He had the smarts and confidence to build up a huge stockpile of cash over the past decade, refused to pay a dividend (like many said he should), unwound the dangerous derivatives at General Re, and now has been putting tens of billions to work. Most of the coverage of his op-ed in the New York Times included misinformation discrediting him like multiple guest/reporters on CNBC saying "he's lost tons of money on the GS and GE deals" (that's wrong, by the way...he didn't buy the common...but I never heard any of your commentators correct these misstatements. He's MAKING 10% on the prefereds).
While Dimon, Paulson, Geithner and Bernanke are bailout out the WEAK, Buffett is bailing out the STRONGER (Goldman Sachs, GE). If that doesn't scream power, I don't know what does. It simply reminds me why he is who he is — he's focused on making money, looking at the opportunities, avoiding the distractions, while too many (not all) of you guys are focused on 1.) denying that we're in a recession for as long as possible (Kudlow, through most of '08), or now trying to call a bottom. Or the endless coverage of the auto bailout, and the $25ish billion (pocket change at this point) while hardly ever even mentioning the TRILLIONS of $$ growth of the Fed's balance sheet and why they refuse to disclose what assets and which companies are involved. Sorry for the rant, but I think it all ties in to why Warren Buffett deserves at least a mention — he continues to demonstrate qualities that we who want to be better investors should try to emulate.
— Gavin, Lansing, Mich.
How about volatility traders? With VIX touching record highs, day traders and brokers have made record profits. (Keep track of the VIX and other global indexes here.)
— Amit, Chicago
My pick for power player of the year is Christopher Cox.
1. The removal of the uptick rule contributed to the biggest destruction of wealth in the history of mankind.