Warren Buffett: Sequester Won’t Slow Economy Much

Monday, 04 Mar 2013 08:57 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said he doesn't think the sequester will affect the nation's "slow recovery."

"We're continuing to see a slow recovery. It hasn't taken off, but it hasn't stopped either," Buffett told CNBC on Monday.

"It's not galloping at all, but we are making progress bit by bit. Everybody would love to see it faster. But it's not going into reverse and I do not think the sequester will cause it to go into reverse," continued the Nebraska native.

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As chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a multinational conglomerate holding company headquartered in Omaha, Neb., Buffett has an estimated net worth of $53.5 billion, according to Forbes Magazine.

Acknowledging that the spending reduction accomplished through the sequester will scale back the government's stimulus of the economy, Buffett said the cutbacks would not take the government stimulus' "juice" out of the economy.

"We're going to bring down spending. We're going to bring up revenues. We may get there in fits and starts. And everybody may scream each time we do it. But the deficit is going to come down. It needs to come down."

Adding that the sequester could continue "for quite a while," Buffett said that there will be an opportunity at a later point to make more considered spending cuts after the American people see the effects of the "meat ax" approach.

Buffett also warned that if Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, whom he respects, decides to raise interest rates there "will be very noticeable" reaction in the markets.

"I think the Fed will try to give little signals here and all of that. But in the end, there are an awful lot of people who want to get out of a lot of assets if they think the Fed is going to tighten a lot."

As for investing in the stock market, Buffett, reacting to the recent surge in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, said he continues to see "good value" in the market despite the stock market index approaching an all-time high in recent days.

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"Anything I bought at $80 I don't like as well at $100. But if you're asking me if stocks are cheaper than other forms of investment, in my view the answer is yes. We're buying stocks now. But not because we expect them to go up. We're buying them because we think we're getting good value for them."

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