By DAVID MOON, Moon Capital
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
"Every time everyone's talking about something, that's the time to
sell." (George Lindeman) You would think folks would eventually
"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
"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).