Billionaire Warren Buffett, with good reason, is constantly sought as an adviser on matters economic and ways to deal soundly and effectively with the huge challenges we now face as a nation. The Omaha financial expert has a record of achievement that justifies such status.
One of Buffett’s strongest qualities is his ability to explain things in plain language. For example, some time ago he described the economic meltdown that involved so many stupid and greedy moves as an “economic Pearl Harbor.” In the eyes of many, that is exactly what occurred.
But just as Buffett has the knack of describing what has happened, he also can provide guidelines on what we need to do to overcome the recession.
Buffett said the other day that the government needs to make sure the economy doesn’t wind up in a situation similar to last September when the level of borrowing threatened to cripple the economy.
What about more controls? In some cases, yes, he responded, then emphasized that it is hard to write rules to prevent excesses like those that led to the mess we must overcome. Then this gem:
“It’s human nature to go to excess.”
How much clearer can it be? Excess got America into its severe recession, and allowing it to continue will cause new difficulties. No rule book can eliminate such a danger.
We can only hope that the people now working to right our economic ship will keep in mind the excesses such as subprime mortgages, exorbitant pay and bonuses for executives, the overall greed that caused so many grievances and the historic national debt this nation and its citizens now bear.
But as Buffett warns us, rule books no matter how well-intentioned will not do the job. It is going to take a lot of good, able, unselfish people working long and hard to minimize the excesses, now and in the future.