Rich CEOs are not like us, contrary to what biz media tells you
Marek Fuchs, the media critic of TheStreet.com, wonders why some media like the Associated Press write about how much money CEOs have lost during the economic crisis — just like the average investor — when they’re still performing better than the overall market.
Fuchs writes, “And this is just what went on here, though the AP does not make the point, even as it mentions that the S&P 500 stock index has lost more than 35% since January. Compare with this Buffett’s comparatively shrimpy equity value loss of 22%, or Ellison’s of 24%, and you learn a lesson that history has taught before and will teach again: If you are not overly leveraged, you can hold serve in a difficult time, living to benefit when times turn better.
“Buffett and Ellison did lose money, but that does not make them just like the rest of those who lost money. They are better than the rest — especially than the overly leveraged. It’s important to realize this and then to figure out why.
“We are headed toward the end of a difficult year, and post-mortems on the year and the financial crisis, all purporting to draw lasting lessons for the future, will be the order of the day. But when the business media butcher recent history, they set us up for trouble the next time.”
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