Monday, December 17, 2012

Australian billionaire: Stay away, Tiger Woods

Australian billionaire and Palmer Coolum Resort golf resort owner Clive Palmer, says the following about the former number one golfer in the world:

"Tiger Woods isn't the No 1 golfer in the world any more. We don't want to look backwards, we want to look forwards. So why would you get Tiger Woods here? I would prefer to have Peter Senior than Tiger Woods. I am sure Peter Senior could beat Tiger Woods on a good day. I am sure he could. Tiger Woods has improved a lot but he's an emotional wreck and he's not a good example for kids, anyway."

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Third Point LLC continues to hold Yahoo

Third Point LLC is the $9-billion hedge fund managed by billionaire and activist investment manager Dan Loeb. In his recent 13F filing with the SEC, Third Point, listed its three largest equity positions as: Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO), American Insurance Group (AIG), and Apple Inc. (APPL). These three stocks account for nearly half of the Third Pointinvestment portfolio.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Steven Cohen of SAC gets a Wells Letter

Steven Cohen of SAC gets a Wells Letter from the SEC.

Billionaire hedge fund manager shoots back saying the firm "acted appropriately."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Warren Buffett: Tax the rich to bring joy and glad tidings to the middle class


MATT LAUER, TODAY: So bottom line, would raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans have a chilling effect on hiring in this country?

WARREN BUFFETT: No, and I think would have a great effect in terms of the morale of the middle class, who have seen themselves paying high payroll taxes, income taxes. And then they watch guys like me end up paying a rate that’s below that, you know, paid by the people in my office.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

Eddie Lampert jumps on the Netflix bandwagon

Now it is Eddie Lampert's turn to jump on Netflix for fun, action and profits.

Eddie, via RBS Partners, bought 704, 381 shares of Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) worth $38, 346,501.

Corporate Raider Carl Icahn has put Netflix in play with his nearly 10% stake in the company. Netflix implemented a “poison pill plan” against Mr. Icahn.

"There is a very good argument that, at the right premium, somebody should buy Netflix." -- Carl Icahn

We will watch, with some interest, how Eddie Lampert, Carl Icahn and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings battle it out.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

Warren Buffett Continues to Snow the World

What Warren Buffett values the most? 
[VERY easy answer] 

Snow, the internet, BS, Bill Gates, Becky Quick, Dairy Queen, CNBC, .....

"The amount of time that it's freed up for other things is just incredible. I would gladly pay half my net worth just to have that kind of information available to me. They haven't figured out how to charge me what it's worth. That's one of the problems they've got." - Warren Buffett, on the internet

Friday, October 26, 2012

How to become a billionaire in China

If you think becoming a billionaire in China is hard to do. You make want to re-think that thinking.

Especially when it comes to the family of Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao. Or, should we say, Wen Jiabao, Inc.

Yeah, the very humble guy toasting his countrymen, his party and his friends is really thanking everyone on making it all possible for his friends and family to become very well off indeed.

Read on and understand how and why and how much. Enjoy.

Yahoo Finance article

Monday, October 15, 2012

Japanese billionaire makes $20bn bet on US smartphones

Japan’s second-richest man is making a $20bn (£12bn) bet that Americans’ love affair with smartphones is just beginning, after his company, Softbank, agreed to buy a majority stake in US mobile phone company Sprint.

article: The Telegraph

Friday, October 12, 2012

Chinese billionaire rescues failed Massachusetts battery maker

A123 Systems of Massachusetts, has laid off workers, has has lost a reported $857 million, received a $241.1-million grant from the Obama administration is now being rescued.

By a Chinese billionaire. Wanxiang Group, a Chinese firm run by Chinese billionaire Lu Guanqiu.

"They were wrong. The problem is that policymakers decided to be in the business of picking economic winners and losers and unfortunately they've picked the losers far too often. It’s money that we’ll never get back. It was grant money so there were not a lot of strings attached to it. It failed because there's not enough demand and also because there are companies outside of the U.S. – some in China -- where they're able to produce the equipment for cheaper. Representatives should not be in this business of trying to determine what the next new thing is in terms of technology. The free market does it much better." --- Jarrett Skorup, a research associate with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The 400 Richest Americans

How the Richest 400 Americans Got Rich
Browse more infographics.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Billionaire from Illinois, via Pakistan, takes Jacksonville

The NFL Jacksonville Jags: are they the ultimate in a buy-low, sell high American turnaround opportunity?


The Jags are to football what Rust Belt manufacturing has been to U.S. industry: the financially challenged, least popular team in a league otherwise envied around the world. A mere 0.4% of NFL fans in a recent ESPN poll cited the Jaguars as their favorite franchise, ranking them dead last out of 32.

