Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Unrequited Emails of 2008

For ages poets have sought to find the words to explain the pain and sadness of unrequited love, I have no such task before me. However, I must now put fingers to keyboard to explain my 2008 experiences of unrequited emails.

It has happened twice this year, and as the last few hours of 2008 tick down, there is a certain finality to the fact that responses to these emails I will not receive.

I sent the first such email in mid-October to Jackie Wilson, who is Warren Buffett's new media contact. You can read the email, here. In my brief conversation with her, before I sent the email, it was clear that Buffett's folksy charm was not something she specialized in. It was clear Buffett hired her as, well, a buffer. But one has to wonder, how long Wilson will survive at Berkshire Hathaway's worldwide headquarters. Wilson has the concepts buffer and abrasive confused, and, from Alice Schroder's biography of Buffett, it is plenty apparent that Buffett doesn't like abrasive. Wilson may walk on egg shells around Buffett, but some of that abrasiveness must show through. And a little birdie has suggested to me that Wilson is much more interested in how the "Jackie Wilson" name is percieved rather than the name "Warren Buffett". If Buffett figures this all out, then Buffett may well end up giving her the John Gutfreund treatment, before 2009 is over.

My second unrequited email was sent to Austan Goolsbee, an economist and Obama advisor, he proclaimed that Obama likes to hear differing views and wants to bring different views to the table. Since this was the case, according to Goolsbee, I wrote to ask him why this diversity of views did not include any Austrian economists. Goolsbee has failed to respond. Here is the original email to him.

And so, the year closes, with basic questions unanswered by those who should know the answers. Perhaps Goolsbee and Wilson should keep in mind the words of another Wilson, Earl Wilson, when he said,“Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough,” and my emails are not about snow or adolescence.

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