The annual shareholders meeting of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. was held this weekend in Omaha. More than 40,000 people attended. Yesterday CEO Warren Buffett and vice chairman Charles Munger held a five and one-half hour question and answer session for the attendees.
Says Mr. Buffett as reported by the Omaha World Herald:
- “We’ve got a big appetite for wind and solar projects.” BH Energy “borrows at taxable rates and Nebraska in terms of wind is not that much different than Iowa. We’re selling electricity in Iowa at lower rates than exist in Nebraska (with public power).”
- Should BH keep working with Brazilian investors 3G Capital, known for slashing jobs at companies it invests in? Replied Buffett, “The gains in this world have come from gains in productivity. … This is why we live so well. … Government can put in place policies and programs that help workers left behind by economic shifts.”
- “Trade, export and import, massive trade, should be and is enormously beneficial to the U.S. and the world.”
- Medical costs are the “tapeworm of American economic growth. … Corporate taxes aren’t crippling but medical costs continue to rise. … The problem seems to transcend political party.”
Conclusion. Just these few remarks, among many others from the meeting, touch on several broad economic themes which I discuss on this blog. Private enterprise is a powerful and efficient method of generating wealth for humanity. Government should intervene to help those hurt by progress. Renewable energy is profitable and here to stay. Healthcare costs have a significant effect on business growth and need to be controlled. Neither political party has a monopoly on the truth.