Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama, Obama and the sage of Omaha

Finally the largest manhunt in history has come to an end. 10 years and a  few billion dollars later, the US finally managed to locate and kill Osama right from under the noses of the Pakistani Intelligence forces who were probably sheltering him. Strange that they located him by following a courier. Strange that even google earth pictures show a highly secure and unusually unique structure a few meters away from a Pakistani military facility. Strange that the Pakistani authorities had no clue as to who the resident was.Strange that the US forces did not capture him and bring him to justice. Strange that the body was disposed of in mid sea in a rush.

Osama of course had many secrets to hide, including earlier US complicity in his origins as a terrorist. He also probably had access to plans for all future terror strikes, and it seems rather foolish to silence him permanently. Obama of course is a beneficiary of this sudden development. With sagging ratings, he needed something like this to have any chance of re election. Whether he deserves any credit for re uniting Osama with his promised virgins is debatable. The fact that it took the most powerful nation with the most sophisticated technology at its command almost 10 years to locate Osama smacks of incompetence , if not a conspiracy to protect him to buy his silence. Obama will now have to use his considerably eloquence to explain what really happened.

Meanwhile the sage of Omaha is having an unusually bad time. There is something about American CEOs visiting India. I have seen it happen time and time again. From Warren Anderson of Union Carbide to now Warren Buffet, the India visit tends to become the last business trip the a CEO makes. The sage of Omaha is now in trouble for not acting sternly enough against his possible successor for insider trading. There are also stories emerging of large re insurance losses and bad derivative calls. Is the sages invincibility wearing off, like Osama's? And when is Obama's turn?