Quintessential Moneychanger declares "Economy in Shambles"
That of course won't stop Buffet from making "money off of money," hand over fist...
Oh tsk, tsk...
Berkshire Hathaway Inc, Warren Buffett's insurance and investment company, barely broke even in the fourth quarter because of losses on derivatives contracts tied to the stock market, which caused its net worth to tumble $10.9billion.
Quarterly net income for Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire sank 96 percent to $117 million [!!!], or $76 per Class A share, from $2.95 billion, or $1,904, a year earlier, based on company filings. Revenue fell 12 percent to $24.59 billion.
Buffett also offered a gloomy outlook for the economy, saying in his annual letter to Berkshire shareholders: "The economy will be in shambles throughout 2009 -- and for that matter, probably well beyond."
let's all get together a collection basket for poor old warren and his moneychanging cohorts.
but wait something's not quite right in number land...
Of course when you report these imaginary losses with earnings, you get to use them to avoid taxes on real gains...
A deteriorating economy and tight credit led to steep declines in stock prices and an increase in junk bond defaults, resulting in losses for Berkshire. While the losses exist on paper, accounting rules require Berkshire to report them with earnings.
in other words, they get to pass their paper losses on to the rest of us, by getting to keep more of their ill-gotten hard cash while the rest of us have a bigger tax burden than we would have had, had that imaginary wealth just disappeared from where it came - OUT OF NOWHERE!
But then what good is imaginary wealth if they can't somehow transform it into real wealth off the sweat and tears of the rest of us?
There you have it folks - the rich get richer the good old fashioned way - by DECEPTION.
Berkshire's net worth fell to $109.27 billion at year end from $120.16 billion at the end of September, and $120.73 billion at the end of 2007.
For all of 2008, profit at Berkshire fell 62 percent to $4.99 billion, or $3,224 per share, from $13.21 billion, or $8,548. Earnings were the lowest since 2002. Revenue fell 9 percent to $107.8 billion.
Berkshire Class A shares closed Friday at $78,600 on the New York Stock Exchange. They have fallen 44 percent since the end of February 2008, while the Standard & Poor's 500 has dropped 45 percent.