I now know why this weekend is called "The Woodstock of Capitalism." The action all day in the lobby of the Omaha Hilton was like being at a rock concert for capitalists.
I not only saw numerous business leaders milling around -- including the Chairmen of numerous large corporations such as Geico, Coca-Cola (KO), Microsoft (MSFT) and others -- but numerous celebrities, too, such as filmmaker George Lucas.
The pals that accompanied me on the trip to Omaha with (Marty, Miles, Steve, Lee, Harvey, etc.) were no slouches in the executive department -- a bunch of masters of the universe in real estate, money management, finance, advertising and hedge funds, in their own right.I spent most of the rest of the day solidifying my questions for the annual meeting. I did, however, have a number of other media interviews.
A Growing Bundle of NervesI must admit to having been a bit nervous as the day progressed, but not terribly so. I think I was just so darned excited for Saturday to come. My son Noah -- the author of TheStreet column "Ask Noah" and soon-to-be doctorate candidate at the University of Pennsylvania -- finally arrived at the hotel. (He came with Mikey, Steve and Marty in a separate group that left the New York area midday Friday.) I gave him a big hug and kiss -- I was so happy he was there to participate in the unique experience I was about to face. In the early evening, Mario Gabelli invited me and Noah to a cocktail party and panel discussion for the benefit of Columbia Business School at the Hilton Hotel where I was staying. Among the speakers was my friend/buddy/pal Lee Cooperman, who gave an excellent presentation for the students and alumni of Columbia, as well as Mario's other guests. The meeting was informative and well-attended -- I saw Pershing Square's Bill Ackman and a lot of other hedge-hoggers in the audience. MDC Partners' Miles Nadal, Noah and I then proceeded to the legendary Gorat's Steak House that Warren Buffett favors and always talks about. There we met Lee Cooperman; Mario Gabelli; an acquaintance from David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital organization; Vornado Realty Trust's (VNO) Steve Roth; Cohen and Steers' Marty Cohen; my buddy/pal/friend Mikey Salzhaurer; and The New York Times' and "Squawk Box's" Andrew Ross Sorkin.
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