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The 'Oracle of Omaha' Condemns Republican Health Care Bill At Berkshire Meeting

08 May 2017
The 'Oracle of Omaha' Condemns Republican Health Care Bill At Berkshire Meeting

Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway and Bill Gates, billionaire and co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting. Buffett said during the Berkshire investors gathering that he's more inclined than usual this year to sell some assets because the tax advantage could soon diminish for divesting securities at a loss.

Buffett, who had backed Hillary Clinton in last year's United States election, did not directly criticize Trump at the meeting.

U.S. President Donald Trump has made trade as a centerpiece of his presidential campaign, vowing to renegotiate trade agreements with other countries and crack down on unfair trade practices.

Though Warren Buffett has long championed dividend stocks as part of his investment philosophy, when it comes to his own company, Berkshire Hathaway (brk.a), the investor has been loath to pay dividends.

He also addressed criticism that Berkshire discloses too little about businesses such as aircraft parts maker Precision Castparts Corp, which it bought past year for $32.1 billion. "The main problem was they didn't act when they learned about it". So, he said, if people remembered him as being a good teacher, he would be OK with that.

Berkshire Hathaway has operations ranging from insurance to freight railroads and investments in a host of businesses, including troubled bank Wells Fargo, which has been rocked by a fake accounts scandal. "But, you know, if you ask me in retrospect, 'What was our worst mistake in the tech field?' I think we were smart enough to figure out Google".

Buffett says Bogle played a major role in creating the index funds that are common today, and that has helped millions of investors earn more because the fees are so cheap. Given the price that Geico was paying per click, Buffett said, he should have seen the technology company's promise.

"The deferred taxes that are applicable to unrealized gains on securities would all be applicable to us", Buffett said during Berkshire's annual shareholders meeting on Saturday.

The topic arose at Berkshire Hathaway's shareholder meeting in Omaha, where Buffett talked about his struggles to find ways to deploy the company's enormous hoard of more than $90 billion in cash, at a time when it has been hard to find worthy investments at an attractive price.

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

The chance to hear Buffett and Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger field questions for more than five hours is again expected to attract more than 30,000 people to Omaha, Nebraska, on Saturday.