There Was A Time When Buffett Lamented A Plunging Dollar, Blasted The Trade Deficit And A "Squandering" America: We Miss That Buffett
There was a time when Warren Buffett was actually a credible, respected investor, when his views were prescient, and when his every action was not predicated by some supreme hypocrisy merely seeking to perpetuate the ponzi market, and/or praise the status quo which forces his record bet on "endless" American growth to be aligned exclusively with what the Fed does each and every day, i.e., destroy the value of the dollar. Yet 7 short years ago, the very same Warren Buffett wrote a scathing op-ed in which he lamented the decline of the dollar, the surging US trade deficit, and pointed out that any profits he and Berkshire may make courtesy of his then brand new non-US FX longs, "would pale against the losses the company and our shareholders, in other aspects of their lives, would incur from a plunging dollar." Well, the dollar continues to plunge courtesy of QE, and the pain is about to be far more acute once Bernanke really gets involved in the next 3-6 months. And the irony is that on November 10, 2003 Buffett admonished: "A perpetuation of this [dollar decline] will lead to major trouble." So much for once held ideals. And ironically, the same Buffett who now preaches Keynesian ideals at every opportunity, concluded his letter as follows: "In evaluating business options at Berkshire, my partner, Charles Munger, suggests that we pay close attention to his jocular wish: “All I want to know is where I’m going to die, so I’ll never go there.” Framers of our trade policy should heed this caution—and steer clear of Squanderville." It is no wonder then that reading between the lines, people tend to forget the brilliant investor that Warren once was, and focus on the two-faced hypocrite that his "assets" have forcefully converted him into.
For all those who need a first hand experience of Buffett then, and Buffett now, we present the Oracle's Fortune 2003 Op-Ed titled: "America’s Growing Trade Deficit Is Selling the Nation Out From Under Us. Here’s a Way to Fix the Problem—And We Need to Do It Now." Funny how ideals die when tens of billions of dollars are at stake. We dare Mr. Buffett to reissue this article verbatim today.