BERLIN: Warren Buffett (pictured), the US investment guru whose acumen and apparent sixth sense has made him the world's wealthiest man, on Saturday told Germany's Der Speigel magazine that the United States is "already in recession".

Buffett, known as the 'sage of Omaha', conceded that America's entry into recession is "not in the sense that economists would define it", two consecutive quarters of negative growth being the official denotation.

"But the people are already feeling the effects," he said. Moreover, "it will be deeper and last longer than many think." 

Buffett blamed financial institutions for introducing instruments "they can no longer control" and said the "genie can no longer be put back in the bottle."

The 77-year-old boss of the Berkshire Hathaway investment colossus, who according to Forbes magazine, earlier this year ousted Bill Gates as the planet's richest man, is currently in Europe on what he delicately terms a "shopping tour".

Data sourced from multiple origins; additional content by WARC staff