Buffett RR Bet Is On More Federal Stimulus

Thursday, 05 Nov 2009 09:24 AM

By Julie Crawshaw

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Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is making a big rail buy, acquiring Burlington Northern for $100 per share or about $34 billion.

The deal is the largest in Berkshire's history.

Far from contributing money to the resuscitation of U.S. railroads, Warren Buffett’s big rail buy is actually a bet on lots more government spending, particularly with respect to infrastructure.

Specifically he hopes Obama will allocate a lot of infrastructure money to railroads, says the Business Insider's Joe Weisenthal.

"Obama is known to be rail friendly, and the first stimulus was expected to be highly infrastructure-based, but it wasn't," Weisenthal notes.

If this administration makes shipping goods by truck more expensive by taxing carbon emissions, Buffett’s bet becomes even more profitable.

"Buffett — who has the ear of the President — is guessing, safely, that we haven't seen the end of that dream, that Obama will open up the government's coffers for a major upgrade of the rail system."

Earlier this year, Newsmax reported that an investigation by the Sacramento Bee newspaper revealed that Warren Buffett's holding company Berkshire Hathaway was fifth on the list of largest investors being helped by federal bailout funding.

Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway didn’t received any TARP dollars.

But the fact that it owned stock valued at more than $13 billion in the top recipients of TARP funds made Berkshire Hathaway a big recipient of government stimulus money in the form of TARP dollars.

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