The following essay was originally published at Frankenstein Government on Friday, February 10, 2012.
Thankfully, There Can Only Be One, Warren Buffett
Today I read an interesting CNN Money report about Warren Buffett. Warren was doing his usual diarrhea of the mouth routine now that he is an expert on everything. I am not sure why Buffett irritates me so…well that’s not true…actually I do know.
He thinks that his money gives him the credibility to say anything he wants and that people will listen. That everything he says just has to be right. Because he says so. http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2012/02/09/warren-buffett-berkshire-shareholder-letter/?section=money_topstories&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fmoney_topstories+%28Top+Stories%29
Let me explain a weird concept I have. Perhaps you have considered it yourself.
Destiny. In any given capitalistic society, or at least one that starts out that way, there will be winners and losers. Rich people and poor people. That is destined to happen. So I don’t see Warren as some special man with insightful powers. I see a guy who made some good investment decisions and made gobs of money for himself. Warren or somebody else with a different name had to happen. That’s it. That’s destiny. It’s like winning the lottery. It’s going to happen but nobody knows who it will be. But it will be somebody. The great thing about lottery winners is that at least they don’t go running their mouths about how smart they are.
In fact, we all know that the winner is an idiot for buying the ticket in the first place.
The computer was going to be invented. Someone would do that. We now know who those “someones” are. That’s destiny. If not them- then someone else.
Warren kind of represents the Jurassic era of investing. He just happened to be walking rare earth with the right investing model at the right time.
Let me explain this further. If Warren’s brief life had started in 1990 rather than 1930- I believe that history would not even record his name. Why? Because the absolute perfect growing conditions no longer exist in that investing petri dish which Warren did so well in… Warren exists because he was born at the perfect time. That’s it. An ungrateful old dinosaur who does not understand that the world created him- that he didn’t create himself. Humility for Warren is simply some word mentioned in Greek mythology.
I believe in destiny. That certain things are just destined to happen. Like lottery winners. Someone is destined to win.
The Federal Reserve has single handedly rescued the stock market. It’s a sick market. We haven’t had any kind of consumer lead rebound or rally. There is nothing holding this market up except a bunch of banks buying equities lead by the Federal printing press Reserve who is more than willing to try every trick imaginable. It’s a market that trades up not because we as a nation are fundamentally improving and on the mend- but because a bunch of politicians, corporations, and bankers are manipulating it higher. Willing to lie and spin any number- anything but the truth. That is the illusion.
We are at the end game. Warren wants to live the rest of his life believing that he alone knows what everyone else should be doing. His billions are dwarfed only by his ego. He is one of the protectors of the illusion. The illusion that you can steal money from everyone else without producing anything. Everyone can get rich by stealing the work product of others. Contributing nothing yourself. Sooner or later that game has to end. It is not mathematically possible for all of us to steal the wealth of the people who produce things. We cannot all be billionaires.
Wealth without work. Like my friend Billy Moonbat says, “We are all trying to make the maximum amount of money with the least amount of work.” That is the goal- the illusion of all of us.
Guys like Warren won’t go away easily. We don’t have the means to accommodate many more of them. Strangely, I see that as a good thing.