Companies should not impose their ideas on how to act “well,” says billionaire Warren Buffett. He emphasized that activities useful to society are very difficult to measure, and good for the money of investors is often hypocrisy. Buffett himself perceives his Berkshire Hathaway foundation as a church and creates a “right flock” in it.
Companies should not impose their vision of how to “do good” for society, billionaire Warren Buffett is convinced. In a conversation with the Financial Times, Buffett compared activities that are good for society with sweets and condemned top managers, whose main reference point is the price of shares.
“If you show me the 20 largest companies, I won’t say which of the 20 does better than the rest,” Buffett told the newspaper. He noted that he was a member of the boards of directors of 20 public companies and believes that evaluating their activities is very difficult. “I love candy. Are sweets good for me or not? I don’t know, ”the billionaire illustrated his position. And even if his Berkshire Hathaway fund knew exactly what was right, investing on the basis of this information would be wrong, Buffett said. “This is the money of shareholders. Many corporate managers condemn how the state spends taxpayers’ money, but they enthusiastically spend money from investors, ”he stressed.
In an era when many believe that capitalism is in crisis, Berkshire can offer a new business model, FT wrote in April. And this model is not based on investments in the social sphere, since Buffett considers such investments to be the task of the state, not business. The fact is that the fund avoids the mantra about the need to provide as much profit to shareholders as possible and believes that investors and management form a group with common interests.
“There are only 1,645,000 seats in our church,” the billionaire noted, speaking of class A voting shares. “So why, if the right people are sitting on these chairs with us, why should I invite people designating targets share prices? ”He emphasized that he was creating the“ right flock ”for the fund.
One of Buffett’s main achievements was the creation of the image of “the good grandfather of capitalism,” the newspaper notes. This is what allows the billionaire to talk about what “others allow themselves only to think.” The newspaper emphasizes that until recently, the idea expressed by the economist Milton Friedman that the “social responsibility” of business is to increase profits, was repeated in business schools and on boards of directors. This year, however, this idea has already been condemned by the heads of major US companies. They called for work to create an “economy that serves all Americans.”