Forbes article

Jags NFL Tickets

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Zuckerberg: "people underestimate us"

Seemingly challenging and laughing right back in his critics' faces, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says:  "I would rather be in a cycle where people underestimate us because I'd rather be underestimated. I think it gives us the latitude to go out and make some big bets."

At a technology conference in San Francisco, Zuckerberg gave his first interview since Facebook Inc.'s IPO in May, sounding very unconcerned with Wall Street, numbers, expectations or the plight of his shareholders.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dallas Cowboys now worth $2.1 billion

The Dallas Cowboys have not been to the Super Bowl in 16 years. But the lack of a title game appearance has done nothing to slow down the money that flows into the arms of Jerry Jones, the oilman who bought the National Football League team and lease to its stadium in 1989 for $150 million. The Cowboys are now worth $2.1 billion, more than any sports team on the planet, save Manchester United.

Cowboys NFL Tickets

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Billionaire Red Bull heir suspected in fatal hit-and-run

Vorayuth Yoovidhya, 27, a grandson of the Red Bull energy drink dynasty, has been arrested for wrecklessly driving a Ferrari that struck a police officer and dragged his dead body down the streets of Bangkok Thailand and then leaving the scene of the alleged accident.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Gina Rinehart: "don't just sit there"

"There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire. If you're jealous of those with more money, don't just sit there and complain. Do something to make more money yourself - spend less time drinking, or smoking and socializing and more time working." - Gina Rinehart, the Australian mining heiress

Thursday, August 30, 2012

WSJ: More Facebook shares ready to be sold

Facebook Inc.'s initial public offering and its subsequent stock-price tumble have been the subject of so much scorn, outrage, controversy, criticism and ridicule that to add anymore is just piling on.

My advice: Give it a couple of months. By then, you might think there hasn't been enough criticism.

That is because Facebook is still overpriced and it is about to be walloped by a flood of shares hitting the market.

More Pain to Come for Facebook

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Peter Thiel cashes out of Facebook

Peter Thiel, an early-stage Facebook investor and co-founder of Paypal, was among the key insiders selling shares after a lockup expired last week.

A SEC regulatory filing shows that Thiel, sold about 20 million shares of Facebook through affiliates such as his Founders Fund and other entities. The shares were sold for between $19.27 and $20.69, for a total of about $396 million.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Facebook investors get what they paid for

In honor of Mark Zuckerberg and his jets, flights and everything else Facebook, Elton John plays "Mark Bennie and the Jets" for us.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Is Warren Buffett now a short-term speculator?

Warren Buffett has told the investment world that he is "a long-term investor."

Based upon recent Berkshire Hathaway disclosures, we find Buffett dumping long-term blue chip stocks such as Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT) and Procter and Gamble Co. (PG).

Warren Buffett has told the investment world that he doesn't invest in technology because "he doesn't understanding it" and that it runs counter to Graham-Dodd Value Investing.

Based upon recent Berkshire Hathaway disclosures, we now find Buffett dumping  his investment in semiconductor firm Intel (INTC).

Warren Buffett has told the investment world that he strongly dislikes derivatives.

Based upon recent Berkshire Hathaway disclosures, we now find Berkshire reporting huge losses in its derivatives portfolio.

The financial staff at The Think Billions blog look forward to more Berkshire Hathaway disclosures to the SEC.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Rogue UK Bank Hides $250 Billion in Iranian Transactions

Standard Chartered seemingly played a shell game of hide the Iranian money. But now it has been caught by the state of New York and others and now must suffer the consequences and pay up.

New York State's banking regulator said the UK bank Standard Chartered Bank, motivated by millions of dollars in fees, schemed with the Iranian government to launder $250 billion over the years.


Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Standard Chartered Plc Chief Executive Officer Peter Sands hit back at a New York regulator's claims the lender broke US sanctions, and challenged the accuracy of the watchdog's assertions.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Crazy Billionaire Hans Kristian Rausing finally pleads guilty

Drug-addict Billionaire heir Hans Kristian Rausing has pleaded guilty to preventing the lawful and decent burial of his wife's body.

The judge said: "In carrying out your intentions, you acted with deceit and deliberation, equipping yourself with items you used to try to prolong the act of concealment. The effect in due course was firstly to cause great concern amongst those anxious as to your wife’s whereabouts, and then to cause the dreadful shock of discovery in distressing circumstances, firstly for those who had to uncover the body but especially for your wife’s parents who were in the room when their daughter’s body was discovered."

