Buffett comments on economy, card industry and financial crisis and suggests
that "system works" and points to a focus on the customer as the path forward
NEW YORK--(Business Wire)--
Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., opened the 4th annual
closed-door Lydian Roundtable on the Payments Industry, a closed-door gathering
of senior executives in the payments space, commenting on the resiliency of the
American system, yet cautioning that we`re not "100% there just yet" when asked
about consumer confidence and consumer spending.
Buffett was interviewed by Cathy Baron Tamraz, President and Chief Executive
Officer of Business Wire, a Berkshire Hathaway company which partnered with
Market Platform Dynamics to launch a new online B2B channel dedicated to the
payments sector, PYMNTS.com.
When asked about the economy`s prospects, Buffett said that "enormous" progress
has been made since a year ago, which is a credit, in his view, to what the
government did to in the Fall of 2008 to keep the economy from "going over a
cliff." And although, the economy won`t be back the way it was for a while,
Buffett believes that the worst is behind us. He was more cautious when asked
about unemployment rates, citing that companies must be convinced that demand is
there before hiring and that may take some time.
His comments about the payments industry are based on his experience as an early
investor in American Express in 1964. He was attracted to the company because of
its positioning and their marketing, which included a green card with a
centurion icon, which he described as something akin to looking like "Mr.
Integrity." Buffett said that he was convinced that cardholders preferred
pulling out a card that "made it look you were J.P. Morgan or something." That
drove the merchant demand - and acceptance - for the product.
Buffett cited the lessons of his American Express experience in building a
success business: give the customer what they want. The American consumer -
Buffett says, is king. He goes on to say, "You can push them around for a week
or a month maybe, but you either figure out what`s in your customers` mind and
decide you are going to serve them; or you are not going to be in business. They
are right, and you are wrong. It`s what made this country, to some extent, what
it is. No one who has ever taken good care of a customer has lost." Buffett
suggested that this consumer preference is what "keep people pulling out a card"
rather than taking advantage of the other options that have emerged recently to
replace magnetic stripe cards.
The interview and transcript can be found at PYMNTS.com, an online media channel
that captures user-generated and expert-driven commentary, information, news and
analysis on "what`s next" in the payments sector, worldwide. The site provides a
platform for industry professionals to share content related to their latest
company and product developments, to tap into the collective commentary and
analysis from experts, bloggers and industry pundits, and to interact with
industry thought leaders and other influentials on topics of critical importance
to the future of the sector. PYMNTS.com is a joint venture between Business Wire
and Market Platform Dynamics.
For information on the PYMNTS.com editorial calendar for upcoming topics being
featured on PYMNTS.com, please contact editorial@PYMNTS.com
You can also subscribe to receive the daily PYMNTS.com newsletter at
Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/PYMNTS and join the PYMNTS Linked In
For information the PYMNTS.com portal contact us info@PYMNTS.com
About Market Platform Dynamics (MPD):
MPD is a management consulting firm that ignites catalyst businesses by
leveraging new technologies, business models and pricing strategies. MPD has a
wealth of experience within industries that are characterized by complex
platform-centered ecosystems, including payments, mobile/telecoms, digital and
advertising-supported media, and software-based businesses.
MPD works with both incumbents and new entrants, offering a unique lens into the
dynamics that shape the competitive playing field. In addition to traditional
consulting-based services, MPD`s Catalyst Ventures provides intellectual and
human capital to new firms. MPD`s experts include economists, econometricians,
product development specialists, and strategic marketers who apply cutting-edge
business theory and statistical methods to the practical problems of building
and growing a profitable catalyst business. MPD is headquartered in Cambridge,
MA, and has offices in London and Hong Kong.
For more information visit www.marketplatforms.com.
About The Lydian Roundtable
The Lydian Roundtable is an annual closed door summit of ~50 senior executives
in the payments sector. The Roundtable was established in 2004 by Market
Platform Dynamics as a way for those at the heart of decision-making in the
space to assemble and discuss the issues that will shape its future. Unusual in
its format, everyone invited is a participant in the day-long discussion, with
panels and panel moderators focusing the discussion throughout the day. The
Roundtable is invitation only and closed to press and media.
This year, the Lydian Roundtable launched PYMNTS.com, the partnership between
Business Wire and Market Platform Dynamics to create a dynamic new media channel
serving the payments sector. A key feature of PYMNTS.com is the Lydian Payments
Journal which is an online journal focused exclusively on the global payments
About Business Wire
Business Wire, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is utilized by tens of thousands of
member companies and organizations worldwide to functionally enhance and
communicate investor relations and public relations content to target audiences.
As a recognized disclosure service in the United States, Canada and a dozen
European countries, Business Wire facilitates the simultaneous flow of
market-moving press releases from corporations to financial markets and their
audiences, including regulatory authorities, media, investors, financial
information systems and consumer news services. Business Wire also handles XBRL
tagging, document formatting and regulatory filing into EDGAR, SEDAR, FSA and
Communications professionals turn to Business Wire to optimize and issue press
releases, photos and multimedia to news organizations, journalists, trade
publications, search engines, and individuals, with full-text posting to web
sites, online services and databases. A range of distribution options enables
members to target by geography, industry, news theme and audience demographics.
Founded in 1961, Business Wire has dual headquarters in San Francisco and New
York, with 30 bureaus in cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Miami,
Paris, Frankfurt, London, Brussels, Tokyo, Toronto and Sydney and reciprocal
offices throughout the world. Business Wire's patented NX data platform supports
XML, XHTML and XBRL code that enhances news release interactivity, social media
sharing and search engine optimization. More information about Business Wire and
its services is located on its website at www.BusinessWire.com.
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