Buffett’s $44 Billion “Bet” on America

In a move that billionaire investor Warren Buffett described as his “all-in wager on the economic future” of the nation, his Berkshire Hathaway plans to buy railroad company Burlington Northern Santa Fe (Stock Quote: BNI), CNNMoney reported.

The deal will cost a staggering $44 billion and would reportedly allow Berkshire Hathaway to “acquire the remaining 77.4% of the company in a cash-and-stock offer worth $100 per share.”

Buffett believes that the nation’s future success will depend, in part, on its ability to efficiently transport goods by rail. With the acquisition of Burlington Northern, one could make the logical leap here that Buffett may see an American economic rebound in the works—I mean, why would anyone spend $44 billion on a railroad if you think demand for freight transportation is going to go down, right?

Control of one of the nation’s major rail carriers—which has been in business “since the Lincoln Administration”—is a savvy way to profit if domestic industrial output increases. And a boost in industrial activity would mean that America’s economic engine is ratcheting up.

But for all we know, Buffett may just really like trains. He can certainly afford more than just the standard Lionel set.

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