India is a huge market for anyone to ignore: Warren Buffet
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 12, 2017,
May 12, 2017, 3:41
"It's intrinsically a risky kind of activity, but that's one of its attractions", Munger said on Saturday at Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire's annual meeting, highlighting the judgement of Buffett and his reinsurance deputy, Ajit Jain. "The main problem was they didn't act when they learned about it".
Buffett also said airplanes "may become like cattle cars", but that's because a significant number of passengers will put up with crowding in exchange for cheaper fares.
Buffett also faulted the House Republican healthcare bill passed last week, which would repeal the Affordable Care Act and investment income taxes for wealthier people, as a means to "cut the hell out of income taxes" for the rich.
Throughout his legendary career, Buffett has stressed the importance of investing in products that are tangible, one reason he bought into companies like Coca-Cola and Dairy Queen over the years.
He said he had grown more fond of Apple Inc AAPL.O , in which Berkshire has disclosed a roughly $20 billion stake, because he could "very easily determine" the iPhone maker's competitive position "and who is trying to chase them".
Asked whether Berkshire's decentralized structure could lead to a similar scandal, Buffett said "as we sit here, somebody is doing something wrong at Berkshire", whose units employ 367,000 people.
Buffett has often said he avoided tech stocks in the past because he didn't really understand how they were making money and whether they would be able to do so over the long term.
Buffett plans to play bridge with shareholders at Borsheims.
"Berkshire ended March with more than $96 billion of cash and cash-like instruments, and Munger said it could do a "$150 billion" acquisition now if it wanted.
He said it may have been harder to single people out because "we have never had more good managers". Berkshire is also the top shareholder at Delta, No. 2 at Southwest and No. 3 at American.
Berkshire now owns 133 million shares of Apple, which Buffett said behaves more like a consumer-products company than a tech company.
Brooks Running chief executive officer Jim Weber said he is always careful about how much of Buffett's time he takes up when he talks to him, so those conversations tend to focus just on Brooks' running-shoe business.
Separately, Mr. Buffett expressed regret over his failure to invest early in Internet search company Google, now part of Alphabet Inc, saying "I should have some insight into" what became an "extraordinary business" with attributes of a monopoly. "So they have gained a 5- or 6-point advantage", he said.