Editor's note: This morning brought the news that Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.A) Warren Buffett made a deal to purchase freight rail titan Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNI). Within moments, our RealMoney contributors were providing their take for subscribers.TheStreet.com has always believed that offering a wide variety of opinions and viewpoints -- rather than a monolithic "house view" -- helps readers make better-informed investment decisions. In that spirit, we bring you the thoughts of our varied stable of RealMoney contributors, who offer analysis of stocks and the markets from all angles. ETF blogger Don Dion started the ball rolling with his post announcing the deal:
Buffett Makes Bold Move With RailsColumnist Sham Gad followed up, wondering about the implications for truckers:
By Don Dion
7:40 a.m. EST Warren Buffett is making a big bet on economic recovery with his purchase of Burlington (BNI) and splitting his BRK.B shares 50-to-1. Very bullish sign for our country and the market.
Buffett Finally Makes His Elephant Deal
By Sham Gad
8:10 a.m. EST After years of saying Berkshire (BRK.A) would love to make an elephant deal, Warren Buffett is paying $34 billion ($44 billion including debt) for Burlington Northern (BNI). Clearly, Buffett views this as an excellent long-term value-creating acquisition for Berkshire -- his willingness to split the shares to make this happen is proof positive. While I believe Mr. Buffett's comments that this is a bold bet on the long-term recovery of the U.S., I can't help but read between the lines: Does this mean that the long-term future for the trucking industry may be a lot tougher than we think? After all, rail transport of goods is the cheapest form of land transportation. Overall, Buffett's bet should emphasize the favorable long-term outlook for the U.S. economy -- with emphasis on the phrase "long-term."