Buffett: Who’s to Judge Corporate Conduct?

From yesterday’s L.A. Times: Buffett rebuffs efforts to rate corporate conduct

Warren E. Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said Sunday that he regarded efforts to rate the performance of companies on social, human rights or environmental measures to be of dubious merit and would not consider such factors when selecting investments.

“I don’t know how I would rate Exxon versus Chevron versus BP,” he said at a news conference one day after Berkshire’s annual meeting. “It’s very difficult to judge the actions of companies that act on thousands of things every day.”

Here’s the potential essay question for biz ethics students:
Explain the following quotation from Berkshire Vice Chairman Charles Munger:

“I don’t think that the people who do that philanthropy are all that good at knowing whether they are doing more good than harm,” Munger said. “If you put a gun to my head and asked which one has done more good for the world, the Ford Foundation or Exxon, I’d have no hesitation in saying Exxon.”

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