Amsterdam Financial Services Correspondent
Ben's Feed
Nov 23, 2011

Mortgage insurer PMI Group files bankruptcy

Nov 23 (Reuters) – Mortgage insurer PMI Group Inc
filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday,
following the seizure last month of its main operating unit by
Arizona insurance regulators.

PMI’s filing came one day after Richard Gama, an Arizona
Superior Court judge in Phoenix, rejected its request to
overturn the seizure by the Arizona Department of Insurance.

Nov 21, 2011

Alleghany to buy Transatlantic for $3.4 billion

By Jochelle Mendonca and Ben Berkowitz

(Reuters) – U.S. property and casualty insurer Alleghany Corp (Y.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Monday it would buy reinsurer Transatlantic Holdings Inc (TRH.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for $3.4 billion in cash and stock — though a sharp drop in Alleghany shares meant a separate, hostile bid for Transatlantic was at least temporarily more valuable.

The Transatlantic saga has dragged on for months, since it first struck a deal with peer Allied World Assurance Co Holdings Ltd (AWH.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in June. That merger fell apart in September amid opposition from Transatlantic’s largest shareholder and in the face of two unsolicited bids that were worth more money.

Nov 15, 2011

Protesters weigh moving on after New York raid

NEW YORK, Nov 15 (Reuters) – Protest veterans had said for
weeks the Occupy Wall Street movement needed to have a second
act if it lost its hold on Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan.

The question now is whether they were ready.

New York police evicted protesters from the park in the
early hours of Tuesday, just two days shy of the occupation’s
two-month anniversary. Authorities said the field of tents and
people had become a health and safety threat.

Nov 15, 2011

Who’s afraid of big tech? Not Buffett, who buys IBM stake

By Ben Berkowitz

(Reuters) – Warren Buffett has always made his distaste for technology investments clear, but on Monday he changed his ways in spectacular fashion.

The Berkshire Hathaway chief executive said he has bought nearly $11 billion of International Business Machines Corp stock in the last eight months, building a roughly 5.5 percent stake that potentially makes him the largest shareholder in the company.

Nov 14, 2011

Buffett sheds tech aversion with big IBM investment

Nov 14 (Reuters) – Warren Buffett has always made his
distaste for technology investments clear, but on Monday he
changed his ways in spectacular fashion.

The Berkshire Hathaway chief executive said he has
bought nearly $11 billion of International Business Machines
Corp stock in the last eight months, building a roughly
5.5 percent stake that potentially makes him the largest
shareholder in the company.

Nov 14, 2011

Buffett builds $10.7 billion stake in IBM: report

By Ben Berkowitz

(Reuters) – Warren Buffett said his Berkshire Hathaway Inc has accumulated a 5.5 percent stake in IBM, the billionaire investor’s biggest bet in the technology field he has historically shunned.

Buffett, in a CNBC interview on Monday, said he had bought about 64 million shares of IBM at a cost of $10.7 billion. Berkshire started buying the shares in March, with a goal of building a $10 billion position, he said.

Nov 14, 2011

Buffett builds $10.7 bln stake in IBM – CNBC

Nov 14 (Reuters) – Warren Buffett said his Berkshire
Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N: Quote, Profile, Research) has accumulated a 5.5 percent stake in
IBM (IBM.N: Quote, Profile, Research), the billionaire investor’s biggest bet in the
technology field he has historically shunned.

Buffett, in a CNBC interview on Monday, said he had bought
about 64 million shares of IBM at a cost of $10.7 billion.
Berkshire started buying the shares in March, with a goal of
building a $10 billion position, he said.

Nov 14, 2011

Buffett builds $10.7 billion stake in IBM

By Ben Berkowitz

(Reuters) – Warren Buffett said his Berkshire Hathaway Inc has accumulated a 5.5 percent stake in IBM, the billionaire investor’s biggest bet in the technology field he has historically shunned.

Buffett, in a CNBC interview on Monday, said he had bought about 64 million shares of IBM at a cost of $10.7 billion. Berkshire started buying the shares in March, with a goal of building a $10 billion position, he said.

Nov 10, 2011

College football fuels rivalries, inspires fans

By Ben Berkowitz

(Reuters) – To understand America’s devotion to college football, consider that after Penn State fired coach Joe Paterno over the school’s sex abuse scandal, many dedicated fans said it was as if a deity or god had fallen.

The Church of College Football meets on campuses across the United States on Saturdays every autumn, has millions of believers who worship the teams, the coaches, the former stars and even the team mascots with a fervor that exceeds many religions.

Nov 10, 2011

U.S. college football fuels rivalries, inspires fans

Nov 10 (Reuters) – To understand America’s devotion to
college football, consider that after Penn State fired coach
Joe Paterno over the school’s sex abuse scandal, many dedicated
fans said it was as if a deity or god had fallen.

The Church of College Football meets on campuses across the
United States on Saturdays every autumn, has millions of
believers who worship the teams, the coaches, the former stars
and even the team mascots with a fervor that exceeds many
religions.

    • About Ben

      "Ben Berkowitz covers the insurance industry in New York City. He rejoined Reuters in Amsterdam in May 2009, covering the Dutch banking system and economy. He originally worked for Reuters in Los Angeles and New York from 2001 to 2006 covering everything from video games to oil. In between he was business editor at AOL, head of the editing desk at AP Business News and managing editor of Fidelity.com."
    • More from Ben

    • Follow Ben