Friday, August 12, 2016

How Long Has Warren Buffett Been a Crony Capitalist?

Warren Buffett hasn't always cozied up to crony politicians. 

He certainly didn't when his father, Howard, was alive.

His father was a congressman  and a staunch limited government man.

Howard was close to the great free-market economist Murray Rothbard. Howard even asked Rothbard how he could obtain  a copy of Rothbard's book The Panic of 1819, which blamed the panic on government policies, so that he could give it to Warren.

In his early days, Warren was pretty much just picking stocks from his office inside his house, but somewhere along the line that changed.

I believe that Buffett started cozying up to politicians when he started dating Katherine Graham, the then owner of the Washington Post/.

Buffett got to know Graham beginning in 1973 when he bought a chunk of WaPo stock. It was all downhill from there.

The Economist reports:
WARREN BUFFETT has long dabbled in politics. In the mid-1970s he developed a taste for exclusive Washington dinner parties. In the 1980s he spent a weekend being Ronald Reagan’s golf partner. He helped Arnold Schwarzenegger become the governor of California in 2003 and in 2008 John McCain and Barack Obama both hinted that they would like Mr Buffett to become their Treasury secretary...On August 1st Mr Buffett was on stage with Hillary Clinton in Omaha and laid into Donald Trump’s character and business record...
Mr Buffett is not as saintly as he makes out. He has to act in his own interests, and he does so legally, but if all companies followed his example America would be worse off. 

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