Dear Mr. Buffett: What an Investor Learns 1,269 Miles from Wall Street

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9780470632420: Dear Mr. Buffett: What an Investor Learns 1,269 Miles from Wall Street
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Janet Tavakoli takes you into the world of Warren Buffett by way of the recent mortgage meltdown. In correspondence and discussion with him over 2 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.

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Review:

Altogether this book is an excellent read, loaded with information about the goings–on in the financial sector in the US till as recently as September 2008. The is informal, almost like a conversation in a lounge bar, racy, laced with wit and when it comments on leading actors in the drama, dipped in vitriol. Tavakoli is a name we will be hearing about frequently in the near future. ( Business Standard)

"Dear Buffett is must reading . . . in a way that only Tavakoli could provide. . . Tavakoli knows her stuff. She knows where the bodies are buried in the complex formulas. . . And, almost as a bonus, we get Buffett′s views and insights into his derivatives trading. There′s nothing more you could ask for in a financial book in this day and age of financial derivatives meltdown." (Economic Policy Journal)

"...full of anecdotes, details and character sketches that add depth...she knows her stuff, has strong opinions and turns a colourful quote." (Financial Times, February 21st 2009)

"A clear and pacy run through the multitude of sins and sinners in the modern financial world. . . full of anecdotes, details and character sketches that add depth and colour to even the best known episodes of the past two years. [Tavakoli] also covers events only a few years before the current crisis that should have been big warning signs. The correspondence between Buffett and Tavakoli over the past three years reinforced her existing views on the dangers of complex finance. And with Buffett′s blessing, this book will find a ready–made fan base with little marketing effort. . . Tavakoli makes for an attractive pundit – she knows her stuff, has strong opinions and turns a colourful quote. . . There is a healthy dose of "I told you so" about this volume – but, to be fair, Tavakoli is one of the few who did." (Financial Times)

"[Tavakoli has] been railing against emperors wearing no clothes in the credit derivatives markets forever. If only people had listened." (AndrewTobias.com)

"Why is this not an ordinary Buffett book? Because it concerns how an expert on derivatives came to know Mr. Buffett, and how the current crises were seen in advance by both of them. This book s greatest strength comes from its ability to explain the messes we are currently in. No solutions, mind you, and Mr. Buffett ain t handing out any of those either, but understanding how we got to where we are is of value, and Janet Tavakoli is nothing if not a good writer on those points.
There is a second theme how a derivatives expert came to appreciate value investing. After all, when short term investing is focused on a variety of arbitrage situations, why not think long, and look for long term capital appreciation?
I heartily recommend this book. One reading this will understand our current crisis very well, and will gain in his understanding of how our markets work. That said, the virtues of the book do not come from Mr. Buffett, but from one who intelligently admires his views on derivatives and other matters." (The Aleph Blog)

Dear Mr Buffett is, like its author, strongly, often harshly, and, more than rarely, tartly, opinionated. The attitude is, however, well–supported by the facts; should anyone ever display the slightest interest in criminalizing the criminals who led us down this path, a prosecutor could do worse than ordering up copies for the grand jury.
One thing the world is not going to run out any time soon is books on subprime credit–turned–global financial meltdown. But it s doubtful that many, or any, will so closely match the ripping yarn of financial upset with concepts that any and perhaps every investor can apply to their own financial security. This book was already at the printer when the Madoff Maelstrom broke, but it s highly doubtful that anybody who absorbs the message of Dear Mr Buffett will ever need confront that kind of mayhem. (Seeking Alpha, Greg Newton)

Janet Tavakoli s Dear Mr. Buffett is an unusual amalgam of a simple, personal story and a complex, public one The promise of this tantalizing morsel will draw buyers in. But readers will find much more than another book on Warren Buffett Tavakoli s book chronicles the words and deeds of people who dealt in derivatives without knowing and often without caring what that relationship was. Some will call her book a morality tale. I call it a rationality tale. (Seeking Alpha, Geoff Gannon)

