I recently sat down with value-investing great Mohnish Pabrai. While at heart PabraiĀ is a stock picker, I asked him a big-picture question: Do you feel better about 2013 than you did 2012?

His basic answer was yes. "People will be surprised at how robustly the U.S. economy comes back," he said.

Here's what else he had to say (transcript follows):

Morgan Housel: Do you feel better about 2013 than you did 2012 in terms of the economy and the stock market?

Mohnish Pabrai: Yeah, I think that people are going to be surprised at how robustly the U.S. economy comes back. I think housing is a big driver and housing is coming back in a big way. ... I think Mitt Romney had talked about 4 million jobs. I think the economy, no matter who is president -- and we know Barack's going to be president -- is going to create way more than that.

I think we'll be surprised at how robust the job creation engine is. The United States actually has gone through a period where it has become vastly more competitive, so the financial crisis has made many industries a lot more competitive. And, of course, we have all kinds of things in the country that work exceptionally well -- innovation, entrepreneurship, and so on. So I am a bull in terms of where the economy's going to go.

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