Filed under: International markets, Forecasts, Rants and raves, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), Market matters, Johnson and Johnson (JNJ), Recession, Financial CrisisThe plight of the US and global economy, and how it touches everyone, has most people believing we are in for a long drawn out period of sluggish growth, and that a lot of pain is still to come. For most companies and individuals this means they can not obtain enough liquidity, reduce debt or increase their net cash positions fast enough.
As everyone is searching for a path to safety, and pondering Buffett says buy, then sells, Roubini says wait -- what's an investor to do? I was intrigued by the contrasting views of two people held in high esteem in economic circles, Warren Buffet, billionaire investment icon, and Nouriel Roubini, New York University economics professor.
Although Roubini has received much acclaim for 'predicting' today's economic plight two years ago, Buffett actually did the same, calling the derivative investments in vogue on Wall Street "the true weapons of mass destruction".
Some comments I received proclaiming that the Dow Jones Industrial Average could conceivably drop to 5000, even below Roubini's pessimistic view of things, and that would be the time to charge into the market. Others think that this is all way too arbitrary and that the negativity itself is a major part of the problem promoting the idea of taking a traditional long term view.
Buffett and Roubini certainly have much to offer the investing public in terms of their unique perspective from different vantage points. They may not actually disagree in their economic world views that much. They simply have different jobs to do.
I would like to see both of them face to face -- on Face the Nation, the very long running Sunday morning news show on CBS. The show usually runs 30 minutes, but I think these two could easily do a two-hour special. There are a multitude of questions that investors would like to ask.
The large number of debt and equity transaction that Buffett has initiated over the last six months has Wall Street speculating about both his motives and his future intentions. Why would Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A) sell half of its stake in Johnson and Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) for example? Does the company just need cash? Are they making a statement about JNJ's near term growth possibilities? Are they simply rebalancing their portfolio? Inquiring minds want to know.Related Links
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