Buffett admits ‘dumb’ moves; hints at Indian successor

Legendary investor Warren Buffett has blamed himself for making certain “dumb” investment decisions last year and has hinted at India-born Ajit Jain...

Written by Press Trust Of India | New York | Published:March 2, 2009 11:46 pm

Legendary investor Warren Buffett has blamed himself for making certain “dumb” investment decisions last year and has hinted at India-born Ajit Jain becoming the possible successor for his businesses.

Warning that the downturn could well continue for a longer time,Buffett has said the economy would be in shambles throughout 2009.

“During 2008,I did some dumb things in investments. I made at least one major mistake of commission and several lesser ones that also hurt.

“Furthermore,I made some errors of omission,sucking my thumb when new facts came in that should have caused me to re-examine my thinking and promptly take action,” the much revered investor wrote in his annual letter to the shareholders.

Showering praise on Jain,who handles the reinsurance division,Buffett noted that there is no one like him and added that his business is “never the same”.

“Ajit came to Berkshire in 1986. Very quickly,I realised that we had acquired an extraordinary talent. So I did the logical thing: I wrote his parents in New Delhi and asked if they had another one like him at home. Of course,I knew the answer before writing. There isn’t anyone like Ajit,” Buffett said.

A former McKinsey executive,Jain is looking after reinsurance division,“headquartered in Stamford and staffed by only 31 employees”.

Noting that this business may be one of the most remarkable in the world,the billionaire investor said that it is hard to characterise but easy to admire.

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