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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

  • September 24, 2008 03:45 PM UTC by Liz Claman

    Warren Buffett to FBN: "Heaven Help Us" if Rescue Plan Doesn't Pass

    Gang, The Warren Buffett interview clips are below!

    David Asman and I spoke with Warren Buffett this afternoon on Fox Business not only about his $5 billion dollar investment in Goldman Sachs (GS) preferred shares but about the urgency of the U.S. financial crisis.

    To say that Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) feels this needs to get pushed through quickly is an understatement.  He noted that short-term Treasurys and the LIBOR rate are all screaming out that there are deep fissures in the debt market right now that threaten to crack right under our feet. Lending is drying up very quickly .  When I asked what might happen if the $700 billion dollar rescue plan failed to pass, he said, “Heaven help us.” When the world’s richest man explains the situation like that, you get the sense he’s extremely worried… not the word I would have ever used to describe the usually optimistic Buffett.

    He also said that if the deal doesn’t pass, he probably would regret having made such a hefty investment in Goldman.  But he also stressed that he does NOT believe that Goldman would have failed without his cash infusion. He doesn’t like investing in companies that would go down without his money going in.  He’s been approached by many financial institutions for help but only extended to Goldman. He categorically said his investment is a bet not on the market as a whole, but on Goldman Sachs.


    When direct intervention of high office did the trick

    New Straits Times April 18, 2004 | Ahmad A. Talib Ahmad A. Talib New Straits Times 04-18-2004 When direct intervention of high office did the trick Byline: Ahmad A. Talib Edition: New Sunday Times; 2* Section: Opinion Column: Pahit manis

    SOMETIMES it requires the direct intervention of high office to get things moving or done. This was the case in Rembau, Negri Sembilan.

    Mohd Yusof, chairman of one of the village development and security committees (JKKK) in the district, raised an issue which he had been pushing for the last two years.

    He wanted a desktop computer for his committee to facilitate administrative work.

    Speaking in the melodious Negri Sembilan accent, Mohd Yusof said: “Den dah banyak kali cubo mintak komputer. Payah bonar nak dapek. Kalau payah sangat, bagi ajo den liptop (I’ve been asking for a computer many times. But it’s so difficult to get one. Then just get me a laptop).”

    It took everyone in the community hall quite a while to understand what he was trying to convey. Not only because he was using strange-sounding words but the public address sound system wasn’t exactly the best.

    It was only when someone clarified that Mohd Yusof was asking for a laptop that everyone laughed and understood what he meant.

    He argued that he has been using a typewriter for six years but it had broken down and rendered obsolete by time. A personal computer would make his committee more efficient and effective, he said.

    Another village head, Abdul Aziz Md Don, had another complaint. He lamented that his kampung had a nice community hall but cattle, fowl and goats use it as shelter.

    Also in the Negri accent, Abdul Aziz said: “Balai rayo tu ponuh dengan binatang. Sebolah dopan balai tu berpagar tapi takek tu ajo. Bahagian topi, kiri, kanan dan belakang tak dipagar. Itu yang membuek kambing dan lombu sonang ajo keluar masuk (The hall is full of cattle, goats and fowl. The front part of the hall is fenced up but the rest is not. That’s why the animals walk in and out as and when they like).” site bilo weekly ad

    These two gentlemen were among 45 chairmen of the JKKK in the district who participated in an open dialogue with Menteri Besar Datuk Mohamad Hasan, installed as chief executive of Negri Sembilan on March 25.

    The new Menteri Besar had his weekly executive council meeting in Rembau on Wednesday and plans to move from one district to another to enable him and the Exco to get nearer to the rakyat.

    While this may not be a totally new exercise, his open dialogue with members of the village development and security committee was innovative and set a new norm in state administration.

    “Apart from my Exco, I’m also bringing heads of department to join the dialogue. Members of Parliament are welcome too.

    “I plan to rotate my Exco meeting by district as a means of bringing the Government to the rakyat.

