Though we are delighted with what we own, we are not pleased with our prospects for committing incoming funds. Prices are high for both businesses and stocks. That does not mean that the prices of either will fall -- we have absolutely no view on that matter -- but it does mean that we get relatively little in prospective earnings when we commit fresh money . . . Corporate America is now earning far more money than it was just a few years ago, and in the presence of lower interest rates, every dollar of earnings becomes more valuable. Today's price levels, though, have materially eroded the "margin of safety" that Ben Graham identified as the cornerstone of intelligent investing.
Warren Buffett in Berkshire Hathaway's 1997 Annual Report (Chairman's Letter)The IMF is like a substitute teacher. As soon as the teacher turns his or her back, all of the students start throwing spitballs.
James Glassman at the Milken Institute Global Conference (3/12/98)
(Glassman gives credit for the analogy to Brink Lindsey of the Cato Institute)
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