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Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Message Board

  • lethean46 lethean46 May 20, 2003 6:00 AM Flag

    buffett slams div policy in WPO

    Compares congressional accounting to enron accounting.

    http://biz.yahoo.com/djus/030520/0321000667_2.html

    How in the world can Buffett pay 3% income taxes...??? really... I'd like to know how THAT's done.

    Wish he'd have written an essay on dangers of asbestos timebomb to economy instead.

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    • Sometomfool,

      Yes, I think it is really worth reading "The Diamond Cutter".

      The author's name is Michael Roach (and not Roch as I wrote previously, sorry for that).

      If you think it would be a good idea to understand "how things in the field really work in the first place", read this book and you will have a definite indication, whatever might be your background, of what are the roots of wealth!

    • Pat. I take your book reccomendations serioursly....so I guess you think this diamond cutter is worth reading? I'll order it!

    • Last fall, I heard an MBA grad student of a top 20 business skill ask a CEO of a publically traded co. about his "beta". The CEO's response was classic. He said he had no idea what beta was on his co., and that whatever it is beta is not used to run his company. Ditto for it's stock price- it goes way up, and the price goes way down. The message was clear- he's got a real company to run and wants to talk business- not academic formulas. The gap between a highly touted business school and reality could not have been demonstrated more clearly.

      Best wishes,
      JT

    • "Munger stated that really the Budda had it right, and charlie bastardized the "life without fear" stuff or whatever(here I bastardize it too)"

      Geshe Michael Roch applied in business the ancient wisdom of Buddhism. Starting with a 50'000 $ loan, he built an operation that had sales in excess of 100 million dollars in 17 years, doubling the sales each year.

      He wrote a book about how he built this: The Diamond Cutter

      I never read anything as convincing explaining how to apply principles culled from ancient wisdom in business.

    • munger had some interesting comments on philosphy, now that I think about it.

      The most specific stray from investing into high philoshpy came in response to a question by what looked like a mainstream wallstreet guy about "beta". The question was something like, if you don't use beta to define risk then what do you use.

      Now, Munger had already addressed the issue in his prepared remarks and came back to the issue in passing in a previous question about options. Munger made it clear in those questions that they valued companies seperately from the value markets might put on them at any given time. In a question inquiring abo Tut the lessons he kept from Graham he mentioned the "make markets your tool, not your (?) reference for value. Clearly using the recent fluctuation in market price as a sign of saftey when clearly its safer to buy a company you know at a lower price than a higher price spelled this out. (to me at least for the 30k time)

      But to this fellow who just didn't get it and wasn't going to get it, Munger came up with his other approach which Buffett refers to (and did again this year) as the "find out where you're going to die and don't go there" method.

      Munger stated that really the Budda had it right, and charlie bastardized the "life without fear" stuff or whatever(here I bastardize it too)

      Munger really pounded out that he thought the key to knowledge (market, investing and otherwise) was to invert, and to learn more what can harm you.

      Of course the walls street guy took this all wrong (and perahps charlie hadn't filled in enough blanks). The wall street guy spoke out, "What do you mean that life is terrible and tragic and we live with that?" and ("beta whaterver or something")

      And munger answers back...no that by examining how you *can* get hurt, you examine the whole issue of both how not to get hurt, and perhaps how things in the field really work in the first place.

      I might are that the philosphers who get too far into deconstructionism are guilty of the wall street guy defining risk by Beta. They are getting things right in some cohesive philosophy, yet missing the reality of the world of forces which don't fit their models.

      The greeks came up with the term sophists I believe to deride this stuff.

      I'd sugest in studying philophy, you might look at people without belief or context and examine how they got there...examine failures of all sorts to function in society and figure those that can't function are getting it wrong and that belief may stem from avoiding their mistakes...not calling thier mistakes truth?

      OK I'm brainstorming?!

    • >>>it sure ain't limpid lucid prose. <<<

      You can say that again.

      >>>As for being a member of the wrong college- well, he was also, though his staunchest defenders vehemently deny that it meant anything to him, a Catholic convert.<<<

      You know, I didn't realize that. I thought he was just agnostic for the rest of his life, with rumours of a deathbed conversion.

      Peter Geach comes to Mass at Blackfriars now and again, but his teaching and lecturing are very rare. I doubt very much whether I'd ever get tutorials with him, although lectures are somewhat more likely.

      You should check out Blackwells.co.uk to see if there's anything in particular I should pick up for you while I'm over here.

      NLH

    • "trying to explain Wittgenstein is a whole nother industry; but most of the commentaries I've seen fall into the two categories of obscurantism or crap."

      mule,

      LOL. This is the reason I read the board and put up with all the idiots.

    • Thanks.

    • >>>Well, duh; or what exactly do ya mean by that, Ludwig?<<<

      Come on, now, Muley. You know better than that. This was the foundation for a systematic theory of meaning that held and holds influence over people (despite the later Wittgenstein having rejected it).

      The Tractatus is many bad things, but it is also elegant in its simplicity. The guy was definitely a genius--dirty Tab though he might have been ;-)

      NLH

    • Along with reading a history of philosophy one gains, I think, by a broad overview of world history (pre-human to the degree possible) because the developments of philosophy and of human history are hand-in-glove, and need each other's context.

      It's also nice to be able to see it as an unfinished process rather than a concluded, scientific condition.

      The arts (especially music) fill in some voids created where verbal abilities are insufficient. By that I mean that there aren't words enough for everything -"feelings" are best expressed and received without words, sometimes.

      But the history of language will help give one a glimpse of how closely related all of the members of homo sapiens are, as well as nifty insights into specific cultures. (Any idea how many words Eskimo peoples have for what we call "snow", for example?)

      That's all I know about the subject, and that's just what I heard my big brother say. :-)

      M

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