Wednesday, June 23, 2010

FIFA World Cup: Berkshire Won Big Bet On French Toast!

It was not a shocker as the French team got toasted last night!

It was utter shambolical to say the least.

However did you know the following... Warren Buffet actually won a bet on the French!!!!

Yes... omigawd!

Here's the story...

  • Buffett Wins World Cup Bet as France Falls to Host (Update2)
    By Andrew Frye and Hugh Son

    June 22 (Bloomberg) --
    Warren Buffett won his bet against France in the World Cup when the 1998 champion was eliminated by South Africa.

    France fell 2-1 to the host nation today, after drawing Uruguay and dropping 2-0 to Mexico.
    Berkshire Hathaway Inc. had sold insurance requiring the Omaha-based company to pay a client if France won the tournament, Buffett told CNBC in March.

    “I think we’re going to lose 30 million bucks or something like that” if France wins, Buffett, Berkshire’s 79-year-old chief executive officer, said at the time. He didn’t say who purchased the coverage. An assistant to Buffett had no comment.

    Ajit Jain, who runs one of Berkshire’s insurance units, sold the contract, Buffett told the business news channel in March. Berkshire has previously guaranteed against the potential cancellation of a college basketball tournament and a possible payout of $1 billion in a contest sponsored by PepsiCo Inc. The firm also sells coverage on natural disasters.

    Jain “is known as the man to call when something both very large and unusual needs to be insured,” Buffett said in his annual letter to shareholders released Feb. 27.

    “The odds of any one team out of 32 winning is very small, so you could determine the odds and see what the payoff would be,” said Gerald Martin, a finance professor at American University’s Kogod School of Business in Washington. “From a numerical standpoint, it was probably in his favor to take this bet. I’m sure he’ll smile when he sees the results.”

    Consumer Refunds

    Martin said Berkshire’s client could be any company that wanted to hedge against costs that would have been tied to a French victory.

    Carrefour SA, Europe’s biggest retailer, had a promotion in which customers buying flat-screen televisions would have been reimbursed if France won the tournament, according to its website. Customers would have gotten half of the purchase refunded if the team made the final without winning the tournament. A spokeswoman for the Paris-based retailer declined to comment.

    Jordan’s Furniture, a Massachusetts-based chain owned by Berkshire, repaid about 30,000 customers for purchases after the Boston Red Sox won baseball’s World Series in 2007. The firm had an insurance policy to cover costs of the promotion, CEO Eliot Tatelman said at the time.

    Lloyd’s of London is also among insurers with coverage tied to soccer, CEO Richard Ward said today in an interview at Bloomberg headquarters in New York. Lloyd’s, the three century- old insurance market, has insured “a lot of the players” including former England soccer captain David Beckham, he said.

    The World Cup is an international soccer competition that takes place every four years and is the most-watched sporting event.
Source : here

Damn! Damn! Triple damn!

Uncle Buffy is now the oracle of soccer too!


bonny b said...

Dear Moo,
Uncle Buffy is after all human. Its not his money making feats that is amazing. If not him, someone else will appear as the wealthiest etc in money terms. What is really attractive about the man is his philosophy of life and how he had successfully mitigated business and private life. I am sure ambitious people everywhere can can learn a thing or two from him.

Moolah said...

Bonny. I am not sure if you realise or not but I am actually a fan of Buffett and Berkshire.

See past postings:
Berkshire and Warren Buffett

Regarding this bet. I am not too impressed. All I read is 'Berkshire could lose 30 million bucks or something like that' but I could not find how much Berkshire actually profit from this so called 'bet'.

Ok, even before the World Cup started, we all know the French is most likely going to be toasted because they have a pure lousy coach and by all logical reasoning, French winning the World Cup is going to be an extremely long shot... but.. strange things can happen, like Greece winning Euro 2004.

Yes, long shots can win.


Moolah said...

Bonny: btw.. the Moody issue...

Ok.. I do not think he got insider info on Moody's ( see ) but then ... I think I do agree with Charlie Gasparino criticism of Buffett's defense of Moody's. (see .. )

bonny b said...

Dear Moo,
Like all businessmen, he will defend his investment by giving his view of the story, as in Moody's case. There is always that little bit of grey area to stand on so long its not prima-facie unethical. He'll survive all criticism.
Methinks uncle Buffy is a perfectionist whose satisfaction comes from a job well done. After that, he'll gladly give it all away. He clearly knows the real value of money,or rather its misplaced value. Kudos to the man.

Moolah said...


Yeah.. and I still think Buffett needed a spanking on Moody. Seriously? He was defending the undefensible? :/ said...

Now Octopus Paul will need a life insurance and hopefully Berkshire Hathaway are willing to accept the policy.