The U.S. Treasury has got borrowing costs like nobody else has. They can borrow basically unlimited amounts. They can stay there for years and years. These assets will be worth more money over time.— Howard Warren Buffett
The most pleasurable Howard Warren Buffett quotes you will be delighted to read
I want our pie to grow all the people, but if some other guy's pie is growing a little faster, that's terrific.
You want to be greedy when others are fearful.
The good thing is, we have household formation in this country.
We have a country where I don't know whether it's a million households a year or more, but good form.
When people talk about cash being king, it's not king if it just sits there and never does anything. There are times when cash buys more than other times, and this is one of the other times when it buys a fair amount more, so we use it.
I love to tell how I'm suffering because one percent we're paying 25 percent of the total. We're not paying 25 percent of the total taxes on individuals. We're paying maybe 25 percent of the income tax, but the payroll tax is over a third of the receipts of the federal government. And they don't take that from me on capital gains. They don't take that from me on dividends. They take from the woman who comes in and takes the wastebaskets out.
The American worker is more productive than he's ever been.
We've got more people to do it. We've got all the ingredients for a sensational future. It's just that right now the athlete's on the floor. This is a super athlete.
You get in a lot of trouble when you start putting fictitious numbers on value.
I think to just say, we're going to say a dollar of cash is worth $2 all of a sudden, it isn't worth $2. It's worth a dollar today. And I think once you start putting phony figures into financial statements, you get in a lot of trouble.
You could have these crazy Internet valuations in the late 1990s, but they prove themselves out in the market. The next day they were selling for more than they were the day before, and people said, you know, you're crazy if you don't get in on this. So it's very human.
I don't think it would be crazy to have a model or an entity model on the Reconstruction Finance Corp. That goes back to 1932, although it was really implemented in '33 under Jesse Jones, and it invested in mostly banks initially and preferred stock and that sort of thing.
Soil is a living ecosystem and is a farmer's most precious asset.
A farmer's productive capacity is directly related to the health of his or her soil.
Any time I can be of help to the government in terms of giving advice -I've given a little advice, actually.
People love leverage when it's working.
I mean, it's so easy to borrow money from a guy at X and put it out at X.
As long as you have markets, you'll have excesses.
People went crazy with tulip bulbs. They went crazy with the South Sea Bubble, they went crazy internet stocks, they went crazy with the uranium stocks back when I was first getting started. I mean, you know, you're not going to change the human animal. And the human animal really doesn't get a lot smarter.
Confidence is key. You're not going to leave your money with me unless you're confident I'm going to give it back to you. And at this point, when treasury bills, seven day treasury bills at 1/20th of one percent, it's not because people want to earn 1/20th of one percent, it's because they trust the fact the treasury will give it back to them next week.
You can go back to tulip bulbs in Holland 400 years ago.
The human beings going through combinations of fear and greed and all of that sort of thing, their behavior can lead to bubbles. And it may have had and Internet bubble at one time, you've had a farm bubble, farmland bubble in the Midwest which resulted in all kinds of tragedy in the early '80s.
I mean the whole economy just comes to a grinding halt.
Competence in markets and in institutions, it's a lot like oxygen. When you have it, you don't even think about it. Indispensable. You can go years without thinking about it. When it's gone for five minutes, it's the only thing you think about. And the oxygen has been sucked out of the credit markets.
Beware of geeks, you know, bearing formulas.
We have a terrific economy, it's like a great athlete that's had a cardiac arrest.
The commercial paper market, when that dries up, you know, that's just like sucking the blood out of the economic body of the United States.
Capitalism is not a perfect system. It may be better than all the other systems, but it's not a perfect system.
I mean, the job is Pearl Harbor. And you better not spends weeks and weeks and weeks trying to assign blame or deciding on a complete plan for fighting the whole war, you know, and letting a committee decide where the battleships should go and all of that. You better spring into action with the best people you have.
I've never had it so good in terms of taxes.
I am paying the lowest tax rate that I've ever paid in my life. Now, that's crazy. And if you look at the Forbes 400, they are paying a lower rate, accounting payroll taxes, than their secretary or whomever around their office. On average. And so I think that actually people in my situation should be paying more tax. I think the rest of the country should be paying less.
You may be very mad at some guy that walked away with a huge golden parachute, but that really isn't the important thing. I mean, if Pearl Harbor came along, you could have said the planning was wrong by the military ahead of time or maybe the battleships shouldn't have all been in the harbor and all that kind of thing.
Somebody's buying these treasury bills at 1/20th of one percent.
I mean we consuming about $2 billion a day of goods and services beyond what we're producing.And it reflects American's consumption ideas rather than its savings ideas.
I think it's terrible for people in effect to say that income from investment should be taxed at a much lower rate than income from labor.
When the Federal government buys the mortgages, they're not spending it, they're investing it.
The ingredients that made this country, you know, the miracle of the world - I mean we had a seven for one improvement in the average American standard of living in the 20th century.