Warren Buffett wrote to Leon Cooperman about stock buybacks, taxing the rich, and the presidency. Here are the 3 messages, from Cooperman’s new memoir

Leon Cooperman.Jeff Zelevansky/Reuters

Warren Buffett wrote to Leon Cooperman about stock buybacks, taxing the rich, and Henry Singleton.

When Cooperman was mulling a presidential run, Buffett joked he could “deliver Nebraska” for him.

Cooperman shared a trio of messages he received from Buffett in his newly published memoir.

Warren Buffett wrote to Leon Cooperman about subjects ranging from Henry Singleton and Teledyne to stock buybacks, income taxes, and Cooperman’s potential presidential bid.

Cooperman, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs’ asset management division, shared three missives from Buffett in his newly published memoir: “From the Bronx to Wall Street: My Fifty Years in Finance and Philanthropy.”

Here are the three messages and the context around them:

1. Dear editor

Cooperman, who converted his Omega Advisors hedge fund into a family office in 2018, penned an open letter to the editor of Business Week in 1982. He was annoyed by the magazine’s critical profile of Henry Singleton, the cofounder and CEO of Teledyne.

In his letter, the billionaire investor trumpeted Singleton’s skill at growing his conglomerate through acquisitions, and driving performance at Teledyne’s subsidiaries. Cooperman also praised the industrialist for buying back stock at attractive prices, investing the spare cash from Teledyne’s insurance business into stocks, and building the company’s cash reserves.

Buffett wrote him a note after reading the letter, which Cooperman still keeps framed in his office:

Dear Lee,

I always enjoy both the quality of your writing and the quality of your thinking. Your letter to Business Week regarding Teledyne was 100% on the mark.

Best regards,


2. Buybacks, good and bad

Cooperman praised Singleton again at a value-investing event in 2007. He pointed to the Teledyne chief as an example of an executive who conducted buybacks the correct way, as he only repurchased shares at a discount to their intrinsic value.

Story continues

Buffett wrote to Cooperman after his speech to express his agreement:

Henry was a manager that all investors, CEOs, would be CEOs, and…


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