Buffett: ‘I Stopped Working for Money Long Ago’
India was treated to more straight talk from American billionaire investor Warren Buffett on the second day of his trip to India.
In Bangalore on Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Buffett responded to questions put forth by Indian businessmen like S. Gopalakrishnan, chief executive of Infosys Technologies Ltd. and Vikram Kirloskar, vice chairman of Toyota Kirloskar Motors Pvt.
Here are some of his answers:
To a question on what he had recently read, Mr. Buffett said: ‘I may be the last man in America who’s reading a print newspaper and talking on a landline telephone.’
He went on to say that although he doesn’t read fiction, he loves reading biographies. One book he recommended was the autobiography of Katharine Graham, the erstwhile publisher of The Washington Post. Ms. Graham headed the paper during the famous Watergate scandal, in which the Post played a pivotal role in effectively bringing down then U.S. President Richard Nixon.
Ms. Graham’s autobiography ‘is a totally honest book about an incredibly interesting life,’ said Mr. Buffett.
After reading the book, he said he rang Ms. Graham to tell her he had given up all thought of writing an autobiography himself.
‘I was not going to write an honest book about myself,’ explained Mr. Buffett. ‘I wanted to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger and play golf like Tiger Woods.’
To a question on how important luck has been in his life, Mr. Buffett said: ‘I’ve been very very lucky in life.’
He said he was ‘born with the right sort of wiringâ ¦that worked in a capitalist system.’ He added: ‘If I had been born black in the U.S. I would not have had remotely the same opportunities that I had as a white male.’
‘So, all kinds of good things conspired to make me lucky,’ said Mr. Buffett.
Mr. Buffet was also asked whether he wishes he had been born rich, rather than have to work his way up.
‘I would much prefer not to be born rich,’ said Mr. Buffett. Instead, he said he ‘would like to be born with certain talents that are useful to society.’
He added that he has more than enough money than he could ever spend. ‘Ninety-nine percent of what I have is surplus. I stopped working for money many many decades ago,’ said Mr. Buffett. ‘But if you’re thinking of putting me in your will, don’t leave me out,’ he then added.
On a question about public perception post the financial downturn in 2008, Mr. Buffett said: ‘If in the U.S. something goes wrong, you either blame Wall Street, Washington or China.’
European Pressphoto Agency在班加罗尔，巴菲特回答了印度企业家提出的问题。周三下午在班加罗尔，巴菲特回答了Infosys技术有限公司(Infosys Technologies Ltd.)首席执行长戈帕拉克里什南(S. Gopalakrishnan)和丰田基洛斯卡汽车公司(Toyota Kirloskar Motors Pvt.)副董事长基洛斯卡(Vikram Kirloskar)等印度企业家提出的问题。
他继续说道：自己虽然并不读小说，但喜欢读传记。巴菲特推荐给别人读的一本书是《华盛顿邮报》(Washington Post)前发行人凯瑟琳•格雷厄姆(Katharine Graham)的自传。在水门事件发生时她是《华盛顿邮报》的掌门人，这一事件中《华盛顿邮报》在扳倒时任美国总统的尼克松(Richard Nixon)方面扮演了关键角色。
巴菲特解释说，我写不出一本关于我自己的诚实的书，我想看上去像施瓦辛格(Arnold Schwarzenegger)、打起高尔夫球来像老虎伍兹(Tiger Woods)。