It's time for the so-called "Woodstock for Capitalists" this weekend here in Omaha. The annual Berkshire-Hathaway meeting will be held and 35,000 or so "capitalists" will converge on the city to hear Warren Buffett attempt to explain why capitalism is a dismal failure. Good luck to Mr. Buffett who is usually treated like some guru coming off the mountain top carrying stone tablets and a yak in his quest to keep the wolves at bay. These dime store millionaires and real millionaires are pissed that Warren's wisdom took such a hit this past year. It's a bitch to sit in your parlor, goblet full, reading the Journal, smoking a stogie and not making money hand over fist for all your hard work. My goodness, times are so bad, Maria may have to be turned in to the INS.
If you've ever been to one of these meetings, and I have been to three, you cannot believe your rapidly aging eyes. I mean come on, who actually wears an ascot? What kind of skinflint brings his own PB&J in wax paper to avoid paying $7.50 for a Buffett approved ham sandwich and chips, Diet Coke extra? Is somebody really named Biff? How many facelifts can you fit into one picture with the Geico gecko? Does this bookstore have any books written by anybody not named Buffett or Munger?
I always thought going to annual meetings was all about getting free stuff. Oh trust me, the Berkshire meeting has nothing for free. You can buy anything. DQ Dilly Bars, Fruit of the Loom t-shirts, Geico cavemen action figures, cowboy boots, siding, windows or anything else that Buffet has his hands in. Buy. Buy. Buy. It's crazy.
Meanwhile, 17,000 people, along with thousands more watching on TV, are jammed into the Qwest Center arena to hear the preachings of Warren. They listen with gusto. They are creepily quiet as their shaman pontificates on that lousy economic system we all now know sucks. But this year? Warren (who I actually like by the way. I used to live down the street from him.) may actually get questions from worried disciples. Doubting Thomases may have infiltrated the bunker. It will be interesting.
One of the events advertised to the attendees is an invitation to go to the airport and look at all the private planes that jet in. Another event is to go to a high quality jewelry store and hobnob with the elite. Go to Dairy Queen, show your meeting credentials and get a free ice cream cone. Now we're talkin'.