Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Warren Buffet

The choices are broader than “No surgery” or “Highly risky surgery

“Why should you be stuck between “Do an MBA” and “Don’t do an MBA”? Have to investigated the programs that might be more representative for your career?

If you have to make a decision about a deal, do measure it against the second best deal that is available, even if it means doing more of what we are already doing (Warren Buffet)

Apparently, we are mostly blind of alternatives once we like a deal or an issue and refuse to do our due diligence comparing other alternatives and choices.

We also tend to withhold assistance to people who might outdo us, even if we look like a fool in the long run.

And we are adamant that mankind can get out of the frequent calamities befalling living creatures while refusing adequate assistance and cooperation to the “other “less fortunate people”

This social comparison bias is the main factor that prevent any research group to remain at the top in a university for years in succession.

Guy Kawasaki (of Apple) says:

Ä-players hire people that are better than themselves. B-players hire C-players so they can feel superior to them… If you start hiring B-players, then expect the Bozo Explosion to expand in your organization

The Duning-Kruger effect states that the inept are gifted at overlooking the extent of their incompetence and suffer from the illusion of superiority and thus, erode the talent pool over time.

Isaac Barrow gave up his job as a professor in 1666 and opted to become the student of his 25 year-old protégé Isaac Newton. That is character.

Special cases? Discarding evidence to fit your Confirmation biases model

Confirmation bias maybe the mother of all misconceptions.

Once we believe that a program, a product, an idea… is successful, we refuse to let go, even if we are presented with tons of proofs to the contrary.

This is basically the paradigm shift problem with all disciplines

If we are unable to insert a new piece of intelligence or information in our existing worldview model as a compatible element, it is hard to accept the new addition or understand it. This is called the Disconfirming Evidence tendency.

Although facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored, “what the human is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact”  Warren Buffet

And Charles Darwin found a method to circumvent this confirmation bias: Any observation that contradicted his theory, he took it seriously and noted it down immediately. The more correct he judged his theory, the more actively he looked for contradicting aspects.

We deal with all kinds of assumptions. The more nebulous they are, the stronger the confirmation bias.

You may utter prophesies so vague that any event can substantiate them.

Religious and philosophical system of beliefs represent an excellent breeding ground for this bias.

Economists fall prey to this bias by predicting the economic trend.

Business journalists suffer most from this bias: rarely the journalist seeks out disconfirming evidences to what he formulated on a company’s cause for success or failure.

Self-help and Get-rich quickly books are excellent examples of blinkered storytelling.

Axing beliefs that feel like Old Friends is hard work, but it should be an imperative task.

When you hear “This is a special case”, you better tend your ears and be on your guard. Most probably, your consultant refuses to alter his model.

Actually, all laws are special cases. Why?

Laws are valid within certain restrictions, constraints, conditions and range of application.

If you neglect or ignore these limitations of the parameters that a law is supposed to function within, your solution is out of bound and erroneous.

This behavior is typical to most novices in any field of practice, and they keep falling into these traps and generate dire consequences until they learn to become professionals.


Noam Chomsky on “Occupy Wall Street protests”
I reviewed and published a dozen articles on Noam Chomsky’s books and social, educational, and political positions.  This should be no surprise to my reader to disseminate Noam Chomsky latest political stand: On “Occupy Wall Street protests”. Danny Garza, who has been on the ground of the Occupy Wall Street movement since Day One, received this email from Chomsky.

Chomsky mailed: “Anyone with eyes open, knows that the gangsterism of Wall Street — financial institutions generally — has caused severe damage to the people of the United States (and the world). And should also know that it has been doing so increasingly for over 30 years, as their power in the economy has radically increased, and with it their political power.

(These behaviors ) have set in motion a vicious cycle that has concentrated immense wealth, and with it political power, in a tiny sector of the population, a fraction of 1%, while the rest of the (citizens ) have increasingly become what is sometimes called “a precariat” — seeking to survive in a precarious existence (a term mostly used in Spain and Portugal mass demonstrators). They also carry out these ugly activities with almost complete impunity — not only too big to fail, but also “too big to jail”

The courageous and honorable protests underway in Wall Street should serve to bring this calamity to public attention, and to lead to dedicated efforts to overcome it and set the society on a more healthy course.”

