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CM: The policy of American corn into fuel was one of the dumbest ideas in the history of the world. I’m in Nebraska, and I like Nebraskans to prosper, but this is an idea that I think is probably on its way out.

WB: A CDO squared is nuttiness squared. I think the discipline, mild as it may be, to have management state their assets at cost, has a positive benefit. Charlie found an instrument one time that was misvalued by $20 million back when that was real money.

CM: Some of my Republican friends have overdosed on Ayn Rand, and seem to believe that anything that happens in a free market system for someone’s best interest it was good, even if it was an axe murder.

I think some things that should be forbidden. If the phrase “this is a financial instrument that is designed to reduce risk” had been banned then the American financial system would work better.

Q. On the future of mass transit and in particular railroads.

WB: The American public basically doesn’t like mass transit. American love affair with the car is sort of overwhelming. You could make all kinds of rational arguments to people about the benefits of mass transit, but one car per person seems to be an unbeatable model. Even with gas at $4, people don’t want to wait. I don’t like to bet on something that’s gone one way for decades suddenly reversing/

CM: You have a more optimistic view of it than I have.
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