How Doug Kass Became Buffett's Bear
Being selected as the bear to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway at the company's annual meeting was like going to the "Woodstock of capitalism," Doug Kass said Monday on CNBC.
On Friday, Buffett, in his annual letter to shareholders, had said he was looking for an investor with a bearish view of Berkshire Hathaway to present the case against the company.
The Oracle of Omaha announced Monday on CNBC's "Squawk Box" that he had selected Kass for the role.
On "Fast Money," the founder of Seabreeze Partners Management, based in Palm Beach, Fla., Kass said he had attended the legendary 1969 music festival near Woodstock, N.Y.
"And now, 44 years later, in May of 2013, I'm going to the Woodstock of capitalism in Omaha," he said. "It's really cool, and I'm anxiously looking forward to Charlie Munger to call me 'a damned fool,'" referring to Buffett's partner at Berkshire Hathaway.
Kass explained that he had prodded CNBC's Becky Quick and Andrew Ross Sorkin, along with Whitney Tilson of T2 Partners, to forward his application to Buffett, along with four references who were known to Buffett and "were willing to give me a nice reference."
Asked by StockMonster's Guy Adami for a fair valuation on the stock, Kass demurred.
"I appreciate the question, my friend, but I'm not going to spill the beans, and I don't really want to take away from the questions at the annual meeting," he said.
Kass also praised Buffett.
"I would just say this one thing, that his willingness to take on a bear as a panelist at the annual meeting and to ask what I believe to be tough questions, is really testimony to his uniqueness, his transparency," he said. "He differs from almost any other corporate manager that I've ever met or known about, who typically lock bearish analysts and their analysis and opinion in the closet, away from investors, who sometimes get a bit too giddy and bullish."
Kass will face off May 4 in Omaha against two Berkshire Hathaway bulls, Cliff Gallant of Nomura Securities and Jonathan Brandt of Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb.
Berkshire Hathaway stock closed at $152,955.
Is his appearance, Buffett said he wanted to mix things up at the annual shareholder meeting.
(Read More: Buffett Still Buying Stocks, Sees 'Good Value')
"I just thought I'd make it more interesting. You know, the crowd can hear somebody that thinks the stock's overpriced or house of cards," he said. "We want the meeting to be interesting, so that person will get six questions."
Buffett said he had been looking for "a credentialed bear," preferably who was short the stock.
"Doug, you're on," he said. "Think of tough questions. See if you can drive down the stock 10 percent when you show up."
Asked by host Becky Quick whether that was so he could buy back shares, Buffett joked, "Yeah, that would be OK."
(Read More: Buffett's Advice to Apple's Tim Cook: Ignore Einhorn)
Trader disclosure: On March 4, 2013, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Tim Seymour is long AAPL; Tim Seymour is long BAC; Tim Seymour is long SBUX; Guy Adami is long C; Guy Adami is long GS; Guy Adami is long INTC; Guy Adami is long MSFT; Guy Adami is long AGU; Guy Adami is long NUE; Guy Adami is long BTU; Pete Najarian is long AAPL; Pete Najarian is long JPM CALLS; Pete Najarian is long YHOO; Pete Najarian is long RIMM; Pete Najarian is long SBUX; Pete Najarian is long FB; Pete Najarian is long MSFT; Pete Najarian is long HPQ; Pete Najarian is long GNW; Pete Najarian is long INTC CALLS; Pete Najarian is long WHR CALLS; Pete Najarian is long AMZN CALLS; Pete Najarian is long CHK CALLS; Pete Najarian is long PFE CALLS; Pete Najarian is long UNP CALLS; Karen Finerman is long AAPL; Karen Finerman is long BAC; Karen Finerman is long JPM; Karen Finerman is long WMT; Karen Finerman is long TGT; Karen Finerman is long MSFT; Karen Finerman is long GOOG; Karen Finerman is short PAY; Karen Finerman is long M; Karen Finerman is short SPY.