- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 25, 2009

OMAHA, Neb. | Billionaire Warren Buffett said Wednesday that the economy has not yet had any bounce and will take some time to recover, but he complimented the government’s efforts over the past year to solve the problems.

Berkshire Hathaway’s chairman and chief executive conducted a couple of live television interviews Wednesday in New York. The interviews came before his lunch with a Chinese investment manager who bid $2.1 million in a charity auction to dine with the Oracle of Omaha.

Mr. Buffett said during an interview on CNBC that all the reports he sees from Berkshire’s retail, manufacturing and utility businesses show the economy has remained fairly flat. Mr. Buffett joked that he had hoped the cataract surgery he had a couple of weeks ago would help him see the “green shoots” of recovery others have talked about, but he still hasn’t.

“There were a lot of excesses to be wrung out, and that process is still under way,” Mr. Buffett said. “And it looks to me like that process will be under way for quite a while.”

Mr. Buffett said the United States has a good team leading the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve as it fights what he’s called an economic war. Mr. Buffett complimented Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and the president’s economic adviser, Lawrence H. Summers. He said Mr. Bernanke has played a key role.

Mr. Bernanke’s term ends Jan. 30, and there is speculation that President Obama may appoint someone else to lead the Fed.

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