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Fri Mar 28, 2014, 07:15 AM

David Sirota: Warren Buffett’s Epic NCAA Humblebrag

from In These Times:

Warren Buffett’s Epic NCAA Humblebrag
Buffett and Quicken Loans want to give you $1 billion for your perfect NCAA bracket—because they can.


In historians’ quest to find the perfect anecdote to summarize this era of unprecedented economic inequality, they confront an embarrassment of riches (pun intended).

There are the stories of billionaires like Tom Perkins, Stephen Schwarzman and Ken Langone insisting that criticism of inequality is akin to Nazism. There are more subtle antics at the local level—for instance, there is news this week that in New York (aka one of the most unequal states in America) Republican legislators are aiming to create a special sales-tax exemption for those buying private jets. And there is, of course, the tale of the billionaire vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Charles Munger, telling everyone to “thank god” for massive bank bailouts, and then telling the poor to “suck it in and cope” with their own problems.

Each of these makes a good modern-day analogue to the legend of Marie Antoinette’s attitude toward the proles during the 18th century. Yet, none of these examples rise to truly iconic “let them eat cake” status in the way the recent episode involving Warren Buffett does.


Look, I’m as much of a fan of March Madness as the average guy, and I understand all the excitement surrounding this “who wants to be a billionaire?” sweepstakes. However, when you take a moment to think about this spectacle in the context of the current economic moment and recent economic history, it is downright grotesque.

Poverty is rampant. Wages are stagnating. Three quarters of Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck. The unemployment rate remains persistently high and inequality has hit Gilded Age levels. Much of this has been exacerbated by a housing crisis and mortgage fraud. Yet, in the face of such emergencies, one of the world’s richest men joined a mortgage lender that sold shady loans to brag about their collective wealth. That’s the obvious takeaway as Buffett runs to fawning news outlets to proudly proclaim that it wouldn’t faze him in the least to write a billion-dollar check. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://inthesetimes.com/article/16488/warren_buffetts_epic_ncaa_humblebrag

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Reply David Sirota: Warren Buffett’s Epic NCAA Humblebrag (Original post)
marmar Mar 2014 OP
Agony Mar 2014 #1
frazzled Mar 2014 #2
xchrom Mar 2014 #3

Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 07:28 AM

1. Buffett is a piece of shit used car salesman

I am not comparing him to President Obama, but they do hang out in some of the same circles...

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 10:01 AM

2. Um, they can offer it because no one will get it

No one ever has and, statistically, it's impossible ... or at least as impossible as getting hit by lightning, bursting your appendix, and winning the lottery at the very same moment. It's like a one in 128 billion chance.

I could offer you a billion dollars for a perfect bracket, and I don't have a pot to pee in.

I laughed when I asked my husband if he'd filled out a bracket. He said yes, and that he'd sent it to a paper in Oregon offering $10,000. I asked why he didn't just send it for the billion-dollar one, and he dryly responded: too much pressure.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 10:21 AM

3. du rec.

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