Rich & Powerful: Buffett and Clinton


Warren Buffett raised over $1 million for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, Tuesday. Find out what one of the world’s richest men and one of the world’s most powerful women think about the economy, the stock market and your money.

What happened today after the Fed decision?

Clinton says, “I think the Fed is doing the best they can given the complex problems they’re facing. We have multiple issues we have to deal with, and some of them are not the Fed’s responsibility… "

She adds, “What we have to do in the federal government is get back to more fiscal responsibility…. and to deal with some of the extraordinary increases in debt and our trade deficit and all the rest of it. So if you look at the full range of issues the Fed is trying to navigate through it… and obviously I think more should be done and that’s one of the reasons why I’m running for president.”

Are we heading for a recession?

Buffett says, “I think it could happen. I think if unemployment picks up there could be some dominoes that topple from that. I don’t know (that will happen) and frankly I’ve been surprised unemployment has stayed at 4.7%.”

He adds, “If we can keep people employed we will not have the dominoes topple. If unemployment picks up we could be in a recession.”

Should the government do more to stave off a recession?

Buffett says, “I can see where Bernanke is looking at a lot of information including the unemployment figures and inflation has to be a real worry for him."

He adds, “When you have the dollar falling the way it is… and when you have people around the world, to some extent, losing confidence in it… and how they might react if interest rates were terribly low – it’s not an easy question and I have no feeling that I could be doing a better job."

Where do you fall on the estate tax?

Clinton says, “I do not believe the estate tax should be repealed. I think it has been very cleverly hidden as a death tax. It’s really a tax to prevent us from having inherited wealth generation after generation which really undermines the spirit that the US stands for>"

She adds, “And there are a lot of economic reasons that make it unaffordable. I think we can raise the exemption levels.. but I will strongly support the maintenance of the estate tax.”

Do you believe the AMT (alternate minimum tax) should be passed without consideration for pay as you go?

Clinton says, “I really regret that the GOP in the Senate filibustered what was an effort to... try and fix the AMT.

She adds, “Unfortunately the Bush administration did not see... AMT as a priority and they would never work with us to try and fix it. So we’re going to have to fix it – because it’s not fair to hit these millions of taxpayers with this extra tax.”

If that’s the case – where do we raise taxes?

Clinton says “We need to end the war in Iraq. We need to bring those tax dollars home. We have a president who took us to war and refuses to pay for it. And we have a president whose second priority after the war was tax cuts for people like Bill and me and Warren. We have to reorder our priorities.”

Warren, you’re raising money for Senator Clinton but you’re also supporting Barack Obama. Why?

Buffett says, “Before either one declared, I told Hillary if she ran for president I’d support her. And I told Barack the same thing. Now here I am!”

Senator, would you consider Barack Obama as a running mate?

Clinton says “I’m just focused on getting the nomination. I’ve got a lot to do but I’m thrilled to have Warren’s support.“

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Trader disclosure: On Dec. 11, 2007, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Macke Owns (SWY), (INTC), (EMC), Najarian Owns (BIIB) Options, (CCL) Options, (CSCO) Options, (EMC) Options, (BIDU) Options, (GOOG) Options; Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (GS); Finerman's Firm Owns (NMX), (NYX), (TXI); Finerman's Firm Owns (BIIB) Options, (MSFT) Options; Finerman's Firm Owns Russell 2000 Puts; Finerman's Firm Owns S&P 500 Puts; Finerman's Firm Is Short (IWM), (SPY), (IYR), (IJR), (MBI); Finerman's Firm Is Short (MDY) And Owns (MDY) Puts; Finerman's Firm Is Short (LEH) And Owns (LEH) Puts; GE Is The Parent Company Of CNBC