What does Warren Buffett think?

What does Warren Buffett think?Warren Buffett says he sees the economic slide ending, but won’t put a timetable on recovery.

He believes Treasury Secretary Paulson and Fed Chairman Bernanke acted honorably and intelligently when they forced Bank of America to close the Merrill Lynch acquisition. Considering the fragile situation at the time, had Bank of America been allowed to invoke a major adverse change clause and back out, it may have been disastrous for the financial system. And although they have sympathy for Wells Fargo’s complaints about being forced to accept TARP money against its will, by and large they believe the government handled the financial crisis well.

Inflation: The aggressive stimulus policies will have consequences, and might produce inflation. The US borrows from the rest of the world and will have an incentive to reduce the cost of that debt by inflating the currency. It is the easiest way out, and therefore the most likely. Incidentally, US revenue from taxes this year is going to be lower than last year; and so the people actually paying for the AIG bonuses and all those other expenditures we had recently are the Chinese and other foreigners who are buying US government bonds. They will see their purchasing power erode, perhaps substantially. The impact of foreign exchange rates is unclear since other countries are doing even worse than we are, running even larger deficits per GDP in order to offset falling demand.

Future of the world’s economy: While Buffett has no idea what the near future holds, he believes that, over time, people will live better. We are able to produce today much more than our ancestors did, even though they had the same inherent intelligence and natural resources we have. But our system unleashes human potential and that process has only just started. There will be greed and fear, but the trend will be improving. Despite all the horrors of the 20th century, with two world wars, political turmoil, a Great Depression and several recessions, US standard of living improved sevenfold. Our enormous human potential will generate much more progress, despite occasional hiccups.

About the author

Ted Feight, CFP®

I have been an asset, financial, life and wealth manager for 36 years. During that time the profession has been in a state of rapid evolution. What my core clients expect of me today is very different from what they expected 36 years ago When I started, clients were just beginning to invest and had little. Now many are near and or are retired, and have accumulated a great deal.
I believe I have given my clients peace of mind and comfort that occurs when they have had a trusted relationship with someone for many years. What keeps my clients coming back to us is not product, but the confidence that someone is looking out for their best interest, listening to what they are saying and serving as a partner in helping them get where they want to be. Who else has asked the questions about who they are, where do they want to go, and what drives them? I have been my clients' sounding board, confidant, coach, guru and in the end the stronger the relationship we have had, the greater were their successes. We do not always have the "Be your client's best friend" type of relationship but, in the end, I want to be their "go to" guy when they need questions answered or need help.

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