Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Maybe Billy Mays Can Mighty Mend It

By no means am I a billionaire, nor do I pretend to know how to become one. In fact, the only thing remotely similar to myself and a billionaire is "air" – and even that is speculative. However, I think billionaire Warren Buffet, of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., needs to keep quiet for a while. Why? First, he practically single-handedly facilitated the sale of St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch to InBev by selling his stock in the former, primarily because he thought the takeover would fail. He later recanted by saying he thought it was a mistake to sell…simply because he lost money on the deal by selling a majority of stock too early. Cue the smallest of solemn violins…

Then yesterday, Buffet’s pessimistic remarks that the economy “has fallen off a cliff” sent Wall Street plummeting faster than an airplane with no wings (for reference, see Superman Returns). Contrastingly, Citigroup, receiver of multiple government bailout funds, today reported profits for the first time since 2007. What happened? Wall Street soared on the news. Of course, any positive banking news is good at this point. However, the promising upswing does little to offset the reality that Citigroup and the general banking sector are still in deep caca. Instead, financial analysts would rather see a “shift in sentiment” for a sustained rally.

Wait...sentiment? As in attitude, feelings? Are you saying Wall Street bases achievement on having a few Dr. Phil moments?!!

The worst was when Alan Greenspan was head of the Federal Reserve. When Alan spoke, the economy listened and acted accordingly...like a Catholic mass. Up and down, up and down. The economy seemingly hinged on his every word. The question is does it seem secure that the economy can swing on the words of a few? It is scary that the likes of Greenspan and Buffet could send the economy over the cliff – even after it has fallen off – simply by yawning.

Forbes.com - You Are Not Warren Buffett

©2009 Steve Sagarra

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