No Independence Day celebration would be complete without a salute to the Oracle of Omaha, our own Warren Buffett… “Mr. Coca Cola”, whose holding company is sitting on $35 billion … Latest reports have Buffett exercising his patriotic duty by traveling in Europe “shopping for businesses”…

It’s not just at Christie’s … records are being set at auctions world wide … including $2.1 million ponied up for charity to lunch with Buffett. That’s up from $650,100 last year. The winner: Zhao Danyang of Pure Heart China Growth Investment Fund in Hong Kong. (He does get to bring seven friends).

Hardly a day goes by without Wall Streeters being charged with crime as a result of gimmickry and fraud. But why beat up on the salesmen? In the halls of Morgan Stanley and the corner suites of Goldman Sachs, the books are cooked routinely. Says one GS biggie: “The job declines across the country are greater than the monthly numbers we are now seeing….”

For that matter, why sell subprime mortgages when you can process credit cards? As Congress wades into that trouble spot with new “disclosure rules” proposals (a pet project of B. Obama), “double cycle” billing — in which interest is charged on some already repaid debt — continues…

Ask one-time Nixon functionary Kevin Phillips what’s wrong with America and he’ll tell you: the financial services industry. As of 2006, more than 20% of GDP was tied to money service…Echoes of Holland and Britain in demise? Is manufacturing doomed in the USA? Here’s a hint: Ford Motor Co. is holding $50 billion in its coffers… The Company announced last week that it won’t make a profit in 2009.

Amidst all the cheers for the rescue of hostages held by FARC– the Frente Armada Para la Liberacion de Colombia… BUY LOW humbly suggests a walk around the appalling slums of Bogota … and countless same barrios in that nation… where surrendering guerrillas would no doubt reside. Ask the Salvadorans who assemble clothing for US distributors how it’s been going since they left the hills. Muy malo.

Finally, good-bye to Jesse Helms… the former news director who met up with politics in the 1950 NC Senate race… It seems a candidate whom Helms disfavored needed a lesson and a doctored photo was circulated showing that man’s wife dancing with a black man… Helms’ man, Willis Smith went on to win and then Helms went to work for Smith in the Senate. Smokin’.

Carl Ginsburg

Carl Ginsburg

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