NEW YORK (
) -- Imagine, if you will, an annual investment industry event along the lines of the National Basketball Association All-Star weekend extravaganza, and amidst the hoopla, the trotting out of the All-Time Greatest Investment Team, or maybe a lineup akin to the NBA's 50 greatest-of-all- time.
But instead of ESPN's Sports Guy Bill Simmons to chime-in on the controversial choices, we could have Warren Buffett chime-in on the choices with the pithy tone he sets in his annual shareholder letter. No, wait, we
have Buffett chime in, because he's going to be front-and-center, center court, when it comes time to introduce the investment world Greatest-of-All-Time.
Whether it's the top five or top 50 investors of all-time, a new
survey says that coming through the tunnel from the locker room at No. 1 all-time investor -- and presumably a point guard, given his stature -- would be Warren Buffett, captain of the Omaha squad
Indeed, more than 50% of financial industry and business respondents -- asked in a new poll for the greatest investors of all time -- placed Buffett among their top-five choices, making the Oracle of Omaha far and away the leading vote-getter.
Adam Smith, with his world-famous invisible hand likely swatting away anyone driving to the hoop like a former-day Scottish version of Manute Bol, also made the top five, in second place with 37% of respondents placing him and his invisible hand on their short list. New Deal wizard John Maynard Keynes -- who did some Prime Time priming of the pumps of the U.S. market during the Great Depression -- was in third-place at 36%.
Rounding out the starting lineup for the All-Time Greatest Investment Team were U.S. titans of industry -- and, metaphorically speaking, the Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain duo of their era-- J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller. Morgan and Rockefeller had 32% and 25% of survey takers placing them in the investment world top five all-time, respectively.
The biggest problem for the team will probably be the locker-room tension between Smith's invisible hand and Keynes' preference for market intervention.
Following the top-five vote-getters were George Soros (22%), Benjamin Graham (22%), Alan Greenspan (16%), Andrew Carnegie (13%) and Jack Welch (10%).
Among other notable vote-getters were Ben Franklin -- who was known for his swimming expertise during revolutionary America days; and Sun Tzu, born in 544 B.C. and author of
The Art of War
-- and who can be expected to demonstrate Phil Jackson-esque Zen-brilliance during time out huddles.
Notably, no current global bank CEOs made the list.
-- Reported by Eric Rosenbaum in New York.
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