Slideshow: Hurricane Sandy Could Be Positive for PE-backed Reinsurers (CORRECTED)

It’s been a week since Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast and damages could reach as much as $50 billion, according to the New York Times. Losses due to Sandy are still being worked out. If they are $10 billion or less, primary insurers, like Chubb or Allstate or State Farm, will likely pay the brunt of claims, PE sources say. As damages increase, payment will “disproportionately” fall on reinsurers.

Warren Buffett Enters Bid for Citigroup’s OneMain

Berkshire Hathaway has joined the group bidding for Citigroup’s consumer lending unit OneMain, formerly known as CitiFinancial, Reuters wrote Wednesday, citing a report in the Wall Street Journal. Buffett’s company joins a consortium consisting of private-equity firm Centerbridge Capital Partners and Leucadia National Corp. OneMain is expected to fetch more than $8 billion, Reuters reported.

Poll Results: Sokol’s Fate? 70.2% Think Nothing Will Happen to Him (But He’ll Likely Start His Own Firm)

The results of our David Sokol poll surprised me.

Yesterday, I asked what might happen to the former heir apparent at Berkshire Hathaway. Sokol, in case you’ve forgotten, bought Lubrizol shares and then pushed Warren Buffett to buy the company. Sokol, who was chairman of several Berkshire units, resigned after his Lubrizol trades became known.

Berkshire shareholders are expected to convene in Omaha tomorrow for the annual meeting. Buffett is sure to be grilled about his poor handling of the scandal. Right now, we don’t care about that. We want to know what will happen to Sokol.

Question of the Week: What Fate Awaits David Sokol?

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Things aren’t looking too good for David Sokol, Warren Buffett’s former heir apparent at Berkshire Hathaway .

Yesterday, Berkshire slammed Sokol when it said he violated the company’s standards of conduct and its insider trading policies when he bought Lubrizol shares and then pushed Warren Buffett to buy the company. Sokol, who was chairman of several Berkshire units, resigned after his Lubrizol trades were made known.

This has been an embarrassing situation for Buffett and Berkshire. The Oracle of Omaha has always been big on ethics. He is sure to face some tough questions this Saturday when Berkshire hosts its annual shareholder meeting.

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Schwarzman, At $5.9B, Among Richest LBO Pros (Well Ahead Of Kravis): Corrected

My colleague Alastair Goldfisher took a swing already at the venture capitalists on the Forbes list of the world’s billionaires. Perhaps it’s no surprise there are more dudes from the buyouts world (and way predominantly, these superwealthy folks are of the male persuasion) on this list than there are from VC.

The thing that may be more surprising is that the richest of the rich in the buyouts world, although they swim in the same waters as the fund managers we focus on here, don’t play with the same pools.

Consider, for instance, Warren Buffet, No. 3

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North Carolina’s Booze Biz Could Get Private Backing

North Carolina is considering selling its warehousing and sales of state-run liquor stores that generate hundreds of millions in annual revenue, according to multiple sources and confidential documents obtained by peHUB.com. However, any deal would have to overcome a partisan battle between a GOP-led statehouse and a Democrat governor. A source familiar with the business […]

Top Deals of 2009 Exclude Private Equity

Private equity’s fingerprints are nowhere near the largest deals of 2009. Unless you consider Berkshire Hathaway a private equity firm, a title which Warren Buffet would be horrified to hold. (He likes to refer to buyout firms as porn shop operators, you may recall)

Berkshire Hathaway’s deal for Burlington Northern Santa Fe, announced today, is the fifth-largest deal in the world this year. It’s Buffet’s largest deal ever.

Below, we’ve posted the full list, courtesy of Thomson Reuters.

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Why Warren Buffett Would Never Have Gone Into Private Equity

Here’s a snippet from that Michael Lewis review of The Snowball:

Buffett’s second great decision was to maximize, at great financial cost to himself, the interest that the public might take in his business affairs. In 1986, Congress passed a tax reform that changed how Berkshire Hathaway’s capital gains were taxed. Previously, those gains had been taxed only once, when a shareholder sold his shares. Now, so long as Berkshire remained a public corporation, Buffett would need also to pay tax on any gains from the sale of stocks inside his portfolio. There was an obvious solution, and it was seized upon by public fund managers everywhere in Buffett’s position: shutter the corporation and become a private equity fund.

NetJet Looks To Take Off With $1.4 Billion

Warren Buffet’s executive air-travel company NetJets has hired Goldman Sachs to raise up to $1.4 billion in debt, according to a government filing.

NetJets has $1.2 billion of short-term debt notes outstanding as of early February, documents show. The company became a subsidiary of Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway holding company in 1998.

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