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Ed from OC

Buffett's Betrayal

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It seems Warren Buffett not only lobbied Congress to bailout the financial sector, he also profited mightily. I and others are fans of Buffet, but I'm severely disappointed by this. It's also the first time I've really seen a connection between his business success and his liberal/left-wing politics.

Thoughts?

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It seems Warren Buffett not only lobbied Congress to bailout the financial sector, he also profited mightily. I and others are fans of Buffet, but I'm severely disappointed by this. It's also the first time I've really seen a connection between his business success and his liberal/left-wing politics.

Thoughts?

I've despised him ever since I saw him advocating the Estate Tax, and then he turned around and made sure the government wouldn't decide where his money would go after he dies, by designating it for the Bill Gates altruism fund, or whatever it is called. The Estate Tax is not for the likes of him, but he wants to force it on the rest of us. Can't stand the man.

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It seems Warren Buffett not only lobbied Congress to bailout the financial sector, he also profited mightily. I and others are fans of Buffet, but I'm severely disappointed by this. It's also the first time I've really seen a connection between his business success and his liberal/left-wing politics.

Thoughts?

I've despised him ever since I saw him advocating the Estate Tax, and then he turned around and made sure the government wouldn't decide where his money would go after he dies, by designating it for the Bill Gates altruism fund, or whatever it is called. The Estate Tax is not for the likes of him, but he wants to force it on the rest of us. Can't stand the man.

I've long admired his investment record, and he seemed to be a very successful businessman, investor, and guru on business practices and methods who failed to extend that psycho-epistemology to other areas (e.g., explicitly endorsing left-wing causes). I gave him the benefit of the doubt of just being exceptionally focused on business and not that into other areas, so his views were just not consciously examined with the same rigor. Now I'm reconsidering that view. He may be a deeper mix, with political pull accounting for investment gains in recent years.

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George Soros is worse. Far worse.

Maybe, but I wasn't trying to compare them.

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George Soros is worse. Far worse.

Maybe, but I wasn't trying to compare them.

Sorry, that's fair enough.

I trace Buffett's moral corruption to his upbringing, specifically a desire to break away from his father and make his own "path" (and set of opinions). Considering the strong libertarianism of his father, it's understandable. Did you read any of his biographies? They're really, really worth it.

However, I am not surprised by this, because from previous readings about Buffett I got the impression that he was first and foremost a very skilled self-brand marketeer, continuously projecting a veneer of "the ideal man, the investor who does it for fun and who shuns luxury" for example when he does enjoy and seek luxury (just not so visibly - he'll get "invited" to lavish dinners and buy a Gulfstream V because he "has to"). And philosophically, either he is an altruist or a pragmatist who understands how to use altruism for strong personal gain (I believe the latter). In both cases, he would have no moral objection to steering from his original "average priced excellence" value+growth equity strategy and into tax, legal and fiscal arb.

Whichever way, he's just doing what most people are doing. Considering his horizon, I'm not sure his normal strategy would make much money, esp. considering his enormous AUM. One motivation could be to keep Berkshire afloat until his death, so that he does not go down having seen Berkshire fail.

I wonder whether his phobia of death is also influencing his philosophy.

[The reason I brought up Soros is that for some reason, large numbers of successful businessmen turn to altruism once they have made it. I actually hesitate to place Gates in that space, since his charities are very much focused on "building" and on using capitalist principles (as opposed to redistributing resources) so one could argue he's just trying to build some more stuff. Soros on the other hand is nuking the very same capitalist principles that allowed him to make it as a Hungarian immigrant with no money by funding research proving that markets fail, and T. Boone Pickens (who, to be fair, is only where he is because of Mike Milken) is lobbying for green legislation so he can have his payday. Icahn is actually the most moral of the bunch - out of Milken's raiders, he was the most independant, the one most likely to have made it on his own, and the one most focused on purely extracting value by squeezing companies dry. Sure, it would be unpleasant to work for him but you can't deny the guy is a real, talented capitalist (and perhaps this is why he's not doing so well these days, selling his yacht etc.).]

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