As the chief instigator on The Motley Fool's wildly popular radio show, Chris Hill has the opportunity to talk with some of the brightest minds in the world of finance and economics. Today, he provides the seven guests (in no particular order) that he would most like to interview in 2011 on Motley Fool Money, the one-hour weekly business radio show syndicated to radio stations across America and available on iTunes. If you happen to know any of these potential guests, let me know.
Click here to find out Chris' favorite guests of 2010.
We at The Motley Fool pray at the altar of Buffett. We have a conference room at Fool HQ named after him and all of our analysts and advisors have at some point studied the genius behind Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A ) (NYSE: BRK-B ) , but he still hasn't visited.
What Chris would ask: According to the list of investments in your most recent annual letter, you more than doubled your investment in Republic Services (NYSE: RSG ) , the country's third-largest solid waste service company. That was the biggest increase among all of Berkshire's investments. What was your decision-making behind that call? Also (since we want to get as much as possible out of Buffett's time), what are the specific metrics -- macro, on the balance sheet, whatever -- that you believe are overblown and get way too much attention?
Whether it's in regards to the Gates Foundation or Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) , Chris would love to figure out how Gates went about building two such impactful empires. And he might be willing to make a donation to the foundation if that makes a spot on Motley Fool Money a little more enticing.
What Chris would ask: Steve Ballmer took over as CEO of Microsoft 10 years ago. Is the company now where you thought it would (and should) be today? If not, what would you have done differently as CEO?
It might seem like a stretch to have the writer/actor/creator of 30 Rock on a show concerning financial matters, but Chris thinks he could justify the leap. "Her character on 30 Rock was forced to learn how to handle the business side of show biz, but Tina already had that sense coming out of the writers' room and creating a show. Really, it would work. Otherwise I'm praying she writes a business book and needs to do a radio tour."
What Chris would ask: You were a vocal critic of NBC's decision to move Jay Leno to primetime because it bumped out scripted programming. Creative differences aside, did you also think NBC was making a bad business decision? And did you catch any heat from the NBC brass? In the remaining 15 minutes, please share what Alec Baldwin and Tracey Morgan are really like. (No, really.)
The co-founder of Costco (Nasdaq: COST ) is another Fool favorite -- yes, we named a conference room for him after he visited the company last year. "I love how authentic he is. Some CEOs are as slick and polished as politicians," says Chris. "I don't believe anyone has ever referred to Jim Sinegal as slick."
What Chris would ask: What is the one piece of advice you received from your mentor, Sol Price, that you wish other CEOs could hear and heed?
Chris is highly impressed by the Indian-born CEO of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP ) , both for her business acumen and for the fact that, well, there aren't a whole lot of Indian-born women in the CEO offices of major U.S. corporations.
What Chris would ask: I am an avowed Diet Coke drinker. Can you convince me to switch to Diet Pepsi?
Movies are Chris' passion, so there's a possibility that this interview could end up like the Saturday Night Live skit when Chris Farley asks his guests if they remember the time ... Yeah, that was awesome. But Chris vows that they could chat about how Spielberg borrows techniques from other directors and somehow tie that to investing.
What Chris would ask: There was a lot of hoopla and huge expectations when you launched Dreamworks Animation SKG (NYSE: DWA ) , yet most would agree that Pixar is more highly regarded. How much does that bother you?
The guy can talk about anything, says Chris. "We'd probably need to make the show longer."
What Chris would ask: A lot of the foundation for the 2008 financial crisis was laid during your presidency. If you could have a mulligan, what would you have done differently? Also, can you explain your decision to reappoint Alan Greenspan? And really, what's the best sports-related perk of being president of the United States?
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