Dueling Buffettasias

by: Greg Newton

TheSnowball The Wall Street Journal last weekend hinted darkly that the long-gestating official biography of Warren Buffett, the value investor now rapidly morphing into an over-exposed media hound, may have earned its subject’s less-than-pleasure.

Which, if nothing else, will be good for sales, no? Leaving cynics to suspect that the story was a sharp publicist’s contrarian plant. Congratulations. Well done.

Moving right along, your loyal correspondent was stumbling among Amazon’s pixels in search of he knew not quite what, and tripped over this intriguing tease:

Janet Tavakoli takes you into the world of Warren Buffett by way of the recent mortgage meltdown. In correspondence and discussion with him over two years, they both saw the writing on the wall, made clear by the implosion of Bear Stearns. Tavakoli, in clear and engaging prose, explains how the credit mess happened, beginning with the mortgage lending Ponzi schemes funded by investment banks, the Fed bailout and its impact on the dollar. Through her narrative, we hear from Warren Buffett and learn how his enduring principles caused him to see the mess that was coming well in advance and kept him and his investors well out of the way.

Now, that (emphasis) sounds rather more interesting than another re-hash of the oft-told tale of Omniscient of Omaha’s prescience, however richly spiced with the details of his marginally unconventional domestic arrangements.

Dear Mr. Buffett: What An Investor Learns
1,269 Miles From Wall Street

by Janet Tavakoli
Scheduled publication: Jan. 9 2009

The Backstory on the Buffett Book
by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg
The Wall Street Journal Aug. 23 2008