Sunday, 15 March 2009

Matt McCarten tells a Whopper

We all know the left of the political sphere will do just about anything at all to make a point and Matt McCarten in the Sunday Herald is no exception:

"Warren Buffett...has claimed that capitalism as we know it is over". NZ Herald 15 March 2009

Those of us that know a little about Warren Buffett, and I know a reasonable amount about the great investor, will know that he said nothing of the sort.

In Buffett's 2008 Letter to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders out two weeks ago he actually endorsed the American capitalist system more strongly than he ever has: 

"America has had no shortage of challenges.

Without fail, however, we’ve overcome them. In the face of those obstacles – and many others – the real standard of living for Americans improved nearly seven-fold during the 1900s, while the Dow Jones Industrials rose from 66 to 11,497. Compare the record of this period with the dozens of centuries during which humans secured only tiny gains, if any, in how they lived. Though the path has not been smooth, our economic system has worked extraordinarily well over time. It has unleashed human potential as no other system has, and it will continue to do so. America’s best days lie ahead". Page 2, 2008 Berkshire Hathaway Letter.

Buffett is talking about capitalism here, no doubt about it and while acknowledging its drawbacks he also re-enforces his faith that it will bring us out of the mainly Government induced economic mess we now find ourselves in.

What McCarten has said is at best stretching the truth to breaking point and at worst an outright lie.

I lean towards the latter in describing what McCarten has written.

He uses the rest of the article to rant about his usual socialist ideals of Government control and state interference. The rest is misfired commentary on things he knows little about; economics, business, finance and probably life in general.

Steer clear.

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The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Second Edition by Warren E. Buffett
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c Political Animal 2009

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