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Letter to Diane Francis


Parsad
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I sent Diane Francis an email today regarding the article:

 

Dear Diane,

 

I am a long-time Fairfax Financial shareholder, who is friends with hundreds of other Fairfax shareholders.  Some have owned Fairfax from day one, and some are recent buyers.  We have immensely enjoyed your interviews with Prem over the last few months.

 

Many of us were somewhat disappointed in the tone of your article today.  Not that it was necessarily lacking in fact, as Fairfax Financial has done better than any other property-casualty insurer in the world in 2008.  No, the disappointment stems from elsewhere.

 

Despite several interviews with Prem, we believe you may not have grasped the essence of what makes him a great leader to begin with...his humility!  We can only shudder and gasp at the inflammatory title of your article, and wonder exactly how Prem felt about that.  As long-term shareholders, we can assure you he would never take any pleasure in such a statement, nor would he ever equate himself with Buffett...one of his heroes and mentors.

 

In fact, Prem would be the very first person to remind you that Fairfax had a very difficult time from 2003-2006, while Berkshire prospered handsomely.  A period in which the very existence of Fairfax was in jeopardy.  The reason Fairfax survived wasn't because Prem is some kind of six-sigma genius, but that his humility earned him trust from the likes of the Markels, Cundill and Sir JohnTempleton, and the great team of employees at Fairfax whose loyalties know no bounds.

 

I hope you don't view this letter as a negative.  If anything, it should be viewed as something positive, as there is much to Prem Watsa that the mainstream media does not know and has yet to explore.  Ideally, it should begin with his humility.

 

Yours truly,

   

 

Sanjeev Parsad

 

Corner Market Capital Corporation

Suite 1620, Box 36

1140 West Pender Street

Vancouver, BC  V6E4G1

 

phone:  604.612.3965

fax:      866.279.2907

e-mail:  sanjeevparsad@shaw.ca

www.cornermarketcapital.com

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I'm sure she is, but just like we responded when people were treating Prem like crap back in 2003 & 2004, we aren't going to let anyone treat him like a God now. 

 

He's Prem Watsa, CEO of Fairfax Financial, who has done some amazing things since starting his company.  If anyone is the ideal student for Buffett and Graham, it's probably him, but at the end of the day he's still just Prem.  I'm pretty sure his wife and kids don't tell him he's "one up on Buffett" at home!  ;D  Cheers!

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Partner,

 

Agreed - the bashing does eliminate credibility.

The unfortunate thing is that most readers have this "ha ha - rich people deserve to lose money" or "I always figured he was just a lucky guy, this proves he's not that bright" mentality and when you mix that with their poor memory and impatience, they likely will have forgotten her comments and their doubt when Berkshire is reaping what has recently been sown.

People tend to have very poor memories with regard to their mistakes.

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