The Warren Buffett bubble shows no sign of deflating.
An anonymous donor bid a record $2.6 million to arrange a lunch with Buffett, the billionaire investor who runs Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA). That is up from last year's $1.7 million and the previous high water mark of $2.1 million, set in 2008.
The hefty tab suggests that Buffett retains his glow in spite of the bruising he has taken this spring in defending two portfolio companies, Goldman Sachs (GS) and Moody's (MCO), that aided and abetted the housing bubble.
Buffett's defense of Goldman -- which has been accused of failing to tell its clients it was helping others bet against them -- was curious because he has long been a critic of the casino capitalism the trading firm has come to embody. His support of Moody's was even more far fetched: he insisted it simply failed to see the housing bubble, blithely ignoring that the firm's supposed value lay in alerting investors to potential dangers.
Regardless, Buffett remains one of the richest men in the nation and is still revered by many investors. That helps to explain why the tab for this year's lunch will set the winning bidder back more than 100 times as much as the winning bid a decade ago. More
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