Photo: Lisa Du, Business Insider
Obviously, Warren Buffett’s reputation is larger than life.So when Bloomberg TV profiled him on their show, ‘Game Changers’, they knew they had to get some new information that would impress all the Buffett fans that watch his life so closely.
Here at Clusterstock, we watch The Oracle pretty closely too, and we wanted to be impressed — here’s a collection of the nuggets of info that did it for us.
Chuck Peterson, Buffett's roommate at UPenn, said Buffett was always very messy and didn't really take care of his appearance. Apparently, Buffett used always wear different shoes on each feet and never noticed.
'I was 20 years old, I looked like I was about 16 and behaved like I was 12,' Buffett said of his appearances when he first trying to attract investors to fund his stock picking.
Apparently, when he finished his pitch, potential investors would look at him and say 'So what does your father think of this?'
To rectify the problem, Buffett took a public speaking course with the Dale Carnegie program. It also helped him propose to his wife.
Berkshire Hathaway was a textile mill in Nebraska that Buffett decided to buy up parts of when he was looking to expand from
Although Berkshire's core business of textiles was doomed, Buffett used cash from Berkshire and reinvested it in the insurance business. He used the money from insurance premiums, which were interest-free, to continue investing.
Buffett convinced his first business partner to join him by telling him he wasn't going to make any money practicing law.
That partner was Charlie Munger, who is Berkshire's current Vice-Chair right now. Munger grew up in Omaha like Buffett but they didn't know each other well because Munger was 6 years older than Buffett.
It took Buffett 2 years to convince Munger to join him--he was working as a lawyer at the time--and he hasn't looked back since (obviously).
Buffett, who was raised as a Republican, said he thought both the Democrats and Republicans didn't handle the Civil Rights movement very well.
But, he thought the Democratic party was more attuned to the fact that there needed to be changes to the state of Civil Rights in the country, and that convinced him to change political parties.
He has a Republican, former President Nixon, to thank for his success in the newspaper business though.
Buffett loved newspapers, and after initial success investing in the weekly Omaha Sun, he set his eyes on the Washington Post--a paper he had delivered as a little boy.
The opportunity to buy into the Washington Post came when the stock tanked when President Nixon essentially declared war on the paper after it started writing about the Watergate scandal. And we all know the paper won the battle at the end.
'I salute the Nixon administration for stirring up the dust at the time,' Buffett said.
At that point, Berkshire Hathaway's stock was worth $2,000 a share.
Capital City's takeover of ABC was the largest media deal ever at that time.
Here he is making his cameo on ABC's soap opera, All My Children, as a result. In this scene he's chatting about business with one of the show's most iconic characters, Erica Kane.
Buffett had to save the bank after one of its traders was found making illegal moves using unauthorised accounts to increase Salomon's shares in US government bonds.
Buffett had invested $700 million in the bank, so he was a huge investor, and CEO John Guttfreund personally called Buffett to take over for him when he was forced to step down. The bank needed Buffett's squeaky clean image.
On August 19th, a Sunday morning, the US government took Salomon off the list of primary brokers. That meant they were dead in the water as they couldn't sell bonds and their investors could ask for their money back in cash. In other words, the bank would have lost all liquidity.
Buffett called Charlie Munger, who came over right away, and they both worked on getting Salomon reinstated before the Tokyo markets opened. Munger called it 'the most awesome moment in my life, because it would've been a calamity.'