Markets Close To Collapse
Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor who foresaw the credit crisis, described the turmoil in the financial markets an "economic Pearl Harbor" that required immediate action by politicians.
Piling pressure on Congress, amid growing rancour over the terms of a $700bn bailout for the financial system, Mr Buffett said that the panic of last week would "look like Nirvana" if the legislation is not passed.
"The market could not have taken another week like what was developing last week," Mr Buffett told CNBC. "Last week will look like Nirvana if they don't do something. I think they will. I understand they're very mad about what's happened in the past, but this isn't the time to vent your spleen about that." He predicted that the taxpayer would make a profit on its investments in toxic mortgage debt. "If I had $700bn on the government's terms to buy distressed assets, I would," he said. "Unfortunately, I'm tapped out."
The Independent, London 9-25-08