Telegraph article

(previous from ) Think Billions -


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Facebook hit to UBS: $350 million

ZURICH—UBS said it took a loss of more than $350 million on the ill-fated Facebook Inc. initial public offering, wiping out nearly half of its second-quarter profit, and it accused Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. of a "gross mishandling" of the stock-market listing.

Wall Street Journal article

Monday, July 30, 2012

Eike Batista drops $6 Billion in 48 Hours

Brazilian mining magnate Eike Batista loves to talk in superlatives. He's the richest man in Brazil and talks frequently about becoming the richest man in the world. His autobiography is sub-titled "The Path of Brazil's Greatest Entrepreneur." And whether it's racing speedboats or marrying Playboy models, he lives life to the maximum. But now, Brazil's Donald Trump may have set a new record - for the largest amount of wealth lost in 48 hours.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Facebook: A Dog with Fleas

Gordon Gekko to Bud Fox - Wall Street (1987)
"Not bad, but that's a dog with different fleas."

The stock is in a nose-dive. The CEO is offering Wall Street no guidance on future operating expectations. People are now calling the company FaceBerg. Investors feel "Zucker-punched." Mark Cuban exited the stock weeks ago with a $200k hit to his personal balance sheet. The last minute over-pricing of the Facebook IPO (as recommended by the Facebook CFO) now looks like an exercise in pure greed.

But, nevertheless, and in the interest of fair reporting and commentary, the stock and the company still has fans. This is what passes for sophisticated financial analysis on Wall Street these days:

"The company's user base currently comprises the third-largest country in the world, and its emphasis on mobile platforms suggests to us that it can become the largest country in the world in a matter of years. Facebook has immense value, which may not be readily apparent from its near term earnings, but which is substantial nonetheless." - Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Billionaires continue to buy Netflix

Betting on a continued turnaround at Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), billionaire investors such as Julian Robertson and Steven Cohen continue to build positions in the stock according to SEC reported data.

7/24 update ---

Businessweek article-Netflix's 2Q numbers disappoints, stock tumbles

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Microsoft Reports Loss Due to Write-down

Microsoft Corp. Reports First Huge Loss As Public Company

A substantial accounting write-down of $6.2 billion related to the company's 2007 acquisition of aQuantive, an online advertising company, has wiped the software maker's entire Q4 profit.

previous on ThinkBillions-

Microsoft stock continues to go nowhere, but Steve Ballmer has a plan!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Thank you Marissa Mayer!

Thank you for what??? .... you dare blog!

Well where do we begin?

Thank you for NOT being Scott Thompson!

Thank you for NOT being Jerry Yang!

Thank you for NOT being several other complete bozo's that have been run in and out of the Yahoo! sand box executive suite over the past! ten! years!

Basically, we are saying: Thank you Yahoo! for NOT making a Yahoo!-like decision!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dell is still 'not just a PC company anymore'

MICHAEL DELL:  Well, in the last five years or so, we've really made a concerted shift in our business towards end-to-end IT solutions.  And if you think about the businesses that Dell is in today, there are really four of them.  Certainly, we start with the client business, which is kind of transforming with all the things that are going on in mobility and client virtualization and that brings new needs in terms of security and those kinds of challenges that exist.

Fortune interview 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mark Zuckerberg's credit score gets him a low mortgage rate

Bloomberg News:
Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg is giving new meaning to the term "the one percent." The Facebook Inc. (FB) founder refinanced a $5.95 million mortgage on his Palo Alto, California, home with a 30-year adjustable-rate loan starting at 1.05 percent, according to public records for the property.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Ralph Lauren Outsources Olympic Uniforms to China

Outrage this week developed over the Team USA Olympic uniforms for the Opening Ceremonies in London in not just the style, but the Ralph Lauren decision to outsource. 

A huge public relations firestorm was discovered when Ralph Lauren's made-in-China label was noticed by all.

Ralph Lauren, at a time when American's are not interested in China or the outsourcing message, promises not to do the same for 2014; but that satisfied nobody.

Shame, Ralph Lauren, shame.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A British billionaire murder-mystery for Scotland Yard?

Just in time for the Olympic Games in London this summer, does Scotland Yard have an Olympic-size murder mystery to solve??? Stay tuned mystery thrill seekers.

Yes, Eva Rausing is dead in west London. She was found dead at her home located in the Belgravia district in Chelsea this week. Police have sealed the home. Police are unsure how long  Eva has been dead.

Eva Rausing, 48, was the daughter of a US Coca-Cola executive. She led a life marred by severe drug addiction over decades. Eva made international headlines in 2008 when she got caught smuggling heroin and crack cocaine into the US embassy in London for a reception.

