Friday, June 27, 2008

Buffett vs. Bernanke: The inflation showdown

Even a shorter entry today. Money CNN reports -- Buffett vs Bernanke on inflation issue.Those running a business will agree with Buffett. Those looking at statistics may side Bernanke. Leading indicator vs lagging indicator -- which one do you trust? If Buffet is right, bond guys priced it wrong -- commodities will fly even higher! Pimco estimated worldwide median inflation is running at 7% not 5%. If Bernanke is wrong*, a bigger bubble is in the making? A Super-bubble -- according to Soros, the boy cried wolf three times!

What is the impact on equities? Well, much to ponder over the weekend.

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- Even Warren Buffett is wrong some of the time. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke is hoping this is one of them.

Buffett, the billionaire investor behind Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA, Fortune 500), fingered "exploding" inflation Wednesday as the biggest risk to the economy. "I think inflation is really picking up," Buffett said on CNBC. "It's huge right now, whether it's steel or oil," he continued. "We see it everywhere."

Indeed, the prices of gasoline and milk have shot past $4 a gallon, and Dow Chemical (DOW, Fortune 500) has announced twice in the past month that it's raising prices to offset soaring commodity costs.

Yet Bernanke's Fed signaled Wednesday that, after nine months of interest rate cuts and expansive lending to the financial sector , it isn't eager to reverse course and push rates higher to try to tamp down rising prices.

Why? Because the Fed remains skeptical that high commodity prices will ripple through the economy, leading to broad price hikes and big wage increases.

* Corrected from right to wrong, my apology to earlier readers.

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