Warren Buffet published letter to The New York Times a month ago might have strengthen the convictions of many US citizens on the state of affairs and got catalyzed to starting somewhere

Note 2: Chomsky is quoted saying in  “the best way to restrict democracy is to move the decision-making from the public to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations. The U.S. political system as a very marginal affair, made up of two political parties, but essentially of same ideology “the Business Party”, a group of intellectuals who consist of a herd of independent thinkers.

He resumed: “Unfortunately, you can’t vote the rascals out, because you never voted them in, in the first place.” (Government in the Future, Poetry Center of New York, February 16, 1970)

In June of 2011, Chomsky was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize in honor of promoting human rights, unfailing courage, and critical analysis of power as an American linguist. This is the only International Peace Prize awarded in Australia, promoting peace with justice.

Chomsky was also awarded the IEEE Intelligent System’s Al’s Hall of Fame for his significant contributions to the field of Artificial Intelligence Al and intelligent systems.

Read more:

April 4, 2007

Al-Walid Bin Talal

The multi-billionaire (over 25 billion dollars) and one of the richest men in Forbes Al-Walid bin Talal was about seven when his parents separated before divorcing in 1969; his grandfathers were Abdel Aziz Seoud, the founder of the Saudi Kingdom, and the first Prime Minister of Lebanon Riad Al-Solh.

Al- Walid stayed with him mother Mona Al-Solh in Beirut while his younger brother and sister remained in Ryad with their father Talal. He moved between Ryad and Beirut and was constantly running away from school; he was not a studious student but bright and barely managed to graduate from high school.

At the age of 13 his father enrolled him at the Royal Military Academy and Al-Walid wrote to the King Faisal: “The Royal family has 5,000 princes and princesses and I think you Highness wouldn’t mind ignoring me and reducing the number to 4999”. Consequently, Al-Walid was allowed to return to Beirut and continue his study in Lebanon.

Al-Walid intended to join the International College in Beirut but the civil war in Lebanon in 1975 drove him to California; he studied business administration in Menlo College at Atherton and finished his BA within two and half-year, got married there and had a son before returning to Saudi Arabia in 1979.

His dad gave him $30,000 to start a company and a house that he mortgaged with City Bank for $300,000.  Within 10 years he saved one $billion from Real Estates, contracting, and taking shares in companies that invested in Saudi Arabia during the oil boom. Al-Walid is divorced and has a son and a daughter and owns first class hotels all around the world and shares in Euro-Disney and Citigroup and many other banks and construction companies.

When Saddam Hussein of Iraq invaded Kuwait many Saudis got scared and sold their prime Real Estates in the capital Ryad for the third of their values and Al-Walid was taker because he knew that Saddam could not win and the war would be over within two months.

Al-Walid wrote to Warren Buffet, the second richest man in the world and the most famous investor of Berkshire Hathaway with headquarter in Omaha, Nebraska saying: “I am thrilled that The New York Times is labeling me the Arabic Warren Buffet”, and Warren replied: “Instead of calling me the Oracle of Omaha, the citizen are labeling me The American Al-Walid”.

Al-Walid invested in the food business and acquired “Al 3azizieh Bendeh” and “Safoula” and owned 80% of the kitchen oil, 90% of the sugar, and 40% of the chain food in the Saudi market.  Then he merged the Saudi-Egyptian bank with his own bank and then acquired the Saudi-American bank before salvaging Citigroup bank which is truly international in the banking business with branches in over 100 countries.  The US Federal Reserve lingered for 14 months to permit Al-Walid to own more than 10% of Citigroup; by this time Al-Walid sold 5% of his shares to be within the 10% mark.

The next step was to invest in hotel management and acquired controlling shares in the San Francisco based Fremont and Four Seasons, then the Plaza in New York, then George V in Paris, the Euro Disney and built his 303 meters high Kingdom Tower in Riyad.  Al-Walid diversified his portfolio to include high-tech industries, communication, publishing, and radio and television enterprises such as News Corporation, Apple Computers, America On Line, and Motorola among others.  When the Asian market crashed in 1997 Al-Walid directed his investment there, especially in South Korea, Malasia, and Singapore and bought substantial shares in Hyundai and Daewoo.

