Billionaire investor Warren Buffett made some economic claims from his office in Omaha Nebraska this Thursday. He claims that the economic growth in the United States has slowed down over the last two months because of the fear that’s taking place because of the debt woes over in Europe. If you haven’t been paying attention, the European debt has been mounting for quite some time now.
Buffett made these comments on Thursday during an interview that he did with financial network CNBC on cable television. Unfortunately, the comments he made on Thursday are in contrast with the message that he has been presenting to the public over the last few years.
Previously, Buffett said that the economy began to improve gradually since the fall of the year 2009. The one area that he mentioned that wasn’t improving is all business that is related to housing. Which obviously makes sense since we are in the middle of a housing crisis.
Warren Buffett isn’t claiming that the US economy has turned in a negative direction at all. But he did want to point out that our overseas business in Europe has quickly dropped off over the last two months.
The CEO and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway used the information that he gets from the economic reports that are sent to his Omaha-based company’s subsidiaries, as well as the information he receives through investments. He has his hand in a lot of areas, and the investments range from soft drinks, to carpet, to insurance, to power companies and even railroads. So he’s getting a lot of information from many different areas.
Warren Buffett said “the general economy has been pretty much flat,” during his Allen and Co. interview when he attended the annual conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, among many media moguls and Wall Street investors.
One major bright spot that he pointed out at this meeting is that residential housing business has slightly improved very recently.
“The little pickup in housing has not been enough to offset what has been going on in the rest of the world,” said Buffett.
He’s not completely sure why the economy has been slowing overall.
During his CNBC interview, Buffett was also asked about JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. This comes one day before Chase is set to report their earnings, and also fill shareholders and the media in on this bad trade that has cost them somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 billion or more.
“I think Jamie Dimon is one of the best bankers in the world. He understands banking and risk,” Buffett said. Buffett has also personally invested in JPMorgan Chase as part of his own portfolio. He also wants to point out that investors should read Dimon’s letters to his shareholders.
Buffett was also requested to comment on Barclay’s, which is a British bank that was recently fined $453 million by the British and US authorities. They received this fine because they supplied false data that went into calculations used by the London interbank offered rate, which is a key global interest rate known as LIBOR.
Buffett claims that he understands exactly why Bob Diamond then resigned as CEO of Barclay’s.
“I don’t think he had any choice but to go,” stated Buffett.
Diamond has officially agreed to the final terms of a settlement, and he will have to forfeit up to $31 million in incentives and bonuses. This happened this past Tuesday.