Mar 23, 2011

Warren Buffett worries about inflation but cites 'idle capacity' bulwark

I don't know much about India, but I do know things that lead to inflation over time. And Chairman Bernanke knows a lot better than I do, I'm not claiming superior knowledge on this in any way, but we are doing things which are inflationary and to some extent the Fed has acknowledged that it wants that. It wasn't so long ago that it said it wanted this 2% per year rule for inflation. And that's really something different than it was historically, to actually peg a rate of inflation as being the goal and I think it's going to be very hard to fine-tune that number.

Once you get inflationary expectations starting to build in, and I think they are building in, once you get that ball rolling it's a hard thing to stop. Now, like I say, the Fed is very conscious of that, but being conscious of it doesn't necessarily mean you control it once it gets going.

We have this idle capacity in the United States, we have lots of unemployment so that would argue against inflation catching hold, but just take a look at what's taking place in food and fuel and metals and everything else and it could lead to inflation.

~Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, CNBC interview, March 23, 2011

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