especially if, like us, you think that state finances remain a growing economic problem. 

According to DealBook, he warned of a "terrible problem" for states in refinancing their debts. Asked whether various states should be rates AAA, he said: "If the federal government will step in to help them, they are triple-A. If the federal government won’t step in to help them, who knows what they are.”

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

Of Texas billionaires, basketball and such

I've got the ball, says Mark Cuban

We don't write about Ross Perot, Jr. here too much. But as readers know, we do post often about that crazy-guy-owner of the one-and-out Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban.

Well know it seems as if Ross Perot's previous ownership of the Mavs (pre-Cuban) entitles him to throw spitballs at Mark Cuban. (Mr. Perot has retained a small minority ownership in the Dallas basketball team through his Hillwood Investment Properties III Ltd. company).

Ross is claiming the Dallas NBA team is close to financial insolvency. Cuban is quoted as saying the "Mavs are just fine."

We know the NBA has not been doing well financially as a league in recent years, however we doubt the Dallas Mavericks are on the brink of financial ruin.

We also doubt we will be following this Texas billionaire shoot-out in the near future. But, you can.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Sleep well future billionaire

Learn about Zeo, a new home sleep monitor

Is Warren Buffett as ethical as he and his public relations team really says?

Warren Buffett has successfully convinced and by-passed numerous potential scandals in his career such as connections with AIG insurance, his involvement with Soloman Brothers and more recently with his shareholding with Moody's and their bond rating problems.

Recently he made a timely and successful investment in Goldman Sachs.

Will Warren Buffett, once again, maintain his lily-white image during his shareholder meeting in connection all that is Goldman Sachs??? Or, is the Warren Buffett charm offensive running out of steam???

WSJ article



Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Warren Buffett to U.S. Senate: Help Me

It now turns out that Warren Buffett is just like all the other billionaires who eventually turn to the federal government to help them out of a jam. Yeah ... long term investor my ....
"Among the considerations still in the balance: A big provision being sought by Warren Buffett in recent weeks. A key Senate committee had changed its proposed overhaul of derivatives regulation after lobbying by Mr. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., potentially helping the famed investor avoid a financial hit, congressional aides say."


Sunday, April 25, 2010

"Billionaire Party Boy" (Burkle) likes Philadelphia Freedom Properties (dead media)

"Billionaire Party Boy" is a term used by the NY Post to describe the California billionaire college drop out Ron Burkle, is interested in buying several Philadelphia newspapers.


Party Boy Ron is having a pretty active 2010, if you ask us.

He is mixed up with Harvey Weinstein regarding some Miramax funding plans.

He has left Yahoo's board of directors. (Good move Ron, IOHO)

And earlier this year, Ron let some more info about former President Bill Clinton be known to the world at large.

In any event, let's keep a close eye on Ron Burkle during the rest of the year. Ok?

Friday, March 12, 2010

How to negotiate with a BK candidate .... Buffett-style

It was in 2008 that Warren Buffett was on the receiving end of many phone calls from New York and Dick Fuld, Lehman’s former chief executive, and others with the deal of the month for Berkshire to come to the rescue of that financial disaster of an investment bank known as Lehman Brothers.

What did Warren Buffett do? He read the Lehman annual report, asked a few questions (got answers he didn't like), ate some more ice cream (his favorite dish), and then stopped answering phone calls from New York (effectively saying no to the deal).

Read further about the Lehman soap opera:



Thursday, March 11, 2010

What about U.S. billionaire geeks???

With Carlos Slim winning the "2010 Forbes Billionaire Contest" (our title), he displaces Microsoft's Bill Gates for the World Billionaire Thrown. Not only was Bill Gates on top of the money list for an extended time, Mr. Slim represents the first non-U.S. citizen to gain the title.

So, we here at Think Billion$, started to feel a little sorry for our U.S. technology billionaires. (yes, including Mr. Gates) We put together a little list of tech billionaires that, at least, will get their names favorably mentioned.

Here is the tech list (below). Can you name the companies they are each associated with (without looking it up?)

Bill Gates: $53 billion.
Larry Ellison: $28 Billion
Sergey Brin & Larry Page: $17.5 Billion Each
Steve Ballmer: $14.5 Billion
Paul Allen and Michael Dell: $13.5 Billion
Jeff Bezos: $12.3 Billion
Eric Schmidt: $6.3 Billion
Steve Jobs: $5.5 Billion
Pierre Omidyar: $5.2 Billion
Mark Zuckerberg: $4 billion.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Carlos Slim at $53.5 billion tops world's billionaires

Carlos Slim Helú of Mexico beat Bill Gates and Warren E. Buffett for the top spot on Forbes magazine’s annual list of billionaires, becoming the first person from outside the United States to lead the rankings in 16 years.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Carl Icahn closes on the Fontainebleau Las Vegas resort

Billionaire investor and financier Carl Icahn has acquired the unfinished hotel and casino Fontainebleau in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Icahn picked up the casino property after a Florida court approved the offer last month following the Fontainebleau Las Vegas LLC bankruptcy filing and inability to complete the resort.

Icahn Enterprises closed on the hotel and casino on Thursday this past week for about $150 million. The deal is structured: $105 million in cash, plus $45 million in debt.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Billionaire Superhero 'Tony Stark' in the upcoming "Iron Man 2" this May

Movie Synopsis

Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment present the highly anticipated sequel to the blockbuster film based on the legendary Marvel Super Hero "Iron Man", reuniting director Jon Favreau and Oscar nominee Robert Downey Jr. In "Iron Man 2", the world is aware that billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is the armored Super Hero Iron Man. Under pressure from the government, the press and the public to share his technology with the military, Tony is unwilling to divulge the secrets behind the Iron Man armor because he fears the information will slip into the wrong hands.

USA Today preview: "To continue to savor Downey's distinctive reinvention of a comic-book crusader while checking out comeback-kid Rourke's whip-snapper of a villain." 1/22/10

Iron Man 2

What does the length of your finger say about you?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Indian billionaire bids for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Reliance's Ambani expected to bid for MGM

Anil Ambani, the Indian billionaire, is expected to bid for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), the iconic but beleaguered Hollywood studio.

MGM, whose hits have included Ben Hur, the Wizard of Oz and Gone With The Wind, has put itself up for auction after struggling to service debts of $3.7 billion (£2.27 billion), the legacy of a 2005 leveraged buyout.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Billionaire investor Chanos says to short China Inc.

Contrarian Investor Sees Economic Crash in China

NY Times article

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Tiger Woods costs shareholders $12 billion

If you own stock in AT&T, American Express or other companies, Tiger Wood's extramarital affairs has already cost you if you hold stock in a company he sponsors or a mutual fund that holds stock in those companies.

"Total shareholder losses may exceed several decades' worth of Tiger Woods' personal endorsement income," said Victor Stango, a professor of economics at the University of California, Davis and co-author of the new definitive study on the subject.

Professor Stango examined stock market returns for the 13 trading days that fell between Nov. 27, the date of the car crash that ignited the Woods' scandal, and Dec. 17, a week after Mr. Woods announced his indefinite leave from golf. He compared the stocks to the total market and to competing stocks, plus they looked back four years to get a sense of how the stocks have historically done in comparison to the market and to competitors.

Tiger Woods is now a drain on capitalism itself (sorry to say)!