Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B) has been out on just about every media outlet that he can reach people on to discuss the notion of a second stimulus package. He has said this week and before how there is no recovery and there are no green shoots out there in his investment companies. When your time frame for investing is forever, this continues as a clear deviation from what the Oracle of Omaha has taken as a stance in the past. There is a simple take here… The old guy must be preparing the world for a poor earnings report and another quarter of poor performance.
He has noted how the first stimulus package did not have the intended effect and how the TARP was done on an unsophisticated basis. He also keeps hanging on to the notion that America’s best days are ahead as that old party line despite the fact that much of the rest of the world is quickly catching up to us on a comparative basis to a decade or a generation ago.
The language here is uncanny when you think about it. If Buffett is out panning everything he can think of, what does it tell you about his own earnings. Actual estimates and guidance from Berkshire Hathaway are useless because they are not diverse enough to matter for analyst coverage. But when you have market seers like Dennis Gartman out saying “Short Buffett” and when you have the old guy out being a pessimistic media guest on every outlet, then what other conclusion is there? If this ends up being the case, then KBW may regret that recent positive research call.
There is one thing that could make Berkshire’s year that would be good for Buffett and good for residents living on the coast. If there are no major hurricanes, it could save the company a few billion dollars. Maybe watching the National Hurricane Center’s maps will be more of an indication to Berkshire’s earnings than this pessimistic tone that Buffett is throwing out there.
Berkshire shares are back down to $85,600.00. The 52-week range is $70,050.00 to $147,000.00.
Jon C. Ogg
July 10, 2009