    “After the meeting, I’ll meet the chairmen of the JKKK and listen to their grievances and comments.

    “This is the first time it’s being done in this format and I’m very encouraged by the response,” Mohamad Hasan said.

    The Menteri Besar sought the help of the MP for Rembau, Datuk Firdaus Muhammad Rom Harun, to get Mohd Yusof and his JKKK a personal computer.

    Mohd Yusof came away from the dialogue grinning from ear to ear because his plea has not only been heard but entertained as well.

    The state CEO has given a three-week deadline for the computer to be delivered and told the JKKK chief to make full use of the equipment.

    As for Abdul Aziz, the Menteri Besar gave an on-the-spot approval for the community hall to be fully fenced once the District Officer has verified the request.

    But the demands were not approved without the Menteri Besar voicing his concern (more like a warning to me though issued in a friendly manner).

    A local lad himself, Mohamad Hasan, also in Negri accent, said: “Den raso den buleh buekkan pagar. Elok jugo kalau ado pagar. Tapi den risau sikit. Nanti, bilo pagar dah naik, orang kampung tak jugo gunokan balai tu dongan ponuh. Kalau cam tu, lobih baik tak payah buek balai rayo. Kerajaan bagi macam-macam kemudahan, tapi kadangkadang kito tak pandai nak menggunokan (I think I can approve the fences being put up. It’s good to have the hall fenced up. But I don’t want to see the kampung people not using the hall even after it has been properly fenced up).”

    There was a chorus of “yes, you are right” from the attendance. If they had thought that they could raise any issue and get away with their requests without any hint of reprimand for their possible misuse of government help, the MB’s warning, issued in a soft and friendly tone, they were mistaken.

    The JKKK chairmen were quick to give their word of honour that they would keep their side of the bargain.

    Sitting and listening to the questions raised and answers given, I realised that the MB was setting a new benchmark in state administration. By going directly to the JKKK, he is able to get direct and uncoached feedback from the people.

    The JKKK is an important grassroots machinery and serves as a platform for the kampung people to voice their views to Government, and vice versa.

    Hence, the MB’s dialogue with the committee chairmen serves more than just an open dialogue but also as a recognition of their contribution to nation-building.

    The manner in which Mohamad Hasan interacted with the village leaders also won any detractors to his side, if any.

    It was obvious that he is quite used to settling problems by confronting them directly and fairly.

    I learnt that when he was head honcho of Cycle and Carriage, the lean and spritely corporate CEO-turned-state CEO used to meet his departmental heads and senior executives most Wednesdays during a round of golf in Subang.

    For about four hours, he and his exec-utives would “try” to play golf while discussing work.

    “I used to get a lot of work done. A lot of problems are brought up for discussions and we make decisions too. Sometimes, we play good golf,” he said, adding that he has not touched his golf set for quite a while already.

    Mohamad Hasan agrees that it should not take the Menteri Besar a long time to settle small and very local problems, such as requests for personal computers and fencing for community halls.

    One JKKK chief said the street lighting in his kampung has not worked for some time and his complaints fell on deaf ears. Yet another lamented that the cemetery in his kampung is not fenced and left untended. go to site bilo weekly ad

    At Wednesday’s inaugural dialogue, departmental heads were made to give on- the-spot answers or solutions to the people’s problems. Even Tenaga Nasional sent a senior executive to answer complaints raised against it.

    The State Assemblymen should take heed of the Menteri Besar’s serious push to get the political leadership more involved in day- to-day issues facing the rakyat and to get the bureaucracy to be more pro-active in problem solving.

    The kampung people do not want to hear excuses. Neither do they understand the lengthy explanations why the procurement of spare parts is delaying the repair and upgrading of some public amenities.

    “Spare us the explanation and excuses. Just give us what was promised,” an elderly village head said after the dialogue.

    I’m sure that the wakil rakyat would have taken serious note of the implications of the dialogue.

    The MB was merely taking the direct, simple and most transparent route to tackle problems affecting the rakyat.

