Buffett Poised to Clean Up in Bear Market

Oracle of Omaha prepares $40B spending spree
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2008 2:02 PM CDT
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, left, who plays himself, is shown on the set with soap opera icon Susan Lucci on ABC Daytime's "All My Children."    (AP Photo/ABC, Steve Fenn)
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(Newser) – As the US teeters on the brink of recession and most investors remain sidelined by the credit crunch, Warren Buffett is poised to spend more than $40 billion to scoop up bargains. Berkshire Hathaway rose 22% over the last 12 months while other stocks sputtered, and now, Bloomberg reports, the company is one of the few with the cash on hand to profit from a bear market.

This week, Buffett committed $6.5 billion to help Mars overtake Wrigley, a deal that no banks or private equity firms were able to make. The world's richest man is now poised to continue the buying spree, netting substantial discounts in a tough market. "Buffett has the liquidity that others are lacking," said one fund manager. "The disruptions work in his favor. This is a perfect market for Berkshire."