NEW YORK (TheStreet) --The back and forth market conditions we have been forced to deal with in 2010 has weighed on the sentiment of many investors and market commentators, causing them to question the strength of the U.S. and global economic recovery.
Despite doubts emanating from many corners of both Wall Street and Main Street, there are still a number of reputable individuals from the business world who do not seem to share these concerns.
This week, Warren Buffett took to the stage at the Montana Economic Development Summit to express his views regarding the future of the U.S. economy.
The Oracle of Omaha, who has been a proponent for the nation's strength throughout these troubling times, did not veer from his bullish stance. Rather, he insisted that, despite concerns, the U.S. was not in any way heading towards a double-dip recession. In fact, pointing to factors such as hiring and lending, the octogenarian expects the U.S. to return stronger than ever.
Buffett was not alone in painting a rosy picture for the U.S. economy.
CEO Steve Balmer and
chairman Jeff Immelt, who were also present at the summit, were optimistic about the economy, pointing to forecasted strength in both the technology and industrial sectors of the U.S.
While the optimism emanating from Buffett, Balmer, and Immelt may have provided some with an injection of confidence, other Wall Street notables remain unimpressed.
This week, doomsayer Nouriel Roubini was once again in the spotlight, laying out his own beliefs for the future of the U.S. economy. The New York University professor, who has earned the nickname Doctor Doom for his consistently bearish forecasts, insisted that the second half of 2010 will be worse that the second quarter.
Earlier this summer, Roubini made headlines when he announced that the likelihood of seeing a double dip was greater than 40%.
Interestingly, this week another less than optimistic voice could be heard coming from Buffett's own bullpen. Speaking at the University of Michigan, Charlie Munger, Buffett's right-hand man, offered his own stormy outlook.
vice chairman and
CEO shared his own views of the economy and the outlook was far less positive than the one from Buffett.
Pointing to the job market, Munger insisted that the outlook was "lousy," and would remain so for an extended time period. Looking at specific sectors of the economy such as commercial real estate, he explained that there was, "more pain to come." Overall, it appeared as though he sees a rough road ahead.
Like Buffett, this is not the first time Munger has expressed concerns for the future of the U.S. economy. In a piece titled, "Basically, It's Over," written for Slate.com early in 2010, Munger presented his pessimistic vision for the U.S. in parable form. The story focuses on Basicland, which is ultimately transformed into Sorrowland as a result of high taxes, increased government spending, and gambling at casino banks.
The line appears to be drawn at Berkshire Hathaway and it will be interesting to see whose forecast proves more accurate. Who do you agree with more, Buffett or Munger? Feel free to leave a comment below.
-- Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.
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At the time of publication, Dion Money Management was not long any of the equities mentioned.
Don Dion is president and founder of
, a fee-based investment advisory firm to affluent individuals, families and nonprofit organizations, where he is responsible for setting investment policy, creating custom portfolios and overseeing the performance of client accounts. Founded in 1996 and based in Williamstown, Mass., Dion Money Management manages assets for clients in 49 states and 11 countries. Dion is a licensed attorney in Massachusetts and Maine and has more than 25 years' experience working in the financial markets, having founded and run two publicly traded companies before establishing Dion Money Management.
Dion also is publisher of the Fidelity Independent Adviser family of newsletters, which provides to a broad range of investors his commentary on the financial markets, with a specific emphasis on mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. With more than 100,000 subscribers in the U.S. and 29 other countries, Fidelity Independent Adviser publishes six monthly newsletters and three weekly newsletters. Its flagship publication, Fidelity Independent Adviser, has been published monthly for 11 years and reaches 40,000 subscribers.