Buffett's $10 Billion Win on Crisis Bets, and 4 More Things You'll Want to Know Today
• Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) has earned $10 billion from the $26 billion it invested in six companies during the depths of the financial meltdown, when credit was too tight for them to get funding through their usual channels, the Wall Street Journal reports. Those profitable buys: Bank of America (BAC), Goldman Sachs (GS), Dow Chemical (DOW), General Electric (GE) Swiss Re, and -- his biggest winner -- candymaker Mars/Wrigley. "An average investor could have done just as well investing in the stock market if they bought during the panic period," Buffett says.
• We all thought the government shutdown was an argument about Obamacare -- because that's what the GOP told us -- but apparently, we were wrong. Speaker of the House John Boehner added a new condition for reopening the government on Sunday. Boehner now says he won't introduce bills to either fund the government or raise the debt ceiling until the Democrats agree to "a serious conversation" about reducing the deficit. He also suggested that the nation is on track to a default, in sharp contrast to his statements late last week that he wouldn't allow that to happen. Stock markets worldwide sank on the news.
%VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%• For the first time ever, Japan Airlines has decided to buy some Airbus planes: 31 A350s valued at $9.5 billion. That's bad news for Boeing (BA), which has dominated the Japanese market. Perhaps the move should come as a shock, given that JAL has been the airline most affected by the glitches plaguing Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, which fills the same niche as the A350.
• Nielsen, the measurement service whose ratings are life or death for TV network, has a new innovation up its sleeve: measuring the Twitter traffic connected to shows. No surprise, the number of tweets can diverge wildly for shows with similar numbers of viewers. As the New York Times points out, just 98,600 people tweeted about last month's "Grey's Anatomy" premiere, though 9.3 million watched it. By comparison, 10 million people watched the "Breaking Bad" finale, and 1.2 million tweets were sent about it.
• And finally, in what sounds like an article from The Onion, Google's (GOOG) is attempting to patent a process for splitting the restaurant bill at the end of a meal. (And in fact, it was an article from The Onion, back in 2006. But that doesn't make it any less true today.)