The Snowball.

Warren Buffet and the business of life.

This is a book that any anti-capitalist has to read. On the whole I donít have any problem with Buffet. He did play a straight bat and so itís rather hard to be anti this kind of capitalist.

However, I am rather surprised at his close friendship with Bill Gates. Gates was never one to play a straight bat. You only have to think of the Microsoft programs which flashed false error messages when run (quite legally) on DR Dos. Then there was the business of Netscape and its compatibility issues with Windows 95 and you might also read up on what happened to Compaq when they decided to bundle Netscape with their computers. Bill Gates always played serious hardball and is definitely, in my opinion, not a nice person.

But looking at the life of Warren Buffet itís all rather sad. He became obsessed with money at the age of ten and has spent his whole life focusing on it. It is probably a classic case of Aspergerís syndrome. But now heís reached the ripe old age of eighty plus he can only look back on a life in which heís read nothing other than stock market results and business assessments. What kind of life was that? Terrible!

There was also his family life which was sparse in the extreme. He might have been greatly loved by his wife but he was always very demanding and all he did when he got home was shut himself up in his room and spend the evening reading even more financial reports! His children have every right to claim they were virtually ignored by their father.

However, this is an informative and well written book and therefore a most enjoyable read.

Finally. I have criticised his charitable giving before and see no reason to change my opinion. Until he reached old age he was not in the least bit generous and although he was willing to contribute ideas which encouraged Ďothersí to donate, he himself gave nothing except to politicians and his wifeís charities. But now that heís accumulated so much money, he really doesnít know what to do with it, especially as heís nearing the end of his life. But again, the reader will notice that although he can afford to virtually throw away billions, his giving is restricted almost exclusively to Ďemotiveí issues. He also makes sure the world knows all about what he gives. Thereís more to this planet than human beings and when someone is giving billions, itís important to try and keep some kind of natural balance by spreading it around. But, strangely, Buffet only gives to concerns which get him noticed and earn him much needed public accolades. This strategy is not good for the planet and, by not being good for the planet, doesnít, in the long-term, do much for human beings either.

---March 14, 2013---

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