Monday, August 15, 2011

Buffetting (sic) the rich...

I wasn't going to blog again today (it's my wedding anniversary - 30 wonderful years!) but I came across two things that I wanted to pass on.

the first is a great piece by Warren Buffett, the veteran investor, a billionaire whose favourite drink, I gather, is Cherry Coke! He's written about the nonsense that politicians speak about the effect of high taxes on investment and where rich people live. You can read it here. It's great stuff.

The other is a simple fact that I came across in Will Hutton's book on fairness that I'm reading again. Talking about the madness of  the market fundamentalism that has dominated economic thinking for the past 30 years - pretty much as long as I've been married! - Hutton points out that governments around the world - but mainly in the West - shelled out $14 trillion to shore up the banking system when bankers crashed it into the buffers.

That amount is virtually the same as the US government's debt. That debt resulted in Standard & Poor downgrading US credit-worthiness (that's the same ratings agency that gave triple A ratings to all the bundles of toxic sub prime mortgages that drove the banking system to its knees) and much hand-wringing about the need to slash spending on government programmes to keep the markets happy.

Which brings us back to Warren Buffett...


Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity, being a follower of Christ, do you not perceive a usurpation of a free market as an act of violence? And are of you of the opinion that majority consent of a violent act through a democratic process of governance pacifies an act of violence?

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I forgot to put this in my initial comment. I feel the need to share a small criticism.
Don't you think it's intellectually dishonest to attribute bank-rescuing to market fundamentalism since that activity is not consistent with a free market?