×

Warren Buffett: 'Enormous Progress' Over Last Year On Economy

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett helps Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., raise campaign funds in San Francisco, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2007. Bufffett, who has said he would be happy with either Clinton or Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., as the next president, already helped Clinton raise at least $1 million during a June event in New York. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Paul Sakuma
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett helps Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., raise campaign funds in San Francisco, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2007. Bufffett, who has said he would be happy with either Clinton or Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., as the next president, already helped Clinton raise at least $1 million during a June event in New York. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Warren Buffett says we've seen "enormous progress since a year ago" on the economy, but he's not making any specific predictions about what might happen in the next quarter or two.

In a video interview taped a month ago, and released today, Business Wire CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz asks Buffett what he thinks will happen with the economy in the fourth quarter of 2009 and into 2010.

His reply:

"I am not sure about exact quarters or anything of the sort. Who knows about next week or next month? We made enormous progress since a year ago. We had a real panic. And if you didn’t panic, you didn’t understand what was going on. What happened in September and October of 2008 will particularly be remembered for a long, long time. And while the governmental authorities malign things sometimes, they fortunately did some very right things, very important things. They did them properly, and they kept us from going over the cliff. The fallout from that financial panic hit the regular economy in the fourth quarter like a ton of bricks. We are coming back from that. The patient really went into the emergency room and it won’t come out of the hospital entirely for a while."

That's in line with his comments in recent months in which he's said the economy has recovered from last fall's brink of total collapse, but remains very weak with no signs of imminent recovery.

He also repeats his belief that consumer spending won't be increasing for "a while," but he remains optimistic the American economic system will work "over time."

The interview (transcript) is designed to draw attention to Business Wire's new web site on the payments industry. Business Wire, of course, is a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary.

Current Berkshire stock prices:

080214_portfolio_tracker_badge.jpg

Class A:

Class B:

For more Buffett Watch updates follow alexcrippen on Twitter.

Email comments to buffettwatch@cnbc.com