Jan 312009
 

0901-023-t-buffetIf there is one living human being who is as well revered and respected as Lord Jesus, it is Warren Buffet. A journalist will be taking biggest risk in his career if he ever dared to write anything against him.  “Just shut up and go for another theme, any theme, except him” his editor would say. Such is the sway of one of the most legendary investor and humble richest person on this planet.

I am taking a chance today, writing against his latest investment in Goldman Sachs ($ 5 billions) and General Electric ($3 billions).  This is yet third time in his career that Mr. Buffet has gone against his own self imposed discipline – not to invest in any company he does not understand.


He made his first error when he invested in troubled Solomon Brothers in early 90s.  He finally came out with little profit after spending fortune and management time. He is repeating mistake by investing in Goldman Sachs this time.
0901-023-buffet02-standing

He erred again in acquiring General Re. Here again, he lost fortune and still owns the troubled baby.

The third and most disastrous mistake he made was this year – by investing into Goldman Sachs and General Electric. It is not the names in which he invested – they were no doubt the blue chips – it is the manner in which he invested into them seriously jeopardizing the interests of Berkshire Hathway shareholders.

He was overawed by the power, pursuit and personality of Henry Paulson, the Treasury Secretary during Bush Administration and ex- Goldman Sachs CEO/Chairman.

He simply allowed Paulson to prevail over his trusted vision and wisdom. Paulson simply forced him to accept the structure of his investment that was detrimental to him and Berkshire shareholders.  It is discussed later.

Buffet did not understand the monster of derivatives that was the downfall of Solomon Brothers. He still went for the golden knife in the name of Goldman Sachs. It is the nature of knife to hurt someone regardless of its material – steel of gold.

A knife is a knife – it ultimately cuts and kills. In a world of massive derivative collapse, he went for the pioneer of those derivatives – Goldman Sachs and another derivative colossus – financial arm of General Electric, a venerable name which is often gloated over and grossly overestimated.

As a biggest investor in the world, he knows practically all leading Investment Bankers, banks and brokers.  A first mistake every investor makes is to accept the advice of his broker or investment banker. Most investors do not buy the stocks: they buy the words of the advising broker.  If you want to buy say stock A (say IFCI in India) for sheer value, but your broker advises you buy stock B (say, ICICI in India), you will buy stock B. In short, you did not buy Stock B but the word of your broker.  If you buy some unknown stock at the instance of broker, you are buying broker’s confidence. That is, you bought broker’s word, not the stock.

It is the brokers who make the markets. They induce the enthusiasm in certain counter by active market making and increasing volume. The invitations are then sent out in the form of Broker’s research, overweighting or underweighting, future projections and showing you the moon at times. Why the markets are in bad shape today? Because most of the leading brokers or investment banks have gone bankrupt or are nearly bankrupt- Bear Stearns, Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMC, Lehman, Merrill, Goldman, Morgan Stanley, UBS,  RBS, Barclays etc. The list is unending.  They have no capital to make the markets or engage into pre-emptive proprietary trading.

The rules are simple – If there are no brokers, there is no market.

God usually gives two chances. A person suffers two heart attacks and survives. The third is a fatal one. We as human also give two chances to wrong doer. If he errs third time, we admonish, punish, severe the relationship or dump the errand boy. Warren Buffet made the third error in investing into GS and GE.

Let us see how he was duped by Henry Paulson and how he could have avoided the future mishaps in early stages of investment in same counters by taking proper precautions he was capable of. He is investment genius – he knows that but he was not aware of.  If he ever reads this article, he would realize what he missed and erred.


Buying Perpetual Preferred shares with convertible warrants – an ignominious route
.

When an investor becomes very rich, he develops the tendency of looking for higher yield.  His large cash holding does not fetch him enough interest in practically “Zero” interest environments. Often, I hear from the large investors – we are not getting good yield on our Bank deposits, Certificate of Deposits or Corporate bonds.  Where do we place our money now? Their patience is wearing thin, because low interest regime simply continued for far too long, 16 years in Japan and 8 years in USA.  This is why insurance giant like AIG risked out the free premium money into monetary misadventure and lost hundreds of billions of dollars for one simple reason – to earn better yield. These guys for the sake of 1 to 2% extra yield, forked out 100 in risky derivative and leveraged investments.

