Thursday, February 14, 2013

Crony Capitalism: Warren Buffet Buys John Kerry...I Mean, Heinz Ketchup

Not seen in many of the media reports about the Berkshire Hathaway buyout of Heinz ketchup:

Secretary of State John Kerry's financial portfolio could grow by hundreds of thousands of dollars from today's $23 billion deal between billionaire Warren Buffett and a Brazilian-owned investment firm to buy out ketchup producer H.J. Heinz Co.

Kerry will divest dozens of holdings, but 2010 financial disclosure forms show at least $3 million in Heinz stock in family trusts benefiting his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry. She retains those assets under an agreement approved by government ethics officials.

It's not clear whether the trusts sold off Heinz stock before the deal, but the buyout could earn them as much as $1 million, according to an Associated Press analysis.

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital will pay $72.50 a share for Heinz, which closed at $60.48 on Wednesday.

Buffett continues to do good work for the Obama Administration (see his fundraising efforts for Barack, undertaken after the president awarded him the Medal of Freedom,  his purchase of 65 editorial pages, and his eagerness to have a tax named after him).

Seems like Warren is less about capitalism, and more about plain 'ol capital.

The thing he doesn't seem t  grasp, however, is that the more he empowers the government, the more disposal income he drains from the customer base of his various Berkshire holdings.

But maybe Warren knows that, and doesn't care.  Because if the government can force you to buy health insurance, they can force you to buy ketchup....

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