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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Warren Buffet warns of inflation, shortens duration of bond holdings

Aug. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Warren Buffett shortened the duration of bonds held by his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. after warning that deficit spending could force inflation higher.

Twenty-one percent of holdings including Treasuries, municipal debt, foreign-government securities and corporate bonds were due in one year or less as of June 30, Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire said in a filing Aug. 6. That compares with 18 percent on March 31, and 16 percent at the end of last year’s second quarter.

“It may be a sign that Buffett expects interest rates to start rising, maybe sooner than the conventional wisdom,” Meyer Shields, an analyst in Baltimore at Stifel Nicolaus & Co. who has a “sell” rating on Berkshire, said in an interview.

Inflation has fallen to a 44-year low even as the Federal Reserve more than doubled its balance sheet in two years to $2.33 trillion to help draw the economy out of recession. A U.S. jobs report last week showing that companies hired fewer workers than forecast in July pushed the two-year Treasury yield to a record low. Bill Gross, founder of Pacific Investment Management Co., advised investors to buy longer-dated maturities.

Buffett, 79, urged Congress last year to guard against inflation as the U.S. economy returned to growth. In an August 2009 op-ed in the New York Times, the Berkshire chief executive officer said government must address the “monetary medicine” that was pumped into the financial system after the 2008 crisis.

“The United States is spewing a potentially damaging substance into our economy -- greenback emissions,” Buffett wrote. “Unchecked greenback emissions will certainly cause the purchasing power of currency to melt.”
Read the rest here.

2 comments:

M. Jordan Lichens said...

But sir, both Dick Cheney and Paul Krugman tell me that deficits don't matter, so why are you worrying?

John (Ad Orientem) said...

both Dick Cheney and Paul Krugman tell me that deficits don't matter

If I knew nothing at all about economics the fact that Dick Cheney told me not to worry would make me look for a life jacket in the middle of Sahara Desert. As for Dr. Krugman; he is one of the smartest fools I can think of. Well meaning, but extremely dangerous.