    The dialogue serves also as a check and balance exercise for everyone – the wakil rakyat must work and serve their constituencies; the people must make sure that the amenities provided are fully utilised; and the state CEO get a first-hand report card on his Exco and fellow state assemblymen.

    If Mohamad Hasan continues with this approach, I’m sure he’ll be able to have time for his golf and take his car for a spin.

    In three weeks’ time, I’ll check if Mohd Yusof has already received his desktop computer. And a week after that, I’ll know for sure if he knows how to use it.

    And who knows, some of us may even get invited to the doa selamat when the balai raya in Sri Gadong is fully fenced up.

    Ahmad A. Talib


Madam Speaker, It is with respect that I as an American citizen request that you respectfully recognize that you have single handedly wrecked this economy and resign your position as Speaker of the House. Since you have been Speaker of the House the American Dollar has declined against the Euro and all other world currencies which has caused prices to go up and economy to go down. Your lack of leadership has drawn our nation to the brink of disaster, and I don't think you really recognize your errors or care about our country. Scott

September 26, 2008 at 10:59 pm


I don't get why everybody has so much faith in Warren Buffett. He didn't get that rich by looking out for the common man. He is looking to take care of himself. He has the same business philosophy as Kemmons Wilson. Buy business that make money but need a little help. It doesn't make him a Wall Street Grue. Just a smart business man. If he was a Republican he would be treated as greedy,heartless and a opportunist.

September 26, 2008 at 3:37 pm

Larry McElhinney

Buffet is little more than an accomplished thief. Anyone who promotes a taxpayer bailout of wall street fat cats is no friend of Freedom.

September 26, 2008 at 3:01 pm


Buffett is a internationalist and a Democrat he knows he will get his money he is just another pillarger of the American Middle class

September 26, 2008 at 2:19 pm


Paulson is the ex head of Goldman. Buffet talks to Paulson before investing in Goldman. Goldman will benefit greatly from the 700 billion bailout. Hmmm yeah Warren is very objective here.

September 26, 2008 at 2:13 pm

Ted B

He is a smart man, but he does not walk on water so he can be wrong. He is pushing a plan that will only benefit him, if it goes through!

September 26, 2008 at 1:25 pm


Why not take Iraq's billions of dollars in surplus and use it to help fix this problem? Better yet, why not distribute it to American families who helped finance the war with their tax money?

September 26, 2008 at 12:17 pm


"heaven help us" - meaning "us" as in big business. Heaven Help Us (the taxpayer) if the Bail-Out IS PASSED! Bail-out = Bad dcade for American Citizens. No Bail-Out = bad year or two for everyone. NO BAIL-OUT!!!!!!!!!

September 26, 2008 at 11:44 am


I usually look for insight when I am reading political articles. Unfortunately, I read this one.

September 26, 2008 at 7:18 am


Aren't we due for a depression soon? If this is part of a 70-80 year cycle it should be happening again. So what if we have a depression, then what? I don't want to see it but it may happen, are people ready?

September 25, 2008 at 5:25 pm


Buffet is an atheist, so when even he says "heaven help us" you know things are bad.

September 25, 2008 at 4:09 pm


I think America should start from a clean drawing board. We were a good manufacturing and engineering country. We have PhD's who do great research and sell it for pennies. The PhD's in Finance will soon start looking for jobs in the manufacturing world, and boy will the bonuses shock the hell out of these blokes. The whole thing looks like a pyramid scheme, starting with money multipliers, american dream (home ownership), and finally the CDS! Did anybody backtest ARM and homeowner physchology? Next time a bank asks you how much you make, dont tell, and hide your money!

September 25, 2008 at 2:08 pm

John Dale Barro

I trust the judgement of Warren Buffett 100%. He is the world's greatest investor and his integrity in intact and unwavering. I have been wanting to see a full interview of him on the internet since the commencement of this financial fiasco and this is the first time I've seen it. Congratulations to Foxnews. In my my thoughts kept lingering, "What would Warren say?" Now that we have heard from him, I would boldly say that we should heed from his advice so all of us may get some pretty good sleep with our hard-earned money and investments in the banks.

