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A Conversation With Warren Buffett

January 16, 2013

As stated in previous missives, it was interesting to me that the media, once the drama passed, immediately refreshed the headlines to focus on the next Armageddon regarding the “debt ceiling.”
-Jeffrey Saut, managing director, equity research, Raymond James

 

Our friend Jerry Goodman, whose nom de plume is Adam Smith, authored the book “The Roaring ’80s” in 1988. The aforementioned quip is a quote from that book; I find it interesting that if you substitute the word “the Chinese” for “the Japanese,” the aforementioned quote is as valid today as it was 25 years ago. To be sure, “It’s an enormously rich country, and we can continue trading it away for a very long time. It’s a powerful machine, and it can take a lot of abuse.”

I revisit said quote this morning because today we are releasing this month’sGleanings report where we try to discuss what could actually “go right” with the economy and the stock market. The “we” involved are Scott Brown (Chief Economist), Art Huprich (Chief Technical Analyst), and myself. As for me, I have remained constructive on stocks for some time, a stance that was called naďve by certain folks as we approached the “orchestrated drama.” Nevertheless, I remained convinced that a last minute solution would be achieved because that is the way Washington works. As stated in previous missives, it was interesting to me that the media, once the drama passed, immediately refreshed the headlines to focus on the next Armageddon regarding the “debt ceiling.” What was lost in “the cliff’s” aftermath was that Congress came together and consequently our government became just a little bit less dysfunctional. Having railed against the government’s dysfunction, this is not an unimportant observation. Accordingly, if our elected leaders can show the same resolve in the “debt ceiling” debate, a lot of things could go right in the months ahead.

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