I don't quite understand the whole sentence of Buffett: "Lose money for my firm and I will be understanding; lose a shred of reputation for the firm, and I will be ruthless"

  • So why didn't he say "Lose money for my firm and I will be understood"?
    – haile
    Sep 22 '16 at 11:24
  • 1
    If you lose money for the firm, I will be understanding. If you lose reputation, I will be ruthless. Understanding = empathetic, willing to forgive an error. Sep 22 '16 at 12:00
  • "understanding" is not the same thing as "understood". "I am understanding" = I understand you. "I am understood" = you understand me.
    – stangdon
    Sep 22 '16 at 13:36
  • Thanks to all of you. I like TRomano's answer the most though :-)
    – haile
    Sep 23 '16 at 11:23

Warren Buffett is saying that the reputation of his firm is extremely important to him and that he will not tolerate behaviour (by employees) that damages its reputation.

He will however be sympathetic if some of their business dealings are not profitable (because of the inevitable risks involved in commerce).

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