I’m sure I don’t need to remind the greatest investor in the world about the law of supply and demand. So I’ll remind you instead. In this law of economics, a discipline that has no verifiable laws, this one holds up better than others over time. Here it is: If you limit supply, demand will grow. If you increase supply, demand will fall.
This is equally true for all products, from toothpaste to iPods to politicians and celebrities. If supply of any one of these becomes scarce, the demand for the product or service rises proportionally to that scarcity. If there is a glut on the market, and it becomes flooded with any one thing or another, people want it less, are willing to pay less attention or money to acquire it.
Now, far be it from me to be critical in any way of the nabob of Nebraska, the oracle of Omaha, the sensible, wise, amusing elder statesman/everyman of capitalism, Warren the Buffett. But speaking for one consumer of his excellence, I must say that he’s certainly all over the place this morning.
I read about him over the weekend in New York Magazine online, in regards to how funny he was in his rightly heralded annual letter. New York Magazine is a very tough sell, by the way. They’re no creampuffs. But they like Warren. Elsewhere, his smiling, genial face is also on the cover of Business Week — oh, excuse me, BLOOMBERG Business Week. He’s also on Fortune.com today, in an extensive article on all matters Buffettian. And let’s not forget about a similar lengthy exercise on our direct competitor, the online business arm of a once-great network now fallen into sad disrepair. He’s also on their cable television network, which is dedicated to real-time business information and state-of-the-art graphics. More Buffett, this time wandering about in a crowd somewhere and getting something pinned to his lapel. He looks a bit lost, but happy.
Always happy. Doesn’t worry about the economy. In things for the long haul. Nothing to get too excited about. Things are improving, but slowly. That’s Warren. In there, year after year, making the game look easy and fun.
But is it possible to have too much of this good thing? I don’t want to get to the point where people are saying, “What? Him again?” That’s what happens to super-saturated celebrities in this culture, even those who seem perennial and durable. I, for one, value that very special feeling I always got when I had a chance to sample my Buffett when it still had a little bit of scarcity. I’d be very sad if this particular premium product went the way of Madonna, Donald Trump and the Jonas Brothers.