Dear Mr. Buffett by Janet Tavakoli

Business Book Roundtable

January 27, 2009: 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Janet Tavakoli will present her new book, Dear Mr. Buffett: What An Investor Learns 1,269 Miles from Wall Street. In Dear Mr. Buffett, Janet Tavakoli details how Warren Buffett’s investment philosophy works in real time by way of the events leading up to the worst financial meltdown in world history. In correspondence and discussion with him over 3 years, they both saw the writing on the wall. Tavakoli shows how they predicted the meltdown well in advance, warned investors, and proposed how to fix it. Mr. Buffett is a witty well-told account of how principle triumphs over greed and panic, and is a must-read for all those seeking the timeless wisdom that has beaten, and continues to beat, the market. If legendary investor Warren Buffett invited you to lunch, what would you talk about? That was the question faced by structured finance expert Janet Tavakoli after she sent the Oracle of Omaha her book on credit derivatives, and he replied with an invitation. Now, in Dear Mr. Buffett, she gives you a seat at the table for the extraordinary conversation that began at that lunch and has continued through some of recent financial history's most turbulent moments.


University of Chicago Glecher Center
Main Dinning Room, # 621
450 North Cityfront Plaza
Chicago, Illinois

Event Details

Book Summary: Dear Mr. Buffett reveals how Buffett's wisdom shines through in today's financial world, including how he uses derivatives in classic Buffett style—with prudence, transparency, and an aversion to Wall Street's herd mentality. Sampling their wide-ranging conversations and correspondence, Tavakoli offers both Buffett's and her own sharp insights into the mortgage crisis, hedge funds, shoddy accounting practices, and overall devolution of the markets. Along the way, Tavakoli sheds light on an aspect of Buffett's success often overlooked by those focusing on his consistent returns and distinctive value investing approach. Buffett has also avoided many major financial meltdowns and crashes, seeming to see them coming before they arrive. "Janet Tavakoli warned that the biggest credit bubble in world history was coming well in advance. Now she explains how the world could have avoided this disaster and how we can prevent it from happening the next time." —Jim Rogers, author of A Bull in China, Hot Commodities, Adventure Capitalist, and Investment Biker "Janet Tavakoli writes about the exotic, abstract financial instruments that helped implode the U. S. financial markets... Contrasting the shenanigans of recent years against the good analysis and common sense of Warren Buffett is appropriate, and helps to illustrate the levels of irrational behavior." —Adam Smith (George J. W. Goodman), author of The Money Game and Supermoney "If you are an investor, either directly or through mutual funds or managed accounts, you must read this compelling book. You should understand how name-brand institutions like Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Wachovia, and UBS collectively lost hundreds of billions of dollars in ill-conceived products they invented and sold to investors who lost much more. Janet Tavakoli saw this coming and explains what happened clearly, logically, and persuasively. The juxtaposition of Buffett's investment philosophies provide sharp contrast with those of the major institutional participants who are responsible for the current debacle. Knowing how this disastrous phenomenon evolved will forever change the way you evaluate your investments and/or those intermediaries who make them on your behalf." —Eric Gleacher, Chairman, Gleacher Partners LLC "Janet Tavakoli has a gift for using personal anecdotes and clear language to explain the complex instruments of structured finance. Dear Mr. Buffett is an insightful look at the current global credit crisis in language that the layman can grasp. This book is a must-read for every trustee allocating to alternative investments." —John P. Calamos SR., Chairman, CEO, and Co-CIO, Calamos Investments Dear Mr. Buffett: What An Investor Learns 1,269 Miles From Wall Street by Janet Tavakoli. Published by John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey. 272 pages. Publication date: January 9, 2009.


Event Fee is $15. Pay online.


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Deadline: 1/27/2009

Speaker Profiles

Janet Tavakoli (Speaker)
President, Tavakoli Structured Finance

Janet M. Tavakoli is the President of Tavakoli Structured Finance, a Chicago-based consulting firm to financial institutions, institutional investors, and hedge funds. Tavakoli has more than 20 years of experience in senior investment banking positions, trading, structuring and marketing structured financial products. She has given advanced warning of major collapses including Long-Term Capital Management, First Alliance Mortgage, the thrift industry, and the current credit bubble. BusinessWeek called her "The Cassandra of Credit Derivatives.”. She is a former adjunct associate professor in the Finance Department of the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business, where she taught derivatives. Janet Tavakoli has an MBA from the University Of Chicago Booth School Of Business and a BSCE from IIT. She is the Author of two other books: Credit Derivatives & Synthetic Structures (John Wiley & Sons, 1998, 2001) and Structured Finance & Collateralized Debt Obligations (John Wiley & Sons, September 2008). Tavakoli is frequently quoted in the business press, including the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Business 9Week, the New York Times, and many others. She also appears on CNN, CNBC, CBS Evening News, Bloomberg TV, First Business Morning News, Fox News, Fox Business News, ABC, and BBC. Link to the article, “Structured Success” by Janet Tavakoli. It appeared in the May/June 2008 Volume 100 Issue 4 Issue of the University of Chicago Magazine.


Mary Kupjack 
Chair, Business Book Roundtable

Other Information

Discounted Parking The Chicago GSB has arranged with the AMC Theater-River East Self parking Garage to provide discounted parking: 300 East Illinois Street (AMC Theater-River East Self Park Garage) $6.00 after 3:00pm Garage: Self Park Facility Payment: Automated; at pay-stations by cash or credit card or upon exit pay by credit card only. To receive discounted rate: There is a card validator at the first floor security desk of the Gleacher Center. You will need to insert your parking card in the validator. You can validate your parking ticket at any time between your arrival at and departure from the Gleacher Center. Detailed Directions: Garage is located next to PJ Clarks and below the AMC Theater. a) When traveling east on Illinois cross over Columbus and enter the Garage on the left (north) side of the street. b) If driving west on Grand (north of Theater), you can enter the garage ½ block before Columbus on the left (south) side of the street.