The BBC had a very interesting interview last night with Warren Buffett, the world's most successful investor and wealthiest man.
Buffett stakes out a clear position on the relative unimportance of financial services in the economy, and on whether there is a need to "motivate" bankers via large bonuses:
• "The idea that people who move money around are some favoured class strikes me as getting pretty far away from where we should be".
• "Its infuriating for people to see nobody going to jail (as a result of the financial disasters) and a lot of them instead walking off with tons of money at a favourable tax rate".
• "The very liquidity of stock markets causes people to focus on price action, and turns what should be an advantage into a disadvantage".
• "It is productive output, and the stream of income that the asset produces over time, that one needs to look at".
• "I've been in the right place at the right time, and I shouldn't delude myself that I am some sort of superior individual as a result of this. I've been lucky, and its fair enough that a lot of that should go back to the people who got the short straws in life."
Excerpts from the interview can be seen by clicking here.