Is there a conflict of interest when a man of Mr. Warren Buffett's influence goes on camera to sound the financial alarm? Did anyone ask what his short position was on the market and gold prior to clearly negative comments?
I think the financial world has made a false prophet of Mr. Buffett. Countless books and praise were written about him as Berkshire shares rose through the late 90's and the early part of this decade.
People quoted Mr. Buffett adinfinum about derivatives being weapons of financial mass destruction despite his continual involvement and losses in these and other SIV's. His most recent pronouncements to buy in late 2008 were wrong, along w/ others, but his new pronouncements that we are going to hell in a hand basket a few short months later smacks of indignation. What happened to the disciplined value investor who buys when there is blood in the streets?
How could a few months transform the Oracle of Omaha from American patriot buyer of stocks to doomsday sayer? Media focus is saturated with his predictions, yet ignore the suspect aspects of Berkshire's performance and a paradoxical involvement in derivatives, and his roundabout way of not fully counting current losses.
Buffett has become at least for the mass-media, a product unto himself, and people who turned to his style of investing and Berkshire shares the past few years are now in trouble. I suppose he will co-author another book titled "How to survive in tough times, the Buffett way" or something as such. Selling books seems to be the only profitable part of his current business.
It reminds us not to make false-prophets of people, that they make mistakes like everyone else, and lie/bullshit just like everyone else. The more you deconstruct Mr. Buffet's statements and so-called apologies the more you can see an overly-publicized and politicized figure, increasingly detached from the value-investment philosophy originally espoused.
Im waiting for the books that will eventually be written about the fall of the oracle as losses mount.