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Warren Buffett and CNBC's "Squawk Box"

Squawk Box
Squawk Box

There is a Dow Jones Newswires story, that originally moved on Wednesday (2/7), quoting billionaire investor Warren Buffett as saying the dollar will be "worthless" if the current account deficit continues. Warren Buffett called CNBC's Becky Quick, co-anchor of "Squawk Box" (6-9 AM ET) this morning on her office phone (which also rings on the set) to correct the Dow Jones Newswires story. Becky literally interrupted Jim Cramer and CNBC Chief Economics Correspondent Steve Liesman to repeat what Buffett was telling her -- he said the dollar would be "worth less." That's a very important distinction.

Below is the original Dow Jones Newswires story:

Buffett: Dollar 'Worthless' If Acct Deficit Persists

Dow Jones News Service via Dow Jones

(This article was originally published Wednesday)

TORONTO (Dow Jones)--Billionaire Warren Buffett said Wednesday that the U.S.

dollar will be "worthless" if the country keeps sending more money abroad than it brings in.

"If the current account deficit continues, the dollar will be worthless five to ten years from now," the Bershire Hathaway (BRKA,BRKB) chief executive said, speaking at the opening of Business Wire Canada.

He wouldn't say whether he's still betting against the U.S. currency.

He did say Berkshire Hathaway would continue to build its position in the bond insurance business if rates are good. Berkshire set up such a business in New York recently at the urging of the state's top insurance regulator.

Industry leaders like MBIA Inc. (MBI) and Ambac Financial Group Inc. (ABK) face downgrades of their bond insurer ratings, as losses mount on complicated securities they have guaranteed. The New York regulator is working with banks to put together a package for stabilizing Ambac, though its outlook is uncertain.

"I don't know that there's going to be a bailout, and I don't know that there should be," Buffett said.

Buffett said the Berkshire Hathaway board has three people in mind to replace him as chief executive and four who could take over his role as chief investment officer.

Regarding the replacement for President Bush, Buffett said he would support a Democrat, either Barak Obama or Hillary Clinton. "I'm sort of a political bigamist," he said.

-By Evelyn Juan, Dow Jones Newswires; 416-306-2025; evelyn.juan@dowjones.com




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