In a Toronto appearance late this afternoon, Warren Buffett said interest rate cuts by central bankers have made money more available and even inexpensive.
In response to a question referring to a 'credit crunch', Buffett said:
"I wouldn't quite call it a credit crunch. Funds are available ... Money is available, and it's really quite cheap because of the lowering of rates that has taken place. What has happened is a repricing of risk and an unavailability of what I might call 'dumb money', of which there was plenty around a year ago."
(A clip of the audio of that comment appears to the left. An archive of the complete webcast is available from Business Wire.)
Buffett repeated his concerns about the U.S. dollar due to the nation's high current account deficit.
He also echoed his long-term optimism about the health of the U.S. economy:
"We don't spend any time at Berkshire, my partner and I have never had a discussion that I can recall in 40-some years, about where the economy is going, what interest rates are going to do,or anything like that. We have a basic, basic belief, and I think we're dead right, and we've been right, but it doesn't require any genius, that the country will do well over time. We think 10, 20, 30 years from now we'll have a more prosperous country. We have no idea whether there's gonna be a recession in 2012, 2016, 2020. It makes no difference to us. We'll keep playing the game."
Thanks again to Business Wire for making a live audio feedof the event available on Warren Buffett Watch this afternoon.
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