Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett gives an "exclusive interview" to Yahoo! News and the Huffington Post in which he proclaims, "This economy is coming back." Asked about Nobel lauraete New York Times columnist Paul Krugman's warnings of an impending great Depression, Mr. Buffett replied, "I don't think so."
"The government basically did the right thing," Mr. Buffett said. Easy for him to say, since they used stimulus money to subsidize his Burlington, Northern, and Santa Fe Railroad, and, as we noted earlier, Mr. Buffett's holdings got a lot of taxpayer aid, too.
The taxpayer put $25 billion into Wells Fargo, $6.6 billion into U.S. Bancorp, and $3.38 billion into American Express through the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Berkshire invested $5 billion in Goldman Sachs on September 24, 2008; on October 28, 2008, Goldman agreed to take $10 billion in TARP money. Berkshire invested $3 billion in General Electric on October 1, 2008; on November 12, 2008, GE Capital announced it had received approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's Temporary Liquidity Guaranty Program to issue up to $139 billion in debt backed by a government guaranty. Granted, Mr. Buffett claims Wells Fargo was forced to take the TARP money (a claim reinforced by other accounts) and that the TARP money hurt his interests by diluting him.