Monday, October 25, 2010

Buffett Picks a Total Insider to Handle Portfolios

It's official, Berkshire Hathaway, for all practical purposes, is under the control of the banking elite. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has brought in a new executive, 39-year-old Todd Combs from Castle Point Capital, to help manage the company’s investment portfolio, opening up speculation that he could be a successor to Warren Buffett.

Get a load of this guy's associates:

According to Stone Point’s (Castle merged with Stone Point) website, former Goldman Sachs executive Stephen Friedman is the chairman of Stone Point. Friedman stepped down last year as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York amid controversy over his twin roles at the New York Fed and as a Goldman shareholder.

Officialy, Friedman is a retired Chairman of Goldman, Sachs & Co.  Friedman also previously served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board and Intelligence Oversight Board and Assistant to President George W. Bush for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council. Friedman joined Goldman Sachs in 1966 and became a Partner in 1973. He was Vice Chairman and co-Chief Operating Officer from 1987 to November 1990, and co-Chairman or Chairman from 1990 to 1994.

Stone Point CEO Charles Davis was with Goldman, Sachs & Co. for twenty-three years where he served as head of Investment Banking Services worldwide, co-head of the Americas Group, head of the Financial Services Industry Group, a member of the International Executive Committee and a General Partner.

Stone Point Chief Investment Officer Meryl D. Hartzband was a Managing Director at J.P. Morgan & Co., where, during a sixteen-year career, she specialized in managing private equity investments in the financial services industry.

Castle Point's  portfolio, according to WSJ, makes it look like a holding company for elite banks, and pretty little else:

Castle Point Capital Management, according to its latest SEC disclosure, has a scant two dozen or so investments, including more than 1.2 million shares in Western Union, more than 1 million shares in U.S. Bancorp, and investments in Blackrock, CIT Group, JP Morgan Chase and Progressive Corp
Stone Point recently was part of a group that invested in what appears to be an insider sweetheart deal by buying into IndyMac Bank, the failed California lender. Other investors in that deal included  investment firm J.C. Flowers & Co., hedge fund Paulson & Co., computer mogul Michael Dell’s investment vehicle MSD Capital, and a fund controlled by billionaire investor/speculator George Soros.

From what is public about Combs, he's no stock picker. He's a picker of insider companies and financial companies that the government will bailout at all costs.

It's a sad day for Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.

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