Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

MicroHoo: The Warren Buffett Rainbow Connection

No news is bad news!

At least for those following the Microsoft-Yahoo takeover battle, since silence is maybe not so golden in this case.

Right now, even though Microsoft (MSFT) set a Saturday deadline for starting its proxy battle against Yahoo (YHOO), the waiting game continues as Yahoo hopes Microsoft will flinch and vice versa.

So, can a fun-packed weekend with the folksy Warren Buffett save the day?

In an unusual bit of timing, both Yahoo President Sue Decker and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates will both be in Omaha starting Friday for the famous annual meeting of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A), which Buffett runs with his longtime partner Charlie Munger.


Decker came onto the board in 2007, while Gates–a close friend of Buffett’s–joined in 2004.

(Gates and Buffett pictured here together; Decker’s head shot here too.)

How awkward is that, since Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer might be slapping Decker’s boss, Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang, all around Wall Street next week?

At least, the pair are sure to have fun in Nebraska.

Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting is a beloved ritual for its shareholders, who flock to worship Buffett every year at the Qwest Center in Omaha.

The festivities will begin on Friday evening, include a “Baja Beach Bash” on Saturday and finish up with dinner at Gorat’s Steakhouse on Sunday evening.

And perhaps Buffett, nicknamed the Oracle of Omaha, might be just the kind of power broker who can finally bring sensibility to the situation.

Celebrated as the world’s most successful investor, Buffett’s plain-talking advice about the stock market is widely quoted.

My personal favorite is “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.”

But maybe this one is more apt, when talking about Yahoo and its value to Microsoft: “It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.”

The question for Gates and company–Is Yahoo wonderful or is it fair?

And until Buffett can work his magic, here’s another unlikely pair–Debbie Harry and Kermit the Frog–singing about making nice in the classic, “Rainbow Connection.”

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work