Billionaire oilman/windman/waterman/wildman T. Boone Pickens just popped up on CNBC, talking about the current crisis.
He said he anticipates that the the House will pass a version of the $700 billion Wall Street rescue package by Thursday night and gave his endorsement to Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. (He also predicted oil will hit $150 per barrel by this time next year.)
"We've got a good man running it," Pickens said of Paulson. "We ought to give him the ball, let him run with it as much as you can."
He noted that Paulson is talking to Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren E. Buffett, the world's richest man, who lives in Omaha, Neb. (And is a director of The Washington Post Co.)
"Paulson is in communication with Buffett; that's good," Pickens said. "The coach is out there in Nebraska. It's a nice, quiet place to think. He's available."
Coach Buffett. Has a ring to it.
Last week, Buffett plowed $5 billion of Berkshire money into Goldman Sachs, helping prop up the Wall Street firm (which is Paulson's former employer) and buoying the market.
Even though the markets are exponentially bigger than they were a century ago, it's worth noting that one really rich guy (Forbes estimates Buffett's worth at $62 billion.) can still influence Wall Street much in the same way that another Buffett-like character, J.P. Morgan, did a century ago, when he almost single-handedly bailed out Wall Street twice. (Panic of 1893, Panic of 1907.)
Not than anyone ever referred to J.P. as "coach."
-- Frank Ahrens
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