Warren Buffett

The Proposal Goldman Sachs Didn't Want Shareholders to See

Blankfein and Buffett photoThe Securities and Exchange Commission recently notified us that it will allow Goldman Sachs to exclude our shareholder proposal that asks for a report on the company's lobbying priorities. The basis for the exclusion was that another shareholder, The Needmoor Fund, had already submitted a similar proposal. We disagree that the proposals duplicate each other. We hope that Needmoor will raise the issues that prompted our proposal, especially Goldman's endorsement of Dodd-Frank, but we doubt they will.

SPECIAL REPORT: Why Immelt Needs Obama: General Electric Is a Bank, and It's Too Big to Fail

Special Report coverNLPC Associate Fellow Fred N. Sauer asserts that General Electric is no longer a great industrial company, but is now dominated by its General Electric Capital Services (GECS) division. Contrary to the conventional wisdom of the financial media that GECS has been GE's strength in recent years, Sauer argues that GECS is dangerously reliant on short-term financing to support its own lending. The result is a company ultimately dependent on political influence to mitigate the risk, creating opportunities for the well connected, like Warren Buffett.

Click here or on the image at the right to download an 18-page pdf version of the Report.

Misguided Schumer-Lee Bill Offers Visas for Foreign-Born Homebuyers

Schumer photo"Jobs that Americans won't do" is a weak, if common rationale for high levels of immigration. Get set for an equally dubious idea to justify immigration: "housing that Americans can't buy." Senators Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, are believers. And they're offering a sweet deal. On Thursday, October 20, the two lawmakers unveiled legislation, the Visa Improvements to Stimulate International Tourism to the United States of America Act, or VISIT-USA Act (S.1746), one of whose elements would provide renewable three-year resident visas to foreign nationals who invest at least $500,000 in residential real estate here. The plan thus assumes both the need for a housing industry bailout and a large injection of foreign capital toward that end. Supporters should spend some time pondering the downside.

Why Goldman Sachs (and Warren Buffett) Always Win

Lloyd Blankfein and Warren Buffett photoLast week's stock market turmoil was a reminder that America continues to struggle to recover from the financial collapse of 2008-2009.  Benchmarks of our economic progress, or lack of it, are over 40 million people on food stamps, unemployment rates stuck over 9%, and GDP growth slowing, as it just missed expectations of 1.3% growth.  The Obama Administration's massive deficit spending has almost doubled the publicly held debt which was $5.808 trillion on 9/30/08, or 40% of GDP, to an estimated $10.672 trillion as of 9/30/11, or almost 71% of GDP.  This is all just in 3 fiscal years.  The road to recovery for most people looks longer than anyone expected.

But the American economy, being what it is, there are bright spots for some people. From the March 15, 2011 Wall Street Journal:

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