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Monday, March 1, 2010

Bob Brinker Gets Peeved at Hank Paulson

March 1, 2010...Bob Brinker had a real peeve on this weekend because Henry Paulson refused his invitation to appear on Moneytalk. Bob Brinker seemed very insulted and appeared to make a dogged effort to extract a pint of Paulson's blood as revenge served hot (figuratively speaking, of course)!

Brinker hammered Paulson repeatedly on both Moneytalk programs over the weekend. He took opportunities to ask callers what they thought of Paulson's "tax break." He even encouraged the Sunday guest-speaker to agree with him that the reason Paulson didn't come on Moneytalk was because he only wanted to go where he would likely get "softball" questions to sell his book.

I transcribed a few excerpts from some of Brinker's tirades about Paulson's "tax break":

Bob Brinker said: "I pointed out earlier this hour and earlier this weekend with our weekend guest, Andrew Sorkin.....We pointed out, he pointed out and now I'm pointing out that Henry Paulson sold an estimated $500 million worth of Goldman Sachs stock to take a job that basically lasted two years as Treasury Secretary. And in the process saved, perhaps $200million in taxes. That's a $100million per year served as Treasury Secretary.......

[Brinker asked a caller] "I'm asking you what you think of that tax-break. You sell your company stock, maybe you save $200million in taxes for taking a government job for what turned out to be two years -- that's a specific case that we know about and we have estimates on what he saved in taxes based on the survey done by The Economist. My question to you is, how do you feel about that?.....I think that the vast majority, I'm going to say 99% of American taxpayers, did not know about that tax break. Now they know....."

Brinker accused Paulson of avoiding some hard questions, but didn't say anything about having done that himself on more than on occasion:

Blogger jeffchristie said...

"Brinker speculated that Paulson probably refused because he did not want to face the "hard questions" that he might get from Brinker and the callers"

A few years ago I had the pleasure of talking to Paul Kangas. I ask him why we hadn't seen Bob Brinker on the Nightly Business Report as a guest market monitor. Mr. Kangas told me that they had extended several invitations to Mr. Brinker but Bob had refused them. This made me wonder if Brinker did not want to face the "hard questions" that he might get from Paul and the listeners. I remember that on his last appearance he got tough questions from Steve T and a guy named Kirk.

February 27, 2010 6:49 PM

Kirk said:

Honeybee reported:

Several time during the program Saturday, Brinker hammered Henry Paulson because he turned down Brinker's invitation to be a guest on Moneytalk. Brinker said he was very "annoyed with the Treasury" because Paulson had refused his invitation and considered it "stupid" since Paulson was trying to promote his book.

Brinker speculated that Paulson probably refused because he did not want to face the "hard questions" that he might get from Brinker and the callers -- that Paulson had instead chosen to face "softball questions" from Charlie Rose.

At the risk of insulting some of the elderly, Brinker must have Alzheimer's disease or he is simply TERRIBLY uninformed. I saw Hank Paulson on TV twice recently taking questions from people far, far more brilliant than Brinker (Buffett) and more powerful (Congress).

In that "seldom read" financial publication I get called "Forbes" there is a decent article also online called Buffett Hosts Hank Paulson in Omaha
In a tete-a-tete broadcast over the internet, billionaire investor Warren Buffett sat down with Hank Paulson on Tuesday to discuss the former Treasury secretary's new book, On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System.

Buffett used the forum to highlight Washington’s hypocrisy in assigning blame for the financial crisis, asking Paulson if he ever had the urge, during his congressional testimony, to chide his inquisitors for letting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac become two of “the most levered” financial institutions in the world.


Buffett also pressed Paulson—unsuccessfully at first—for details on his personal investments. “I’m not looking to make more. I’m trying to keep what I have,” said Paulson, who has stated repeatedly that he plans to devote the rest of his career to funding programs geared toward environmental conservation.

After some prodding, Paulson revealed that he holds a portion of his money in cash, bonds, and money-market funds while also investing in "growth equities" because, as he explained, “I still believe the economy can go down and side-ways but outstanding companies that know how to operate globally will prosper over a long period of time.”

