Buffett quotes
February 13, 2007 9:16 PM   Subscribe

Please help me find two Warren Buffet quotes/articles

I have two recollections, and I can't find them by googling:

1. I remember a lengthy extended-metaphor piece during the tech boom, in which WB wrote about the history of the auto industry, alluding to all of the firms that had come and gone (I think one was named Omaha Motors Co, or something similar that Buffett admitted he saw as quaint). I think the page background was yellow.

2. A quote that goes a little something like "If I only had to run a million dollars, I could average 50% per year forever."

Where are these quotes from? Please do not bother linking to the shareholder letters or annual reports. I have skimmed their corpus, and I know where to find them.
posted by Kwantsar to Work & Money (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I believe the "50% returns" quote is from this 1999 Businessweek interview. It appears to be the companion piece to this article.
posted by mullacc at 9:38 PM on February 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Well done, ol' chap!
posted by Kwantsar at 9:43 PM on February 13, 2007

Best answer: I seem to remember reading the auto quote somewhere other than online, but I don't see it in the materials I have on paper. But I found this online transcript that seems close, but not as lengthy as you imply:

Just take the computer business. If you look at the people that got into computers 30 years ago, you had people like, well I can go down the list, it was a lousy business. Wonderful for society, grew up on it. But it was like, we might use the example of the auto business. 2,000 auto companies in the United States were formed ­ 2,000. There was an Omaha Motor Company. There was a Nebraska Motor Company. There was Maytag, there was Dupont. What you’ve got left, you’ve got two companies struggling and the third sold out to the Germans. They are running the company basically for the pensioners now. It’s been a terrible business model for this country.

From here.
posted by mullacc at 9:50 PM on February 13, 2007

Response by poster: mullacc, you are a prince.

Are you that much better than me at using a search engine, or did the article(s) ring a bell?
posted by Kwantsar at 9:53 PM on February 13, 2007

I read something last week that quoted the "50% returns" line and saved it--thankfully it mentioned the source. I've been on a Buffett/Graham reading spree the last few months.

I know I've read the auto quote before, but to be honest, I found it this time by googling the phrase 'omaha motor company + buffett' with quotes around Omaha Motor Co. :)
posted by mullacc at 9:57 PM on February 13, 2007

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