Few people who knew Eva closely, it seems, are surprised at her death. Least of which is her husband, Hans Kristian Rausing, who reportedly expressed no emotion over the event. The couple met at a rehab compound in the United States.

British police, from the beginning, called it an "unexplained death."

Hans. K, as he is known to his friends and associates, is an heir to a pretty sizeable fortune. His dad is Hans Rausing, 86,one of the world's wealthiest men, ranked 88th in the Forbes rich list (net worth: at $10 billion). The business was milk cartons. Tetra Pak milk cartons.

Eva's parents released a statement from South Carolina, saying: they were "deeply saddened by the death of their beloved daughter. Eva was a devoted wife for 20 years and mother of four much loved and wonderful children."

Scotland Yard continues to investigate.

Stay tuned mystery thrill seekers.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Marriage to a Billionaire

The Marriage Bargain (Marriage to a Billionaire)

A marriage in name only...

To save her family home, impulsive bookstore owner, Alexa Maria McKenzie, casts a love spell. But she never planned on conjuring up her best friend's older brother—the powerful man who once shattered her heart.

Billionaire Nicholas Ryan doesn’t believe in marriage, but in order to inherit his father’s corporation, he needs a wife and needs one fast. When he discovers his sister’s childhood friend is in dire financial straits, he offers Alexa a bold proposition.

A marriage in name only with certain rules: Avoid entanglement. Keep things all business. Do not fall in love. The arrangement is only for a year so the rules shouldn’t be that hard to follow, right?

Except fate has a way of upsetting the best-laid plans…

The Marriage Bargain (Marriage to a Billionaire)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Richard Branson set record for kite-surfing across the Channel

It took two attempts in 24 hours, but Sir Richard Branson has entered the record books as the oldest person to kite-surf the English Channel.

The 61-year-old Virgin boss crossed from Dymchurch, Kent, to Wimereux in northern France in three hours and 45 minutes yesterday to establish the first Guinness World Record for the oldest person to make the crossing by kite-surfing.

Read more:

Friday, June 22, 2012

The New Zombies at Oracle courtesy of Larry Ellison

"700 people reached out to me from Oracle, wanting to know, 'if you hear of anything' to let them know. People are leaving in droves."

"Lots of top [sales] reps want to cash out and leave and most have, going to Salesforce, VMware, Microsoft, SAP, etc. People don't leave great companies. They leave poor management and leadership. I thought I would retire at Oracle. Loved it! Oracle is a great company that lost its focus on their people and brought in a leader that doesn't balance out the strong-minded Larry Ellison."
"Charles Phillips was the Wall Street guy that developed an acquisition strategy which propelled Oracle through the last tough time. Mark Hurd isn't a counter balance. He's like gas on the fire."

Oracle Insider

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Peter Thiel is Open For Business

Peter Thiel opens Mithril Capital Management with a $402 million fund

Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and early stage investor in Facebook, has opened up a new venture capital fund based in San Francisco.

Mithril Capital will seek growth opportunities — these will be start-ups that have already received venture funding and are looking achieve significant growth during the next stage.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Zimbabwe, billions and hyperinflation

In general people from Zimbabwe are a happy people. One reason is the country has no shortage of available money. Money makes many people happy.

However, the people of Zimbabwe occasionally get unhappy when the price of eggs and other food items go up and up and up some more.

One of the main reasons why prices are high and why there are so many happy and unhappy billionaires in Zimbabwe is because of inflation. Hyperinflation to be exact. Poor execution of monetary policy is a root cause (what central bank, they say!).

The moral of the Zimbabwe macroeconomic story is that, at times, money cannot buy you happiness even among a country of billionaires.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Allen Stanford gets 110 years in the big house

Allen Stanford sentenced to 110 years in prison

(Reuters) - Former billionaire Allen Stanford was sentenced to 110 years in prison on Thursday for running a $7 billion scheme in which he stole money from his investors to finance an extravagant lifestyle in the Caribbean.

Sir Allen & Me: An Insider's Look at R. Allen Stanford and the Island of Antigua

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Larry Ellison, a billion dollar hit man

Larry Ellison (chairman of Oracle and #6 on Forbes' 2012 top 10 billionaires) said it this way in a recent deposition: “I … had nothing to do for 15 minutes, so I drafted a press release."

Next came the stuff hitting the fan. Next came the lawsuit.

Now we have everybody going to court. Again.

