Story@BFBV: The Jumping Buffett Story

Problems are solved better if you jump over the jurisdictional boundaries of multiple disciplines and grab the best ideas. When Warren Buffett shut down the textile operations of Berkshire Hathaway, he used ideas from microeconomics (Competition), game theory (prisoners’ dilemma), psychology (contrast effect, commitment bias, deprival super reaction) and finance (IRR). Had he just stuck to IRRs, he would have thrown good money after bad by investing new looms which saved on production costs. By thinking in a multi-disciplinary manner he figured that those cost savings would have gone to the customers and not to the bottom line because the textile business was a commodity business with excess capacity – a combination which makes you a price taker and not a price maker. He decided to get out of textiles and reallocate capital withdrawn to better businesses –  one of his best decisions. He moved into businesses like Candy where he was a price maker.

Learn to jump over jurisdictional boundaries of multiple disciplines and you will be richer – both financially and intellectually.