well i guess its all relative if one just lets a headline tell a story-
Buffett dispenses gloom at Berkshire fest
OMAHA, Nebraska (Reuters) – Warren Buffett told a record crowd at a somber annual meeting of his Berkshire Hathaway Inc that first-quarter operating profit fell and the company's book value declined 6 percent, as the recession hurt many of the company's businesses and investments.
Operating profit fell about 12 percent from a year earlier to $1.7 billion, as most of Berkshire's businesses were "basically down," Buffett told an estimated 35,000 people at the meeting in downtown Omaha.
The decline in book value results in part from falling stock prices and higher losses on derivatives contracts, and comes on top of a 9.6 percent decline last year, the biggest drop since Buffett began running the company in 1965.
Buffett acknowledged that Berkshire will probably lose money on derivatives tied to the credit quality of junk bonds, though he still expects to make money on a much larger and longer-term derivatives bet that stock prices will rise.
Berkshire's cash stake fell to about $22.7 billion on March 31 from $25.5 billion at year end, Buffett said. Berkshire expects to report results on May 8.
The outlook punctuated a meeting that had a decidedly more serious and somber tone from years past as many investors expressed worries about the economy, Berkshire's investments, and how long the 78-year-old Buffett plans to stay on the job.
berkshire hathaway is like a microcosm of the entire US economy. people like him are the economy. they ebb and flow together. and while he is realistic about near term growths, he has never waivered in his confidence in america or its core.