Warren Buffett: Not Your Kindly Old Uncle
Positions in GE, Goldman, show he's smarter, richer, meaner than you.
Hello from Las Vegas: Plenty of good seats still available! But not on the flights: The flights were packed to the rafters with folks who seemed lucky and desperate in equal measure.
That's an equation which has stayed close to constant since Bugsy Siegel and company decided to turn the Mojave into Eden. What's different from the way it was Back in the Day (meaning when I ran OTM and could get here for $90) are the seats you can get for any show, fight or concert at pretty much a moment's notice. The casino floors always have seats, and everyone gets treated like a low-rent P-Diddy.
It's fantastic because, well, this place was wildly overbuilt to entertain and now the pricing has fallen to at least the upper-level mass market level. It's a drag because what caused the democratization of the Bling Lifestyle was the collapse of the casino industry, a wild revamping of air travel and truly horrible economic times.
But that's an ambivalence I'll spend $300 working through with a therapist someday. Here's what I'm watching as I try to remember when it's right to hit on $15:
- Warren Buffett says he's buying US stocks. And I'm sure he is. At prices you and I will never see. I know I'm a broken record on the point but I seem to be the only one playing the record: Warren isn't your sweet old uncle. He's your uncle who can tell you how to use inmates as a human shield and a broken tequila bottle as a shiv to fight your way out of a Tijuana prison. I'd argue the prices he charged for his stakes in General Electric (GE) and Goldman Sachs (GS) were significant downside catalysts for the last couple weeks.
All of which I say with nothing but respect for the Oracle. I wish I had him as an uncle. But even more than that, I never, ever, want to play cards against him for money. He's smarter than you. He's richer than you. He's likely meaner than all of us. And, honestly, I dig those things about Warren Buffett.
- I was asked a couple times on the way out if I'm still "Cash and Fetal." I haven't really been that protected (read: "afraid") in a couple weeks. I've added starter stakes in McDonald's (MCD) and Burlington Northern (BNI). I pulled the trigger on a Goldman trade than went south on me faster than spoiled shellfish and caught a nice move in Citi (C) as discussed here in the 'Ville. I chucked everything not nailed down at the open on Tuesday. (On Monday night's Fast Money Widget Extra, buried someplace on the FM website, I actually threatened to go to people's houses and beat them if they refused to take gains after a 11%+ run in the Dow.)
By "not nailed down" I mean: I took gains in everything. Total gains in Citi, partial gains in core holdings, old and new (Wal-Mart (WMT), Burlington and Mcdonald's) I'm playing it leaner than the gals walking out of the Conde Nast building right above our Times Square studio. Which makes me bummed to miss days like today, but happier in general for most of this year.
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