Even Warren Buffett is Confused by Negative Interest Rates

Doesn’t mean world will end, but nobody knows ‘full implications’

by William Watts
Market Watch

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett may be known as the Oracle of Omaha, but even he never foresaw negative interest rates—nor does he quite know what they will end up meaning to the global economy and markets.

“You can read Adam Smith, you can read [John Maynard] Keynes, you can read anybody and you can’t find a word to my knowledge on prolonged zero interest rates—that is a phenomenon nobody dreamed would ever happen,” Buffett told CNBC in an interview Friday, a day ahead of Berkshire Hathaway’s BRK.A, -0.36% BRK.B, -0.36% annual meeting.

Uncharted territory it may be, but negative rates over much of the world haven’t dented the 85-year-old Buffett’s long-term optimism.

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