Presidential hopefuls like Buffett for Treasury Secretary

October 8, 2008

rtx9bdy.jpgWhile White House hopefuls Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama wasted no time trading barbs in their second presidential debate, they agreed on the one man they would like to see running their Treasury Department to help pull the U.S. economy out of a tailspin: investment guru Warren Buffett.

“A supporter of Senator Obama’s is Warren Buffett. He has already weighed in and helped stabilize some of the difficulties in the markets and with companies and corporations, institutions today,” McCain said.

“I like Meg Whitman, she knows what it’s like to be out there in the marketplace.  She knows how to create jobs.  Meg Whitman was CEO of a company that started with 12 people,” McCain said, referring to one of his own economic advisers who used to run online auction giant eBay.

“Warren would be a pretty good choice — Warren Buffett, and I’m pleased to have his support,” Obama said. “But there are other folks out there.”

Who would voters like to see running the Treasury Department under the next administration and working to fix the economy?

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage 

– Photo credit: Reuters/Jim Young


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I think Warren Buffett would be a great choice. He is very knowledgeable on the economy.

Posted by Kevin | Report as abusive

Buffet: He comes across as a nice guy, but he is a greedy shark looking out for himself. He doesn’t’t give away money like Bill Gates. Do we want the epitome of greed as our Treasury secretary. Having money doesn’t make you qualified to help taxpayers

Posted by conspec | Report as abusive

Obama looks alert, young, vibrant and engaged. McCain looks old.

Obama/Biden ’08

Posted by joan | Report as abusive

Why did no one think of him before? Everything the man touches turns to gold.

Posted by Jennifer | Report as abusive

Buffet would be excellent in the position, but why would he do that? The man runs a corporation he built from $1000.00 he earned as a paperboy into an entity that has a net worth higher than that of a high percentage of the world’s countries. I would be very surprised if he would even entertain such an idea given his age and position in the private sector. He certainly has a 6th sense about good investments, but I think the best we could hope for from him is a good list of people he recommends. That’s lmost as good as the man himself and much more realistic.

I;d settle for that.

Posted by Sal | Report as abusive

I would like Buffet also and he does give away money did he not contribute money to Bill Gates foundation?

Posted by William Grogan | Report as abusive

Warren Buffet! And guess who’s treasury secretary he would be? OBAMA’s.

John McCain will probably make PHIL GRAHM the treasury secretary and everybody knows it.

GAME CHANGER, let’s see who everybody’s favorite investor supports.

Posted by alex | Report as abusive

Are you joking me saying that Buffett doesnt give away money? he gave the largest charitable donation in history to Bill Gates foundation when he gave them 10 BILLION dollars. dont slander somebodys name if you dont have the facts.

Posted by Tiger | Report as abusive

I’ll support anyone who would raise the fraction reserve banking requirements. The banks gambling with your money created all the credit, spawning booms in various sectors, like housing. If banks weren’t allowed to lend out $10 for every dollar you deposit, this credit boom/bust cycle would never happen. True, we would never get the roaring 20s or 2000s, but we would never get the depressions to follow.

Posted by redbeard | Report as abusive

Warren Buffet would be a super choice…a non-brainer!

As for ebay’s Meg, I would pass on her at this time as she was really in the lucky place at the right time years ago. Ebay is down now…going down hill I hear.

Posted by Gary Beedon | Report as abusive

Buffett actually is giving away his money… he’s doing it in conjunction with the Gates Foundation ( es/fortune/charity1.fortune/)

He’d be an interesting choice, but I doubt he’d want the job.

Posted by Marcus | Report as abusive

conspec : Are you insane, or just living in a cave? Buffett gave away 85% of his fortune (approx. $37 billion, with a B)to the Gates foundation a few years ago. He donates regularly more and more as he gets older because he knows he isn’t going to be around forever and would like to see the money go where he wants it to after he dies rather than have his estate handle it… He just bought $5B in stock to help shore up Goldman-Sachs which I consider an act of charity. I could go on and on but there is no point. Anyone who cares to do 10 min of research online can find out these facts and many more. What have YOU done to help the economy? Judge not lest ye be judged yourself. You know the drill.

Before you blast someone and make yourself look foolish by stating only erroneous opinion instead of facts, perhaps you should do your homework and make sure you even have a point to make with it.

I can tell something else from your post. You’re young, and you’re a Democrat. You’re also out of your league.

Posted by Sal | Report as abusive

Buffet is actually one of the greatest philanthropists of our time. He’s given away the largest single donation in U.S. history (37 Billion)! You should check your facts before calling him a greedy shark.

Posted by Seth Beals | Report as abusive

Conspec, are you kidding me? Warren Buffett’s decision to give nearly all of his fortune to charity (The Gates Foundation, among other charities) is the largest charitable gift of all time. Buffett lives in a modest house in a modest town, drives himself around in a modest car, and is also one of the most (if not THE most) brilliant economic and financial minds of our time, not to mention down to earth.

Posted by Liss | Report as abusive

Mr. Buffet is too smart to be in politics or an appointee; furthermore, he has pledged nearly his entire fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Please check your facts before spreading bad information.


Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

“He doesn’t give away money like Bill Gates.” —> In 2006 Buffett pledge to give away 85% of his fortune to Bill-Melinda Gates foundation. We’re lucky to if he’s willing to take job. I don’t think he would though.

Posted by koben | Report as abusive

um, Buffet just donating roughly 30 billion to the Gates foundation, is against removing capital gains on stock sales, and while is rabidly good at making money, he’s also amazing at giving it away. go check out the wiki on him for a start; then maybe read a book on a subject you’re so passionate, yet so ignorant.

