Buffett Downplays Value Clash Between Berkshire, Cost-cutting 3G

19 May, 2017, 10:16 | Author: Leticia Walters

Billionaire Warren Buffett says growing health care costs continue to be a drag on the performance of US businesses, and he's not sure the reform package Republicans passed will do much to help that. He also said rising health care costs, rather than high taxes, were the biggest drag on US businesses.

"Medical costs are the tapeworm of American economic competitiveness", he said, according to The New York Times.

Buffett's remarks came a day after thousands of documents were released online targeting French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, before the second round of voting on Sunday.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Berkshire Hathaway shareholders are attending several events around Omaha this weekend after the company's annual meeting on Saturday. "The main problem was they didn't act when they learned about it". It's the largest shareholder in businesses including Wells Fargo & Co., Delta Air Lines Inc. and Coca-Cola Co. Buffett says he still believes in the long-term prospects of the bank even though Wells Fargo mishandled the scandal.

Buffett marveled at modern tech companies and their ability to accumulate market value with minimal fixed assets or capital needs.

Buffett also raised the possibility Berkshire could pay its first dividend since 1967, if "reasonably soon, even while I'm around", the company had too much cash it could not reasonably deploy. Berkshire said complex social and moral issues should not determine where it could invest.

The meeting also included discussions about Berkshire's succession plans.

Buffett noted that he has had to oversee job cuts himself, citing job losses at the original Berkshire Hathaway textile business, which shut down 20 years after he took it over.

To no one's surprise, Buffett did not mention who would take over for him as Berkshire's chief executive. Currently, Berkshire has more than $90 billion in cash on hand.

Earlier this week, Buffett announced that Berkshire Hathaway had dumped about a third of its IBM stock.

"I'm sure that they give money to people I wouldn't vote for, but that is the reality of doing business", he said. Berkshire, a conglomerate that wholly owns Geico Insurance and other assets, has seen its share price double over the past five years.

"I'm very pessimistic on weapons of mass destruction generally although I don't think that nuclear probably is quite as likely as either primarily biological and maybe cyber", he said.

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