Lunes, 17 Diciembre, 2018

Republican healthcare bill 'a huge tax cut for guys like me': Buffett

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett
Eleena Tovar | 08 May, 2017, 15:45

"It is a huge tax cut for guys like me", Buffett said, adding it would lower his federal income tax by 17 percent if it goes into effect.

"I was too dumb to realize" Amazon would become so big, he said. The Annual Meeting of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway attracted more than 40,000 shareholders from around the world as well as a wide variety of media outlets to Omaha every year.

"The main problem was they didn't act when they learned about it", Buffett said.

Some Wall Street analysts have predicted Amazon, whose market value is almost $450 billion, is on course to become a trillion-dollar company.

Buffett was joined by his longtime business partner, Charles Munger, who said both political parties - Republicans and Democrats - were facing great difficulty in thinking rationally about the issue at hand because they "hate each other so much".

The conglomerate also ended the quarter with roughly $96.5 billion of cash, equivalents and Treasury bills, a record sum and enough for one or more major acquisitions. He also said rising health care costs, rather than high taxes, were the biggest drag on US businesses.

Buffett, who hasn't publicly identified a successor, doesn't pay a dividend and rarely repurchases stock, arguing that he can do better by retaining earnings.

Buffett defended Berkshire's foray into airlines, where it is a top investor in American Airlines Group Inc, Delta Air Lines Inc, Southwest Airlines Co and United Continental Holdings Inc. For most of his career, Buffett avoided technology stocks, saying the companies were outside his expertise.

Investors will do fine if they hold good businesses, he said, adding one should "never look at short-term market moves". Berkshire bought the BNSF railroad in 2010.

Buffett told the more than 30,000 people who attended the annual meeting that flawed compensation systems - such as the arrangement that rewarded Wells Fargo employees for meeting aggressive sales goals - can promote the wrong behavior.

Dozens of companies Berkshire owns set up booths in an adjoining 200,000-square-foot exhibit hall to sell their products and take questions about their businesses.

He was joined at the traditional newspaper tossing contest by friends including Microsoft Corp co-founder and Berkshire director Bill Gates and Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

"At a point, the burden of proof really shifts to us, big time, " Buffett said.

"Every year it seems I have to come earlier", said Chris Tesari, a retired businessman from Pacific Palisades, California who said he arrived at 3:20 a.m. for his 21st meeting.