Warren Buffett: The Economy Is In "Shambles"

Real Estate Broker/Owner

Apparently Warren Buffett didn't get the memo from Ben Bernanke, Jim Cramer, or Larry Kudlow about the "green shoots" in the economy.

"I wasn't seeing anything.  I had a cataract operation on my left eye about a month ago and I thought maybe now I'll be able to see green shoots.  We're not seeing them."

During a recent interview with CNBC's Becky Quick, Buffett said, "Well, it's been pretty flat.  I get figures on 70-odd businesses, a lot of them daily.  Everything that I see about the economy is that we've had no bounce."

His near term prediction for the economy is not much better, "In the (Berkshire Hathaway) annual report, I said the economy would be in a shambles this year and probably well beyond.  I'm afraid that's true."

Interestingly Buffett appeared to take a jab at the Obama administration when talking about jobs when Quick asked, "But has Washington done enough that you think they can turn their sights to other problems that exist?" 

Buffett responded, "Well, they've turned their sights to other problems, but this problem is not yet solved.  And it's the most important problem we have."

No kidding.


Comments (14)

John Mulkey
TheHousingGuru.com - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

Mark - Buffett isn't the only one re-thinking their projections of a turn-around. We've seen some recent adjustments from several experts.

Jun 25, 2009 12:12 PM
Mark MacKenzie
Phoenix, AZ

John:  Indeed.  You simply can not have a recovery under these types of economic conditions.  A halving of the stock market, an ongoing housing depression, and a "real" unemployment rate above 16%...and rising.

Jun 25, 2009 12:14 PM
Thom Kraley
NewCastle Home Loans, LLC - Chicago, IL


1 - Housing price stabalization

2 - Employment stabalization


Nada so far. 

Jun 25, 2009 12:22 PM
COMPASS - Palm Springs, CA
COMPASS Palm Springs - Broker Associate

I do not trust Bernanke or Cramer - they're both looking out for their own respective interests, regardless of the facts.

Jun 25, 2009 12:58 PM
Eric Reid
Renaissance Realty Group of Keller Williams Atlanta Partners - Lawrenceville, GA

we will have to get you a BIG platform to get the word out

Jun 25, 2009 12:59 PM
BLRGUY(Beach & Luxury Realty Inc) - Saint Pete Beach, FL

Mark,it is pretty funny he seems to be turning on Obama,as he was one of his big supporters before the election....you get what you vote for,so they say!

Jun 26, 2009 02:21 AM
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

The real estate market has definitely bounced a little at least temporarily.  We are as busy now as we were 3 years ago.  Granted much is this is probably because prices are so cheap and the $8000 tax credit.  I'm not sure how long it will last though and there are a tremendous amount of foreclosures looming on the horizon.

Jun 26, 2009 02:58 AM
Bill Lauler
Chase Realty LLC - McLean, VA
Associate Broker,CIPS,CRB,SRES,GRI

So Mark, are you enjoying the new administration's change..I have a quarter,a dime and a penny left in my pocket with no thanks to them or their programs..

Jun 26, 2009 11:34 PM
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Keep in mind that Buffet is a scavenger.  Right now, he is in a target rich environment.  That is why he supported Obama... but in order to take advantage of the targets, the economy needs to turn.  I don't think he knew that Obama wouldn't at least TRY to heal the economy.

Jun 27, 2009 04:40 PM

Did anyone think that obama and his team would be THIS BAD? 

Jun 30, 2009 08:37 AM
Brian Griffis
Realty Choice - Springfield, MO

Ok, I know it is fun to beat up on the administration, just like every other administration.  But, what would you do differently?  If you inherited this mess and were told to turn it around, what would you do?  You can't just say make more jobs, and poof!  It took a long time to get here, and hey, we are still better off than 90% of the world. 

Jun 30, 2009 08:43 AM
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Brian, maybe instead of spending $1trillion for a program that even the CBO said wouldn't produce jobs... I would have scraped the tax system and moved to the FairTax.  At the very least, saved $1trillion on the stimulus bill.  Next, instead of taking on the health care industry by increasing spending by another $1.6trillion, I think that I would have looked for a free market solution... I've written about one... not enough time to write it all again here. 

If I was the last administration, I would have used some ink in VETO pen and slowed the amazing increase in spending they racked up...

Jun 30, 2009 04:10 PM
Mark MacKenzie
Phoenix, AZ

Brian:  There are three things the Obama administration can do to create an environment that would allow the economy, housing market, and stock market to recover.

1.)  Cut taxes for all tax brackets, including small businesses.  Small business owners are getting hit hard by this recession and as a result they are laying off workers.

2.)  Cut the capital gains rate so as to stimulate investment which in turn creates jobs. 

3.)  Repeal or reform the tax reform act of 1986 as it pertains to investment real estate passive loss and income limitations so as to increase demand for real estate and stop falling home values.

I am yet to hear one word out of the Obama administration about any of this.

Obama is using the recession as an excuse to pass legislation rather than passing legislation that would stop the recession.

Jun 30, 2009 04:57 PM
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Mark - Obama is using the recession as an excuse to pass legislation rather than passing legislation that would stop the recession.  That is exactly the problem.  Instead of addressing the problems that we actually face, the agenda is driving the decisions... and the agenda is building a bigger government, not fixing the problems.

Jul 01, 2009 04:20 PM