September 25, 2008 at 11:52 am


Hey why dont they send me a check for $100,000?? Then I wont have to work anymore...just like these fools on walstreet want..they are only worried about themselves...i say strip them of all their assetts, live on $40,000 a year and pay for medical etc...then tell me, "How you like it now??" Aszholes! NO BAILOUT! I will live i the woods before I give these jerks one penny of my hard earned money...let them go without then we can talk...

September 25, 2008 at 11:11 am



September 25, 2008 at 9:28 am


How much do you suppose that Warren Buffet already had in Goldman? He offered his own bailout with very favorable terms and they jumped on it. Any word from T Boone Pickens or Bill Gates...? Can you spare a few Billion? How did this do nothing congress get us to this point and not one word from the DEMs about their pushing Fannie & Freddie into sub-prime mortgages or blocking Dole's bill on fed housing regulatory reform act (co-sponsored by McCain) - instead guys like Chris Dodd, broker of the Fannie deal in 1999 & #1 recipient of $$$$ from Fannie & Freddie is chairing the commission. Or how about ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL - Barney Frank. WHAT NERVE TO BLAME GOP & BUSH ON THIS ONE.

September 25, 2008 at 12:19 am


Like his scenario on the Treasury being 5 basis points away from giving money away for free, the Sage of Omaha will similarly give out advice for free just to ensure that he gets his own money back. But hey, can you blame him? Congress and the public have a right to be angry, but they'd better deal with the immediate situation first, rather than sit around pointing fingers over who got us here. The pursuit of justice can come later -- and will, as the loss in confidence in the dollar drives up inflation. But for now, it's time to salvage the immediate situation.

September 24, 2008 at 7:54 pm

Richard Bowen

Buffet is the one person that I would take at face value on this subject. The 5 Billion he invested in Goldman is nothing compared to the personal fortune that he has donated to Charity. His life style has not been one of over consumption like many of the rich. When he says that it needs to get passed or "Heaven Help Us" you can be pretty sure he is speaking about the state of the nation's economy and its impact upon all of us.

September 24, 2008 at 7:51 pm

Allen V

You guys mislead with your attribution. He responds "heaven help us" if congress does nothing. He does not specifically advocate the $700 Billion dollar bailout anywhere. Notice the creative quoting in the bold type.

September 24, 2008 at 7:25 pm

gerry Dettore

Liz, I don't believe that many of those house and senate members just don't get it. I have no idea how they got on these finance committees. they continue to ask the same questions which tells me they don't understand the answers. How can we expect to put the fate of economy in their hands without a disaster. I would also like you to take to management the dissatisfaction that many viewers I know have with this Cody Willard.He is nothing but a loud mouth who intereupts everyone and shows no respect for others opinions and we arte all tired of hearing about the government taking his mother and fathers money. He looks like he is doing ok, maybe he should help them out a little. I think that you and eric and alexis are the most knowledgeable and level headed of th the gang. Thanks for trying to keep it all together.

September 24, 2008 at 5:46 pm

Steven Allen

Nice to see Mr. Buffett worried about the U.S. Taxpayer by recommending this bailout package get passed. Or could he be throwing his influence around only because he just dumped $5b into Goldman and wants to make sure it doesn't go bye-bye? Hmm. One would like to believe in the good soul of the elderly gentlemen. Problem is, I don't trust what anyone says right now.

September 24, 2008 at 5:36 pm


The title should be rephrased, "heaven help my five billion dollar investment in Goldman if the bailout fails to pass." I guess I'm just a tad jaded. It's an awful thing too with me being only 19. Watching this once great nation and the dreams of our founding fathers disappear before my very eyes is such a shame.

September 24, 2008 at 5:16 pm

about this blog

  • Liz Claman joined FOX Business Network (FBN) as an anchor in October 2007. Her debut included an exclusive interview with Berkshire Hathaway CEO and legendary investor Warren Buffett.

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