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The $2-Billion Man!


Parsad
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I don't think anyone cares whether he has a lisp or not.  I'm pretty certain it doesn't bother Prem or anyone who knows him.  Kind of stupid of the writer to say that. 

 

I spoke to the writer Alec Scott for 45 minutes and gave him some terrific quotes when he asked me about Prem:

 

"Prem is a superb leader.  At that time when those reports were coming out, it was really tough for everyone at Fairfax.  Yet not a single executive quit.  Prem has their trust because he gives them respect."

 

"This isn't the first time he's made a call like this.  If you go back and read the 2000 Annual Letter, you'll see he made one of the greatest market calls ever about technology stocks."

 

"He's like an old friend or uncle when you meet him.  It feels like you've always known him."

 

"If there was anyone to ever take over the torch from Buffett as an investor, it could very well be him."

 

"He's incredibly humble.  Fairfax's office is like any other office.  Nothing ostentatious."

 

"If you ever get the opportunity, whether it is at the AGM or at Fairfax's office, you should meet him.  He's a terrific human being."

 

At the end of the conversation, he asked me if there was anything unusual about Prem or Fairfax.  I said I've pretty much told you everything.  He then said, anything you noticed or found interesting. 

 

So I said, "Well, they've got this room which is a library where they keep thousands of annual reports and articles." 

 

"Anything else?" 

 

"Um, his office his messy."

 

"Messy?"

 

"Yeah, you know like the absent-minded professor who has a pile of stuff on his desk.  He knows where everything is, but it's messy.  I keep a messy desk too, but I know where everything is all the time."

 

"Oh, ok."

 

"Ok, thanks Sanjeev.  Somebody from the fact-checking department will get back to you."

 

"Ok, thanks Alec."

 

Guess which quotes they decided to use...the library quote and the messy desk quote.  Nice!  I never did get a call from the fact-checking department.  Probably the first and last time Fairfax ever gives my name out for an interview!  ;D  When I go to Toronto, I'm going to find Scott's car and let the air out of his tires.  Maybe Calonego can go with me!  Cheers!   

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Guest ericopoly

Kind of stupid of the writer to say that.   

 

That's what I meant.  I'd hate to hear what he has to say about Barney Frank.  Myself, I never noticed Prem's lisp (if he really has one).

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Outside of that lisp comment, I thought the article was balanced and fair...so I guess we'll take what we can get.  Hell of alot better than those days when they were trying to pretty much lynch Fairfax.  Cheers!

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I read the article a couple of weeks ago.  I think there is a serious factual error:

 

Prem has stated on many occasions that 90% of his net worth is in FFH.  To me this adds up to about 300 -400 M CDN, a far cry from the numbers the author was bandying about.  Prem doesn't even appear on the hundred wealthiest Canadians list, yet.  He was on it around 1998 when FFH closed the year at 540 but fell off subsequently with the decline in share price. 

 

The sooner he makes it nearer the top of the list the better, for all of us!  :P

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"I don't think anyone cares whether he has a lisp or not.  I'm pretty certain it doesn't bother Prem or anyone who knows him.  Kind of stupid of the writer to say that."

 

For whatever reason, the press likes to play up one's perceived shortcomings, not (IMO) to degrade the person, but to make them seem more human. You are right that I could not care less. As well, perhaps it is a reflection on society, but importance of integrity is minimized constantly in the press. I have seen perhaps 100-fold more references to Buffett's "home spun" nature than his integrity, and I really do not get it. The examples which are rampant today of complete and utter disregard for integrity would seemingly make integrity a more vital trait...apparently it is more important to let the readers know about a messy office.

 

-Crip

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Guest ericopoly

I think the $2B comment is in relation to Fairfax's earnings in 2008, not his net worth.  Am I correct in the context of the title?  Cheers!

 

 

That must make the CEO of Exxon feel good.  The $45.2 billion dollar man.

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Just to quell the rumors... In spite of my heritage, I am no tire deflating mafioso... (just bugging Sanj - I'm in!)

 

I didn't even think about your Italian heritage when I said it.  I was just thinking we could do it on the way to the Steak'n Shake in Pennsylvania!  Perhaps, with respect to Prem's heritage and mine, we'll just throw "Butter Chicken" at Alec Scott's vehicle...or perhaps some really oily samosas!  ;D  Cheers!

 

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There is to be no wasted butter chicken or, heaven forbid, mini-burgers... Please don't do it... ; )

I was just trying to be funny... you're taking it too far!

Butter Chicken is way, way too good to waste (kinda like throwing a plate of momma's pasta at someone - very wasteful, and borderline sacrilegious!)

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I think you folks are taking the accent comment way too harshly, I thought it added to his humanity and intelligence as it shows he knows more than one language.  I thought the article was very good, and made me wish I could meet the gentleman.

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Guest ericopoly

I think you folks are taking the accent comment way too harshly, I thought it added to his humanity and intelligence as it shows he knows more than one language.  I thought the article was very good, and made me wish I could meet the gentleman.

 

 

I don't think a lisp is an accent.

 

Perhaps the author was trying to broaden the appeal of the article, you know, for seventh graders to enjoy it too.

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There is to be no wasted butter chicken or, heaven forbid, mini-burgers... Please don't do it... ; )

I was just trying to be funny... you're taking it too far!

Butter Chicken is way, way too good to waste (kinda like throwing a plate of momma's pasta at someone - very wasteful, and borderline sacrilegious

 

Did you notice that everytime we even talk about food FFH stock price goes up? Hmm.....

 

Cheers

Zorro

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I have not read the article but $4B net worth?  Maybe the author did a 10x multiple based on the multiple voting shares?  Certainly no one would count the '10 votes' per share as representing 10 shares and then multiple the share price times his number of votes?

 

Formula

 

1 multiple voting share x 10 votes each = 10

10 votes per share x share price = net worth

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The article is interesting from the point of view that FFH is starting to be sought out by the media.  All it took was for FFH to:

1) become one of the highest earning companies in Canada,

2) get upgraded to investment grade

 

Buying a big block of shares probably did not hurt.

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