An Investor like Warren Buffet used to have great patience in his younger days. He would wait for extra ordinary opportunity, no matter how long he had to wait. It was more like a hunter that waits in the bushes to trap the tiger.  It was more like Chairman Mao of China’s philosophy or policy of winning a war – “Withdraw your self from everywhere as much deeper as you can, and let the enemy come in. When the enemy is deeply entrenched into your territory, then only pounce on him.”

In investment parlance, Chairman Mao would have said, “Withdraw your investments from everywhere, let the stocks or markets recede as deep as they can into your territory (buying range), and then only grab them on your terms.

However, advancing age is taking toll on him. He is now 78. He did not have luxury to wait for too long. His patience was wearing thin. And that forced him into errors.  By his own analogy, he did not wait long enough at the beach to let the tide recede to see who was swimming naked. Instead he reached out few steps into the sea to grab the swimmers who would have otherwise drowned to death.

In short, he did not wait for massive return. He was enticed by 10% yield on Preference shares. Instead of being a hunter, he became hunted.  He lent $ 8 billions just to earn 10% yield when the dictated FED rates were only 0.5%.  He never asked himself why such blue chip companies like Goldman Sachs or General Electric should pay 10% when the borrowings from FED could be had at less than 1%. In fact, he became a “Moneylender” from being an investor for rest of his life.

This was the biggest casualty of credit crisis.  Let us see how he invested insecurely and he could have invested with full security of his massive investment., nearly 25% of his Net Worth.

Warren Buffet’s Gamble in Investment

Goldman Sachs and General Electric

Details /Type

His Unsecured  Investment

Solution: Secured Investment

Goldman Sachs

General Elec

Goldman Sachs

General Elec

01 Date of Issue/Deal
02 Amount Invested $ 5 Billions $ 3 Billions $ 5 Billions $ 3 Billions
03 Route adopted Preference shares Preference Shares Convertible Bond Convertible Bond
04 Maturity of Instrument Perpetual Perpetual Limited period Limited Period
05 Considered as Unsecured Unsecured Fully Secured Fully Secured
06 Liquidity of Instrument Less than 20% Less than 20% 100% 100%
07 Possible Premium  or discount in Secondary Market -10% to -50% -10% to -50% + 30% to 300% +30% to 300%
08 Preference in liquidation Last Last First First
09 Coupon 10% 10% 10% 10%
10 Other Attached Instrument Convertible Warrant Convertible Warrant Bonds  already Convertible Bonds  already Convertible
11
12 Conversion Price $115 – Fixed $22.25 – Fixed $115  Variable or 20% below MP at any time $22.25 – Variable or 20% below MP at any time
13 Conversion Period Not known

First 5 years?

First 5 years During life of  the Bond During life of  the Bond
14 Buy Back option for Issuer (Callable) Yes, at any time @ 10% premium Yes, after 3 years @10% premium None None
15 Overall Security Least Least Most Most
16 Overall Return 10%  Interest

10% Premium

? Capital Appreciation

10%
17 Overall Attractiveness Least Least Best Best

It will be observed that Warren Buffet has for some strange reason adopted the route of “Perpetual Preferred Stock” against conventional Convertible Bond approach. Following are the essential difference and risk involved:

“Perpetual Preferred Shares” PPS and “Convertible Bonds” CB– the major difference

It is simple. The PPS is part of the capital whereas CB is a debt. Under the law, debt has precedence over capital of any form – PPS (Perpetual Preferred Shares) or ES (Equity Shares). In the event of liquidation of the issuer, the debt holder has priority over PPS and ES.

