Thursday, August 25, 2011

Buffett Expects Bank Of America Bailout

In an age of crony capitalism, it's important to identify the cronies.  Their investment decisions provide lessons in minimizing the impact of financial repression.  Warren Buffett has purchased preferred shares in Bank of America along with warrants for more common shares.  This fits his method of investing in companies with durable competitive advantages, although this bank's advantage comes from its ability to obtain your taxes as a capital cushion.  He fully expects BAC to exercise its option to buy back the preferred shares once the government funds anohter bailout round, so this is likely a way for him to earn an above-market rate on some spare cash. 

It's worth noting that Buffett made this decision after taking a phone call from the President of the United States.  We can only wonder at the details discussed, but Buffett excels at reading a macroeconomic climate.  He's risking capital on a bank that has been first in line for government bailouts for several years.  Too big to fail means no investment can fail as long as the government is there to backstop a bad bank.  Mr. Buffett's political fundraising is his way of saying thank you. 

Average investors who mimic the moves of the plutocracy may do very well indeed, provided a jealous neighbor doesn't prompt law enforcement to levy an asset forfeiture action against them.  Don't ever say America has ceased to be the land of opportunity.