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Doug Kass Predicts Warren Buffett Will Step Down In 2010

The investment strategist who profitably shorted Berkshire Hathaway's stock in 2008 has a bold forecast for 2010.

Appearing as guest host on CNBC's Squawk Box this morning, Seabreeze Partners' Doug Kass predicted Warren Buffett will step down in the coming year.

As he ran down a series of coming surprises with Joe Kernen and Carl Quintanilla, Kass told viewers, "With the Burlington Northern acquisition, the Oracle has basically completed his canvas and there's really very little left for him to do."

The prediction is number 12 of "Dougie's Top 20 Surprises for 2010," as listed last week in a Barron's blog:

12. Warren Buffett steps down. Warren Buffett announces that he is handing over the investment reins to a Berkshire outsider and that he plans to also announce his in-house successor as chief operating officer by Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in 2011.

(Kass has his own post on the subject today in a paying-subscribers-only section of TheStreet.com.)

Doug Kass
Doug Kass

While Kass says he "worships" at Buffett's "investing altar," he's been very critical of Buffett over the past two years. In January, Kass wrote that "Buffett's salad days seem to be over; the only question that remains is the timing and to what degree investors will abandon the Oracle of Omaha."

Buffett has repeatedly said he has no intention of quitting at Berkshire anytime soon because he loves his work so much.

Unless he suffers some unexpected physical or mental impairment, it's hard to imagine that he would be any happier doing anything other than going into his Omaha office each day looking for more ways to make money.

Current Berkshire stock prices:

Class A:

Class B:

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Email comments to buffettwatch@cnbc.com

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