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Normally I take thestreet.com for what it is, entertainment w/ sometimes a helpful insight.  However, I always like to see what someone else has to say, because "out of the mouths of babes..." 

Anyway, this guy Altucher, who apparently wrote a book on Buffett, says that Buffett could be lying about the recession in order for him to artificially deflate the stock market, which in turn allows Buffett to buy a bunch of companies on the cheap. 

 http://www.thestreet.com/_yahoo/video/strategysession/10406106.html?cm_ven=YAHOO&cm_cat=FREE&cm_ite=NA

Even though Altucher looks like a guy I new from my high school chem II class that "accidentally" created a concoction that released acid vapor into our lab room, and "accidentally" mixed  potasium metal with water which created a small explosion in the lab (http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/chem99/chem99093.htm).... he may actually have a point.  It's not like Buffett is Bernanke, and supposedley informing us of his real thoughts. 

 I know, I know "but Buffett is giving all his money away to charity, why would he dupe the investment community"?  Because, Buffett likes doing what he does best, and that is invest.  It's not about the money, its just doing something he loves to do.  Is that malfeasence?  Not really, its just a little misdirection to convince Mr. Market to give him something on sale.

I think someone had a Buffett quote once that said... "I like a sure thing, like shootin fish in a barrel, after all the water has been let out".

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Think about the flip side. TheStreet.com will lose massive amounts of business if we head into a recession. It's a fact that the number of investors declines substantially when a recession comes along, and increases substantially when there's a bull market. TheStreet.com's income is directly proportional to the number of active investors.

All the evidence points to a recession and I don't think Buffett would intentionally lie and tarnish his reputation just to invest in more undervalued companies.

I'd say TheStreet.com has much more riding on whether there's a recession or not than Buffett, who can perform both in and out of a recession.

Just my two cents!

Ryan

FreundInvesting.com

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Anybody that thinks we are not in a recession is stupid - Period.

The dumbest person I know told me yesterday "You know Mike I think we are in a recession because I was in a strip club last night and the girl said there was absolutely no business anymore and she thought we're in a recession" If strippers are telling us there is a recession it means any non believers are dumber than a stripper. 

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Funny, because I was thinking the exact same thing.

I read something from Buffett a week or two ago being quoted as saying he wasn't predicting a recession, not to bet against the U.S. economy, etc.  Analysts looked at his large purchasing of BNI as evidence that Buffett was still very bullish on the economy.

Then it gets reported yesterday that he's saying we're in a recession?  My gut instinct was the same thing: that Buffett was trying to convince people we were in one to pick up a few bargains.

Another factor might be that he wants to see a Democrat president, and perhaps him saying there's a recession would help that to happen as voters would have another reason not to vote Republican. 

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Buffet is being truthful. I'm not sure how much influence he has on markets and government, but there is increasing talk of a massive government bailout of mortgages and related businesses. The potential of 200 banks failing this year and the possibility of a major financial collapse is real enough to cause an intervention from the Feds, the scale of which we have never seen before.
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I thought the same initially. But in reality Buffet doesn't really care. He is invested in the market, so you could say he actually wants it to go up. But if it goes down, he can buy in.

I think he is being honest, as I also feel the market is not really reflecting pessimism, and if it is pricing in a recession it is a very minor one.

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Very intriguing. I wonder what the hookers are charging in Times Square. I'll tune in to Letterman, he should have the answer. The hooker/stripper index is something I'd rely on for recession indicator before all the market commentators. When did they last go shopping for anything?
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I wouldn't hold it against Buffett if he lied, since he is giving all his money to the charity anyway. Most of the people he misleads would spend their speculative fortune on granite countertops and Las Vegas slot machines.
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i don't trust anyone on wall street including buffett table

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If you find any validity to Buffett having ill motives then you must believe that we are indeed NOT going into recession. That is the bigger issue to me, and that is more intriguing and laughable that people are trying to convince people of this.

If you are one of these fools then you must believe the "Facts" that the real manipulators are telling you:

- Inflation is moderate

- Unemployment indeed is not rising

- Growth will accelerae in the second half of 2008 and outpace the above factors.

 

Fact:

- On Jan 22, 2008 the FOMC had it's second emergeny rate cut in 20 years. The last being after September 11, 2001 which caused a subsequent mild global recession

- Your dollar is 'worth less' and will be worth even lesser which is a statement Buffett made

- In 2006, Warren Buffett purchased Israeli company, Iscar. The first foreign company to be directly purchased by Berkshire Hathaway

- In October 2007, Warren Buffett disclosed he was invested in the Brazilian Real. 

- You are foolish to believe the U.S. economy will accelerate in the second half of 2008. 

