Buffett Tells Fox About Goldman, Obama, Autos, Stocks & More (BRK-A, GS)

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Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) will be appearing on Fox Business News around the close of the market today, and we have been provided some of the information being discussed.  Mr. Buffett noted issues such as his shot at being Treasury Secretary, the future of Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS), unemployment, Autos, the price of Berkshire Hathaway, and more.

First and foremost, the Oracle of Omaha told Fox Business News oneperson for sure who he knows will not be the treasury Secretary…HIMSELF.

On the economy and unemployment, Buffett said that he thinksunemployment is going to be far higher than what the Fed projects. “There are going to be more people unemployed…but I’m notworried about how we come out in the end. I mean, I’m not worried aboutfive years from now. Five months from now, can be very painful…it willbe considerably higher…It will happen eventually [surpassing 8%], andwe will go on to new heights, but it will not turn around by mid-yearnext year.”

Buffett also noted his position on the price drop seen in BerkshireHathaway shares.  Shares have traded north of $150,000 per "A" sharethis year, and were briefly under $80,000 today and this week.But as far as this worrying the billionaire after seeing roughly a 50%haircut, he did not seem worried about it. “No, it doesn’t make anydifference. I mean, if you don’t own it on margin, you own a business…I look to the business to determine my results. I’ll say it’s happenedto me three other times in my life, too.  It happened when it went from90 to 40 back in 1974, and it happened in 1987.  It went down 50percent in 1998 to 2000. I mean, I hope I live long enough so ithappens a couple more times to me.”

As far as ramifications to auto bailouts, he has a couple ideas whichreally fall on the executive teams themselves.  “I would drive a deallike I would drive myself if I were buying a business.  And I think, Iwould say there’s plan A or plan B.  And if you don’t want to do itthis way, you know, then…take bankruptcy.  I would make the CEOs buyin.  I would say, you know, the United States government is willing toput in X dollars, but we’re going to have you put in a certainpercentage of your net worth right along with us.  We’ll give you moreupside, but you’re going to lose if we lose.”

Buffett is also still talking up his investment in Goldman Sachs group(NYSE: GS). “Their businesses are all tough now, but they’re going toget around it…This time, the institutions got very, very leveraged, andwhen the whole world tries to be leveraged at one time, I mean, thereis a lot of pain that goes around.  But you know, the Goldman’s of theworld, they’re going to be around.  Some of them needed, I mean, notGoldman specifically, but some of them needed the help of the TARP.”

There are other circumstances and situations that are equally asimportant.  He discussed the current president’s role, the future of a President Obama, Hank Paulson, his next investment picks, and sellinginvestments.  For the rest of what he will say, he’ll be on FoxBusiness News right around the close today.

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Jon C. Ogg
November 21, 2008