Friday, October 10, 2008

The Public Be Damned

Wall Street Lays An(other) Egg
Derived from Variety, October 30, 1929


It would be irrelevant to write only about term limits when the stock market is in free fall or in recovery, depending on when you receive this e-mail. We observe that irrational panic on Wall Street is no more sensible than the "irrational exuberance" that Alan Greenspan warned about in December 1996. That was long ago, but the phrase remains in people’s minds. But what did Greenspan do to prevent the sub-prime crisis that brewed while he was Chairman of the Federal Reserve? A minor result of the spiral of descent has been the diminution of Greenspan’s reputation for sagacity and foresight.

That leaves Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, the last iconic figure in the business world. He is a wise, generous and extremely modest man. He put shares of Berkshire Hathaway then worth over thirty billion dollars into a foundation named for Bill and Melinda Gates. Wikipedia says that was the largest charitable donation in history.

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1 comment:

  1. The pomposity and self-congratulatory persona of Mayor Bloomberg I suppose is unsurprising in that he came from Salomon Brothers, which with its brethren, felt that they were inherently superior to everyone else and could do no wrong. The marketplace has now rendered its verdict on the financial edifice they constructed.

    My grandparents left Europe for New York to escape from pseudo-elitists who perpetuated themselves in power to the detriment of the common man and their own self-aggrandizement.

    Now their grandchildren are subject to attempts to be subjugated again by a professional ruling class.

    You are completely correct, of course, that an end run on 2 referenda is outrageous and should be resisted if only on the ground that it is undemocratic.

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