Warren Buffett is undoubtedly one of the most brilliant investors in the history of capitalism. He is also as master of the sound bite and would make Jesse Livermore proud.
Recently there was some controversy about Coca Cola’s executive compensation. Warren told one and all it would be unpatriotic to vote against the management of Coca Cola. Recent 13-F filings confirm the secret that Warren held in his heart as his lips sooth public anxiety. No change in the position.
Now lets move on to General Motors. Again serious controversy regarding the recall program. deaths have occurred and now GM is in serious trouble over it. Warren made some public comments that he had met with management and felt they were on the right track. But Warren lightens the load and sells 10 million shares. Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway are not Jonsing for cash. Of the full universe that was available to them they elected to significantly lighten the load all the while telling the world GM is on the right path.
Warren Buffett has tried to be relieved of the burden of reporting on 13-F claiming that he is such a large investor it will move share prices just on the weight of the report alone. The SEC rightfully denied the maneuver. But at the same time he takes advantage of his celebrity status hides his real financial transaction and makes investors believe that GM is in the right track.
Just a little too clever. Would other hedge fund and investment moguls be given a pass and allowed to make comments of the same nature. Probably not. Waiting for the shareholders rights lawyer who starts a lawsuit and forces some standardization in the market place which will create a congruency between actions and talk.
George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.