A brief piece this one: trending high on Twitter at the moment is billionaire investor Warren Buffet. He wrote an editorial in the New York Times this morning EDS time. The Sun headline was “tax the super-rich, it won’t stop them investing”. As I’ve always believed that trickle-down wealth economics is utter bollocks, even as a non-redistributionist thinker I have to applaud Buffet’s OpEd on three bases: it’s right, it sets a good social example, and it makes Lloyd Blankfein look like the complete a**ehole he is.
But I’ve been examining Warren’s soundbites, actions, speeches and articles for years. And what I’ve learned is that there’s always an agenda with Warren.
For example, right now Green is In. It is Good. And it is Government. I think parts of Green are excellent (such as anti-ozone depletion) but huge acreages of its output represent bad science. The important thing from an investor viewpoint at the Warren Buffet scale of things is that Governments will invest in benign and non-polluting stuff: there are big votes in being seen to be good.
One big future in the States at the moment – and it will spread – is the idea that fast rail transportation is much less pollutant than trucks-on-highways transportation.
That investment is already being helped by Washington, but the pressure is on to cut $1.3 trillion from Federal spending. Soooo, increasing US tax incomes and efficiencies without harming the wider mass economy will help persuade Washington it still has the money to do this.
Guess what Warren Buffet’s biggest investment focus has been since Spring 2009….
Correct: US railroad shares.
And guess what Warren thinks higher taxes will also do? Restore and nurture global confidence in US T-Bills.
And guess what Buffet has also been big into of late…..
Correct: US T-Bills.
I’m all for enlightened self-interest. But it’s always important to know exactly what that self-interest is.