Film at 11: Warren Buffet not a candidate for sainthood
Look beyond Buffett’s old-timey outsider shtick, the circus of an annual meeting, the notion that all he does is drink Cherry Coke and play online bridge with Bill Gates, and he’s just another Wall Streeter. Like any rational being, Buffett went where the money was (Moody’s), bought on the cheap (Goldman), and tried to protect his own interests (lobbying against derivatives reform.) Just like the rest of them. Only he’s better at it than they are.
Moody's is especially egregious:
Perhaps most damning to his cultivated image of being above it all is the fact that until last year, Berkshire Hathaway was the largest shareholder of rating agency Moody’s Investors Service, with a full 20 percent stake. It’s hard to think of any market participant that fell down harder on the job during the late housing bubble than the rating agencies, all in pursuit of the growing stream of fees from investment banks demanding that they put lipstick on their subprime pigs. Moody’s surpassed $73 a share in early 2007; it’s around $21 now. And yet, Buffett’s reputation took no similar hit.
Oddly, or not, Buffet's directorship at Pravda isn't mentioned. I'm sure that's because Pravda has nothing to do with helping Buffett cultivate his image.