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Squawking: Buffett, Icahn and disruptors du jour

Talking Squawk, the official "Squawk Box" blog, provides tidbits, insights and some sarcastic reflections on the WEEK THAT WAS and the WEEK TO COME from the notepad of the show's senior executive producer.

Warren Buffett
CNBC
Warren Buffett

The Oracle of Omaha (in his own words)

It's one of the coolest things we do here on "Squawk Box."

Once a year—on the Monday after Warren Buffett releases his famous annual investing letter—he sits down with Becky Quick for three hours and says, "OK, ask me whatever you want!"

The Oracle also takes it one step further. He doesn't just respond to the questions from co-hosts Becky, Joe Kernen and Andrew Ross Sorkin, he opens up the discussion and asks our viewers to email or Tweet their questions to be answered live on TV. It's our way of giving you access to the most famous investor in the world and we're thankful he agrees to do it every year!

It would be way too much to link each story, each video or each segment, but for people who consume all things Buffett, here's a link to the entire three-hour transcript for your enjoyment ... to read over and over again.

Among the topics covered (this is the "CliffsNotes" version)

Carl Icahn
David Grogan | CNBC
Carl Icahn

Icahn on the line (here's how it went down in the control room on Wed., March 3 at 7:35 a.m. ET)

Ring ... Ring ... (Squawk Producer Dave Evans picks up the phone) "Hello, Mr. Icahn. Good morning. Yes sir, hold on and we'll put you right into the system and connect you to the anchors live on the air."

The next 20 minutes were TV magic with activist investor Carl Icahn going off on eBay's "worst corporate governance" as a symptom of how badly American companies are run.

(As you may recall, the billionaire was very vocal not too long ago about how Apple and CEO Tim Cook should unlock more value for shareholders. This week, he actually complimented Cook).

A day after Icahn's Squawk interview he tweeted:

Disruptors: The rise of Airbnb

We had a "Disruptors Summit" this week courtesy of venture capitalist Ben Horowitz, author of the new book "The Hard Things About Hard Things." One of the many companies Horowitz's firm (aka Andreessen Horowitz) brought to the world is Airbnb—the website that allows people to rent out their homes and apartments. Co-founder and CTO Nathan Blecharczyk joined us to explain his business model and his tax concerns.

Disruptors: Foursquare

Foursquare is another disruptor hand-picked by Horowitz and team. Dennis Crowley, CEO of the place-picking site, stopped by this week with his plan for growth. But first he had to explain to Joe exactly what Foursquare actually does.

Call me Elon!

We enjoy our relationship with AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson ( @CEOMikeJackson on Twitter). On the show Tuesday, he talked about the idea of selling Tesla electric vehicles one day (if given the chance) and stood by Tesla's business model of direct sales even though it cuts out dealerships.

The next day, Tesla boss Elon Musk responded to Jackson's comments that Tesla should have the right to use the retail model that works best for them.

Jamie DINAN ... not Dimon!

He's a powerhouse in the hedge fund industry. James "Jamie" Dinan is the founder, chairman and CEO of York Capital Management, a hedge fund with $21 billion of assets under management. We got him all the way to New Jersey on Wednesday for a rare exclusive and he told us right now, it's a stock pickers market. He also gave us his thoughts on European stocks and his overall investing approach that allows him to continue to "deliver alpha."

Dinan's funds have returned on average 14 percent a year (after fees!) since 1991. Now that's a track record (compared with the S&P's return of 9 percent over that same period).

What have you done for me lately?

Classic Kernen!

On air, Joe has repeatedly ribbed Apple CEO Tim Cook that his Christmas card didn't make it this year (context: Andrew's and Becky's cards did make it this year and Mr. Cook emailed into the show promising that he did send one to all three, after Joe called him out on air).

But Joe wasn't satisfied with that answer and kept pushing. So this week, after multiple on-air complaints, a new Christmas card was FedEx-ed to Joe's house.

Joe's on air reaction Thursday morning? "That's fine, but he did also miss my birthday on Jan. 6."

That will teach you Mr. Cook!

Deep thoughts

From Joe Kernen on solving bitcoin security concerns: "Why can't we just use those token you get at Chuck E. Cheese?"

Cramer clip

Check out Jim's take on how to play American Airlines. BTW, follow Jim on Twitter at @jimcramer (great for all you early risers, he starts tweeting literally in the middle of the night sometimes)!

Must follow them @

Get ready for Jack Welch's guest hosting gig this coming Thursday on "Squawk Box" from 7 a.m. ET to 9 a.m. ET! @Jack_Welch (the ultimate management guru!) is bringing two "disruptors" who we can't wait to meet!

Overheard on the set

Anchor No. 1: (Sighing) "Ugh, I'm exhausted. What a week. Is tomorrow Friday?"

Anchor No. 2: "Um, tomorrow is Wednesday."

Anchor No. 1: "Oh."

(We sure know how to bring the energy on Squawk!)

Word Jumble

Travel kept the Word Jumble from really getting going this week. Only two days to report and Joe and Becky were knotted at one win apiece. Joe's bonus Jumbled word of the week is TUUYOB. And Becky's word is PTCRAE. Find the answers at the end of the blog.

Mark your calendar (or set your DVR)

Next week's economic calendar

  • Monday: Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser speaks
  • Tuesday: NFIB small business optimism index
  • Wednesday: MBA mortgage applications
  • Thursday: Weekly jobless claims, retail sales, import and export prices
  • Friday: Producer price index

The Corny-Sappy Motivational Business-Based Inspirational Quote

"A bull market is like sex. It feels best just before it ends."
—Warren Buffett, quoting the late Wall Street money manager Barton Biggs

—By CNBC's Matthew Quayle. Follow him on Twitter @matthew_quayle.

*Joe's Jumble bonus word answer: TUUYOB = buyout

*Becky's Jumble bonus word answer: PTCRAE = carpet

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