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Must read: Warren Buffet on our economy’s Pearl Harbor, and Barack Obama’s fitness for duty

CNBC provides a transcript of a conversation between Warren Buffet and Tom Brokaw. Choice excerpts, in case you missed it on TV:


Is Barack Obama the right commander in chief for the economy?


He’s the absolute right commander in chief. That– you know, that’s another thing the American people seem to do, occasionally, is that we elect people that are right for the times. You know, whether it was Lincoln, Roosevelt. And– and I would say Obama– you– you couldn’t have– anybody better in charge.


But why is he right for the times?


Well, he’s– he– he’s smart, he’s got the right values, but he also– he understands economics very well. He’s cool. He’s– he’s– he’s analytical. But then, when he gets it all thought through, and he’s fast– he can convey to American– the American people what needs to be done. Not to expect miracles. That it’s gonna take time. But that we’re gonna get to the other end. And– and I– I– I don’t think there’s anybody better for the job than– than– the president-elect.


Do you think that the American taxpayer, or the American consumer, will have learned anything about proportion as a result of this experience? Because we have been on a binge.


Yeah, we’ve been on a binge.


And I count myself on that by the way.


Yeah, well– well, you look like a guy that’s been on a binge, actually. (LAUGHTER) No, I think– the– most people won’t. But some institutions will. And– and some will learn it whether they want to or not. But– but the– most people have a propensity to spend what they– what they make and maybe a little more.

And– and the trouble is they– they’ve had a friendly bartender, you know, in– in terms of this binge. And I think– I think the bartender is going to, been sobered up materially. And some of the rules about how many drinks he can serve and all of that– (LAUGHTER) will be tightened up somewhat.

So I– I– I do not think we will see a repeat of the factors that led to this soon. We will see bubbles though again in the future. Human nature, you know, greed and fear will keep– continue to exist. And– and– and we will have other bubbles, and they won’t be exactly like this one. But they won’t– you won’t see this particular type repeated for quite a while.

Let us hope.

Reading a transcript is a bit choppy but it’s worth slogging your way through.

(Hat tip to Paul Kedrosky’s Infectious Greed for the link)

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Tom Mangan posted at 10:45 am January 19th, 2009 |

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