Warren Buffett says U.S. Treasury bubble one for the ages

February 28, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Opinion 

With the fundamentals in place on the dollar, it does seem like we have a huge crowd of “safe haven” investors sitting on the sideline in cash waiting for some sign of a bottom, which may or may not be in the near future.  I would say we are not close and we most likely see another bear market rally before we really start continue declines in the Dow and S&P.   I am personally shorting treasuries in anticipation of a fall in the dollar after these record levels of debt issuance.

News:

Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway Inc sits on $25.54 billion of cash, said worried investors are making a costly mistake by buying up U.S. Treasuries that yield almost nothing.

In his widely read annual letter to Berkshire shareholders, the man many consider the world’s most revered investor said investors are engulfed by a “paralyzing fear” stemming from the credit crisis and falling housing and stock prices. Treasury prices have benefited as investors flocked to the perceived safety of the “triple-A” rated debt.

But Buffett said that with the U.S. Federal Reserve and Treasury Department going “all in” to jump-start an economy shrinking at the fastest pace since 1982, “once-unthinkable dosages” of stimulus will likely spur an “onslaught” of inflation, an enemy of fixed-income investors.

“The investment world has gone from underpricing risk to overpricing it,” Buffett wrote. “Cash is earning close to nothing and will surely find its purchasing power eroded over time.”

“When the financial history of this decade is written, it will surely speak of the Internet bubble of the late 1990s and the housing bubble of the early 2000s,” he went on. “But the U.S. Treasury bond bubble of late 2008 may be regarded as almost equally extraordinary.”

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