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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Warren Buffett votes with his wallet

Warren Buffett endorsed Hillary Clinton for President back in December of 2015, and this past summer, in the words of the New York Times, "excoriated" Donald Trump:

The investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett unleashed a withering attack on Donald J. Trump on Monday for refusing to release his tax returns, asserting he had something to hide, and for misleading voters about his success as a businessman and ability to improve the American economy...

The attack from perhaps the nation’s most revered investor undercut a core argument of Mr. Trump’s presidential candidacy: that his success as a businessman qualified him to run the country despite his lack of political experience.

But an article this afternoon on Yahoo Finance told a different story: 

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has been on a stock buying spree since the election.

Buffett told Charlie Rose in a recent interview that he loaded up on $12 billion worth of stock since the election through the end of January. He didn’t specify the securities he purchased at the time.

(It turns out he's bought Monsanto, Sirius XM, various airlines, and a lot more Apple.) 

If Buffett felt that Trump misled voters about his ability to improve the American economy, why did he load up on stocks as soon as Trump was elected? Shouldn't he have been lightening up instead? 

How would he have reacted to Hillary victory?

It's always more informative to see how people act than to just listen to what they say. And the way Buffett voted with his wallet was a lot more convincing than what he said last summer.

That's why they call them limousine liberals.

They preach to you about the value of diversity, but live in communities which are almost entirely white.

They say wealthy people should be taxed more, then use every trick in the book to avoid paying taxes themselves.

They lecture us about how we have to conserve energy, then take private jets themselves.

All in all, they're not very persuasive.


Anonymous said...

A friend of mine used to work for Berkshire Hathaway, and she worked in an office that prepared their tax submissions. She said that the initial submission to the IRS was always rejected.

I don't know enough about big money tax submissions to say whether this is completely normal or not.

But it always struck me as a little odd for a Leftist like Buffet. Shouldn't he be most willing to go above and beyond his tax burden? why attempt to short change the US government, when you're position is that taxes are too low, and there should be more and more government spending?

- Ed

John Craig said...

Ed --
Thank you, illuminating story.

Teddy Kennedy was the same way, always advocating higher taxes for the rich, but then, before he died, he somehow managed to transfer his entire estate to Tortola, so that it wouldn't be subject to estate taxes. Kennedy was a classic limousine liberal in every way. He advocated wind power, but then nixed turbines off the coast where they might spoil the view from Hyannisport. He advocated busing to achieve integration, but his sons went to Groton and Andover. He was a "feminist" except in his private life. And after Nixon pardoned Agnew, he thundered on the floor of the Senate, "Is there one standard of justice for the rich and another of the poor?" -- Just four years after he got away with a slap on the wrist for Chappaquiddick.

Anonymous said...

Is Warren Buffett an actual liberal or one in name only? Why exactly is he a liberal - what's the benefit to oneself or one's country being a liberal? Why do so many of these super rich people seem to be liberals?

- birdie

John Craig said...

Birdie --
The way it was explained to me a long time ago is that rich people are liberal because they just want to keep people from outright revolt. For instance, a lot of them support affirmative action because it's the best way of keeping blacks from outright constant civil disobedience, from rioting, etc. If you give them enough, that will keep them semi-satisfied, and that will preserve the status quo. So what if affirmative action hurts middle-class whites, it doesn't affect them, since they've already made their pile.

I think it's also that paying lip service to liberal pieties is the path of least resistance for a lot of these rich people. They don't want the media to turn against them, so they kowtow to the reigning liberal orthodoxies, whether or not they believe them.