A recent offer by multilbillionaire Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, that anybody could have dinner with him to the tune of a small fortune, recently resulted in a major financial loss for an up-and-coming Indian businessman and the untimely death of an 80-year old woman. And, it had nothing to do with the ailing U.S. Stock Market!
Mr. Pradish Pradim Chakrabarty, CEO of India True Foods Exports, had decided to offer $650,000 to have a private, no-time-limit dinner with Buffett after arriving from the Bengal area of India with his wife and two children.
He quickly took a private car to meet Mr. Buffett at the very pricey and toney Lacey's European Villa on the posh upper east side of New York City. He had wanted to gain some critical investment philosophy and a few hot tips.
The price quoted by Warren Buffett, possibly, upto $2 million to have dinner with him was highly publicized, but, unfortunately, multibillionaire, himself, Chakrabarty had made a grave error, but it was too late. He had already given Buffett, the wrong Buffett, $650,000 worth of negotiable bearer bonds.
The contract to meet, written quickly by hand by Chakrabarty, on a single sheet of plain white paper, only said to agree to meet with 'Mr. Buffett' for a long dinner at a cost of $650,000. His chief assistant, Bundi Ragathan, a Harvard MBA, immediately sent it on by e-mail to Mr. Buffet for cosignature. However, it was, mistakenly, sent to'island escapist' Jimmy Buffet, a favorite of Ragathan while at school at Harvard. When Ragathan heard 'Buffett,' he immediately thought of Jimmy Buffett!
The whole object of the deal, to glean financial wisdom from Mr. Warren Buffett, generally considered to be the World's richest person from his massive holdings and because of his financial genius, quickly went south.
Blame this financial disaster on name confusion and star adoration. Mr. Chakrabarty's chief assistant, Ragathan, was told by Chakrabarty to get 'Buffett' on the phone, so he could dine with him after Buffett cosigned. That was done by Ragathan, so Chakrabarty then arranged an upcoming visit to The Big Apple. Unbelievably, neither Chakrabarty nor Ragathan had ever seen a picture of Warren Buffett!
Before beginning his spiel at the restaurant, a still-confused Jimmy Buffett asked for payment up front. He even had had to cancel a gig for $80,000 net in Madison Square Garden that very night, feigning illness. Mr. Chakrabarty (let's call him Mr. C) never even questioned the word gig. And, Jimmy's wearing a Hawaiian shirt at a $200 a plate exclusive restaurant seemed a bit odd, but Mr. C just assumed that the World's richest man has a right to be an eccentric.
Jimmy asked again about the money and Mr. C. handed over the $650,00 in bearer bonds. Jimmy then motioned to his key roadie who set up Jimmy's electric guitar and amp and for the next 2 hours Jimmy repeatedly sang, 'Margaritaville,' his signature song. After the eighteenth repeat, Mr. C asked why such a rich man would sing some vacation song and bother so many people? Jimmy responded, "Hey, that's what I do and I ain't rich, my man. Sure, I got close to a mill from you. Hey swami...listen up ma main man...let you into a little secret. I'm Jimmy Buffett, the singer guy, not Warren Buffett. I sing for my supper." "What are you saying, you pedestrian,?" blurted out Mr. C. "I said, I'm the recording guy, who still needs to make a buck, Mr. Gandhi!"
Jimmy immediately packed up and left, but Mr. C had already grabbed the prized guitar. Yet, Jimmy wanted to be at his hotel, as soon as possible, to wire transfer the bearer bond information to his Berne, Switzerland private account. He was certain there would be no legal suit, as Mr. C would end up being the laughing stock of the investment world with no trust left in his name.
Back at the eatery, a glare fell upon Ragathan and Mr. C started beating him mercilessly, cursing him in Bengali while knocking out all his upper and lower front teeth. Then, he took Jimmy's guitar from the dishevelled table and sent it flying, striking the head of an 80-year old granny, Constance Rader, celebrating her birthday, and killing her instantly. The 'big guys' were soon over to restrain Mr. C, whose white suit by now was blood splattered, while foam was coming from his mouth and mucous from his nose. Two '911 ambulances' were there in 5 minutes. Of course, for the old woman, it was too late.
Mr. C was arrested, brought before night court Judge, Nigel Patel, who just shook his head, refused bail, because of the death, and sent the angry and embarrassed, seething financier to the jail on Rikers Island to cool off. Mr. C screamed at the Judge, cursing him in Bengali, as he was being led off.
At Bellevue Hospital, Mr. Ragathan was recovering from a concussion and looked like a 5-year old missing all his front teeth. "It was all my fault," said Ragathan. "How am I to know there are two Buffetts?"
After a news report broke on CNN on the Internet, the real Mr. Warren Buffett was awakened and informed. "My God, how could some fool make such a mistake? You said it was Jimmy Buffett who got $650,000 in bearer bonds?! Holy shit, that Jimmy's got chutzpah! I never made me $650,000 with a guitar! Would you, please, tell Emily in the kitchen I need a rum and coke to get me back to sleep."
"What an asshole, confusing the 2 best known Buffetts. I follow Jimmy, you know! Jackson," (his key assistant), "get me the number of Jimmy Buffett. I think he may be in the Hilton. Just want to shmooze a bit with him tomorrow and to tell him he has nice investment capital, how to invest it, and how to minimize the capital gains taxes. I just love this money game!"
Story by Beachcomber Bill
Copyright Jamaican Observer 2008