"...our $58.5 billion of insurance “float” – money that doesn’t belong to us but that we hold and invest for our own benefit – cost us less than zero. In fact, we were paid $2.8 billion to hold our float during 2008. Charlie and I find this enjoyable."
"When investing, pessimism is your friend, euphoria the enemy."
"As we view GEICO’s current opportunities, Tony (Geico CEO) and I feel like two hungry mosquitoes in a nudist camp."
"At the moment, it is much better to be a financial cripple with a government guarantee than a Gibraltar without one."
"Investors should be skeptical of history-based models. Constructed by a nerdy-sounding priesthood using esoteric terms such as beta, gamma, sigma and the like, these models tend to look impressive. Too often, though, investors forget to examine the assumptions behind the symbols. Our advice: Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
"When I read the pages of “disclosure” in 10-Ks of companies that are entangled with these instruments (derivatives), all I end up knowing is that I don’t know what is going on in their portfolios (and then I reach for some aspirin)."
"The First Law of Corporate Survival for ambitious CEOs who pile on leverage and run large and unfathomable derivatives books: Modest incompetence simply won’t do; it’s mindboggling screw-ups that are required."