Hats off to Jacqueline Ortiz Ramsay, who heads public communications at Robinhood, for gamely taking on legendary investor Warren Buffett after he trashed the millennial-favored stock trading app as a casino that encourages speculative bets on the stock market.
Robinhood has “become a very significant part of the casino aspect, the casino group, that has joined the stock market in the last year or year and a half,” he said at Berkshire Hathaway’s May 1 annual meeting.”
The 90-year-old BH CEO said American companies are wonderful places for people to invest their money, but they also make terrific gambling chips.
“If you cater to those gambling chips when people have money in their pocket for the first time and you tell them they can make 30 or 40 or 50 trades a day and you’re not charging them any commission but you’re selling their order flow or whatever, I hope we don’t have more of it,” he said.
Charlie Munger, Berkshire’s 97-year-old vice chairman, took the Robinhood criticism a step farther, saying it’s “God awful that something like that would draw investment from civilized men and decent citizens. It’s deeply wrong.”
Ramsay countered with “People are tired of the Warren Buffetts and Charlie Mungers of the world acting like they are the oracles of investing. And at Robinhood, we’re not going to sit back while they disparage everyday people taking control of their financial lives.” Nice touch.
She said Robinhood has opened the doors of financial investing to everyday people, which is “deeply unsettling the old guard who will fight to keep things the same.”
Buffett may have the last laugh. The noted value investor looks forward to reading Robinhood’s initial public offering filing, which is expected to come out this quarter.
Will the Oracle of Omaha see any value in Robinhood’s shares?
Another question: Does BH benefit by having Buffett at the helm?
The influential Economist doesn’t think so. It ran a “Time’s Up” editorial in its May 8 issue calling for the Oracle of Omaha to “look for the future and step aside at BH.”
Buffett “may want to die at his desk, but the longer he stays, the more he risks becoming a liability,” noted the magazine.
The media are playing hardball with president Joe Biden, according to a Pew Research Center report released April 28.
Nearly a third (32 percent) of Biden’s coverage had a negative tone, while 23 percent had a positive one. Forty-five percent were neutral.
The public’s sense of Biden’s coverage differed from Pew’s content analysis study. Almost half (46 percent) of Americans say coverage of Biden has been mostly positive. Thirty-nine percent rate coverage as mixed and 14 percent believe it has been mostly negative.
Pew found Biden’s coverage was framed largely around his policy agenda and ideology (65 percent), rather than character and leadership (35 percent).
That’s the opposite of how the media dealt with president Donald Trump. Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of Trump’s coverage focused on character and leadership and only 26 percent on policy agenda and ideology.
Pew found that 22 percent of Americans are following news about the Biden administration very closely.
People favoring right-wing media are paying more attention to coverage about Biden (30 percent) than those who rely on left-wing outlets (16 percent).
Pew also asked respondents if the priorities of the Biden administration are getting too much, too little or the right amount of coverage.
A majority (58 percent) of Americans said COVID-19 coverage got the right amount of information, while racial inequity was getting too much coverage (38 percent).