Tuesday, March 17, 2009

In God we trust; all others pay cash

Warren Buffett's annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway share-holders is a highly anticipated, market-moving event. This time he offers his views on the current economy and the business climate. (with Berkshire performance of course)

Worth a read if you have the time.

An excerpt from his letter:

"Amid this bad news, however, never forget that our country has faced far worse travails in the past. In the 20th Century alone, we dealt with two great wars (one of which we initially appeared to be losing); a dozen or so panics and recessions; virulent inflation that led to a 21.5% prime rate in 1980; and the Great Depression of the 1930s, when unemployment ranged between 15% and 25% for many years. America has had no shortage of challenges.

Without fail, however, we’ve overcome them. In the face of those obstacles – and many others – the real standard of living for Americans improved nearly seven-fold during the 1900s, while the Dow Jones Industrials rose from 66 to 11,497. Compare the record of this period with the dozens of centuries during which humans secured only tiny gains, if any, in how they lived. Though the path has not been smooth, our economic system has worked extraordinarily well over time. It has unleashed human potential as no other system has, and it will continue to do so. America’s best days lie ahead."

Read the complete text of Buffett's letter to shareholders on the Berkshire Hathaway Website.

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