Debating a 2012 global economic slowdown according to GDP forecasts, with CNBC’s Steve Liesman and Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway chairman/CEO shares his investment strategy, saying the Fed’s forecast is not an indicator of where he is investing.
Video and transcript below:
it is jci. there is concern over italy, greece and europement we forgot to look at the u.s. not surprisingly, forecast about as clouded as it’s ever been for the outlook for europe and u.s. fiscal policy. here’s what the average looks like. 2.5 is going to be revised down to 2.1 for the third quarter. you can’t see that there. the fourth quarter, 2.6. and then there’s that slowdown in the first quarter, 2.35. 2.77. now look at some of the differences here. we put up there two guys on two different sides of the trade there. action economics and j.p. morgan. j.p. morgan all way down towards — well, almost 0.5% for the first quarter of 2012. you can see action economics much higher. j.p. morgan sees consumer spending posting a goose egg in the first quarter of 2012. other forecasters somewhere between 1% and 2%. here’s another big swing factor. u.s. government spending somewhere between a minus two and a zero. so take a look at the commentary. high frequent economics saying the unfolding disaster in europe is the biggest threat to our relatively optimistic story for the u.s. economy next year. we’re calling this the forecaster because it’s a huge asterisk around the forecast. the fate of the expiring support measures is a critical swing for the 2012 outlook. if they expire as scheduled, consumption growth with be challenged. speaking of consumption growth, sales tax receipts are running ahead of withholding taxes and people are spending more than they’re earning. the additional spending could be coming from drawing down savingors credit or both thought to be unsustainable unless someone out there has hiring plans. they’re keeping secrets and just a promotional note here. we have chicago said president charlie evans live tomorrow at 11:00. if i could ask warren a question. how do you process all this uncertainty? we have this forecast out there. it could go down to zero or two. do you anything nor all that uncertainty? or is it something you process it and make your investment decisions on? the world is always uncertain. the world was uncertain on december 6, 1941. the world was uncertain on october 18th, 1987. we just didn’t know it. the world was uncertain on september 10, 2001, we just didn’t know it. there are always incertainties. the question is what do you do with your money? if you leave it in your pocket, it will become worth less, not worthless, but worth less over time. that’s almost certain. can you put it in bonds and then you get a certain 2% for ten years and that’s almost certain to be less than the decline in the purchasing power. you can put it in farms and the farms will probably keep growing corn and soy beans and they’ll grow it whether italy has trouble tomorrow or not. it’s very interesting to me. if you own a farm and somebody said, you know, italy’s got problems, do you sell your farm tomorrow? if you own a good business in omaha and they say italy has problems tomorrow. do you sell your business? do you sell your apartment house? no, but people think if they own wonderfully businesses they have to make a decision every five minutes. so i do not think that ben bernanke comes up and whispers to me he’s going to do x, y or z tomorrow, i’m not going change my view about what businesses i want to own. i’m going to own the businesses for years just like i would own a farm or apartment house. and there are all kinds of events and encertainties. in the end, what will really count is how that farm or business or apartment house does. kint time the buyi i can’t time the buying and selling. i had to go owl the way out to s. i had to go ten spaces to add a dler before i got a symbol. jci. you never heard of jci? you have to go all the way up to sls, silver wheat and corn. ten spaces. not pit is nothing. mfo. can i just ask warren — we have to go. just one quick question. at this point the uncertainty fades away and the banks have to be of something that is of interest to you. is there a point in time where you might take a bigger stake in the banked out there? well, wells fargo in the lart quarter and the quarter before that and the quarter before. that and i also bought it 20 years ago. if i find a good business. if i own gay mcdonald’s stand, i own 40% and somebody wanted to buy 10% more to get the price, i would buy 10% more. i’m going to own the businesses fi 05, 10, or 20 years. the about gizs do wonders for you overi’m. all right. we’re going to continue this conversation with warren buffett. we’ll have much more squawk