Tuesday, April 21, 2009

When will the Recession End?

From the most recent Leucadia shareholder report:

"Out of prudence we have a pessimistic view as to when this recession will end. To think otherwise would be to gamble about the beginnings of good times whereas by imagining a bleak future we will most likely survive for the good times to arrive."

That last line is worth reading more than once. It reminds me of the part of an old A.E. Housman poem that Charlie Munger often quotes:

The thoughts of others
Were light and fleeting,
Of lovers' meeting
Or luck or fame.
Mine were of trouble,
And mine were steady,
So I was ready
When trouble came.

Is it a surprise that great investors think alike in this regard? Or is there something about being extra cautious about the future that leads to good results over the long term? You decide.

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