Read about the amazing story::: How Larry Ellison’s Jury Box Email Could Cost HP Billions

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Warren Buffett flips and flops, again

Warren Buffett's Jiu-Jitsu 

Jiu-jitsu "is a martial art, martial art, combat sport, and a self defense system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting." (Wikipedia)

Warren Buffett dazzles the MSNBC crowd 

As we all know, on a weekly basis, and for years, Warren Buffett has been able to dazzle, out talk and persuade a very gullible (and economically challenged) audience at MSNBC (and elsewhere) on a number of very crazy notions over the years.

This has been, and he has been very successful for the most part.

Warren Buffett attempts to dazzle Washington D.C.'s Economic Club

This week, Warren attempted to sell his usual propaganda to a wider (more sophisticated?) audience.

He attempted to set the record straight, Warren-style.

He attempted to dazzle them with facts.

He attempted a retreat to the middle ground.

Listen to this stuff!

"I support certain Republicans. Actually this year I gave money to a Republican congressman." 

[Federal Election Commission data shows that Virginia Republican Scott Rigell a donation of $2,500 from Warren Himself; although that is somewhat less than the $70,000 he has given to help re-elect President Obama].

Warren Buffett drinks his own home-brewed Kool-Aid 

 "We're not smarter than the people in 1930, we don't worker harder than the people in 1930, we just have a system that works and has been working since 1776 and will keep working."

Monday, June 4, 2012

T. Boone Pickens just stunted on me heavy

Canadian Raper Drake replies to T. Boone Pickens

Raper musician Drake, with over 7 million Twitter followers, tweets: "The first million is the hardest."

T. Boone Pickens, the social plugin guy that he is, replies: "The first billion is a helluva lot harder." Punk. (Ok, so, he didn't actually say "punk" but it sounded like he wanted to).

Drake, with over 7 million more Twitter followers than "T. Booner", shows how quickly he learns, respects and admires the new rules of the financial game and tweets back: "@boonepickens just stunted on me heavy"

So there you have it. Just another example of the economic benefits accruing from NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement): the free flow of goods, services and miscellaneous financial thoughts.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Has Mark Cuban Hedged His Facebook Position?

Has Mark Cuban Hedged His Facebook Position?

There are five (correct) answers to this question. They are (in no particular order):
a. who knows?
b. he'd be stupid if he wasn't
d. Yep, he's gotta to be
e. Yes, his silence (no posts or tweets) on this means only one thing
First, let's take a look at Mark Cuban's current (disclosed) Facebook position---
(Long) 150,000 shares; average cost per share $32.49; total cost $4,873,500
Based on a 6/1/12 FB close at $27.72, Cuban looks like he is sitting on a net (paper) loss of $715,500.

Do we begin to worry and feel sorry for Mark Cuban and his Facebook trade? No, because we only can see his paper loss. No, because he already told us this is a trade, not a long term investment. No, because with an original FB position of nearly $5 million, he has a vested interest in monitoring trade. No, because Mark Cuban doesn't like to lose money. No, because Mark Cuban isn't stupid.

Back in 1995 Mark Cuban and partner created, a multimedia company. Years later they sold the company to Yahoo! for $5.7 billion in 1999. But, Cuban then owned restricted Yahoo! stock that was locked up. Cuban was at risk owning (temporarily) illiquid Yahoo stock. Cuban was at substantial risk. Cuban didn't want to accept that risk. Mark Cuban wanted to transfer that risk to the options market. So, Cuban says he "hedged my stock with synthetic indexes, in case the market cratered in the six months before I could hedge my actual Yahoo shares. It cost me $20 million, but I protected what I had." (Fast Company, September 30, 2002).

In January 2000, Cuban bought the Dallas Mavericks, NBA franchise.

In May 2012, Cuban bought a little under $5 million of Facebook stock.

Mark Cuban is hedged.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is the new Soda Dictator

Billionaire New York City Mayor Michael (the mouth) Bloomberg is at it again

Dictator: (via Merriam-Webster)
a : a person granted absolute emergency power; especially : one appointed by the senate of ancient Rome 
b : one holding complete autocratic control

Yep, there he goes again.

Who? Well it is non other than New York City Mayor/Dictator Mike Bloomberg coming out with his latest sensation ("Crazy Notion of the Month?")

Mad Man Mike (Bloomberg) has proposed eliminating large sugary soft drinks in order to curb obesity. The New York City ban plan would make it illegal for food service establishments such as restaurants, street vendors, sports venues and movie theaters to serve sugary drinks that are over 16 ounces.

According to Mike Himself:
 "Obesity deaths have grown to 5,000 and will soon exceed the number of smoking deaths [in New York City]. You can still be obese, we are just telling you this is detrimental to your health and helping you understand that with portion size."
Sorry (not really) Mike, Think Billions disagrees.

Long, live Diet Coke!