Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Who Did Bernanke's Helicopter Money Drops Benefit the Most?

Here is how much top shareholders at S&P 500 companies made due to market gains in 2013:

When these guys say Bernanke did a good job, now you will know why. Note well: At the top of the list is Warren Buffett who has been a major Bernanke supporter and benefited directly from the Fed bail out of Goldman Sachs by buying stock in Goldman THE DAY BEFORE THE FED AND THE TREASURY LAUNCHED THEIR BAIL OUT PROGRAMS. 

Second on the list is Jeff Bezos who appears to have made most of his money legitimately via Amazon, but who,curiously, has since bought the elitist regime propaganda rag, The Washington Post.

(Chart via WSJ)


  1. It might be nice to look at Bezos separately.

    Don't forgot Amazon has recently started collecting sales taxes for many states.

  2. Aren't all these guys also big time Obama supporters? You know Obama, fellas. He's the guy at the top liking out for all us little people and protecting us from The Rich.

  3. Hmmm, and interestingly enough, they all support more government. Cui bono friends!

  4. Warren Buffett is the champion of the common man, because he said the government should tax him more. He also lives in humble settings, which proves he favors the little guy as opposed to the 1 percent.

    -Barry Foxgroup

    1. I have a bridge for sale you may be interested in.

    2. I guess it's too much to suggest to Barry/Jerry that he look to see if what Warren says matches up with what actually happens.

      What has stopped Buffett from giving away all his wealth to the 99% or instead of waiting for more tax laws to be passed by checking his "donate" box on the tax return?

      If he feels so strongly about it then what is he waiting for?

    3. The Buffett derivative mystery gets more exotic

      In the comments on our last piece on Berkshire Hathaway’s very large derivative contracts we and Professor Pablo Triana learned that Warren Buffett treats the put options he sold between 2004 and 2008 as hard-to-value Level 3 liabilities that must be marked-to-model (or myth). See page 84 in the 2009 annual report.

      That helps to explain why the quarterly mark-to-market losses Berkshire reported on the contracts were not larger, given big moves in currencies and equity indices in 2008 and 2009. But in resolving one mystery it created another, because valuing large put options is typically straightforward, even if like Mr Buffett you dislike the theoretical basis for doing so, and Berkshire’s commentary and disclosure has always indicated that the contracts are of the plain vanilla variety.
      This has prompted the good professor to come back with a new question: so what kind of puts did Warren Buffett sell, exactly? And in trying to answer it he has found that to Lehman Brothers at least, Berkshire appears to have sold some exotic derivatives indeed (which would raise another question, were they properly disclosed?).

      A mystery indeed. As we’ve said before, Berkshire is unique in that it engages with its investors and the public entirely on its own terms. The company is trusted to run with a very small staff and minimal central control largely on the strength of Mr Buffett. Perhaps someone could ask him to outline the derivative contracts in more depth when he has his annual question and answer session in May.

    4. Perhaps Berkshire is unique now in being able to engage with investors and the public on its own terms, and in being trusted to run with a small staff and minimal central control based largely on the strength of its leader, but until recently there was at least one other such firm. Anyone remember that outfit in the Lipstick Building, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities?

  5. "Jeff Bezos who appears to have made most of his money legitimately via Amazon, but who,curiously, has since bought the elitist regime propaganda rag"....

    in a circle jerk this often occurs.

    The Prophet of No Profit How Jeff Bezos won the faith of Wall Street.

    Meager as last year’s profits were, they represented a small improvement from 2012, when Amazon actually lost money. Even with the slight uptick in 2013, Amazon earned substantially less profit than it did back in 2008, when it posted a net income of $645 million on relatively modest sales of $19.17 billion. Over the past five years, in other words, the retailer of the future managed to more than triple its sales while slicing profits by more than half. It’s a business success story like no other in the world.

    To understand the significance of Amazon’s lack of profits, you need to distinguish it from another class of unprofitable company: the high-tech startup. Technology companies backed by venture capitalists often rise to prominence without showing profits. This often becomes a source of amusement or confusion when, for example, Instagram sells for $1 billion to Facebook with no revenue, or when Snapchat turns down a $3 billion buyout offer with, again, no revenue.

    The executives running these firms celebrate their high profits, but they’ve become a subject of social concern. Enormous profits lead to enormous corporate income tax bills, bills that high tech companies seek to reduce through elaborate tax avoidance schemes. As exploiting these loopholes typically involves attributing income to foreign subsidiaries, firms end up with cash on their books that can’t be officially “brought back” to the United States without taking a hit. That leads to the creation of new avoidance schemes through which incredibly wealthy firms take on debt to pay dividends and avoid the IRS. Beyond tax avoidance, high profits at a time of mass unemployment and stagnant wages strikes many as unseemly. And even mild-mannered business columnists like the Financial Times’ John Plender are beginning to ask why tech companies are hoarding so much money rather than investing it. He observes that seven big tech firms—Apple, Microsoft, Google, Cisco, Oracle, Qualcomm and Facebook—have cash holdings that “now top $340 billion, a near-fivefold increase since the start of the millennium.”
    The most staggering thing about the no-profits business model is to contemplate the extent to which rivals are simply helpless in its face. “There is just no way to compete with them on price,” Sarah Rees of the English independent bookstore Cover-to-Cover told the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr in her Nov. 30 inquiry into the store’s rise in the United Kingdom. The main focus of the Observer story is the working conditions at Amazon’s fulfillment centers (which are not very pleasant—read Mac McClelland in Mother Jones for a great look inside the bleak working conditions in the American warehouses), and it links indie bookstore owners’ inability to compete with Amazon to its brutal exploitation of workers. Higher pay would, of course, increase Amazon’s cost. But their competitors’ dilemma is more fundamental

    Oh and the Wash Post...just saying.......

    Eugene Isaac Meyer (October 31, 1875 – July 17, 1959) was an American financier, public official, and newspaper publisher. He was the publisher of the Washington Post newspaper. He served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1930 to 1933. He also served as the first President of the World Bank Group. He was the father of publisher Katharine Graham and portrait photographer Florence Meyer.

  6. WaPo got rid of Ezra Klein and had that great Radley Balko article on Iowa police terrorizing people by mistake.

    1. Maybe the Bezos years will be an improvement for them...

  7. You guys are so fixated on these guys you have no life to call your own.