Friday, October 24, 2008

Governor Schwarzenegger Discusses the Economy with Warren Buffett at the 2008 Women's Conference

CHRIS MATTHEWS: The stock market dropped 350 points this morning. What should people do here, do now, today, as they make their investment decisions from here on out, Mr. Buffet?

WARREN BUFFETT: Well, I have no idea what the stock market is going to do in the next day, week, year. There's no question in my mind that stocks 10 years from now will be appreciably higher than they are now and there's no question in my mind that people that leave their money in cash equivalents are going to own something of less value at that time. Now, I can't time when you get in but if you own something that's destined to become worth less with cash equivalents and you have a choice to swap it into something that's destined to be worth more -- when you do it is up to you.

I don't think people can time it, so I believe in doing it promptly. And as I mentioned last week, I actually, in my personal portfolio, was going from 100 percent governments into 100 percent stocks, as stocks are going down.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: So still, what we hear from our managers -- and we always hear the same thing -- stay in the market?

WARREN BUFFETT: Yes. Well, in this country in the 20th century we had the Great Depression, we had two World Wars, one of which it looked like we were losing for a while and we had the flu epidemics, we had the resignation of a president, we had about a dozen recessions and panics. The Dow started that century at 66 and it ended at 11,497. This country works. It can get gummed up from time to time, the economy but this country works. (Applause)

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Governor Schwarzenegger, before we get to public policy I want to talk to you about the way I know you started off. As a business guy, right?


CHRIS MATTHEWS: I want to ask you just a really basic question. Why is it better to be your own boss?

GOVERNOR SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, first of all, let me just say that I'm very happy to be back here again at the Women's Conference. And I just want to say thank you again to Maria, to my wife, who was working on this all year long to make this a great conference and to have so many women show up, so let's give her a big hand for the great job that she is doing. (Applause)

And I also want to thank the 14,000 women that are here today for supporting this conference and I also want to thank the sponsors for coming here and supporting this and putting their money behind it. So, thank you very much. (Applause)

I always have enjoyed having my own business. I started at the age of 10 -- Warren and I were talking about this backstage, because Warren said the most important thing to be a successful businessman is that you start early and that you get it early, of what it takes to be an entrepreneur. I started at the age of 10 selling ice cream and I made 150 to 180 schilling every weekend when I ran around the lake where I grew up in Austria selling ice cream. And every year during school vacation I always went out and worked and tried to run my own little businesses.

So it was just something that was in my blood. I don't know where it came from, because no one in my family was into business, no one had their own business but I always enjoyed that. And so, when I grew up I ran a gym in Munich at the age of 19 and when I came to America I started my own mail-order business. And so everything was always involved around running my own business.

Also, I think when you are a person that believes in taking risks and not just relying on a safety net -- I came to America because there were great opportunities here. But it was not a safety net that was underneath there. You were out there and you took the risk and if you fall, you fall. And I like that, I like to take the risks, because the bigger the risks the greater the gains but the greater the fall is also, at the same time, so you have to recognize that. So I always enjoyed that.

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