Almost exactly three years ago, when global markets were in free fall after the sudden implosion of Lehman Brothers, Warren Buffett stepped into the mess with a $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs. It was a huge vote of confidence by perhaps the most savvy investor in the world. That bet helped stabilize markets.
He’s back again. The man from Omaha has been in the news of late for his controversial view that the American plutocracy—of which he is a member—needs to be taxed more. But Buffett has now sprung another surprise, by announcing the first-ever plan to buy back shares of Berkshire Hathaway, his investment company. A buy-back is a signal that shares are cheap.
The developed economies seem headed into an extended period of stagnation, but there will be occasional buying opportunities for the brave—even for those without the guts and brains of a Buffett.