We’re Giving Away The Store

by | Mar 17, 2005

from The Guardian: In his annual letter to investors in Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett painted a bleak picture of a future US in which ownership and wealth had continued to move overseas, leaving the economy in thrall to foreign interests and faced with financial turmoil and political unrest.

Mr. Buffett said in the last 10 years foreign powers and their citizens had accrued about $3 trillion worth of US debt and assets such as equities and real estate. At current rates, he predicted that in another 10 years’ time the net ownership of the US by outsiders would amount to $11 trillion.

“This annual royalty paid [to] the world would undoubtedly produce significant political unrest in the US. Americans … would chafe at the idea of perpetually paying tribute to their creditors and owners abroad. A country that is now aspiring to an ‘ownership society’ will not find happiness in – and I’ll use hyperbole here for emphasis – a ‘sharecropper’s society’.”