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Washington Post/Kaplan Problems


DTEJD1997
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Hey all:

 

Turns out there were problems at the Kaplan division of the Washington Post for YEARS.

 

Several years ago, I had taken some classes from a division of Kaplan to help in professional licensing.  They were VERY expensive and intensive.  They did the trick though.  I think this would be a very successful and very ethical "for profit" education company/division.  Unfortunately, it was only a very, very small part of Kaplan.

 

A year or two later I had some employees who took classes a Kaplan trade school.  Their result was no where near as good as mine.  In fact, it was disgraceful. 

 

Turns out there is an article today in Breitbart profiling the problems at Wash/Post and Kaplan.

 

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2013/08/07/Cynical-exploitation-of-minority-and-poor-students-ensured-value-of-washington-post

 

Warren Buffet seems to be very concerned with his public profile and reputation.  I wonder why nothing was done about this?

 

As he is fond of saying, "it takes a lifetime to build a reputation, and only 5 minutes to destroy it".

 

Well, this certainly does not reflect well on Washington Post/Kaplan.  Nor does it look good for WEB who has been an investor in them for decades. 

 

I wonder if WEB knew what was going on?

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Well, I didn't read the article, but I do have to say:

 

1) I'd be surprised if Buffett didn't know about practically *everything* with one of his investments.

 

2) Buffett has not let "morality" interfere with his investment decisions in the past (see China National Petroleum, with the Darfur genocide, for one example). 

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I don't see it as that unethical.

 

Buffett's style is to buy and hold.  I don't see anything wrong with buying the Washington Post.  The paper had unusual integrity in standing up to the US government.  Later on, they got into the education business.  I think everybody getting into the education business originally had good intentions.  Unfortunately, the for-profit education business morphed into something else thanks to the idiocy of the US government.

*If you don't join into the private education party... you arguably aren't doing your fiduciary duty to your shareholders.

*If you do join in... then you're taking part in an industry that became a lot more abusive.

 

And far as Buffett goes, he says that he tries not to flip companies and tries to leave management alone.  So it's not easy for him to turn his back on the Graham family.

 

2- DaVita and Goldman Sachs strike me as morally dubious.  Both companies have paid very large settlements over improper conduct.

 

DaVita has no problem putting profits ahead of patients, as demonstrated by their practice of overprescribing EPO.

Goldman Sachs has a terrible reputation among the public.  In my opinion, most of it is justified.  And they do things that most people don't know about (e.g. market making) but is also very questionable (Goldman is the largest market maker around and skims a lot of money from retail and institutional investors).

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Well, I didn't read the article, but I do have to say:

 

1) I'd be surprised if Buffett didn't know about practically *everything* with one of his investments.

 

 

 

I'm not so sure about that west. He sure didn't see to know much about MCO's rating methodology back a few years ago, I think during the FCIC hearings, maybe?

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