The gold doomsayers have found their champion in the media's favorite financial advisor and one of the world's richest men. Warren Buffett, the man dubbed the "Oracle of Omaha," has repeatedly and publicly denied that gold is an investment, and called gold buyers "speculators" and people "who fear almost all other assets." In fact, Buffett claims that gold's rise has the same characteristics as the housing and dot-com bubbles, and it is only a matter of time before it reverses course. He doesn't mean that the price will decline because of austerity measures and a free-market interest rate, mind you. He just asserts that because he's deemed it a bubble, it will inevitably burst.
The financial world by-and-large views Buffett as an objective observer, a rare investor who still considers the best interests of common man when he speaks. Each year, there is much hullabaloo over the letter Buffett writes to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. When Buffett makes a claim, the financial world coos and repeats it without question.
I concede that Buffett is a talented investor and a great communicator. He clearly has had great success and has much to offer. But that shouldn't blind anyone to the fact that Buffett is not a trusted observer. He's a crony capitalist who bends the truth to serve his long-held ideological commitment to big government.
In the early stages of the financial crisis, when I was writing and promoting my first book Crash Proof to warn private investors about trouble ahead, Buffett was accumulating shares in companies such as Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and General Electric. I knew these companies were insolvent, so I wouldn't touch them with gardening gloves on. When the credit markets seized up, Buffett worked behind the scenes and in public to make sure each of his pet companies were bailed out. This was not by coincidence. Buffett actually stated in September 2008 that he would not have invested in Goldman Sachs if not for the implicit guarantee of federal assistance. As a result, he profited at the expense of taxpayers at the very time when they were losing their savings in the markets. Meanwhile, many "in the know" politicians bought Berkshire stock during the height of the crisis, making a profit from their votes, and giving them incentive to revere Buffett all the more. Buffett once said if that if the government didn't bailout failed companies, he would be "having my Thanksgiving dinner at McDonald's instead of having a big dinner at my daughter's." Seems like there were two bloated turkeys at that meal.
If Buffett were a true capitalist, he would be in fa
An expert on money, economic theory, and international investing, Peter is a highly recommended broker by many leading financial newsletters and investment advisory services. He is also a contributing commentator for Newsweek International and served as an economic advisor to the 2008 Ron Paul presidential campaign.