Buffett sends love letter to Uncle Sam

The Oracle goes against the grain and praises the government for guiding the economy through crisis.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 17, 2010 12:56PM

thestreetWarren Buffett. Image credit: © Chip East/ReutersBy Dan Freed, TheStreet


Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.A) Warren Buffett toils in financial markets amid a sea of critics who bash the government from all sides, but going against the grain in the same way that has made him rich, he wrote a letter to Uncle Sam thanking the government for its work since the 2008 financial crisis.


When "businesses and people worldwide race to get liquid, you are the only party with the resources to take the other side of the transaction," Buffett said in an open letter to the U.S. government published today in The New York Times. "And when our citizens are losing trust by the hour in institutions they once revered, only you can restore calm."


Buffett singled out Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, former and current Treasury secretaries Hank Paulson and Tim Geithner, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair for praise, saying they "grasped the gravity of the situation and acted with courage and dispatch."

Geithner, who worked alongside Paulson during the crisis as New York Fed chief before succeeding him as Treasury Secretary, and Bair, who has remained atop the FDIC through the transition from the Bush to the Obama administration, have often been portrayed in the press as being at odds with each other.


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Nov 17, 2010 5:06PM
Buffet is right on target.  I am a conservative and I know it is unfashionable to give Obama's administration credit for anything.  That said, it is intellectually dishonest to do otherwise in this case.  We do the conservative cause a disservice when we fail to be truthful and objective. 
Nov 17, 2010 5:21PM
Mr. Buffet just forgot to mention that 'wall street' and primarily their institutions were the ones that were 'saved.'  Therefore, 'main street ' are the ones receiving the direct hit of the longest recession in America during the past 100 years. The unemployment still has the highest mark, new industries are not coming yet, and investmentt is not equipped with money. The panoramic view of the economy still pessimistic and dark for the next 2 years to come.  
Nov 17, 2010 4:25PM

I believe that Mr. Buffett is absolutely correct.  If I had his means, I would post a similar ad on the West Coast.



@ Seattle

Nov 17, 2010 5:12PM
It's unfortunate that many, many irresponsible actions by the masses (overspending, huge risk taking, unverified credit etc.) led to the fall of the financial house of cards that the gov't had to intervene and "save".   Fiscal responsibility should be the lesson learned.  Those who forget history are bound to repeat it - seems we have amnesia.
Nov 17, 2010 4:30PM
I like the remarks from all the victims out there.  Whenever something happens you look to blame, rather than look forward and find a way to improve your position.  Never let a good crisis go to waist is the mantra of those who do well.
Nov 17, 2010 4:34PM
Calling him greedy is just a bit off the mark http://abcnews.go.com/WN/bill-gates-warren-buffett-organize-billionaire-giving-pledge/story?id=11325984

Nov 17, 2010 10:51PM
of course! thank you uncle sam for helping me from losing all my billions and bail out all these irresponsible companies at the expense of the taxpayer and their lost future of their children. Thank you also for running up the deficit more by proping up the market before the election, this has alowed me the time to put all my hedges in place for the market to fall and we can blame it on the people electing those darn republicans. just think of the seats we would have given up if we didn't goose the market. after all the GM ipo would have been worthless if the market tanked before the offering. Don't think I'll buy any of that stock though, probably have to bail them out again in a year. I have too see what would be worth buying at bargain prices when we hit bottom next time, hhmmm, nah the government is worthless.
Nov 17, 2010 10:45PM
I believe Mr. Buffett truly has as much grasp on the economy as Obama does. Ask the 8 million unemployed how the billions he gave/gives away has helped them? Both are so out of touch and soon to be out of power.
Nov 17, 2010 4:26PM
"grasped the gravity of the situation and acted with courage and dispatch" just like the Capitan of the Titanic quickly ordered the lifeboats in to the water , This would have never happened had they been paying attention. 
Nov 18, 2010 1:01AM
warren, you make me sick. just go away.
Nov 17, 2010 5:16PM

agreed. buffett is not greedy he's a capitalist. however, buffett is giving his money to a foundation to avoid taxes. a true philanthropist gives money away while alive

Nov 18, 2010 3:39AM

I agree with Mr. Buffet.    The actions taken were similar to those taken by FDR when he became president and were vital to stabilizing the U.S. and ultimately, the global economy.  You might read The Politics of Upheaval which gives you the parallel. 


There are a lot of reasons other than the government for the economy taking.  Private industry must take most of the responsibility.

Nov 18, 2010 1:16AM
It's all pretty much corporate. The corporate media reports the news thru the filter big business wants you to hear. Ask yourself what's their MOTIVATION?  FOLLOW THE MONEY! Your media is owned by a hugh corporation, not worth millions but billions, and their dependent on the advertizing of other billion dollar companies. They aren't American Companies any more, they have an office on some island, their workers live and labor in another country. Nearly a million jobs lost in our country in one month, at least we put a stop to that. Your job might have been next.
Nov 17, 2010 8:16PM
Buffett is just about as in-touch with the 'main-street' citizenry as the government is!  They're all a bunch of (thieve's at best) self-serving, greedy and crony-creep's not whatsoever a molecule-in-touch with the heart's, mind's and soul's of lower and middle-class society.  Show me an honest politician or money-broker (of Buffett's stature) and I'll show you a crook! We are in a new paradigm where it is no-longer o.k. to make a decent living anymore...now everyone need's to be mega-wealthy!  It's all (the next revolution) going to come (crashing) down between the halve's and the have-not's! The citizenry has become some sort of a living-pawn serving both the government and their appointed almighty czar's (do they really know what they're doing?) and the like's of power-broker's (aka such as twit's) like Buffett.  Remember...they're all serving themselve's all the way to the grave!      
Nov 17, 2010 7:53PM

Buffett is pandering to the Fed and especially the Goldman Sachs cronies who run this nonsense. Ask yourself "Has Warren addressed anything regarding the quadrillion-dollars or so of OTC derivatives?" Bear in mind, Mr. Buffett himself warned so many others of the destructive outcome this Mount Everest of paper garbage brings. I believe he's worried his investment in GS will likely tank. A word to the wise that Gold and Silver will win this economic war, and if you doubt any of what I've said, simply check and find out for yourself that GS is long gold, no freakin' surprise when Jim Sinclair opined months ago to the effect that even the enemies of gold are likely long, despite what jawboning to the contrary they make.

Bernanke is a M0R0N except when it comes to the printing press. I fully expect a QE3 because the Fed has really no other ammo to use, other than unpopularly-high interest rates.Confused

Nov 17, 2010 5:23PM
There has to be a bigger agenda as to why buffet thanked them. I mean, I'm grateful that mega QE is occurring because I hold precious metals. Buffet must be countering them too and sending a nice thank you letter.
Nov 17, 2010 4:17PM
Buffett in bed with Obama.  Isn't this just wonderfulAngry
Nov 17, 2010 4:04PM
Oh thank you government for giving me back my money.  You are my savior!  I trust big government and no one else!

Nov 17, 2010 4:37PM
I'd write a letter to Uncle Sam thanking them if they saved my _ss and put the rest of the country in Debt!!! Bailed out the Unions with the buy out of Goverment Motors what a bunch of bull!!!!
Nov 17, 2010 5:57PM

Every rich person is in bed with George Soros.  Soros is the one who collaped economies the world.  If we don't wake up, US is next.    We are already printing money at alarming rate to buy longterm treasury bonds by the way 500 billion.  


I don't praise anyone because we are heading for the toilet. 

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