From Maclean’s: Warren Buffett and the power of optimism

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I haven’t found the link to this particular article, but read it in the paper copy of Maclean’s I picked up today. You can find the Maclean’s website here.

When Warren Buffett speaks, people are wise to listen carefully. The legendary investor became the world’s richest man by keeping his eye firmly trained on the long term, ignoring fads and manias, and sticking to the timeless fundamentals of sound business. So this week, when Buffett gave CNBC a three-hour interview, millions were hoping for some guidance. Those who listened carefully were not disappointed.


But Buffett said one thing that was particularly resonant for those of us wading daily through a deluge of troubling economic data. “People are scared, and fear is very contagious. They’re also confused,” he said. “And if you’re fearful and confused, you don’t start to get over being fearful until you aren’t confused.”

The most important role we in the media can play in this environment is to dispel some of the confusion that fuels fear and paralyzes consumers.

Which brings me to the following question: what of the role of the public to inform itself? Have we been doing a good job with that? We were all (myself included) quick to point the finger at Jim Cramer, but we might as well have turned it on ourselves for not investigating the truth more.

Perhaps now is the time to start that off.

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