A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught” (8/31)
“I eat cake because it’s somebody’s birthday somewhere” (8/31)
Corporate News Network (CNN nickname) (8/31)
“Hard work is equal to prayer” (8/30)
“If you’ve seen one chamber of commerce, you’ve seen one chamber of commerce” (8/30)
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Entry from April 30, 2014
“Beware of geeks bearing formulas”

"Beware of Greeks bearing gifts” (such as the Trojan horse) is a paraphrase of a line from Virgil’s Aeneid, written by Virgil between 29 and 19 B.C. “Beware of geeks bearing formulas” is a line from American investor Warren Buffett.

Buffett has used the line since at least 2008.


Wikipedia: Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes
Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes is a Latin phrase from Aeneid (II, 49), written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BC. It has been paraphrased in English as the proverb “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts” even though its literal meaning, “I fear the Danaans, even those bearing gifts”, carries a somewhat different nuance to the usual English version of the phrase. The original version of the text had the archaic form ferentis for the Classical Latin ferentes.

Origin
As related in the Aeneid, after a nine-year war on the beaches of Troy between the Danaans (Greeks from the mainland) and the Trojans, the Greek seer Calchas induces the leaders of the Greek army to offer the Trojan people a huge wooden horse, the so-called Trojan Horse, while seemingly departing. The Trojan priest Laocoön, distrusting this gesture, warns the Trojans not to accept the gift, crying, Equō nē crēdite, Teucrī! Quidquid id est, timeō Danaōs et dōna ferentīs. ("Do not trust the horse, Trojans! Whatever it is, I fear the Danaans, even when bringing gifts.")

Google Books
American Revolution:
The Fall of Wall Street and the Rise of Barack Obama

By Kate Jennings
Melbourne: Black Inc.
2008
Pg. 29:
As investor Warren Buffet – the Sage of Omaha – likes to say, “Beware of geeks bearing formulas.”

New York (NY) Times
Like J.P. Morgan, Warren E. Buffett Braves a Crisis
By STEVE LOHR
Published: October 5, 2008
(...)
As far back as 2003, Mr. Buffett had warned that the complex securities at the center of today’s troubles — once so profitable, but now toxic — were “financial weapons of mass destruction.” These securities were engineered by the math quants on Wall Street, and in the interview Mr. Buffett expressed his disdain: “Beware of geeks bearing formulas.”

New York (NY) Times
The Rise of the Machines
By RICHARD DOOLING
Published: October 11, 2008
“BEWARE of geeks bearing formulas.” So saith Warren Buffett, the Wizard of Omaha. Words to bear in mind as we bail out banks and buy up mortgages and tweak interest rates and nothing, nothing seems to make any difference on Wall Street or Main Street.

New York (NY) Times
In Letter, Warren Buffett Concedes a Tough Year
By DAVID SEGAL
Published: February 28, 2009
The renowned investor Warren E. Buffett chided himself and the business world at large in his annual letter to shareholders of his holding company on Saturday as he sifted through the wreckage of his worst year in four decades.
(...)
Some skepticism about these models is overdue, he added. “Our advice: Beware of geeks bearing formulas.”

Business Insider
One Trader’s 21 Favorite Quotes About Markets And Investing
SHANE OLIVER, AMP CAPITAL, BUSINESS INSIDER AUSTRALIA APR. 30, 2014, 5:32 AM
(...)
“Never invest in a business you can’t understand” and “Beware geeks bearing formulas.” Warren Buffett
Many lost a fortune through the GFC in investments that were not understandable and involved excessive complexity.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Wednesday, April 30, 2014 • Permalink