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Warren Buffett's big multi-billion dollar bet that stocks won't end up lower years from now gets some attention and analysis in this weekend's Barron's. Essentially, Berkshire is using long-term options contracts as a way of selling 'catastrophe' insurance. In this case, however, the potential catastrophe isn't a hurricane or a flood, it's the possibility that stocks will wind up lower after 15 or 20 years.
Forbes just released its annual list of the world's wealthiest individuals, with Warren Buffett climbing to the number one spot. Here is the list of largest companies by Market Cap on the S&P 500.
Warren Buffett is now the world's richest person, topping the just-released Forbes 2008 ranking of global billionaires, with an estimated wealth of $62 billion. He bumps Microsoft's Bill Gates from the number one spot, a position Gates held for 13 consecutive years. Mexico's Carlos Slim is number two.
Warren Buffett tells CNBC's Becky Quick, with his familiar laugh, that he was able to replace Microsoft's Bill Gates as the world's richest person because he "spends less." In a brief off-camera telephone chat about Forbes' new list of global billionaires, with Buffett and his estimated $62 billion in the top position, the Berkshire Hathaway chairman joked that "it's a tribute to thriftiness."
Tomorrow (Wednesday, March 5) at 6pm ET, Forbes officially releases its annual list of the world's billionaires .. ranked primarily, of course, by net worth. Warren Buffett was number two on the 2007 list. He has some serious competition this time around.
Another Monday, another volatile market. CNBC asked the experts what they suggest investors do now.
In a series of exclusive live appearances on CNBC's Squawk Box this morning, Warren Buffett told us that by a "common sense definition", the U.S. economy is already in a recession, even if it hasn't met the technical definition of two consecutive quarters of negative growth. He restated, however, his view that over the long-run the U.S. economy will do fine and that each generation will live better than the one before it.
Warren Buffett's annual letter to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, and the entire financial world, will be released later today (Friday, March 3) around 4:30pm ET. We'll also get Berkshire Hathaway's fourth quarter earnings report. That's going to be a lot of conversation starters for Buffett's live appearance on CNBC's Squawk Box Monday morning (6am ET) with Becky Quick. (Buffett will also be answering many of the email questions you've been submitting to us.)
Warren Buffett asked our Becky Quick to poll the CNBC audience to see what you predict...
Warren Buffett will respond to some of your email questions about his annual letter to Berkshire shareholders this coming Monday morning, March 3, live from Omaha, exclusively on CNBC's Squawk Box. Here's how you can send us a question that might be answered by the Oracle himself.
In a live on-set interview during today's Closing Bell on CNBC, MBIA's new CEO Jay Brown told us he's "comfortable" going up against Warren Buffett's new bond insurance company, although he acknowledges that Berkshire Hathaway can be "tough" competition. In response to a question about Buffett "going after" his business, Brown suggested Buffett might not be in it for the long haul.
Four former executives of Berkshire Hathaway's General Re have just been found guilty in a closely watched criminal fraud trial that could have brought Warren Buffett to the witness stand. A former executive of American International Group was also convicted by the jury, following a one-month federal court trial in Hartford, Connecticut.
Warren Buffett's new bond insurance company has backed more than 100 municipal bonds in the past two days, according to Reuters, which calls it a "development that shows just how fast the new unit is growing in a field where rivals are struggling."
Kraft Foods rallied by 6.9 percent to close at $31.33, the day after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway revealed it has accumulated an 8.6 percent stake in the company, becoming Kraft's largest shareholder. That's the biggest one-day percentage gain ever for Kraft, which began trading on the NYSE in 2001.
As the financial world continues to furiously debate Warren Buffett's offer to reinsure billions of dollars worth of municipal bonds, shares of Buffett's holding company continue to recover from their January low. Berkshire Hathaway closed today (Wednesday) at $143,980 each, up $4280, just over 3%, on the day. It's the first close above $140K this year and a two-month high for the stock.
This morning on CNBC's Squawk Box, Warren Buffett publicly revealed for the first time that he has offered to reinsure $800 billion in municipal bonds now covered by the troubled insurers MBIA, Ambac and FGIC. Here is a video and transcript of the second part of this morning's live phone conversation, which also includes Buffett's comment that stocks are in the "general range of fair value" right now.
This morning on CNBC's Squawk Box, Warren Buffett publicly revealed for the first time that he has offered to reinsure $800 billion in municipal bonds now covered by the troubled insurers MBIA, Ambac and FGIC. That would effectively give those bonds a AAA credit rating. So far, he says one insurer has turned him down and he hasn't heard from the other two. Here is a transcript of the first part of this morning's live phone conversation.
Warren Buffett tells Fox Business that Berkshire Hathaway won't be investing in any troubled bond insurer, including Ambac and MBIA
Warren Buffett tells CNBC this morning that he has a plan to help the troubled bond insurance situation, but so far it's not getting a very warm reception.In a live telephone call to Squawk Box just a few minutes ago, Buffett offered to reinsure $800 billion in municipal bonds now insured by Ambac, MBIA and FGIC, effectively giving them a AAA credit rating. Those insurers are in danger of losing their AAA credit ratings due to problems with subprime mortgages and other loans.Buffett tells us he sent that offer to the bond insurers last week, and that he's giving them 30 days to find a better deal. Buffett says one bond insurer turned him down, and he hasn't yet heard from the other two.
Warren Buffett will be calling into CNBC's Squawk Box tomorrow (Tuesday, February 12) morning during the 8am ET hour for a First on CNBC live telephone interview with Becky Quick and the rest of the Squawk team. Buffett will be discussing the bond insurance situation.