Interesting points by the famous duo made to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway.
- Buffett made it clear that he remains concerned about the trade deficit and the U.S. dollar, although he is bullish on the long-term strength of the U.S. economy. But he and Munger issued stern new warnings about the residential real estate "bubble," the destabilizing effect of hedge funds on the financial markets, and the possibility of another terrorist strike against the United States.
- They also warned that they do not see a clear future for pharmaceutical stocks, that GM and Ford face severe trouble over pension and health costs, that hedge funds could wreak havoc in a market decline, and that the New York Stock Exchange is doing a disservice to investors by going public.
- It seems that a $618 billion trade deficit, rich as the US is and as strong as it is , something will have to happen that will change that. "When you have far greater sums than ever before, in one asset class after another, that are held by people who operate on a hair-trigger mechanism, then they lend themselves to more explosive outcomes. People with very short time horizons with huge sums of money, they can all try to head for the exits at the same time. The only way you can leave your seat in burning financial markets is to find someone else to take your seat, and that is not always easy...."
- " The US is like an incredibly rich family that owns so much land they can't travel to the ends of their domain, and consume roughly 6 percent more than they produce. And they pay for it by selling off land at the edge of the landholdings that can't see and are also consuming more than we produce. The world has demonstrated a diminishing enthusiasm for dollars in the last few years as they get flooded with them – every day there's $2 billion more going out than in.
- If you jump out the window at the 42nd floor and you're still doing fine as you pass the 27th floor, that doesn't mean you don't have a serious problem. I would want to address the problem right now. The auto industry better face it."