Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist

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Since its hardcover publication in August of 1995, Buffett has appeared on the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times, Newsday and Business Week bestseller lists.

Starting from scratch, simply by picking stocks and companies for investment, Warren Buffett amassed one of the epochal fortunes of the twentieth century—an astounding net worth of $10 billion, and counting. His awesome investment record has made him a cult figure popularly known for his seeming contradictions: a billionaire who has a modest lifestyle, a phenomenally successful investor who eschews the revolving-door trading of modern Wall Street, a brilliant dealmaker who cultivates a homespun aura.

Journalist Roger Lowenstein draws on three years of unprecedented access to Buffett’s family, friends, and colleagues to provide the first definitive, inside account of the life and career of this American original. Buffett explains Buffett’s investment strategy—a long-term philosophy grounded in buying stock in companies that are undervalued on the market and hanging on until their worth invariably surfaces—and shows how it is a reflection of his inner self.
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About the author

Roger Lowenstein, author of the bestselling Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist, reported for The Wall Street Journal for more than a decade, and wrote the Journal's stock market column, Heard on the Street, from 1989 to 1991 and the Intrinsic Value column from 1995 to 1997. He now writes a column in Smart Money magazine, and has written for the New York Times and The New Republic, among other publications. Lowenstein has three children and lives in Westfield, New Jersey.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Random House
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Published on
Jul 24, 2013
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Pages
512
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ISBN
9780804150606
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Business
Business & Economics / Investments & Securities / Stocks
Business & Economics / Leadership
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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“A riveting account that reaches beyond the market landscape to say something universal about risk and triumph, about hubris and failure.”—The New York Times

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BUSINESSWEEK

In this business classic—now with a new Afterword in which the author draws parallels to the recent financial crisis—Roger Lowenstein captures the gripping roller-coaster ride of Long-Term Capital Management. Drawing on confidential internal memos and interviews with dozens of key players, Lowenstein explains not just how the fund made and lost its money but also how the personalities of Long-Term’s partners, the arrogance of their mathematical certainties, and the culture of Wall Street itself contributed to both their rise and their fall.

When it was founded in 1993, Long-Term was hailed as the most impressive hedge fund in history. But after four years in which the firm dazzled Wall Street as a $100 billion moneymaking juggernaut, it suddenly suffered catastrophic losses that jeopardized not only the biggest banks on Wall Street but the stability of the financial system itself. The dramatic story of Long-Term’s fall is now a chilling harbinger of the crisis that would strike all of Wall Street, from Lehman Brothers to AIG, a decade later. In his new Afterword, Lowenstein shows that LTCM’s implosion should be seen not as a one-off drama but as a template for market meltdowns in an age of instability—and as a wake-up call that Wall Street and government alike tragically ignored.

Praise for When Genius Failed

“[Roger] Lowenstein has written a squalid and fascinating tale of world-class greed and, above all, hubris.”—BusinessWeek

“Compelling . . . The fund was long cloaked in secrecy, making the story of its rise . . . and its ultimate destruction that much more fascinating.”—The Washington Post

“Story-telling journalism at its best.”—The Economist
Warren Buffett built Berkshire Hathaway into something remarkable— and Fortune journalist Carol Loomis had a front-row seat for it all.

When Carol Loomis first mentioned a little-known Omaha hedge fund manager in a 1966 Fortune article, she didn’t dream that Warren Buffett would one day be considered the world’s greatest investor—nor that she and Buffett would quickly become close personal friends. As Buf­fett’s fortune and reputation grew over time, Loomis used her unique insight into Buffett’s thinking to chronicle his work for Fortune, writ­ing and proposing scores of stories that tracked his many accomplishments—and also his occa­sional mistakes.

Now Loomis has collected and updated the best Buffett articles Fortune published between 1966 and 2012, including thirteen cover stories and a dozen pieces authored by Buffett himself. Loomis has provided commentary about each major arti­cle that supplies context and her own informed point of view. Readers will gain fresh insights into Buffett’s investment strategies and his thinking on management, philanthropy, public policy, and even parenting. Some of the highlights include:

The 1966 A. W. Jones story in which Fortune first mentioned Buffett. The first piece Buffett wrote for the magazine, 1977’s “How Inf lation Swindles the Equity Investor.” Andrew Tobias’s 1983 article “Letters from Chairman Buffett,” the first review of his Berk­shire Hathaway shareholder letters. Buffett’s stunningly prescient 2003 piece about derivatives, “Avoiding a Mega-Catastrophe.” His unconventional thoughts on inheritance and philanthropy, including his intention to leave his kids “enough money so they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.” Bill Gates’s 1996 article describing his early impressions of Buffett as they struck up their close friendship.

Scores of Buffett books have been written, but none can claim this work’s combination of trust between two friends, the writer’s deep under­standing of Buffett’s world, and a very long-term perspective.

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Download the cheat sheet for Roger Lowenstein's The End of Wall Street »

The roots of the mortgage bubble and the story of the Wall Street collapse-and the government's unprecedented response-from our most trusted business journalist.

The End of Wall Street is a blow-by-blow account of America's biggest financial collapse since the Great Depression. Drawing on 180 interviews, including sit-downs with top government officials and Wall Street CEOs, Lowenstein tells, with grace, wit, and razor-sharp understanding, the full story of the end of Wall Street as we knew it. Displaying the qualities that made When Genius Failed a timeless classic of Wall Street-his sixth sense for narrative drama and his unmatched ability to tell complicated financial stories in ways that resonate with the ordinary reader-Roger Lowenstein weaves a financial, economic, and sociological thriller that indicts America for succumbing to the siren song of easy debt and speculative mortgages.

The End of Wall Street is rife with historical lessons and bursting with fast-paced action. Lowenstein introduces his story with precisely etched, laserlike profiles of Angelo Mozilo, the Johnny Appleseed of subprime mortgages who spreads toxic loans across the landscape like wild crabapples, and moves to a damning explication of how rating agencies helped gift wrap faulty loans in the guise of triple-A paper and a takedown of the academic formulas that-once again- proved the ruin of investors and banks. Lowenstein excels with a series of searing profiles of banking CEOs, such as the ferretlike Dick Fuld of Lehman and the bloodless Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan, and of government officials from the restless, deal-obsessed Hank Paulson and the overmatched Tim Geithner to the cerebral academic Ben Bernanke, who sought to avoid a repeat of the one crisis he spent a lifetime trying to understand-the Great Depression.

Finally, we come to understand the majesty of Lowenstein's theme of liquidity and capital, which explains the origins of the crisis and that positions the collapse of 2008 as the greatest ever of Wall Street's unlearned lessons. The End of Wall Street will be essential reading as we work to identify the lessons of the market failure and start to reb...
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