Saturday, January 30, 2010

Does Warren Buffett Condone Bad Accounting??? / Is Warren Buffett a Hypocrite???

This story I found sifting through Tyler Durden's site ZeroHedge.  Tyler has a terrific site for those who focus on finance and daily market activity.  The original story (commentary) was taken from Jonathan Weil over at Bloomberg.  It discusses the way that Wells Fargo records derivatives on their balance sheet.  If you follow Warren Buffett like a little crowd mentality robot (which many market participants have done for years) you would already know that  Warren Buffett owns 313 million shares of Wells Fargo (ticker WFC).

I admit for many years I was among that crowd who read some of Buffett's words in magazines and books and at one time I had respect for him.  But as you follow him over many years you would discover he is not so much for the "little guy" as he tries so hard to portray himself.  And being that Warren Buffett watches balance sheets extremely closely and minutely, you might guess that Buffett has at the least condoned or maybe even encouraged this type of accounting at Wells Fargo.  Don't shareholders (big and small) have a right to know what is going on here with the way Wells Fargo records derivatives on their balance sheets???----especially when it seems to be done in an extremely misleading and deceptive way.  If I went to the next Berkshire Hathaway meeting, you can rest assured  it would be the first question I would ask Warren Buffett.  The very next question out of my mouth would be "Warren, do you also condone the breaking of FASB accounting rules??  Because that is what Wells Fargo has done here."

I guess (it certainly seems) Warren Buffett really isn't that different than the crazy derivatives traders/dealers in his heart of hearts.  He thinks it's ok to trade or purchase extremely risky derivatives as long as they're labeled "hedges" on the bank's balance sheet.

Update:  Reggie Middleton does an update and digs into further detail on the Wells Fargo accounting  shenanigans/ bullshit.  This is a quick read and a must read especially for Wells Fargo investors, and value investors in general.  Seems as Mr. Buffett might say, Wells Fargo stock is highly "overvalued" at this juncture.

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