How much attention is Berkshire Hathaway’s board paying to CEO succession these days? “It’s all we talk about [at board meetings],” Buffett recently told writer Bethany McLean.
In an interview running in the February edition of Vanity Fair (which hit newsstands yesterday), Buffett didn’t shed much new light on who will inherit the mantle at Berkshire Hathaway (it was reported some time ago that the CEO and chief investment officer jobs, now both held by Buffett, would be divided between two or more people). But it’s always refreshing to hear the Oracle of Omaha once again offer up his optimistic viewpoint on America’s resiliency and future.
“We had four million people here in 1790,” Buffett told McLean. “We’re not more intelligent than people in China, which then had 290 million people, or Europe, which had 50 million. We didn’t work harder, we didn’t have a better climate, and we didn’t have better resources. But we definitely had a system that unleashes potential. …
“Since then, we’ve been through at least 15 recessions, a civil war, a Great Depression. … All of these things happen. But this country has optimized human potential [italics my own], and it’s not over yet.”
Not a bad way to finish up the first workweek of the year.