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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Pretty Good for Government Work"

Warren Buffett thanks the government for saving the day:

Pretty Good for Government Work, by Warren Buffett, Commentary, NY Times: Dear Uncle Sam,
...Just over two years ago, in September 2008, our country faced an economic meltdown. ... A destructive economic force unlike any seen for generations had been unleashed.
Only one counterforce was available, and that was you, Uncle Sam. Yes, you are often clumsy, even inept. But 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. And when our citizens are losing trust by the hour in institutions they once revered, only you can restore calm. ...
 The challenge was huge, and many people thought you were not up to it. Well, Uncle Sam, you delivered. People will second-guess your specific decisions; you can always count on that. But just as there is a fog of war, there is a fog of panic — and, overall, your actions were remarkably effective.
I don’t know precisely how you orchestrated these. But I did have a pretty good seat as events unfolded, and I would like to commend a few of your troops. In the darkest of days, Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson, Tim Geithner and Sheila Bair grasped the gravity of the situation and acted with courage and dispatch. And though I never voted for George W. Bush, I give him great credit for leading, even as Congress postured and squabbled. ...
Delusions, whether about tulips or Internet stocks, produce bubbles. And when bubbles pop, they can generate waves of trouble... This bubble was a doozy and its pop was felt around the world.
So,... Uncle Sam, thanks to you and your aides. Often you are wasteful, and sometimes you are bullying. On occasion, you are downright maddening. But in this extraordinary emergency, you came through — and the world would look far different now if you had not.
Your grateful nephew,
Warren

    Posted by on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 12:29 AM in Economics, Fiscal Policy, Monetary Policy | Permalink  Comments (62)


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