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Berkshire Weekend: Buffett, Munger on Inflation

|Includes: Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRK.A), BRK.B

Liz Claman of Fox Business Channel quotes or paraphrases the Berkshire chairman and vice chairman:

Question: What is your latest outlook on the dollar given what’s been thrown up in the air in the last 6 months?

Buffett:  It’s pretty unpredictable. I guarantee you the dollar will buy less 10-20 years from now. But we are doing things that will hurt the purchasing power of the dollar. On the other hand the same thing is happening in different countries around the world. The British will run a deficit of 12 and a fraction percent of GDP. Even the Germans will run a deficit of 6 and a fraction GDP. You’ve got governments around the world all electing to run very material deficits. Electing to do that to offset the contraction demand. How that plays out in relative exchange rates - I can’t tell you. In terms of currency’s purchasing power in the future - it’s going to cause units of currency to buy a lot less.That isn’t gonna happen in the next year or two. Doesn’t mean markets won’t start anticipating it at some point. We are doing things that we haven’t seen in the past. And policy makers do not know the outcome and I don’t know the outcome. You do know it will have consequences and you can bet on inflation.

Munger: I remember the 2 cent first-class stamp and the 5 cent hamburger.  In my life I think I’ve had the most privileged era to live. The trick is to avoid runaway inflation.