Ms. Tavakoli uses her letters and relationship with Warren Buffett as an homage to Buffett′s ability to distill the basic essence of complex matters into simple facts of money and value For Dear Mr. Buffett, she has opted for a simple approach to tell the tale of actors gone bad and trust abused at many levels. This book is an accessible popularization of the issues, and as such no heavy securitization math etc. to deal with. I agree with this approach as the story needs to get out to as many as possible. (Seeking Alpha, Nick Gogerty)

". . . isn′t yet another book about Buffett′s career. Rather it′s Tavakoli′s withering critique of just about anyone who had anything to do with inflating the housing bubble. . . Tavakoli contrasts that behavior with the way Buffett runs Berkshire Hathaway. . . an excellent summary of the factors that led to the historic boom and bust. . . easy to read at 224 pages. . . overall a good book that offers excellent insight into the recent fiasco." (The Free Lance–Star)

"If you want a primer into just how out of control the markets were...then this is an ideal starting point." (TheBookBag.co.uk, May 29th 2009)

"An intelligent analyst whose command of the arcane world of securitization mixed with a brutally honest analytical framework makes it a pleasure to hear and read her work." (Asia Times Online)

"[This] book is so good, I m on my second reading of it. That s how good it is." (Max Keiser, "On the Edge with Max Keiser)

"Zero Hedge joins in endorsing Mr. Keiser′s glowing recommendation of . . . " "Dear Mr. Buffett: What An Investor Learns 1,269 Miles From Wall Street " a must read for anyone who wishes to get a deep understanding of the real severity of America′s economic debacle. . . (Zero Hedge)

From the Back Cover:

"Janet Tavakoli warned that the biggest credit bubble in world history was coming well in advance. Now she explains how the world could have avoided this disaster and how we can prevent it from happening the next time."
--JIM ROGERS, author of A Bull in China, Hot Commodities, Adventure Capitalist, and Investment Biker

"Dear Mr. Buffett is strongly, often harshly, and, more than rarely, tartly opinionated. The attitude is, however, well supported by the facts; should anyone ever display the slightest interest in criminalizing the criminals who led us down this path, a prosecutor could do worse than ordering up copies for the grand jury."
--The late GREG NEWTON, Seeking Alpha

"[Tavakoli has] been railing against emperors wearing no clothes in the credit derivatives markets forever. If only people had listened."
--ANDREW TOBIAS, author of The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need

"A rousing tale of advice left unheeded . . . An excellent read, loaded with information about the goings-on in the financial sector."
--Business Standard

"Janet Tavakoli . . . writes in a clear, sprightly way. Contrasting the shenanigans of recent years against the good analysis and common sense of Warren Buffett is appropriate, and helps to illustrate the levels of irrational behavior."
--ADAM SMITH (George J. W. Goodman), author of The Money Game and Supermoney

"An insightful look at the global credit crisis. This book is a must-read."
--JOHN P. CALAMOS Sr., Chairman, CEO, and Co-CIO, Calamos Investments

"Read this compelling book [to] understand how name-brand institutions like Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Wachovia, and UBS collectively lost hundreds of billions of dollars in ill-conceived products they invented and sold to investors who lost much more. Janet Tavakoli saw this coming and explains what happened clearly, logically, and persuasively."
--ERIC GLEACHER, Chairman, Gleacher Partners LLC

"[A] must-read. Tavakoli knows where the bodies are buried in the complex formulas . . . And as a bonus, we get Buffett's views and insights into his derivatives trading. There's nothing more you could ask for in this day and age of financial derivatives meltdown."
--Economic Policy Journal

"A clear and pacy run through the multitude of sins and sinners in the modern financial world . . . Tavakoli makes for an attractive pundit--she knows her stuff, has strong opinions, and turns a colorful quote."
--Financial Times

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