< HOME  Saturday, March 04, 2006

Buffett loses faith in US

Warren Buffett, sometimes thought of as America's greatest capitalist, said he was buying stocks of companies that do business elsewhere . . .
I wonder how much Buffett knows that we don't.
Buffett [bought] stocks in companies that earn a "large part" of their profits outside the United States, and denominated in currencies other than dollars.

Buffett did not identify the companies, but the investments might be considerable. In his letter, Buffett did not itemize $7.15 billion of the $46.72 billion of stock investments that Berkshire had at year end.
That's Billion, with a "B." That's a lot of investment to leave unitemized.
Buffett began trading in currencies in March 2002, amid concern that U.S. policies were causing trade and budget deficits to soar, and would cause non-U.S. investors to pull money out of the country. He said his view has not changed.
Keep in mind that "non-U.S. investors" here means foreigners. But, the statement is very misleading because the investors who will "pull money out of the country" are just as likely to be domestic as they are to be foreign. The statement is just a red-herring designed to feed into growing nationalistic fervor.
Last year, the U.S. trade deficit rose 17.5 percent to a record $725.8 billion. Buffett said it might rise more, and that as investments shift, non-U.S. investors "will begin earning more on their holdings than we do on ours."
Two observations. First, the comparison between "non-U.S. investors" and "we" further emphasizes the 'us against them' dichotomy. Second, the trade deficit is largely caused by multinational companies, many of which are owned by great American "capitalists," that manufacture abroad and import to the US.
"As U.S. (interest) rates have risen relative to those of the rest of the world, holding most foreign currencies now involves a significant negative 'carry,'" Buffett wrote, referring to financing costs. "In contrast, the ownership of foreign equities is likely, over time, to create a positive carry--perhaps a substantial one."
What he's really saying is that there is NOTHING left in the US to own. REALLY. They (the really big players) already own everything worth owning. But, the US remains an outstanding source of INTEREST payments.
The best-known non-U.S. investment at Berkshire may be Asian oil producer PetroChina Co. . . . Berkshire owns about $1.92 billion of the company's shares, nearly four times what it paid for them.

Berkshire, however, also owns large stakes in U.S. companies with large non-U.S. sales, including Anheuser-Busch Cos., Coca-Cola Co., Procter & Gamble Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
So, now that we know that "investors" have lost faith in the United States, my question is, how long will it take for the United States to lose faith in investors?


At Sunday, March 05, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree. There is plenty of stuff "left to own" in the US. The Senate and Congress, though mostly, are not [yet] entirely "owned". Despite the fact that a prerequisite for working in the last two administrations seems to be 1) The person shall be vested in defense and security business, and 2) The person shall be a 35 to 55 percent practicionioner in a middle eastern religion (and i ain't talking about Islam and i ain't talking about the Diaspora!). I am talking dual loyal neo-cons who could care less who is on the prayer bench next to them. A dollar-for-bodies pyramid scheme realizes more muula can be made from killing than cultivation.

The brits already got our ports. Our treasury is pretty much owned by the chinese, japanese, saudis, brittain. We could sell our national parks! The last valuable national asset we own (NASA and JPL) will probably be backroomed in a few months to the highest bidder - so we won't have that unneeded claim of national pride to interfere with our national disalusion anymore!

It was a great ride. We should have listened to our parents. We did not. Instead of growing up to be Americans, we grew up to be shallow, dumbed downed, video addicted, doe-eyed consumers and impotent weekend arm chaim war mongers. First thing to be ready for is the breakup of the union. It's the only way to dilute and eventually flush the illuminati once (and for all) from any future history we (our descendants) will write. Humans love variety. Humans love their differences. Humans should have no fears. Our cultural divisions are artificial and will dissappear with the morbid genetics of the of the inbred illuminati!

At Sunday, March 05, 2006, Blogger Unknown said...

Warren Buffet writes well and his yearly newsletter is always a treat to read. What he leaves between the lines is even more important.

He substantiates all that his says, but he left the following assertion unsubstantiated:

"The U.S., it should be emphasized, is extraordinarily rich and will get richer. As a result, the huge
imbalances in its current account may continue for a long time without their having noticeable deleterious
effects on the U.S. economy or on markets."

"will get richer" i unsubstantiated and in my opinion, it describes the military-backed gunboat diplomacy to shape financial markets.

At Sunday, March 05, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm serious. We should sell Florida back to Spain and sell Texas to Mexico.

At Sunday, March 05, 2006, Blogger qrswave said...

Anon 1:35PM: Nothing of any value is left in this or any other country in the world. What ever is left is of token value, its principal importance being to maintain the sham appearance of democracy.

The idea that the British, or Chinese or any other nation "owns" "our" anything is a red-herring. Corporations are in control. No question about it.

Akber, I agree. Military-backed, gun-boat diplomacy is all it is.

Anon 2:44PM: see reply to Anon 1:35PM.

At Monday, March 06, 2006, Blogger Obbop said...

Only a Second American Revolution can save us.

At Monday, March 06, 2006, Blogger qrswave said...

obbop, I believe you're right. A revolution of ideas is where it starts - and it's already underway.

At Monday, March 06, 2006, Blogger AJ said...

Hey Wave,
You silly girl. My Berkshire Class AA stock is kicking some serious A**!
Anyway, congrates on your link from one of my other fav sites: the7thfire.com


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