Warren Buffett’s Dirty Words of Wisdom

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Berkshire Hathaway founder and chairman Warren Buffett is one of the most respected businessman — well, ever. He's known as a smart investor who buys value at reasonable prices, an insurance genius, and a lover of Cherry Coke. He's also known for going out of his way to awkwardly marry aberrant sex fetish with folksy business wisdom, generally out of nowhere. So it should come as no shock that Wednesday morning, in his first official interview following his possibly risky investment in Goldman Sachs, the Oracle of Omaha told CNBC: "It's a bit like saving up sex for your old age — at some point you've got to use it." Then the Buff Master went to the dirty-old-man place again in a front-page Wall Street Journal article today, when relating a story about a call he received from Bear Stearns back in March:

"I'm calling about Bear Stearns,'" the private investor began, according to Mr. Buffett. "Should I go on?'" Mr. Buffett recalls thinking: "It's like a woman taking off half her clothes and asking, 'Should I continue?' Even if you're a 90-year-old eunuch, you let 'em finish."



Anyway, since he seems to be on a roll, and since there's a chance that Buffett's diving into bed with Blankfein will go down in the history books as that which (sort of) saved Wall Street, we thought it best to celebrate by recalling some of his greatest hits.


• In June, to Bloomberg on why people should want to sell their companies to Berkshire Hathaway: "You can sell it to Berkshire, and we'll put it in the Metropolitan Museum; it'll have a wing all by itself; it'll be there forever. Or you can sell it to some porn shop operator, and he'll take the painting and he'll make the boobs a little bigger and he'll stick it up in the window, and some other guy will come along in a raincoat, and he'll buy it."

• In May, in his annual letter to BK shareholders on the housing and credit crisis: "As house prices fall, a huge amount of financial folly is being exposed. You only learn who has been swimming naked when the tide goes out."

• In February, to CBS News, on bridge: "You know, if I'm playing bridge and a naked woman walks by, I don't even see her. Don't test me on that!"

• In May 2007, in his annual letter to BK shareholders, on the ill-fated acquisition of Dexter Shoe: "A line from Bobby Bare's country song explains what too often happens with acquisitions: 'I've never gone to bed with an ugly woman, but I've sure woke up with a few.'"

• In his 1991 letter to shareholders: "We believe that according the name 'investors' to institutions that trade actively is like calling someone who repeatedly engages in one-night stands a 'romantic.'"

• In 1974, to Forbes, on stocks being undervalued: "[I feel] like an oversexed guy in a whorehouse." [Forbes changed "whorehouse" to "harem."]