Michael Lewis has a fascinating review of a new biography of Warren Buffett, The Master of Money, by Alice Schroeder. Buffett apparently had dinner at Akio Morita’s house and did not eat any of the food.
He avoids social conflict, unless there is money on the line, and also all sorts of new experiences. His long-time partner Charlie Munger likes to call Buffett a “learning machine,” but there are whole swaths of human activity he actively resists learning anything at all about, such as the entire high-tech industry. He confines himself to the diet of an eight-year-old, refusing to eat anything much beyond spaghetti, hamburgers, and grilled cheese sandwiches. [Warren Buffett biographer Alice] Schroeder describes a bizarre scene in which Katherine Graham escorted Buffett to dinner at the Manhattan apartment of Sony Chairman Akio Morita. Japanese chefs served plate after plate that Buffett left completely untouched. “By the end of fifteen courses, he still had not eaten a bite,” writes Schroeder. “The Moritas could not have been more polite, which added to his humiliation. He was desperate to escape back to Kay’s apartment, where popcorn and peanuts and strawberry ice cream awaited him. ‘It was the worst,’ he says about the meal he did not eat. ‘I’ve had others like it but it was by far the worst. I will never eat Japanese food again.’” Buffett ate what he needed to eat to remain alive–and learned what he needed to learn to invest shrewdly.
Clearly, I’ll never be a billionaire because I don’t care about money in the single-minded way Buffett does.
Frankly, I don’t think a billion dollars would be enough to force me into a diet of only spaghetti, hamburgers and grilled cheese sandwiches.
via Curzon at Mutantfrog Travelogue