NOTE: I was very conflicted about whether to post this letter. We really try to stay apolitical especially on topics unrelated to finance. I originally decided not to post this. However I changed the decision SOLELY because it is very rare to see personal writings from Seth Klarman. Klarman afterall was cited (practically) as the best investor by Warren Bufett. Klarman is the chairman of a new newspaper.
To add in at least a bit of finance from sources familiar with the matter…. Baupost now has $24 billion aum. The fund re-opened for investors. Cash levels are at 21%, below the historic average level of 33%. Baupost has been investing a lot in RE; 90% in the US, the rest is only in France, UK, Japan and Germany. Baupost has bought a lot of residential appartment buildings. Baupost has ramped up its operations in Europe and is likely looking to buy some distressed assets there.
Although Klarman does not seem bullish on equities, he fears inflation and that might be the reason why he is buying so much real estate. I am unsure as to why those countries in particular were the most attractive.
Letter below (comments are closed as we are not trying to get into politics, and do not want a debate on the forums).
David Horovitz is the preeminent English-language Israeli journalist of our time. He is a thoughtful and articulate analyst of the current situation in Israel. In recent years, when I sought a voice of reason and clarity amidst the cacophony of diverse opinions about developments in Israel or the Middle East, I sought out his.
So when David approached me to invest in The Times of Israel, his new online English-language newspaper, he got my attention.
My own interest in Israel has become even stronger post-9/11, when the threat of terrorism and the danger of radical Islam collided with a global campaign on many fronts to delegitimize the Jewish State. As a long-time student of the history of anti-Semitism, I know that this blind hatred is never the fault of Jews; moreover, it is clear to me that anti-Zionism is simply the newest form of anti-Semitism. When the Jewish State is singled out above all others for criticism, such as it is at the United Nations, this is anti-Semitism.
One of the most important of democracy’s freedoms is freedom of the press. I am a firm believer that the more people learn about Israel, the more they will understand how she responds with imperfect but exemplary morality and decency to life in the most difficult of neighborhoods. Whether it is the enduring conflict with the Palestinians, the Arab neighbors now in turmoil who threaten hostilities and the abrogation of peace treaties, or the challenges of maintaining a vibrant democracy in a country with a highly diverse population under the intense and constant lens of worldwide media scrutiny, it is hard to imagine any country doing a better job growing its economy, maintaining a vibrant public forum, and sustaining and enriching the lives of all its citizens.
I welcome the launch of The Times of Israel, as it deepens the news coverage of Israel while providing the English-speaking world with more facts and a fresh perspective on this part of the world. I applaud David and his team on their entrepreneurial spirit, energy, and determination to build an Israeli newspaper for the Internet era. As is appropriate, all journalistic decisions will solely be theirs.
While this is a for-profit enterprise, I pledge my share of any gains to charities in support of the citizens of Israel.
Seth A. Klarman
Chairman of the Board