The Greatest of All-Time: Buffett Leads Poll - TheStreet

The Greatest of All-Time: Buffett Leads Poll

Warren Buffett can add one more accolade to his Omaha fireplace mantle: a new poll shows Buffett placing No. 1 all-time among players in the investment and business world.
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) -- 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

Berkshire Hathaway

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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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