Buffett Watch

Warren Buffett Sings and Plays Ukulele for Chinese New Year

Warren Buffett plays ukulele and sings in a video clip posted on the website of Chinese state broadcaster CCTV for the lunar new year.

A short video clip of Warren Buffett playing the ukulele and singing "I've Been Working on the Railroad" is part of Chinese television's New Year celebration.

It appears on the 2012 Spring Gala website of state broadcaster CCTV.  The Gala is a massive television program marking the start of the lunar new year that's watched by millions of Chinese.

A spokeswoman for the broadcast tells the WSJ's China Realtime Report that along with its inclusion in the online version of the Gala the Buffett video also aired on TV.

Almost two weeks ago that same blog had knocked down earlier reports that Buffett would sing in the Chinese new year, leading us to post that Millions of Chinese Won't Have to Hear Warren Buffett Sing.

No such luck, but Buffett is very popular in China where he's seen as something of a 'rock star' investor, and the clip is prominently placed on the CCTV site.

According to the WSJ blog, the video was actually recorded for a charity event a year ago associated with media executive Wu Zheng, described as a friend of Buffett's:

"Originally — as Mr. Wu told China Real Time earlier this month — Mr. Buffett objected to repurposing the video for the new year’s audience.  Mr. Buffett appears to have changed his mind: Mr. Wu said Sunday that Mr. Buffett later gave his assent to use the video in the gala."

Berkshire Hathaway is now the proud owner of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, a purchase Buffett has described as a long-term bet on America's economic future.

Buffett is also a lifelong railroad buff, and we assume the video was shot in his Omaha home, where, according to USA Today, "He has an elaborate model railroad layout on the third floor ... for his children and grandchildren, though 'it gets little action,' he says, because they don't share his fascination and he has little time for it."

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