dglobalnews.com Buffett criticizes United and its CEO over dragging incident
Published: Tue, May 09, 2017
Tech | By Arthur Brown

Buffett criticizes United and its CEO over dragging incident

"So it is a huge tax cut for guys like me", he said.

Berkshire's annual shareholder meeting has always been known as the "Woodstock of capitalism" for the fervor of the investors - some owning only a single share - who travel to Omaha just for the chance to listen to Buffett and his longtime business partner, Charles Munger. With big slugs of Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio struggling, including Wells Fargo and IBM, returns are converging with the S&P 500.

"I can't think of what I really (would) have done much about purchases or sales in any election", he said. I know a lot of the challenges, " he said in an interview.

Buffett also discussed U.S. President Donald Trump, who was rarely mentioned at Berkshire's annual meeting on Saturday, where Buffett and Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger answered five hours of shareholder and analyst questions.

'That is a problem this society is having trouble with and is going to have more trouble " added Buffett, who's previously funded Republican candidates but threw his support behind Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton previous year.

Berkshire declined to say whether that was a complete list of CEO transitions since 2016's annual meeting. For those who don't remember, Buffett in Berkshire's 2015 annual letter boasted that 98% of investors voted against paying a dividend.

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.

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Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is United's largest shareholder and has large stakes in other big US airlines, said the recent spotlight on poor customer service in the airline industry doesn't change his investment strategy.

"I can learn very easily how consumers react to different things there", he said, referring to Berkshire's ownership of Nebraska Furniture Mart.

Speaking on CNBC television, Mr. Buffett said, "It's a defect of mine" that he doesn't focus as closely on the efficiency of business units at Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the conglomerate he has run since 1965.

Meanwhile, Buffett was asked why he's not buying Amazon shares, the billionaire investor had a simple answer. Buffett recalled how Microsoft founder Bill Gates once told him he would just hire people from IIT if he were to choose one university.

"They actually have to do something", Buffett said.

Other recent Berkshire subsidiary CEO turnovers include Cathy Baron Tamraz, who retired as CEO of press-release distributor Business Wire Inc., and was succeeded by Geff Scott.

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