I remember of United Airlines, which when liquidated, gave nothing to shareholders. Entire equity was cancelled – preferred and ordinary equity.  After writing off the existing capital, the company was handed over to debt holders who got the controlling interest in the form of new equity.  Before liquidation, the stock of USAL traded in few cents and after liquidation, when all existing shareholders were wiped out, the new stock issued to debt holders rose close to $50 per share.

When Mr. Buffet could have got the same deficit, had he asked to contribute by way of CB rather than PPS, why did he chose to adopt more risky form of investment via PPS?

Low Marketability of PPS versus CB

Perpetual Preferred Shares always have very low form of liquidity. Because they are “perpetual” that is , the company is never supposed to redeem then and pay off the holders, they trade at a very deep discount. When I was a bond trader, I have handled trades of the perpetual of banks like HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank at discount of 25% in good market to over 52% in bad market.

In essence, the PPS will lose the value instantly by 25% to 50% the moment it trades in secondary market.

An investor should see, before he invests, how he would be able to cash in his investments in case of need. In this kind of bad market, there will be no buyers for GS or GE PPS.  If some one makes a market, it may trade at 20% to 50% discount, even if the interest coupon is 10%. When a company’s existence is at stake, which investor is going to trust  that company whether it would pay interest @ 10% in time.

CB on the other hand, trade very actively in the market. They have limited life like 10 or 15 years. The holder is having assurance that the company will have to pay off the debt at the end of expiry of its tenure. This is why the CB trade at 30% premium the moment they are issued as against discount in case of PPS.

Further, in case of SB, there is one instrument, whereas in case of PPS with Warrants attached, there are two papers – PPS itself and Warrants. This again restricts its marketability because both papers could trade separately.

Negative covenant for payment of dividend for companies under debt default

PPS holders are not entitled to receive the dividend (10% in present case) if there is debt default. Most of the debt instruments have “negative covenant” binding company not to pay dividend on equity or preferred shares if there is a “default on debt”. Thus, in case of default on GS and GE debt, who are heavily leveraged, Mr. Buffet would not get even 1% dividend in case there is some default.

Had he opted for CB, he would have been entitled to interest payment @ 10% periodically. If there is default, CB will get priority in payment of interest over its dividend.

In short

Warren Buffet appear to have made very serious mistake in structuring his investment of $ 8 billions in the form of PPS. He stands to lose immediately $ 4 billion minimum at market value. He was obviously influenced by the charisma of Henry Paulson who structured the deal for him and also for US government. Mr. Paulson was an expert Investment Banker at Goldman Sachs, He knows pretty well the difference between PPS and CB and their respective priorities. Even then, he duped US Government and Warren Buffet into unacceptable deal in the form of PPS which seriously endangers the securities running into hundreds of billions of dollars for US government and over $ 8 billions for Mr. Warren Buffet.

As I have said before, the people do not buy the stock or bonds – they just buy the broker’s words, promises or confidence.

By listening to Paulson, both US Government and Warren Buffet (his investment vehicle – Berkshire Hathway) have become victim to hard selling tactics. They exposed themselves to enormous risks.  US tax payers will have to pay through their nose almost 2 trillions shelled out by the Treasury and FED, although official disbursement under TARP was only $ 350 billions out of $ 700 billions. Paulson has proved to be a “parasite” while he was the Treasury Secretary. Future generation of United States will never pardon him for his unnoticed crime.

It looks like that Mr. Buffet is on downward hill.  A book called ” Warren Buffet Speaks”  (290p ) may be of interest to the readers of this blog. It is free and downloadable as PDF or viewed on screen on clicking that link   Warren Buffet Speaks or full link http://www.scribd.com/doc/7674709/Warren-Buffet-Speaks

After reading, you may as well ask why not Mr. Warren Buffet himself read it again. There is no need to change the time tested methods that worked for him all along.

Anil Selarka (Kalidas)
Hong Kong

January 31, 2009 (Article Ref: 0901-023)

Jan 172009
 

Decision vs. Indecision

I have always been a believer that indecision always leads one to the ruin, be it in personal life, business world, economic management, politics or military warfare. No one knows for certain, whether it was the right or wrong when the decisions are taken. In majority cases, the Actors tend to defer decision as safe way out to meet the popular demand or opinion.