These are two examples of Al-Walid’s heavy schedules for keeping with the appointments. At 9 am, Al-Walid head for Le Bourge airport where his private plane Boeing 767, painted beige and green, is waiting to fly him to Amsterdam; he made sure for double security to hire another small plane at the expense of $30,000 a day to follow his entourage of 30 professional of body guards, private physician the Lebanese Jihad Sa3d 3awkal, head appointment scheduler the Lebanese Robert Hajj, telecommunication specialist the Algerian Ra2ouf 3aboud, private barber and so on.

Within an hour, the Saudi Ambassador was waiting to welcome the Emir and the file of limousines headed straight to the Palace of Sedgwick for a meeting with the Dutch Prince Bernard. Then Al-Walid rode to Nieuwegein to meet with the managers of Ballast Nedam. The file of limousines then drove to La Hayes where the Minister of Habitation was to present him with a medal in the name of the Queen then Al-Walid was at the Rotterdam airport and off at 4 pm to Dublin where he was to meet with the Prime Minister and at 6 he was flying to Exeter in Western Great Britain where he was to attend a conference organized by the department of Arab-Islamic studies.

At 9:30 his private jet took off and landed at Stan sand airport and Al-Walid was in London Four Seasons at 11:15 for another two appointments. At 1:30 Al-Walid ordered to rent the whole movie theater so that his entourage could watch a movie of their choice.

Al-Walid does not go to bed before the Morning Prayer and thus he spends his time reading the financial newspapers and magazines printed from the internet and take a fast stroll in the neighborhood before the prayer. The Prince barely needs five hours of sleep to be up and ready the next day.

The other example, the next morning Al-Walid drove to Windsor to attend the polo game where Prince Charles was playing in a team and the Queen and Al-Walid presented the trophy and the check. At 8:05 he was at the Four Seasons for another round of appointments.  The next morning they flew to Geneva where he visited the “Hotel Des Bergues” on his list of purchase and renovation, walked to the hospital Ginoli to visit with his uncle Mesh3al then flew at 9:30 p.m. to Pisa in Italy and was at Florence by midnight to celebrate the 21st birthday of his daughter Reem.  At 1:30 Al-Walid was back to Pisa to board his plane back to Paris when he decided to visit the leaning tower with his entourage of twenty individuals.

Most of the chairmen of the International investment ventures of the Al-Walid are Jews such as Michael Eisner of Disney, Isadore Sharp of the Four Seasons, Sandy Will of Citigroup, Paul Richman of “Canary Warf”, Bill Fat of the “Fremont”, and Robert Murdoch of the “News Corporation”. 

All these powerful men acknowledge having relationship with the State of Israel though they are not Zionists. It is interesting to ask them how much they actually contribute to the State of Israel and through which channels; As far as I am concerned, when you financially contribute to the State that is oppressing the Palestinians and preventing them to have their own sustainable State and refusing to abide by the UN resolution 193 for the returns of the Palestinian refugees to their original villages and towns, then you are a de-facto Zionists.

I understand that Jews feel the moral obligation to support the State of Israel but if they are truly moral then they should support the rights of the Palestinians to a descent life and a State of their own and the end of the archaic British laws to detain Palestinians without due trials. I also understand that there is no way out to deal with Jews when doing business on an International scale but we have to agree that the balance is heavily skewed toward Zionism, because if Al-Walid is participating for 5% in the shares of a few of these multinational companies, the influential Jews have over 50% of the shares and managing and directing these multinationals.

Al-Walid is active in providing charity to individuals and establishments.  When he is resting in the desert he receives over 3,000 bedouins line up for monetary aids by presenting him with their request on pieces of papers.  The former headquarter of his business Empire was relegated to his charity section where thousands crowd the street, waiting their turn for the checks.  On Ramadan, Al-Walid visit on Sundays around 11 p.m. the poor sections of the capital Ryad and distribute envelopes containing $1350 for each house.  He had been aiding Africa with health care clinics and centers of immunology against the most common diseases.

In Lebanon, he appointed his aunt Layla Al-Solh to methodically open, renovate and aid the hospitals in the remote regions; actually, the Al-Walid Charity organization in Lebanon is so active that rarely you watch the evening news without pictures of Layla cutting ribbons and receiving honorary plaques.

Dina Abdul Azziz Jokhadar is the executive of his palace which is constituted of 317 rooms, have 500 TV sets, 400 telephones, two Olympic indoor swimming pools, a state of the art gymnasium, a theater for 45 spectators, a kitchen that can serve one thousand guests, and 12 lifts.

