Klarman’s critiques of Washington and of irresponsible business practices share a common target: the selfish disregard for the future. “If we think of free enterprise and democracy as games, a lot of people are breaking the rules and disrespecting the other players and even the game itself. Mitch McConnell is disrespecting the game. Donald Trump doesn’t even know what the rules are. Free enterprise has been good for me and for the world. It has been good for my two-hundred and eighty employees. It has been good for my clients. Let’s honor the system. Let’s make sure that we leave and improve it for the next generation to benefit just as much as we did and with as much respect as we showed.” Otherwise, he said, “What kind of scorched-earth cost might we have to pay for that?”
I wish I had the whole paper from the Davos summit or even Seth Klarman’s out of print book, “Margin of Safety,” that goes for $1000 or so. We must evolve.