— from Mattathias Schwartz's mordantly funny "The church of Warren Buffett," in the January Harper's.
Who else [but Warren Buffett] could credibly pit all future problems against all future opportunities and declare that the opportunities would (narrowly, perpetually) come out ahead? And since when did this belief in endless, felicitous growth, once an unspoken axiom of American capitalism, require public recitation? It was as though the pope had emerged on his balcony to announce that despite recent data to the contrary, the Gospel still held true. . . .
Berkshire Hathaway shares, after all, are more than pieces of a corporation. They are pieces of the man himself—divided ever smaller, as he grows older, so that more can partake of him. The new B shares, these tiny wafers of Buffett, will be passed into the outstretched hands of the faithful, to be transubstantiated in their eTrade accounts and 401(k)s.