It takes a lot of cherry-picking to make him look bad.
Norman Pearlstine, the vice chairman and longtime editorial soul of Time Inc., which publishes Fortune, once said that every feature story fit into one of three archetypes: “How the Mighty Have Fallen;” “David v. Goliath,” or—referring to stories that go against the trend—“The Hole in the Donut.”
He might have added a fourth: “Take-downs of Warren Buffett.” Ever since the Omaha investor was discovered to be human, reporters have churned out stories claiming that Buffett is (a) just plain lucky; (b) not as good as his record; (c) a hypocrite; (d) over the hill; (e) exploiting an unfair advantage; (f) a monopolist; or (g) some or all of the above.
One of the worst of the genre, “Don’t Buff it up: The other side of Warren Buffett,” appeared in The Economist earlier this month. While journalists, of course, should treat Buffett as skeptically as they do other public figures—and criticize unreservedly where it is warranted—The Economist article would seem a transparent attempt at fault-finding.
Warren Buffett Could Lose an $8-Per-Second Windfall on His Dow Chemical Stock [H/T @crowdturtle] (LINK)
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. continues to reap rich dividends from a canny loan extended to Dow Chemical Co. seven years ago. But a recent rally in Dow’s stock is putting that income stream at risk.
Shares of Dow have spent much of the past month hovering above $53—perilously close to a level that would cause Berkshire to lose a $255 million-a-year dividend.
Are Index Funds Eating the World? - by Jason Zweig (LINK) [On the topic and as an example of the indices mostly buying the same stocks, one can look at the top 10 holdings MSCI World Index and the MSCI USA Index and see that they basically hold the same thing, and are fairly close to the top 10 holdings of the S&P 500 Index as well.]
Big data, Google and the end of free will - by Yuval Noah Harari (LINK) [I had no idea that Harari was coming out with another book, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, but since Sapiens was one of my all-time favorites, I'm looking forward to the new one. There is also a book review of Homo Deus HERE.]
25iq: A Dozen Things I’ve Learned from Michael Dell about Business (Pre-2002 edition) - by Tren Griffin (LINK)
The 8 New Books to Read This Fall - by Adam Grant (LINK)
The books: 1) The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis; 2) Messy by Tim Harford; 3) 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings by Sarah Cooper; 4) Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini; 5) Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett; 6) The Fix by Jonathan Tepperman; 7) Take Pride by Jessica Tracy; 8) Forward by Abby Wambach