The term social compact sounds benign. But when did American voters agree to turn one of the richest men in America into one of the biggest recipients of taxpayer subsidies?
In August 2011, Buffett vacationed with President Obama on Martha’s Vineyard, and they discussed the economy. Shortly after that, he agreed to host an Obama re-election fundraiser in New York City where contributors could buy $35,800 VIP tickets to meet Buffett and talk about the economy.
As fellow investor Steven Rattner pointed out in his 2010 book Overhaul: An Insider’s Account of the Obama Administration’s Emergency Rescue of the Auto Industry, “Warren Buffett has shown that superb investing need not entail the months of due diligence and deliberation that private equity firms typically apply to a deal. Buffett has been known to make successful multibillion-dollar bets on the basis of a few meetings or phone calls.” That is particularly true if he calls Washington.
Warren Buffett is a financial genius. But even better for his portfolio, though worse for the rest of us, he is a political genius.
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