 

Only the decision makers change the world. They dictate the events. In most cases, the decision maker wins. He starts slowly but surely on way to success. He is normally a quick learner. Initially, his success rate is low; hardly 30% or 3 out of 10 decisions prove correct. However, when the time passes by, his success rate improves progressively. There comes a stage when 7 or 8 of 10 decisions prove right, and the intended move works. The decider finally prevails. He is called the “Leader” in truest sense, in any field he is engaged in.

 

There is a caveat to above belief. If one analyzes the failure rates, he would invariably find that the decision maker relied on the expertise of others instead of using his own judgment or discriminating abilities. A good leader always seeks the opinion of others, listens to various sources, never allows him to be influenced by the coterie of advisers, but finally takes decision only after using his own understanding and common sense. He knows pretty well that an Advice is only an Advice, not the dictate of others to be his own decision.

 

A wavering mind or indecisive mind is the root of most problems or the troubles everywhere. A confused investor does not make the decision to buy or sell just because others are telling him to do so. He therefore loses physically or by missed opportunity. A wavering businessman misses the opportunity by not taking some inherent risk. A leader of the household loses when he does not decide on vital issues by keeping the issues pending. And a political leader or Central Banker lose out by not recognizing the obvious,  following the beaten path or popular opinion for fear of taking blame later for his possible wrong actions. He kills the spirit of innovation or revolt against mindset theories that work no longer.

 

Where the President George W Bush does fits in – in the caveat?

George W Bush, the President of United States, was a decider in most of the cases. He never wavered in taking decision except in last stages of his presidency. He started off 8 years ago in an act of aberration by defeating narrowly Al Gore. Later, he defeated John Kerry convincingly.

 

In 8 years of leadership, he demonstrated convincingly that he was always an avid listener to his coterie of advisers. He trusted them blindly, almost religiously. As a true leader, he never bothered about media or what other people thinks of him. A leader is one who does what he thinks is right. At the same time, he excessively relied on so called expertise of his advisers and allowed their opinion to sway his personal decision. As result, he made disastrous policy moves on practically all fronts. He progressively made 8 wrong moves out of 10 chances.

 

Parental Influence on the President

He also allowed him to be dictated by his father George Henry Bush, ex-President, from whom he inherited the ignominious legacy of people like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, who were admittedly the distasteful war mongers. He also inherited his father’s hatred for Saddam Hussein, Palestine, Hezbollah, Hamas, Assad of Syria and love for Israel.

 

He followed him like obedient son forgetting that his father was defeated by the American people and he should not have had any influence in his policy making. Most of his vital decisions were made by him not in the White House but in his Texas Ranch or Camp David in close consultation with his father. In short, United States was ruled by Proxy for 8 years by his father George Henry Bush, Senior. He became the puppet of his advisers who were the brand loyal to his father, an ex-President.

 

Axis of Evil

His own invention was intense dislike of Iraq, Iran and North Korea.  He coined few new phrases – “Axis of Evil” and  “War on Terror”.   By feigning this terror, he undercut the privacy of Americans, whipped up patriotic feelings by compulsion in enacting Patriots Act to quell any revolt against his presidency.

 

Iraq War and Troubles in Middle East

He must have played with lots of military toys during his childhood days. His advisers Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld saw that as an opportunity to play upon his weakness to wage a massive war on Iraq on completely falsified military intelligence reports of Weapons of Mass Destructions. How could only a few people in CIA and Pentagon find conclusive evidence of WMD when over 131,000 US soldiers could not find even a single piece of evidence of such weapons after almost 5 years of presence in and visiting every nook and corner of Iraq?

 

A true leader is one who may make mistakes but corrects immediately once he became aware of. He does not flinch a bit in retracing obvious wrong, and does not drag on like a gambler in the casinos on the strips of Las Vegas or Atlantic city. He does not care whether the world or his own people will laugh at him when he was retracing his mistakes or an act of errors and aberration. As President of United States, he was supposed to rectify the errors immediately and saved the lives of several thousands American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people.

