LSU Business Students Meet Warren Buffett
BATON ROUGE – Twenty LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business students from the Department of Finance and the LSU Flores MBA Program were among students from six universities nationally that were selected to meet and interact with Warren Buffett, on Friday, Jan. 13. The students spent their day with the business magnate, investor and philanthropist by touring two Berkshire-Hathaway subsidiaries, participating in a two-hour Q&A session with him and dining at his favorite restaurant, Piccolo Pete’s.
Jasmine Spear, a second-year LSU Flores MBA student, said meeting Buffett was a “momentous experience,” and described him as a humble man with a welcoming persona.
“He managed to hold the attention of 100-plus students for about two and half hours straight,” Spear said. “He spoke to us as the future leaders of America, explaining his political philosophy, business intellect and overall success.”
Harrison Breaud, a finance senior in the E. J. Ourso College, described the Q&A as very entertaining.
“Mr. Buffett is very intelligent and has a good sense of humor,” Breaud said. “He spent a generous amount of time answering everyone’s questions.”
During the Q&A, Buffett spoke about a broad range of topics, including tax policy, advice for college students entering the workforce, the economic potential of BRIC countries, market arbitrage, competitive advantages of a business and high frequency trading. Buffett also gave his opinion as to why the United States is the greatest country in the world.
“The market system works extraordinarily well … in terms of creating wealth … it’s the miracle of all time,” Buffett said. “We had a system that unlocked human potential like no system in history.”
Buffett also discussed the current state of the U.S. economy, criticizing both Democrat and Republican members of Congress.
“In Washington, they are trying to make sure somebody else pays the taxes instead of them; I mean, that’s the way democracy works,” Buffett said. “And a big democracy and a rich democracy produce lots of money, and politics tries to impose itself while somebody else pays.”
Buffett even used an analogy that compared America’s output to a goose laying golden eggs.
“You get a society that is enormously productive, yet a significant percentage of the people in society are really not sharing,” Buffett said. “You may want to rethink tax policies and other things, but we don’t want to kill the golden goose when we do it.”
Eli Jones, dean of the E. J. Ourso College of Business, said Harrold Melton, LSU alumnus, initially connected the college of business to Warren Buffet.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to one of our alumni, Harrold Melton, for helping to secure this experience for our students,” said Jones. “Harrold is a three-time alumnus of the college, and his connection with Mr. Buffett was one of the main reasons why our students were chosen for this invaluable opportunity.”
Melton earned his bachelor’s degree in general business in 1967, his MBA in 1969, and his Ph.D. in finance in 1974.
The LSU Flores MBA Program is the E. J. Ourso College of Business’ flagship program and rigorously prepares students to earn an advanced degree that will help them enhance their careers. Full-time, executive and professional tracks are offered and provide schedule flexibility for those wishing to pursue their MBA from a program that was ranked No. 26 nationally among public institutions by Forbes.com for return on investment. For more information, visit http://mba.lsu.edu or call 225-578-8867.
The Department of Finance at LSU’s E. J. Ourso College of Business offers high quality programs for undergraduate and graduate students interested in careers in corporate finance, asset management, real estate, insurance, banking, financial planning and business law. Aiming to create exciting educational opportunities for its students, the department employs tools such as the Securities Markets Analysis Research and Trading, or SMART, Lab. This 44-station simulated interactive trading floor enables students to gain practical experience in the fast-paced world of securities analysis, research and trading. Additionally, the Department of Finance encourages, supports and conducts research in real estate by housing the nationally renowned Real Estate Research Institute. For more information, visit www.bus.lsu.edu/finance, call 225-578-6291, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.