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Media Navel-Gazing: February 28, 2011

Mark Kollar  Follow

The Week Unpeeled

The week's news focused in large part on continued conflict in the Mideast, with antigovernment forces increasing their attack on Moammar Gadhafi in Libya, whom was referred to as "dead man walking" from commentators throughout the weekend. Other apparent dead men last week included Charlie Sheen from Two and a Half Grams, no more needs to be said.  Elsewhere:

  • Oscars went to "The King's Speech," which won best picture and three other awards;
  • Boeing won a more than $30 billion contract from the Pentagon for aerial refueling tankards:
  • An earthquake hit New Zealand, killing over 100 people and leveling Christchurch Cathedral;
  • Plans emerged on how to avoid government shutdown because of a showdown on spending;
  • Kathleen Parker makes stage left from CNN's "Parker Spitzer" show;
  • Nasdaq OMX continued to consider a bid for NYSE Euronext or another exchange; and
  • The Dow lost just over 2 percent for the week to end at 12,130 and oil hit $100 a barrel.

Buffett Annual Shareholder Letter: Folksy Optimism

Warren Buffett, in his popular Berkshire Hathaway annual letter to shareholders, said he predicts improved business this year, with his conglomerate reporting an increase of 61% in net income for 2010. However, the company's book value grew 13% last year to $95,453 per share, which was slightly below the return of the Standard & Poor's 500 stock-index, one of Buffett's closely followed indicators.

Because his letter is so widely follow by investors, sophisticated and otherwise, it's worth repeating some of his folksy observations of out-loud patriotism and optimism.

"Throughout my lifetime, politicians and pundits have constantly moaned about terrifying problems facing America. Yet our citizens now live an astonishing six times better than when I was born. The prophets of doom have overlooked the all-important factor that is certain: Human potential is far from exhausted, and the American system for unleashing that potential - a system that has worked wonders for over two centuries despite frequent interruptions for recessions and even a Civil War - remains alive and effective.

"We are not natively smarter than we were when our country was founded nor do we work harder. But look around you and see a world beyond the dreams of any colonial citizen. Now, as in 1776, 1861, 1932 and 1941, America's best days lie ahead." CJP

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