Al-Walid uses his yacht for 3 weeks, which is moored in front of the Carlton in Cannes; he is purchasing a jumbo Boeing 747 which might cost him over $80 millions just for the redesign of the interior.

Note 1:  The aunt of Al-Walid from his mother side, the Lebanese Layla Solh, is running his philanthropic activities in Lebanon.  Almost every day, Layla is celebrating the opening of a facility everywhere in Lebanon related to medical facilities, modern medical equipment, educational institutions, health institutions, old people retirement communities…

If every billionaire in Lebanon appoints an energetic and well-intentioned executor for the benefit of all Lebanese then, we don’t need governments or Parliaments to siphon our wealth to their own pockets

Note 2: This December 2013, al Walid fucked it up big time: He refuses any nuclear deal with Iran (the same strategy as Israel) and want the sectarian war (funded by Saudi Arabia) between Sunnis and Shias to go on for ever… Live in an ignorant environment and become one. Al Walid must vacate Saudi Arabia for an entire decade, if he is to be respected…

Note: this is the second in a series of three articles targeted intended to simplifying the explanation of the causes (not the mechanisms) of the financial crash of Wall Street and offering an alternative resolution.

The American Manifesto of the 21st century (October 6, 2008)           

We all know by now that the September 11, 2001 attack on the Twin Towers and its consequences in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Moslem World, in general, were the events of the decade.  We do feel deep in our guts that the fall of Wall Street and its results would be the events of the century.  The fall of the last bastion of unbridled capitalism is shaking the World economy and sending strong Tsunami waves to global finance and investment institutions all around. 

The US Federal government is nationalizing the major failing commercial banks and a few investment banks, which are the foundation and symbol of greedy capitalism.  For the time being the Federal government has bailed out AIG and then nationalized Goldman & Sacks and G.P. Morgan who would have the task of purchasing the remaining failing financial institutions.  Since when you could conceive the two relatively puny institutions of G&S and G.P. Morgan to purchase Washington Mutual and other giants for a nickel?  What organizations are behind Goldman & Sacks and G.P. Morgan to obtain formal nomination of the US Federal government for the nationalization process? 

            It is well documented that minor cataclysms generate abundance of investigation and then public coverage but the coverage of seismic cataclysms that are financial in nature are relegated to professional manuscripts that the general public would not touch with a long pole.  Did anyone read any serious coverage of the financial repercussions of the September 11 nightmare or the bankruptcy of the energy giant ENRON?  If anyone, so far, comprehend the causes of the fall of Wall Street then please disseminate your knowledge profusely and immediately. 

One hint though; follows the money trails and you will catch the head criminals.  Astute Warren Buffet has already invested 5 billions in Goldman & Sacks or 10% of the shares; thus, this is a strong lead to follow.  The most direct way for grabbing significant threads is by investigating Vice President Cheney and his inner circle; they were fundamentally following orders of the malefic financial giant organizations that are behind the turmoil of this decade.

              I wonder though why the fall of Wall Street happened when the last bastions of communism (China) definitely shifted gears to participate in the new world economic order!  The fall of Wall Street should have taken place shortly after September 11, 2001.  The invasion of poor Afghanistan was not credible to infuse over 3 trillion dollars into the already failing financial institutions in the USA through fraud and the scapegoat of a major war against “terrorism”. The Bush Administration, and the behind the scene nefarious financial organizations, needed to invade rich Iraq and blackmail the neighboring tiny Arab Emirate States to redirect the swindle on the largest scale through front re-construction companies such as Bechtel and Halliburton and others private security companies.  The Iraqi war could not cost that much money and certainly the Iraqi people didn’t notice any beneficial change in their daily lives for six years and they are much worse everyday.

            This gimmick of infusing another 700 billion dollars from the US citizens taxes is basically one of the last payments of the Federal government to the financial mega mafias.  For a year, those malefic financial mafias might lie low to ride off the anger of the US people and then the same cohabitation and capitalist schemes will resume under laws riddled with loopholes as large as elephants.

            They say that everything is politics; but in capitalist systems, where political structures are fundamentally legal front for the mega financial mafias to bleed dry the citizens then, capitalism is what defines politics.  If you want to investigate any political decision then, your best bet is to follow the financial traces.  I urge the US citizens not to wait and see!  If you do not do your homework now, and before the 700 billions are issued, and then actively revisit the US political structures then the same cycle would recur at a nastier magnitude.




June 2023

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