Robert Waldmann is sooooo naive
I have been asking “if the toxic sludge is so under-priced, why isn’t Warren Buffet buying it ?” Turns out that Mr Buffet had a better idea, get the US Treasury to pay him to buy it — he’s one of the inventors of the Geithner plan.
the WaPo reported on Sunday: (emphasis mine)
Last fall, billionaire investor Warren E. Buffet, Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein and William H. Gross, the managing director of PIMCO, the largest bond fund in the world, approached Treasury officials about an idea to create investment funds, using public and private money, to buy toxic assets from banks, according to former senior Treasury officials.
Via Elana Schor (who emphasizes another name)
I didn’t think of that. Should the fact that he’s kind of richer than I am have tipped me off to the possibility that, if I have an idea for how he can make money, he might have a better idea ?
unchastened by making a fool of myself recently (and you should and will read what I was writing privately about the Geithner plan) I have a new theory after the jump.
update: double fool of myself. As ts points out in comments, the second richest man in the USA is named Warren Buffett not Warren Buffet. I just note that the Washington Post journalist and a copy editor made the same mistake (they might have some explaining to do to a certain major shareholder and director).
Googling Buffet site:angrybear.blogspot.com will demonstrate that I can’t claim to have been led astray by the Washington Post.
update II: economist.com made the same connection that I made in this post when explaining why my older post was wrong.
Both James S and the economist.com are covering up my speling eror.
I wonder if I can explain the Fatal Attraction of the Geithner plan, it seemed dead but it came back.
One strange thing about Geithner is that he humiliating himself by saying he had a plan, then presenting nothing at the big roll out press conference. To me this made sense only if someone had decided the plan was so bad that it was better for him to be humiliated at a press conference than implement it. That means real bad. Then it came back. Plans usually come out on schedule. However, deals often fall through at the last minute. I now have this image of Geithner and Buffet furiously arguing about just how generous a put Buffet would get in exchange for buying and holding sludge and just how restricted participation in the plan would be.
The official line is that the Obama administration decided to involve private investors and then began looking for private investors to involve. Yeah right. I now think that the plan was late because negotiations take time.