Here’s Why The Pundits Are Wrong About Warren Buffett

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Here’s Why The Pundits Are Wrong About Warren Buffett
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Here’s Why The Pundits Are Wrong About Warren Buffett via Roger Lowenstein, Fortune

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It takes a lot of cherry-picking to make him look bad.

Norman Pearlstine, the vice chairman and longtime editorial soul of Time Inc., which publishes Fortune, once said that every feature story fit into one of three archetypes: “How the Mighty Have Fallen;” “David v. Goliath,” or—referring to stories that go against the trend—“The Hole in the Donut.”

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He might have added a fourth: “Take-downs of Warren Buffett.” Ever since the Omaha investor was discovered to be human, reporters have churned out stories claiming that Buffett is (a) just plain lucky; (b) not as good as his record; (c) a hypocrite; (d) over the hill; (e) exploiting an unfair advantage; (f) a monopolist; or (g) some or all of the above.

One of the worst of the genre, "Don’t Buff it up: The other side of Warren Buffett," appeared in The Economist earlier this month. While journalists, of course, should treat Buffett as skeptically as they do other public figures—and criticize unreservedly where it is warranted—The Economist article would seem a transparent attempt at fault-finding.

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“Mr. Buffett is not as saintly as he makes out,” the magazine writes. (The article, like most in The Economist, does not carry a byline.) “He has to act in his own interests, and he does so legally, but if all companies followed his example America would be worse off.”

See the full article here.

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