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Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Message Board

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    • Hi HC.
      I tried to answer your challenge, but Yahoo rejected me. One more try.
      Not all the one percent are rogues, thieves and shysters, but a goodly number fall within that category.
      First of all there are the Madoffs, of whom, so far, only one has been brought to justice.
      Next, there are the mortgage sharks, starting with the mortgage lenders, who conned so many people into mortgages they couldn't afford, by telling them that the constant rise in house prices would take care of any problems. Even so, they refused these people 30-year 6% fixed rates, and forced them to take ARM's. They knew they faced no risk, because the banks were waiting to snap up every mortgage they sold.
      That brings us to the securitizers, who bundled junk with good mortgages, knowing that they could buy a triple-A rating from the ratings agencies for the right price.
      Next there were the vendors of Credit Default Swaps, who were willing to sell insurance on a financial bet, even if it had passed through the hands of 19 previous gamblers. The most egregious practitioner of this trade was the London office of AIG. This practice threw the entire derivatives market into unmanageable confusion.
      Next there were the hedge funds who were busily buying up companies,in order to break them up, and sell their component pieces. They persuaded the IRS that their gains in these operations were changeable and uncertain, so that they should only be charged a 15% Capital Gains Tax, instead of a 35% Income Tax.
      Finally, there were the top executives of major companies, who awarded themselves obscene salaries, and obscene bonuses, and obscene stock options, regardless of the prospects of their companies.
      All in all, the top 1% includes a goodly number of practitioners who will have a hard time explaining to St. Peter, at the Pearly Gates, how they succumbed so readily, and so comprehensively to the sin of greed.

    • The $6 million WSJ figure was based on 2004 data.

    • Much like the, 'what is rich?' question .... I figured that there was a drastically different assumption on here as to what constitutes the 1%. Please keep posting .... you're a constant reminder to myself of how lucky I am.


    • LOL! I am very lucky, you don't have to remind me.


    • Not clear on what you mean by "drastically different assumption on here." Different from whose, different how?

      The data (not assumption) indicate top 1% have minimum net worth somewhere roughly around 10 million. Obviously it goes up sharply from there. Top guy I hear has somewhere around 50 bil.

    • Well, I'm not a 1% person .... yet. However, by the time I get to $10 million net worth, the new criteria will probably be $20 million. Probably chasing a dream, but hey, you gotta have goals.

      Good luck investing to all.


    • Ok, good luck to you too.

    • baltbear Dec 6, 2011 8:14 PM Flag

      yup. so what's the rate of change?
      aother elegant, .xls style datum:
      if you had 6 mm in 2004, and $6mm in 2011,
      you lost 1/2 your comparative wealth to those who merely prey on th economy.

    • Eck.
      I'm not talking about their investment wealth, or their inherited wealth. I'm talking about the money they take out of their company, as personal remuneration.
      For example, Buffett only pays himself $100,000 from BRK. The rest is investment wealth.
      I don't know about Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, but I never read anything about them paying themselves such huge salaries.
      I don't even know about 'The Salty One'. My guess is that he got a decent inheritance, and invested it wisely in prime agricultural land. Bully for him!
      My concern is with the CEO's of the big banks and industrial concerns, who take these huge amounts of money out of their companies, as if it were theirs by divine right. They are simply riding on the backs of their shareholders and employees, and I consider them beneath contempt.
      Best to you.

    • mornin brother geeps, you are a bit confused bro. its not about salary its about the option grants. During tha past 10 years apple insiders took about 25 % of the equity guess who LOST 25 % of the equity ? in most public companies insiders will take 10-30 % of the equity regardless of performance. guess who will get richer over the next 10 years, insiders, or the retail investors who own mutual funds, pension plans , long the stocks, will ALL these companies overcome that dilution so that us partners can make a few bucks too ? steve jobs helped apple to overcome that dilution how did msft do ? cisco ? intel ? qualcom, and on and on, thats why the 1 %ers keep getting richer , a 15 % max long term rate on the super rich is in insult, buffett has that right.

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