Spotlight On... Warren Buffett, founder, Berkshire Hathaway
Stephen Foley is a former Associate Business Editor of The Independent, based in New York. He left in August 2012. In a decade at the paper, he covered personal finance, the UK stock market and the pharmaceuticals industry, and had also been the Business section's share tipster. Between arriving with three suitcases in Manhattan in January 2006 and his departure, he witnessed and reported on a great economic boom turning spectacularly to bust. In March 2009, he was named Business and Finance Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards.
Friday 13 January 2012
Ah, the Oracle of Omaha
Billionaire investment guru,second richest man in the United States, and suddenly, it seems, a wannabe lefty politician.
When did he go intopolitics?
He hasn't exactly, but he seems to be taking a devil-may-care attitude in his old age and is wading deeper and deeper into the political row over taxes on the rich.
What's he said?
For many years he has pointed out how he pays proportionately less in taxes than his secretary, and suggested that the wealthiest should pay more – putting him on the same page as President Barack Obama, and the opposite page tothe trickle-downers of the Republican Party. Stepping up his campaign, more recently he claimed that most rich people actually want to pay more.
Republicans in the House of Representatives scoffed and passed a peevish "Buffett law" that would put a box on tax forms so anyone could pay extra if they really, really wanted to.
In an equally peevish blast back, in a Time magazine interview this week, Mr Buffett says he will pay extra, under the following conditions: Republican Congressmen should do the same, and he will match them dollar for dollar. Except for Mitch McConnell, their leader. Mr Buffett says he will match him $3 for $1.
Is that really peevishness on Mr Buffett's part?
It does all seem like a childish squabble. But on the other hand, so does a lot of what counts as politics in America. Perhaps Mr Buffett has mastered political arts, after all.
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