 

He could not afford to say that he got the faulty intelligence reports, he got his numbers wrong on the economy, and he could not forecast the troubles due to Katrina and California wild fires. As President of Unites States he was in supreme command, and he should have known or foreseen the troubles months ahead. He was supposed to be visionary, not illusory, and if he were to act and behave like an ordinary American, he had no right to or place in the coveted throne of White House. He was supposed to use his brain, intelligence and common sense rather than relying upon his advisers in White House, Defense, Pentagon, Treasury, Fed, and Commerce.

 

He was so much pre-occupied with the Iraq, Afghanistan and Al Qaeda that he almost forgot the map of United States and economic troubles brewing like volcano about to erupt. While he sat in the White House, his mind was always travelling in the rugged ravines of Iraq and tough terrains of Afghanistan. He sought to quick fix the economic troubles by printing out billions of dollars of rebate checks when the nation was seized with massive budget and trade deficits. In short, while he took various decisions promptly, he was always wrong. He never applied his own mind he was supposed to as the President of United States.

 

Savior of unborn lives and Killer of existing Adult humans and Children

He was pleasantly against killing of unborn human lives by opposing Abortion in present form. At the same time, he was cruelest democratic dictator killing in excess of 1 million Iraqis by constantly bombarding them from several miles in the Air especially when the Iraqis did not have Air Power to defend themselves.  He demonized the democracy and destroyed Iraqi heritage, centuries old monuments, beautiful palaces, mosques, exquisite pieces of architecture,   and made the beautiful Iraq into the rubbles of destructions. 

 

He excavated over 180 bodies of so called torture deaths in early 80’s of Saddam regime and arranged for his death in fake trials, while he went on killing over a million Iraqis and dumping them into mass graves with impunity.  Who is more heinous  – Saddam who killed only 180 Kurds in early 1980 or George Bush who killed over 1 million Iraqi civilians and soldiers during his reign of terror? While he was promoting the cause of “War on Terror”, he himself was practicing the reign of terror in various parts of Middle East – viz. Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Afghanistan and border towns of Pakistan.

 

George W Bush has proved to be the most murderous political leader in the world since the days of Adolph Hitler in World War II.

 

He virtually destroyed Lebanon by instigating Israel to cause the maximum damage by aerial attacks of most ruthless kind, knowing pretty well that Lebanon did not have any air power to defend them. Lebanon was also reduced to rubble by granting Israeli the most lethal “bunker busting bombs” (BBB) killing hundreds of innocent Lebanese adult and children.

 

He engineered the war on Afghanistan under the garb of “War on Terror” with ostensible cause to search and destroy Osama Bin Laden in the most rugged mountainous place in the world. When he found the going tough there, he invited NATO to replace American forces to fight the OBL and his Afghan army.  NATO foolishly obliged him and lost hundreds of soldiers of constituent countries, saving the original attackers – Americans.

 

He later turned his attention on North Korea but when he found going tough there at far distant place, he refocused on nearer target Iran as another nod point of his Axis of Evil. He questioned Iran for arming the Insurgents in Iraq that caused huge losses of American marines. However, he never answered why the Americans were there in Iraq at very first place.

 

He was looking for excuses to attack Iran in the name of disarming its nuclear capabilities. During last few days of Presidency, he incited Israel to conduct massive military raids on Palestine killing over 1100 innocent civilians; many of them were women and children.  Israel lost only 13 of its soldiers, 3 of whom from its own friendly fires. The idea was to instigate Iran into some sort of military action that would justify massive Israeli and US military strikes on its nuclear facilities. The Iranian president was shrewd enough to understand this game and therefore chose not to fight Israel openly until leadership changes in United States on 20th January 2009. He was obviously frustrated at the outmaneuvering efforts of Iranian President Mahmoud  Ahmadijenad.