I'm no disciple of Warren Buffett, but don't call a whale a dragon when you're helping these manipulators burn the economy. 

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Buffet might be fanning the flames a little but he didn't set the fire.
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My guess is that Buffett does indeed see a pullback in consumer spending in the companies he manages, clear evidence of a recession, AND he doesn't mind using that information to toss a little gasoline on the false funeral pyre of the American Economy being so carefully stoked by the Media.  The More Hedge funds that start bailing out of their underwater leveraged positions, the more Kraft, BNI, Wells, JNJ, and unknown Bonds Warren can buy.

 

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Buffet is not the nice guy, Coke drinking, McDonalds eating, Cadillac driving billionaire investor everyone thinks he is. He is shrewd, cold and calculating in his investment decisions. Grant it he has donated much of his wealth to charity but does the mean justify the end?

Look no further than General Re, his reinsurance company. The former CEO, General Counsel and several other high ranking executives got thrown in jail for fraud. You tell me he had no idea of what was going on at one of Berkshire's largest business units. Is he that much different from Ken Lay-Enron?

How about his bond insurer white knight "bail out" plan that got much notoriety in the press as the next coming of the savior. Nothing more than offering to strip the low risk high profit underwriting from the the insurers on the cheap. 

Just a thought.

 

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I doubt that he'd risk the empire by pumping the market like that.

However, it is painfully obviously that the economy isn't doing so great. Usually things like discretionary spending (those strippers we all love and enjoy) is the first thing to go in a downturn like this. Although a good point was made in that this is a great time for a bull to start snatching up some cheaply-valued companies.

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Mr. Buffet is a businessman - shrewd, calculating and has the bucks to back up his nerves of steel. I don't think he's ever pretended to be anything different. What's wrong with that? Nothing. I take all comments from whales, media, politicians, friends, relatives and hopefully I have sense enough to draw my own conclusions which will serve my own financial interest. I have no altruistic interest or goals with my market investing or any of my other business ventures for that matter. Why expect it from others? This is why we have governments and laws. Society needs humanist governments to temper and control the natural urges of self interest. This is why it is imperative to keep business interest out of the halls of our governing bodies.
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Buffet's word vs. Rising Trade deficit, falling dollar, war costs, falling home values, falling govt. income, foreclosures, increase in debts, decrease in savings rate, etc.  Yeah, I'm sure it's just Buffet.  You'll have to excuse me now, I need to go make hats from all this tin foil I just bought.
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A recession is truely imminent: House prices are falling, which could have a negative multiplier effect on the economy due to the negative 'wealth effect' coming into play. Unemployment is rising. the Fed has cut rates by drastic levels. it doesnt take a genius to realise that markets are plunging.
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AnomaLee: WEB's shareholder letters have been talking about the depreciating dollar as a result of our trade deficit for at least 3 years, maybe more. His "worth less" comment was not new -- just a continuation of this theme.
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I don't  believe that Mr. Buffett cares whether we are in or heading for a recession.  When the market is panicking he is quietly buying.  The key word here is quietly.  When Mr. Market is Bullish and overpriced he is quietly selling.  The key word here is quietly.  Even though he preaches buying and holding stocks long term he does sell and reap huge rewards.  I pay less attention to what he says and more to why he does what he does.  He is often quoted because there are never a shortage of those who want a quote.  If he wanted to make a quick buck from his own quote as is being suggested he would just leak information on his own stock purchases.  When the street learned he owned Kraft it moved the market on those shares almost $2.  It is more advantageous for him if his business moves are made under the wallstreet radar.  Personally I think he loves the research more than reaping the rewards at this stage in his life.  Thats my feeling otherwise why keep doing it at his age.   

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A recession hit our town two years ago -- where has everybody else been?  As a real estate agent, I sold over $4,000,000 in properties in my third year of being an agent.  As a real estate broker in my sixth year, I've sold two homes in the last year.  (Homes average $200,000 in this outstate area.)  Small business owners in our community have been hurting for two years -- things won't be looking up soon either.  It's going to take time and a president that can gain the trust of the citizens of this country.  I don't know Buffet and haven't read about him.  But I can talk with people who are successful businessmen and women in my own community and see and hear how tough it is for their businesses right now.  They are losing money left and right, beginning about two years ago.  Are we in a recession?  Our community has felt it for quite some time now.  It's tough.
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If Warren Buffett is anything, it's that he's a plain straight talker.  I bet he holds back from saying too much, because he is aware that what he says impacts the market (and he's not going to give away all his secrets).  However, who else in the investment world is open and honest enough to admit that their secretary pays more tax than their boss??? 

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