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TheStreet Open House

Warren Buffett Delivers Warning on U.S. Debt

Stocks in this article: BRK.ABRK.BNYT

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- There are no casual comments from Warren Buffett -- and definitely no casual columns. Thus, expect repercussions from the column penned by Buffett in today's New York Times (NYT).

In it, Buffett draws a parallel between the potentially devastating "butterfly effect" of carbon emissions and the similar long-term impact of "greenback emissions," claiming that the United States must be cognizant of the unintended consequences of outsize government debt.

Buffett, the 78-year-old billionaire CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A BRK.B), has served as an economic adviser to President Barack Obama during both the presidential campaign and Obama's first year in office.

Buffett and His Holdings
"To be sure, we've been doing this for a reason I resoundingly applaud," Buffett writes. "Last fall, our financial system stood on the brink of a collapse that threatened a depression. The crisis required our government to display wisdom, courage and decisiveness. Fortunately, the Federal Reserve and key economic officials in both the Bush and Obama administrations responded more than ably to the need.

"A meltdown," Buffett argues, was avoided, "with a gusher of federal money playing an essential role in the rescue."

Still, Buffett goes on to warn that "enormous dosages of monetary medicine continue to be administered and, before long, we will need to deal with their side effects. For now, most of those effects are invisible and could indeed remain latent for a long time. Still, their threat may be as ominous as that posed by the financial crisis itself."

The U.S. budget deficit is projected to reach a record $1.841 trillion for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30.

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