 

President Bush enjoyed his term of his Presidency watching with great interest and joys the flying body parts of innocent citizens, adults and children in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and Afghanistan from the 2 ton bombs showered upon the civilian population from 5 to 20 miles above in the air.

 

Americans love – hate relationship with George W Bush

He was loved and hated by Americans in roller coaster ride all these 8 years.  

 

He was loved, because he gave the Americans almost $ 108 billions in Tax Rebate checks when there was a gaping hole in the treasury. Americans merely considered what came into their pocket without bothering its legitimacy. Americans therefore allowed their narrow personal interest in short term to prevail over the long term interest of themselves and future generations.

 

Dumbest President in American history

It is doubtful whether he ever had the elementary knowledge of arithmetic to work out the simple numbers and basics of even house management; otherwise his callous mistakes would not have brought ruin and complete destructions of the giant US economy, once the eyesore of the world.

 

Not that he was dishonest. He was of course sincere. He was just dumb and duffer when it came to finance and economy. He lacked in his understanding of numbers, with the result that both Paulson and Bernanke had field day in spending over 2 trillions on bankrupt banks, insurers and brokers by casting undue influence on their President.  He became a dummy goat and almost  a puppet to sign whatever document placed before him for spending unaccountable $ 700 billions at one time (now swollen to over 2 trillions).

 

“Better Sign and speak up before the nation, Mr. President”, the Treasury Secretary Mr. Paulson and Fed Chief Bernanke would say.

 

As a decisive person, he could have been a wonderful leader.  But he was so much reliant on his advisers (and perhaps his ex-President Father) that he almost mortgaged his brainpower to them while borrowing their ideas. Like sub-prime mortgages, they all failed.

 

I would take only one example (which is plucked from my book “Sub Prime Resolved” yet to be published) which will illustrate how his one action could have had most positive effect on economy.

 

He gave away $108 billions in Tax Rebate to American citizens to help boost the economy. They could not. It just evaporated in seconds in burning gas that cost them over $ 4.30 (when oil prices reached $147).  The American citizens were not “listed entity”. They are not quoted on the NYSE or NASDAQ. So spending on them did not bring in fresh money.

 

If he had spent instead same $ 108 billions on Corporate Tax Cuts, it would have raised their profits by $ 108 billions (of which $ 30 billions will come back to the State in the form of taxes). Since these companies are listed, and the markets usually trade at 12 to 15 times P/E multiples, it would have theoretically brought in $ 1.2 to 1.5 trillions of fresh money and boosted the market.  His net outflow would have been just $ 78 billions ($108 billions of Tax rebate checks – Income Tax of $ 30 billions) and inflow of $ 1.5 Trillions of fresh money from Investors.  Thus overall effect would have been $ 1.4 trillions of inflow of money into the economy without spending trillions he is spending on the advice of idiots like Paulson or Bernanke that would get back nothing in return. The individual tax payers would have benefited more than tax rebates due to rise in value of their portfolio.

 

This is what I wanted to tell the President Bush when I wrote him the letter of 18th August, 2008 but he ignored with the result that over $ 15 trillions evaporated in a span of just 15 days later. You know what I wrote in that letter (refer to my letter “Ignored Letter to President Bush that caused massive blow out of $ 15 trillions” – see in the side bar if you have not read that letter so far.

 

Sex and Tax Policy

President Bush was of course a decent man. He did not like the gays and lesbians to marry within same sex.  That was his “Sex policy” obviously right one, in my opinion. In the Tax matters, he always wanted to give better tax benefits to rich people that were highly objected by democrats who perceived such policy to make rich richer and poor,  poorer. He was convinced such policy as right one, and I endorse it, but he did not know how to put it across the people. (What he should have said is written by me in my book “Sub Prime Resolved”)

 

WTO and WOT policy

No, there is no spelling error – both are right words. WTO = World Trade Organization and WOT = War on Terror – personal invention of President Bush. He was championing the cause of free trade, not a bad idea, and also “War on Terror” the worst idea. Let us forget WTO and focus on WOT.

