Thursday, November 13, 2008

Warren Buffett Interview

Clusterstock did it again. They found another really cool article. This is the transcript of Buffett on CNBC:

That Awesome Warren Buffett CNBC Interview (courtesy of Clusterstock):
"It's a tall order to get up at 5am and speak for three hours and never say anything that isn't wise, charming, or funny....Full three-hour transcript here (with minor deletions), courtesy of CNBC. If you don't have time to read it now, save it for the weekend."
A few quick of Buffett's quotes:

Two short ones:
" know, you only find out who's been swimming naked when the tide goes out. Well, we found out that Wall Street has been kind of a nudist beach"

"...the country will be doing far better five years from now than it is now, but it won't be, in my judgment, it probably won't be doing better five months from now."
and two longer ones:

On Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:
"...they also had an added problem in that they had a dual mission. The government expected them to promote housing and the stockholders expected them to raise the earnings substantially every year. And as the years went by, they emphasized the latter more and more. They started talking about "steady Freddie," and Fannie Mae said, `We're going to increase the earnings at 15 percent a year.' Any large financial institution that tells you that sort of thing is giving you a line of baloney. I mean, they may do itfor a while, but when they can't do it with operations, they do it with accounting and they cheat."
and one last one on regulation and management:
"... managing complex financial institutions where the management wants to deceive you can be very, very difficult. Or even when the management doesn't know what's going on, and--just take Bear Stearns. Bear Stearns had--I read it, anyway--750,000 derivative contracts. Now, you know, I could clone Albert Einstein, you know, and--many, many times and have him work 12-hour days for me and he would not be able to keep track of what's going on in an institution like that. It's--the ones that are too big to fail may be too big to manage"

I do have one question for CNBC. Why would you make him go one so early in the morning? Make this prime time.

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