Warren Buffett compares American economy to great athlete on the floor as a result of cardiac arrest during a ‘fireside chat’ on The Charlie Rose Show

Saturday, October 04, 2008  — by Wow Jones

Investor Warren Buffett

Investor Warren Buffett

On Wednesday, October 01, 2008 Investor Warren Buffett appeared for a “fireside chat” with Charlie Rose on The Charlie Rose Show on PBS.  On this TV program, Warren Buffett showed himself to be a



practiced and effective communicator.



Charlie Rose

Charlie Rose


In this wide-ranging interview, Warren Buffett covered different aspects of the economy and readers of this website may want to take notes as to HOW Mr. Buffett made his points.

Take his expert use of analogy.  When referring to the American economy, he said,

“We have a terrific economy.  It’s like a great athlete that’s had a cardiac arrest.  Ya know, it’s flat on the floor and the paramedics have arrived and ya know they shouldn’t argue about whether put the resucitation equipment ya know a quarter of an inch THIS way or a quarter of an inch THAT way.  Or they shouldn’t start criticizing the patient because he didn’t have a blood pressure test or something like that.  They should do what’s needed right now…”


Or check out this statement on taking for granted having confidence in markets:

“confidence in markets and in institutions, it’s a lot like oxygen ya know, when you have it, you don’t even think about it.  I mean indispensible isn’t it?  You can go YEARS without thinking about it.  When it’s gone for five minutes it’s the ONLY thing you think about.  And the oxygen has been sucked out of the credit markets and in confidence…its gotta be given a jump shot, basically.”

Warren Buffett also used highly charged language.  He called the current Wall Street meltdown,


“an economic Pearl Harbor.”



and called derivatives,


“financial weapons of mass destruction.”

Warren Buffett also advised,


“you wanna be greedy when others are fearful or you wanna be fearful when others are greedy, it’s that simple.”

On the government’s Wall St Rescue plan, Warren Buffett said,


“I don’t think is perfect, but I’d rather be approximately right than precisely wrong.  And I think it’d be precisely wrong to turn it down.”


Buffett also remarked,


you don’t want 300 million Americans putting their money under the mattress.  I mean, this economy doesn’t work well without the lubrication of credit and trust.  And that’s been lost and it’s a huge problem.”

Check out the use of an extended metaphor in this exchange between Warren Buffett and Charlie Rose

Charlie Rose: ” Are you approving of what has been taking place along the stages that’s gotten us to where we are now?  Whether its Bear Stearns or Lehman Brothers or Freddie and Fannie or what you’ve done with Goldman Saks and the rest?”

Warren Buffett:


“Yeah, I think that basically the right things have been done but no one saw the tsunami coming.   Ya know, fully.  And so when Bear Stearns came along it looked like if you stopped the flood at that point, ya know you didn’t have to worry about being downstream from it.  And I think that that did the right thing there.  And I really thought  that would probably halt runs on major institutions, but it didn’t.  We have seen wave after wave and admittedly there’s been somewhat of an ad-hoc response to it.  But I’d rather have an ad-hoc response than no response at all…”


There’s much more to the interview, and perhaps a viewing is needed for those on the hunt for an additional take on the current American econonmy. Charlie Rose’s October 1st 2008 interview with Warren Buffett is something to view and check out.  There’s much to learn if you pay attention.  Take notes and learn…


–The Wow Jones Report


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