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Are fiscal cliff doomsayers overreacting?

While many bemoan the possibility of the America's topple over the fiscal cliff, some major investors say even if Congress doesn't reach a deal by the end of the year, the economic outlook may not be as bad as it seems.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said this week that Congress could have as much as a couple months of next year to reach a deal and still avoid the fiscal cliff. "The fact they can't get along for the month of January is not going to torpedo the economy," he said in an interview with CNN.

Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

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The "fiscal cliff" sounds like a scary place. Headlines about "taxmaggeddon" are flashing on TV screens, next to clocks ticking down to Jan. 1.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has skidded more than 7 percent over the last month, largely due to concerns about the standoff in Congress over how to stop a barrage of tax hikes and spending cuts.

But some major investors say the doomsayers are getting too much attention and cliff watchers should relax a bit.

These investors argue that the U.S. economy does not face immediate disaster if lawmakers can't reach a deal by the end of the year, and there will still be time for Washington to come up with a deal in early 2013 before major damage starts to be done.

"It is not impossible at all that they miss by a little and then come back and get it," said billionaire investor Ken Fisher, whose firm Fisher Investments oversees about $38 billion in equities. "There's a minor risk ... but getting it done 10 days later is not really a big deal."

Others say Washington has more time than that.


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