While he says the government did a good job of rescuing the economy from the financial crisis, Warren Buffett does have concerns about the Federal Reserve’s latest quantitative easing efforts. But he still sounds bullish on the U.S. economy and stock market over the long haul.
“I don’t get very enthused when central bankers start targeting higher inflation,” Buffett tells CNBC. “And I don’t think the impact will be huge from it, and I think it opens up certain dangers in terms of people worrying about the United States government printing money. … I think it has a psychological effect on how people think about the future of money if they think the government will monetize debt. And … once unleashed that can be a little bit difficult to put back in the bottle.”
But Buffett also says he’s confident that four or five years from now, the country and economy will be “far ahead” of where we are today. And he says that he would rather have his money in stocks than short- or long-term bonds, “by far”, and that he thinks the stock market’s gains since the financial crisis have been warranted. He also says he thinks that short- and long-term bonds are a “very poor investment at today’s prices”.
Buffett also says that the U.S. is currently benefiting from a “huge fiscal stimulus”, though it’s one not directly tied to a stimulus bill. “Fiscal stimulus comes about when the government spends considerably more than it’s taking in,” he says, explaining that the government is spending more than it’s taking in by the largest margin since World War II. “It doesn’t have to be labeled a stimulus bill,” he says. “When the government sends out a check and he doesn’t raise the full amount of that check, that is stimulus, whether it’s in a stimulus bill or whether it’s in a hundred other bills. So we’ve got a lot of stimulus going on.”