Warren Buffett gave an interview on CNBC this morning, declaring that the U.S. economy has "fallen off a cliff."
One solution he offered: for Republicans to fall in line. "I think that the Republicans have an obligation to regard this as an economic war and to realize need one leader and in general support of that," Buffett said. The tradeoff: Obama and his party should not use the crisis to "roll" the Republicans and pass contentious measures.
"In the interim, until we get this resolved, I would not be pushing a lot of things that you know are contentious," Buffett said.
When asked what coporate America needs to do in response to the financial crisis, Buffett said institutions "behaved terribly" with regards to debt leveraging in the lead-up to the crisis: "I think corporate America behaved terribly in terms of their attitute toward the sanctity of the numbers they reported, and it was worse in the 1990s, but I hope they get over that," Buffett said. (Fast forward to 8:20 to see Buffett's remarks.)
Another news nugget from the interview: Buffett opposes the Obama-backed Employee Free Choice Act (or "card check" bill), which would make it easier for workers to form unions by eliminating employer mandated secret ballot elections. Perhaps unsurprising for a CEO, though it should be noted that, in addition to being a big-time Obama backer, Buffett is a progressive when it comes to taxing the rich.