Would you like to have lunch with Warren Buffett?Unfortunately, we cannot offer you that.At the Glide Foundation’s annual charity auction in June 2008 a Chinese investment manager bid $2,110,100 for that honor -- over three times more than the winning bid of $650,000 in 2007.However, we can offer you the next best thing.Please join us on Tuesday, January 27, when Janet Tavakoli will talk about her latest book, Dear Mr. Buffett: What An Investor Learns 1,269 Miles From Wall Street. (NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 272 pages.The official release date is January 12, 2009.)
In Dear Mr. Buffett, Janet Tavakoli details how Warren Buffett's investment philosophy works in real-time by way of the events leading up to the financial meltdown.In correspondence and discussion with him over three years, they both saw the writing on the wall.Dear Mr. Buffett is an account of how principle triumphs over greed and panic.
Mr. Buffett, who has read the advance galleys and has received a printed copy on Christmas Eve, has indicated that Ms. Tavakoli’s book will be "featured prominently" at Berkshire Hathaway’s upcoming annual meeting in May.
The book currently is available at Amazon.com.Copies also will be available for sale at the event and in the University of Chicago Book Stores.The Gleacher Center Bookstore will be selling Dear Mr. Buffett at a discounted price at the event.The author will be available after the event for book signing.
For more information about the author and the book, please see below.
This event is sponsored by the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, Business Book Roundtable with the participation of the Chicago chapters of PRMIA and QWAFAFEW.
This page also has information on parking for the event.
Online registration required to reserve a seat.Event Fee:$15.
For general information about this event please contact Mary Kupjack at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 733/935-7221.
About the Author
Janet M. Tavakoli is the President of Tavakoli Structured Finance, a Chicago-based consulting firm to financial institutions, institutional investors, and hedge funds. Tavakoli has more than 20 years of experience in senior investment banking positions, trading, structuring and marketing structured financial products. She has given advanced warning of major collapses including Long-Term Capital Management, First Alliance Mortgage, the thrift industry, and the current credit bubble. BusinessWeek called her "The Cassandra of Credit Derivatives." She is a former adjunct associate professor in the Finance Department of the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business, where she taught derivatives.Janet Tavakoli has an MBA from the University Of Chicago Booth School Of Business and a BSCE from IIT.She is the Author of two other books: Credit Derivatives & Synthetic Structures (John Wiley & Sons, 1998, 2001) and Structured Finance & Collateralized Debt Obligations (John Wiley & Sons, September 2008).Tavakoli is frequently quoted in the business press, including the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Business Week, the New York Times, and many others. She also appears on CNN, CNBC, CBS Evening News, Bloomberg TV, First Business Morning News, Fox News, Fox Business News, ABC, and BBC.
An article in the May/June 2008 issue of the University of Chicago magazine has more information about Ms. Tavakoli's background and contributions as a financial consultant.
Wiley's Press Release
Many experts point to August 2007 as the beginning of Wall Street's most colossal meltdown since The Great Depression, but reality is that the death spiral began much earlier. In the new book, Dear Mr. Buffett: What an Investor Learns 1,269 Miles from Wall Street (Wiley; January 2009; $24.95; Hardcover), author Janet Tavakoli, president of Tavakoli Structured Finance, takes us on a real-time trip inside the events leading up to the worst global financial crisis in the history of the world, outlining in startling detail how the complex and often corrupt web of interaction of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), credit derivatives, mortgage loans, consumer loans, corporate debt, hedge funds, investment banks, rating agencies, and bond insurers led to the credit bubble bursting. There were voices shouting about the impending doom, long before disaster struck, and Tavakoli was a vocal one who could see that an investment in a country prone to terrorist attacks had a lower risk than an investment in the U.S. housing market.
Woven throughout the book are insights gleaned by Tavakoli from the "Oracle of Omaha" Warren Buffett. After reading her previous writings that got her dubbed "the Cassandra of Credit Derivatives" by Business Week, Buffett invited Tavakoli to Omaha for lunch in 2005; the beginning of a 3-year e-mail and letter correspondence during which they discussed the looming crisis, Tavakoli's experiences living in the Mideast, geopolitics, and much more. "Meeting Warren changed the way I look at global financial markets," said Tavakoli. Expert at decoding Wall Street's often convoluted deals, Tavakoli found that Buffett's approach to the markets and life encouraged her to speak out more forcefully and become an even better investor along the way.
In Dear Mr. Buffett Tavakoli shines a bright spotlight on the dark corners of Wall Street and finance-land to expose the characters who inflicted such "malicious mischief" on the global economy, unmask the "Black Barts" who more resemble the famed Wells Fargo stage coach robber than black swans, and identifies the finance meth labs where Wall Street's crack was manufactured. Outliers are shown for what they really are: outright liars.
Through sprightly writing we learn how funny accounting led to make believe profits and see just how that ride on the leverage roller coaster works (straight down to a warm, uncomfortable place, taking us all with). Dear Mr. Buffett makes clear that the bail out isn't for you and me – it’s for investment banks –the financial meth dealers. We get the skinny on regulation – the regs are there but the finance police were napping in the stagecoach. The rating agencies? Busy crafting astrological charts with old data to predict new risks. Washington? Writing blank checks instead of protecting our money.
Tavakoli foresaw the crisis, and discussed the worsening conditions with Buffett as early as 2006. The more she saw, the more she also saw that Buffett's investment and life philosophy avoids catastrophe by holding fast to core values. Not simply a look back, Dear Mr. Buffett also takes the long view, peeking around the corner to see what the future offers -- more real estate declines, a deepening recession, and impending inflation.
But all is not lost. There is hope for those who adopt Buffett's approach to their investments and their life. Dear Mr. Buffett is a witty well-told account of what happened that would be funny, except as Tavakoli explains: "We invented money to enhance our probability of survival." Most importantly, Tavakoli tells the story of how principle triumphs over greed and panic, and that wisdom will always beat the market – even when the bubble bursts.