 

He pioneered the policy of not negotiating any matter with terrorists. In short, he closed the line of communication with them. The mistrust and misunderstanding develops if there is no communication between two parties. Further, what is the definition of a “Terrorist”?  Are the suicide bombers in Iraq the “Terrorists”?  They are fighting for liberation of Iraq, similar to “Quit India” movement started by Mahatma Gandhi in India. He too was labeled as “Terrorist” by no less than Winston Churchill, the war time Prime Minister of United Kingdom in World War II days.

 

While the Iraqis are fighting for their own land, who the Americans are fighting for in Iraq?  – for Iraqis or for personal ego of the President Bush?  There is very thin line separating the term “Terrorist” and “Nationalist”.  A person who is fighting for his own country is a “Nationalist” and one who is not, a “Terrorist”.  Were Gandhi, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose or Shaheed Bhagat Singh in India  “nationalists” or “terrorists”?  British forces who caused mass killings of more than 1500 persons in Jalianwala Compound during pre-independence days of India were “nationalists” or “terrorists”? They showered bullets on women and children at very close range to kill them point blank. Similarly, was Nelson Mandela in South Africa a nationalist or terrorist as he is made out to be by the Apartheid government?

 

This is where President Bush erred in understanding the basic difference between  the terms “terrorist” and “nationalist”. When US can attack Iraqis with 2000 kg laser guided bombs from 5 to 20 miles in the air from F18 or B12 bombers, what would Iraqi do if they do not have even one Anti Aircraft gun or matching F18 bombs to counter them and chase the Americans away?  They therefore turned into “live bombs”.

 

This is nothing new.  Even Japanese practiced the same art during World War II when they attacked US forces “head on” and killed themselves in act popularly called  “hara kiri”. Even today, Japanese take this name with great respect. Then why similar practice is condemned when it came to Iraqis? If some one attacked your home with guns and bullets, would not you defend it by using all available means like sticks and iron bars? Do you become a terrorist in that case to defend your own home?

 

Such basic sense is never taught at even Harvard. These are family values which are taught best at homes and in early days of KG schooling.  In Kinder Garden days, the children are taught what is right and wrong.  Never in Universities or MBA post–grad schools or colleges.

 

Final Verdict: A decisive President thoroughly wasted.

It is sad to see that seemingly decisive President was thoroughly wasted. Many say that President Bush will go down the history as one of the worst President in the history of United States. These voices are heard only now – because he is leaving in 3 days. Never before.

 

There is similarity between President Michael Gorbachev of pre-divided USSR or United States of Soviet Russia AND President George W Bush of United States of America now.  George Henry Bush, Senior was responsible for the division of Soviet Union. He used Gorbachev as pawn in the name of “glasnost” . The present President George W Bush will go down the history for sowing the seeds of disintegrating the nation once upon a time called “United States of America”.

 

In our culture, there is a saying that “those who are undefeated by outsiders will ultimately be defeated by the insiders or by their own people”. This is going to happen to United States of America, almost invincible to outsiders, will be destroyed by their own people – the Americans. Look at who is destroying the United States – American companies like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mae, Citigroup, Bank of America, AIG, Merrill Lynch, Bears Stearns, Lehman Brothers, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Wachovia, General Electric (in future)  – name it and you got them on their butts – Made in USA

 

Post Retirement days of President George W Bush…

President Bush never had time to reflect on himself where did he wrong. After 19th January, 2009, he would have ample time to think over it. He would be shocked at the revelation – “oh my God, what have I done to my country? “ He would have tons of nightmares and sleepless nights at his Texas ranch. When seemingly a good person does many terrible wrongs, and he realizes it rather late, he tend to develop suicidal tendency. Let us hope it does not happen to President Bush. He has been exception all the time during 8 years of his presidency, and let us hope that he keeps the records same way in future.  Should we write him off ? Of course, we should. He will be a history after 19th January, 2009

 

Anil Selarka (Kalidas)

Hong Kong, 2009/Jan/16    Ref: 0901-021