Tags: michael | Steinhardt | warren | Buffett | berkshire | hathaway | Conned

Steinhardt: Buffett Has 'Conned' the Media

By Dan Weil   |   Tuesday, 05 Apr 2011 01:14 PM

Investment icon Warren Buffett has created an aura of greatness and generosity around himself that doesn’t conform to reality, says Michael Steinhardt, one of the first hedge fund superstars.

“He is the greatest PR person of recent times,” Steinhardt told CNBC of the Berkshire Hathaway CEO. “He has managed to achieve a snow job and has conned virtually everyone in the press. It’s remarkable that he continues to do it.”

Steinhardt, who began his Steinhardt Partners hedge fund in 1967 and is now chairman of Wisdom Tree Investments, says some of Buffett’s investment prowess may be exaggerated.

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Warren Buffett
(Getty photo)
And he’s unimpressed by Buffett’s well chronicled philanthropy. "What he has done I think is a great measure of the man’s wonder,” Steinhardt says.

“He gave away 2½ cents for the first 70 some years of his life. And then in one fell swoop he gave away almost all of his money, thoughtlessly, to one guy," Steinhardt said, referring to Bill Gates.

“From that moment on, he became the greatest advocate to philanthropy and pitched all the bumbling billionaires to do the same thing, and many of them did. Now that takes a special guy."

Others too have criticized Buffett following the resignation of his underling David Sokol amid questionable stock purchases.

Buffett’s “flimsy excuses are embarrassing,” writes Joe Nocera in The New York Times. “If he keeps it up, he’s going to have to turn in his angel wings.”

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Investment icon Warren Buffett has created an aura of greatness and generosity around himself that doesn t conform to reality, says Michael Steinhardt, one of the first hedge fund superstars. He is the greatest PR person of recent times, Steinhardt told CNBC of the...
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