Buffett: GOP Health Care Bill a Tax Cut for the Rich

"There's no way I can come back here three years from now and tell you that we hold $150 billion or so in cash or more and we think we're doing something brilliant by doing it".

"Fear spreads like you can not believe until you've seen a few examples of it", Buffett said.

Speaking on CNBC television, Buffett said, "It's a defect of mine" that he doesn't focus as closely on the efficiency of business units at Berkshire Hathaway Inc BRKa.N , the conglomerate he has run since 1965.

On 3G, with which Berkshire controls Kraft Heinz Co and tried to merge it with Unilever NV, Buffett acknowledged a dislike for the cost-cutting for which the Brazilian firm is known.

After profusely praising Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, Buffett said he missed that opportunity as well.

"And those who haven't been through cycles before are probably a little more prone to speculate than people who have experience the outcome of wild speculations", he said.

Buffett and Munger started taking questions after the traditional shareholder movie, and after Buffett roamed a nearby exhibit hall featuring products from Berkshire companies.

The annual meeting, expected to draw more than last year's estimated 37,000 shareholders, is the main event of a weekend of events that Buffett calls "Woodstock for Capitalists".

"Everybody that wants a cut in taxes can hire some academics and they look for dynamic scoring and they say the country will really be better off if I pay less tax", said Buffett.

Still, Buffett said that layoffs were sometimes necessary to make companies more productive. However, he said the USA must do more to help Americans who lose their jobs to overseas competition and technology, saying, "Nobody should be roadkill". "It's a very, very, very valuable product to people that build their lives around it". In the past year alone, almost all of Buffett's stocks are up, particularly Apple (aapl), which now happens to be the world's top-paying dividend stock in terms of dollars paid out.

Apple, which Buffett bought a stake in previous year, accounts for about 5.5% of Berkshire's portfolio. Berkshire bought the BNSF railroad in 2010. This week, Oracle copped to getting it wrong on another tech company: IBM.

Warren Buffett is an iconic investor, one who has shunned technology-related stocks since the beginning of his investment career due to the nature of these investments.

Shareholders overwhelmingly rejected a proposal that would have required Berkshire to disclose its political contributions twice a year.

Latest News