Now who is a better, more credible investor? Warren Buffett who uses real money to make billions or Bob Brinker who has to use a show as an informercial to pretend he can time the market? My guess is Hank didn't want to be a party to the fake market timing scam... but that is just my opinion.

or this story from earlier this month where Hank was called a liar... Paulson testimony at House hearing on AIG
The following are highlights from a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Wednesday with former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson testifying on the bailout of insurance company AIG.


“We have this bailout of AIG and you don’t know anything about it. Mr. Geithner had nothing to do with it. It just really boggles the mind that some of the biggest people involved in this whole thing from beginning to end had nothing to do with it... I don’t think anybody is going to buy that.”

Brinker is probably miffed because Rose never invited Bob on his show.

February 27, 2010 9:09 PM

Blogger Kirk said...

For the record, I watched both these LIVE while working. Buffett was masterful at getting Hank to say how he invests. To say Paulson runs from tough questions is a joke as he went into the lion's den to face the same idiots (Walters, Rangle, et. al) who attacked Hank Paulson on TV to hide their own failures. Brinker refused to answer my question on NBR.... I have a transcript of it somewhere... and he refused to come on the show again after that. My guess is Steve's question caught him even more off guard. If anyone is a coward about facing tough questions, lets ask the man who can't take questions live at a charity event. He needs then written down in advance so he isn't ambushed.

If you can't tell, I can't stand Brinker when he gets on others for things he himself is afraid to do.

February 27, 2010 9:16 PM

Blogger jeffchristie said...

After Brinker did his electronic lynching of Hank Paulsen he speculated as to whether Dick Cheney did the same thing with his holdings in Halliburton. You know Bob rather than making bizarre claims and engaging in demagoguery you might do a little research first to find the facts. It only took me a few minutes to find out how Cheney disposed of his interests in Halliburton. You were partially right. He did do it without incurring a tax liability.

"The "Gift Trust Agreement" the Cheney's signed two days before he took office turns over power of attorney to a trust administrator to sell the options at some future time and to give the after-tax profits to three charities. The agreement specifies that 40% will go to the University of Wyoming (Cheney's home state), 40% will go to George Washington University's medical faculty to be used for tax-exempt charitable purposes, and 20% will go to Capital Partners for Education, a charity that provides financial aid for low-income students in Washington, DC to attend private and religious schools.

The agreement states that it is "irrevocable and may not be terminated, waived or amended," so the Cheney's can't take back their options later.

The options owned by the Cheney's have been valued at nearly $8 million, his attorney says. Such valuations are rough estimates only -- the actual value will depend on what happens to stock prices in the future, which of course can't be known beforehand. But it is clear that giving up rights to the future profits constitutes a significant financial sacrifice, and a sizable donation to the chosen charities."

February 28, 2010 4:43 PM

Blogger jeffchristie said...

Hi Bob thanks for taking my call. You have ask callers how they feel about Mr.Paulsen being able to sell his stock without having to pay any federal income tax. Well are you sitting down Bob? I DON'T HAVE ANY PROBLEM WITH IT. He does not AVOID paying taxes he merely deferrers his tax liability.

By accepting the Treasury post, Paulson is poised to take advantage of a tax loophole that allows government officials to defer capital gains taxes on assets they have to sell to avoid a conflict of interest, as long as the proceeds are reinvested in government securities or a broad array of mutual funds approved by the government within 60 days.

Technically, the tax kicks in once these replacement assets are sold, using the purchase price of the original assets as the cost basis, says Tom Ochsenschlager of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

February 28, 2010 5:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


jeffchristie, that whoosing sound we're hearing is all the wind going out of BB's sails on this Paulson-stock thing. So BB was so mad that Paulson didn't come on the show, he jumped on this tax issue without doing his homework.

Thank you for posting this.

February 28, 2010 5:40 PM

[Honey EC: Jeffchristie and Kirk wrote much more on this subject at this LINK]

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