US in Recession Now: Buffett

Billionaire says crisis is already here
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2008 3:28 AM CST
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett gestures at a fundraiser for Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The US is already in a recession for all practical purposes, even if economic conditions haven't yet met the technical definition of at least two consecutive quarters of negative growth. That's the verdict of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who tells CNBC that a serious economic slowdown is obvious in reports from retail businesses owned by his holding company.

"By any common-sense definition, we are in a recession," Buffett said. In his annual letter to investors, the 77-year-old financial legend also warns of a looming 4% shrinkage in insurance industry profit margins. "If the winds roar or the earth trembles, results could be far worse," he writes.