Posted by matt | Report as abusive

Buffet would make a great Secretary of Treasury. If he would take the job. What is needed in that position is someone who understands economics as well as markets. Buffet does. Paulson knows markets, but doesn’t really grasp economics. O’Neil was a great Secretary, but Cheney ran him off.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

Kevin Phillips. Non-partisan, brilliant, and way ahead of the madness.

Posted by Ray Owens | Report as abusive

” He doesn’t’t give away money like Bill Gates.”


are you serious? Buffett is the Gates Foundations biggest donor

Posted by John | Report as abusive

I wasted 8 seconds of my life reading the post by conspec that I will never get back because conspec likes to give an unsubstantiated opinion about the worlds greatest investor – buffett. Buffett has committed 85% of his net worth to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. Over 30 Billion dollars!!! The largest philanthropic donation ever. Had he been giving money away throughout his life time, it would never have compounded to such a large amount.
Buffett is the man and he has given more money than Gates has ever given. Not only that, he gave it to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation to give away.

Posted by josh b | Report as abusive

I don’t care who the democratic nominee is. After eight years of Bush-whacked Republican policies I won’t vote for McCain who has supported Bushs’ policies lock-step for eight years.

Posted by joan | Report as abusive

McCain is a traitor. He turned against America when he was a prisoner in Vietnam. He made a video denouncing his own country that he loves so much. Many American soldiers died being tortured rather than turning against their own country.

You know the phrase “ye doth protest too much”, I think that’s why McTraitor constantly tries to make us believe Obama is against us, because he knows there’s video showing him turning against his country that he professes to love so much

Posted by tanya | Report as abusive

Buffett would be great for our country, but more times than not, all we get in politics are those that failed in the private sector.

You people don’t get it. Obama just contradicted himself over and over. Liberals are following Obama like a puppy follows the dog catcher to doggie hell! I wrote a blog post about Obama’s contradictions, but I’m sure liberals will tell me how stupid I am, and how I am wrong with the same old language, “Change!” 8/10/07/debate-winner-obama-or-mccain/

Posted by Nate Stockard | Report as abusive

So far of all the superstar investors in the news, only Buffet has been correct more often than he has been wrong.

Yes, he’s said flat out that he wouldn’t take the job if he was offered it.

To me, those two things says he’s the man for the job.

Mr. Buffett, please consider this an American Patriot’s plea for you to sacrifice the years of retirement in order to help us survive with your market wisdom. We desperately need someone like you.

Posted by Brian Wolfe | Report as abusive

Well I think enough people have debunked the ignorant comment that Warren Buffett doesn’t give away money…but no one (I don’t think) has challenged the idiotic notion that he wouldn’t take the job because he would enjoy more income and status in the private sector…do you honestly think he cares about either at this point? He has more than enough of both quite clearly.

(I do agree with another poster though who said that McCain’s Treasury Secretary would more likely be Phil “nation of whiners” Gramm).

Posted by Oliver L. | Report as abusive

unfortunately conspec, who posted the ill informed comment regarding mr. buffett, is as confused about facts as he probably is about the current economy. The fact is, mr. buffett has donated to charity more money than anyone in history. it’s a simple fact that with minimal effort can be researched right here on the internet. buffett certainly knows the economy better than anyone alive but the chances of him holding public office is very slim. there’s no reason for him to do so. he’s helping the economy without the need for public office.

Posted by Jim | Report as abusive

tanya: McCain is a traitor? How can you speak for millions of American soldiers that have suffered in combat. Can YOU fathom being tortured for five and a half years?!

McCain tries to make us believe that Obama is against us? I’ve never heard someone so desperately following party lines. They both want to take us out of this 8 year drought!

Posted by JONYI | Report as abusive

Meg Whitman – bad choice.
Warren Buffett – good choice.

Posted by Jim | Report as abusive

I’d like Buffett for President and Bloomberg for VP.

I don’t think Buffett would want to spend a moment taking orders from McCain. McCain is obviously trying to boost his own credibility by evoking Buffett’s AAA reputation.

Posted by Raghuveer | Report as abusive

Conspec– What do you mean Warren Buffet doesn’t give away any money? He’s giving away ALL his money. He has already given BILLIONS to the Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation, and plans to give 85% of his fortune away. He’s been interviewed about this for years, and has always said that he’d rather give a huge chunk later in life that can make a huge difference to the world, rather than a relatively small amount in increments. You can read about it here: s/fortune/charity1.fortune/

Warren Buffet is frugal but NOT greedy. He won’t lose much money in this sub-prime crisis cause he wasn’t greedy, just like he didn’t lose money during the internet bubble. He buys companies based on value. If the stock is undervalued, he’ll buy it, and a company leveraged to the hilt with mortgage securities is not a good value.

If Obama can get Buffet to agree to be his Treasury Secretary right now, he’ll win the election in a landslide. I can’t think of a better person to do this.

Posted by Patrick | Report as abusive

NOT john mccain.

Posted by Ted | Report as abusive

I think Buffett would do a great job in this position, but I doubt he would take it if it were offered to him. He’s not used to being employed/working for someone else..and I don’t think he’s masochistic enough to go from being completely independent and self-directing to being one part of a huge bureaucracy, where even ideas that don’t meet with opposition are very, very slow to be adopted and implemented.

Dr. Tantillo, who has ( ) did a post a little over a week ago on Buffett (in a winner/loser post that contrasted him with WaMu).

Dr. Tantillo blogs from a branding perspective, and posits that any company must stay true to its brand’s ‘core features’ to succeed.

Full post: 6/brand-advisory-buffett-and-wamu.aspx

I think that working for someone else is not part of Buffett’s brand….

Posted by sloane | Report as abusive