I've been watching the developments in the US presidential election with interest, surprise, and then something verging on despair. Does America really want to elect Donald Trump, a president who would build a wall between the US and Mexico and ban all immigrants? Some of what he says is bluster, but I worry that a lot of it isn't.
So, I've a better idea... How about Warren Buffett for president?
America used to inspire the world
Warren, as many readers of this article will know, is the greatest investor who has ever lived. He started out as a middle-class boy from Omaha, Nebraska who figured out at an early age how to make money from investing.
America used to inspire the world. But the American dream, once exciting and relentlessly positive, has taken a battering in recent years. American industry has been beaten all-ends-up by a rising China and India. And the thing is, a lot of Americans haven't fully realised that the world has changed, and changed completely.
One good thing that Donald Trump has done is bring into the open the plight of the American economy. But the remedies proposed seem lacking: protectionism, blocking immigration and massively increasing taxes on the rich.
Warren Buffett basically is the American dream. He turned thousands of dollars into millions, and millions into billions. He took over failing company after failing company and turned them round. And all through this, he has had faith in the strengths of the US economy.
Buffett would be the ideal president as he knows all about money. He's an expert in making the most of what he's given, and has the ability to get things done. It's not by chance that he's one of the world's richest men.
Today it needs to change
The US needs change. Right now it needs someone who sees the big picture, who looks beyond the constant talk of protectionism and immigration, and who will let go of the past and embrace the future, no matter how uncertain it is.
America needs less emphasis on profit and share prices, and more on looking after its workers. It needs less emphasis on being number one, and more on building partnerships with the world. And it needs to refocus from its traditional manufacturing industry to catering for the consumer masses of emerging markets.
The world's production capacity has been hugely increased by emerging markets, but that's actually a good thing. The fault lies in a horse-drawn financial system that's trying to run a motorised world. We need to match the increased global production capacity by reflating, and massively so. This should be done by increasing the money supply.
By printing money not just to buy bonds but also to invest in infrastructure, research and development and public services, America could create millions of jobs and also bring inflationary and deflationary forces into balance. It would fix everything.
In the 1980s it took Margaret Thatcher to shake the world out of its torpor. We need a Buffett-like figure to do the same now.
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