Warren Buffett On The Crisis By Charlie Rose (video)

A long, but worthwhile explanation on where we are…and why the bailout was necessary. Thx to ADK.

Some highlight Buffett-isms from the video:

  • I would rather be approximately right than precisely wrong
  • This is truly an economic Pearl Harbor.
  • The patient on the floor in cardiac arrest is not Wall Street, it is the American Economy
  • Everyday you don’t react to Pearl Harbor you are otherwise behind in a war that you would have fought.
  • Sheila Bear and Hank Paulson are great leaders…need more tools. They need money and flexibility.
  • Derivatives…financial weapons of mass destruction.
  • We naturally go through the 3 I’s: Innovators, Imitators, and the Idiots.
  • Leverage is a lot like Cinderella at the ball…we all know they turn into pumpkins at 12…nobody wants to leave before then.
  • Confidence in institutions is a lot like oxygen…when it is gone for 5 minutes it is the only thing you think about.
  • The American System unleashed more potential in human beings…we have all the ingredients for an incredible future.
  • Beware of Geeks bearing formulas.
  • I’m not worried about the country, I’m worried about anything that gums up the potential of the country.
  • The recession is going to get worse…best case is 6 months. Worst case is a long time….5 years.
  • It is more important who the Treasury Secretary is than who the Vice President is.
  • I would hand a blank check to someone like Hank Paulson.
  • Mark to market is a good idea. Telling the truth never hurt anybody. You get in a lot of trouble when you start putting fictitious numbers on assets.
  • I am paying the lowest tax rate in my life…and that is crazy. I should be paying more taxes.
  • We need real leadership in government. Someone who can explain things to people.
  • If AIG had tried to unwind its derivatives book, it would have hit every financial institution in the world.
  • It would be crazy not to do this….you are going to see more bad news. But over time the system will work.

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