Some quotes during 2003

By DAVID MOON, Moon Capital Management
December 28, 2003

Here are some quotes I collected during 2003, along with my commentary:

"Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without hell." (Frank Borman) Pundits should quit lamenting every business failure as some sort of weakness in our economic system. People compete. Businesses compete. There are winners and losers. Would winning be so much fun if losing wasn't so dreadful? If the NFL didn't keep score, would football be as popular?

"If you don't profit from your investment mistakes, someone else will." (Yale Hirsch) It is amazing the people who make the same mistakes over and over and over '

"Regulatory agencies within five years become controlled by the industries they were set out to regulate." (Gabriel Kolko) I'm not sure of ol' Gabe's background or evidence, but I am reminded of this every time I hear of a new set of regulations designed to solve the problem or scandal de' jour.

"Small business has been the first rung on the ladder upward for every minority group in the nation's history." (S.I. Hayakawa) And all this time I thought I thought it was Jesse Jackson.

"Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under socialism, the reverse is true." (Polish proverb) Every economic system will have both good and bad people within it.

"Edison has done more toward abolishing poverty than all the reformers and statesmen combined." (Henry Ford) You mean it wasn't a government program?

"Every time everyone's talking about something, that's the time to sell." (George Lindeman) You would think folks would eventually learn this.

"Be more humble as the market goes your way." (Bernard Baruch) Another timeless lesson that is often ignored.

"Either the great bull stock market is over, or it isn't." (James Grant) I love a pundit who really has an opinion.

"The power to tax involves the power to destroy." (John Marshall) Taxation cannot, by itself, create anything. It can only redistribute wealth that already exists. And it has the potential of destroying the incentive that created the wealth in the first place.

"No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it." (Albert Einstein) It is seldom that the best way to get back to even is the same way you lost your money in the first place.

"Moving fast is not the same as going somewhere." (Robert Anthony) Some businesses are nothing more than very effective public relations machines. Investors eventually prefer earnings to nice newspaper clippings.

"A gambler is someone who plays slot machines. I prefer to own slot machines." (Donald Trump) A business that is robust with activity is not guaranteed financial success. The bankruptcy courts of this country are full of broken airlines and Internet companies. But we keep buying airline tickets and surfing the 'net.

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." (Thomas Edison) No wonder Edison did so much to help the impoverished.

David Moon is president of Moon Capital Management, a Knoxville-based investment management firm. This article originally appeared in the News Sentinel (Knoxville, TN).

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