Billionaire Warren Buffett told CNBC that he wholeheartedly supports Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's planned bailout of Wall Street by backstopping the banks holding failed mortgages.
"It's what I would do if I were there," he told the network in an interview over the weekend.
That sentiment was echoed by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who told Congress on Tuesday that anything short of Paulson's bailout plan would invite certain recession.
"The financial markets are in quite fragile condition, and I think absent a plan they will get worse," Bernanke said.
Buffett's opinion might matter more as the week wears on and congressional hearings continue — and opposition to a bailout begins to mount. The Paulson plan will certainly add many billions to America's already staggering debts, which would weigh on the dollar and, among other things, cause oil prices to rise. Not good going into election season.
Buffett's name is being bandied about as part of a bipartisan oversight board that might also include New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Clearly, Congress wants action, and fast, but it also wants some kind of leadership in an area of the economy where even the best brains in the business are now suddenly sitting on the burned-out ashes of where their banks used to be.
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