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Buffett bullish on stocks Investment guru says stocks are out of sync with economy and should rebound long-term.
September 25, 2002: 4:04 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Warren Buffett says he remains bullish on U.S. stocks and the U.S. economy despite recent market declines, although he could not predict when the current bear market will come to an end.

Buffett, chairman of investment holding company Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A: Research, Estimates) and one of the world's most widely followed investors, said in an interview with CNNfn in London Wednesday that his confidence comes from taking a long-term view of the market and the economy.

"I'm a bull on the United Kingdom, I'm a bull on America over time," he said. "I have no idea what business is going to do next month or next year. I don't think it's important whether you're confident about tomorrow or next week."

Buffett said he doesn't believe things are that bad right now, and that stock markets are, "way out of sync with the economy."

"But if the economy does well over a long period, markets will do well over a long period," he said. "In the short run, the market's a voting machine and sometimes people vote very unintelligently. In the long run, it's a weighing machine and the weight of business and how it does is what affects values over time."

Buffett said he will continue to buy businesses when he finds ones he understands, that he believes are selling for less than they're worth, and doesn't worry about the market value of the company.

"I find nothing frightening about it at all," he said when asked about recent stock market declines. "If I own a good business, I don't really care whether the markets open tomorrow."

Buffett was in London to promote one of his businesses, NetJets, which sells fractional ownership in private jets to businesses that don't need full ownership of a jet but want to provide their executives with a way to avoid commercial flights.

Buffett said his business is one of the few in the airline industry that is doing better since the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.

"I think from the standpoint of safety, security and just ease of use, it's been given a boost," he said. He also said he believes it unlikely that the U.S. government will grant permanent subsidies to the commercial airlines. Top airline executives appeared before a House committee Tuesday seeking further assistance for the cost of security measures and insurance in the wake of the terrorist attack. But he says he empathizes with his commercial airline competitors' current financial problems.

"It's a very tough business. I learned that the hard way," he said with a laugh.  Top of page

 
 
 
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