Warren Buffett Warns That Recovery Will Take Time
Warren Buffett, the world's richest man and an economic adviser to President-elect Barack Obama, said in an interview with "Dateline NBC" that the United States is engaged in an "economic Pearl Harbor".
He said that while the current situation is "pretty severe", it's not as bad as World War II or the Great Depression.
Predictably, Buffett had some kind words for Obama, saying that the American people couldn't have "anybody better in charge".
Buffett went on to say that Americans are fearful, and this fear is restraining spending and investment. It makes sense - who wants to spend any money or invest in a new venture if you are fearful about your current employment situation or the value of your assets?
"The Oracle of Omaha" did offer some hope though. He said that eventually Americans will break out of the cycle of fear that they are currently locked in, and that it's "never paid to bet against Americans".
Warren Buffett warned against expecting miracles, and that Americans shouldn't expect a dramatic recovery in the economy anytime soon.
While Buffett is still obviously a very rich man, he didn't expect 2008 unscathed. His company, Berkshire Hathaway, was nearly halved. This resulted in many billions of dollars of paper losses for Buffett, who is accustomed to turning in hefty returns for his shareholders year after year. So while you certainly can't say that Buffett is "suffering", 2008 was not an entirely pleasant year for him as well.
Buffett is repeating the mantra that we'll surely hear from Barack Obama - better days are coming, but they won't be here anytime soon.
Filed under: The Economic Meltdown