Here are Warren Buffett's 25 best quotes from Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting, where he discussed airlines, coronavirus, and bailouts
Warren Buffetttalked about airlines, coronavirus, bailouts, and other subjects during Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting on Saturday.
- The famed investor and Berkshire CEO cohosted the virtual event and answered several questions.
- Buffett disclosed that Berkshire sold its stakes in the "big four" US airlines in April, revealed that he has been wearing sweatsuits during the lockdown, and called on the government to reward frontline workers and help those suffering during the pandemic.
- Here are Buffett's 25 best quotes from the night.
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Warren Buffett discussed the coronavirus, bailouts, buybacks,
The billionaire investor and Berkshire CEO joined Greg Abel, the company's vice chairman of non-insurance operations, to host the livestreamed event and answer questions.
We gathered Buffett's most interesting and entertaining quotes from the night using a transcript on Sentieo, a financial research site, then lightly edited and condensed them for clarity.
Here are Buffett's 25 best quotes from the
1. "It's been a flip of the switch in a huge way in terms of national behavior, the national psyche. It's dramatic" — describing the coronavirus' impact on the American people.
2. "In 2008 and '09, our economic train went off the tracks. This time, we just pulled the train off the tracks and put it on a siding" — discussing government lockdowns and business closures in response to the pandemic.
3. "Fear is the most contagious disease you can imagine. It makes the virus look like a piker."
4. "It's been seven weeks since I've had a haircut. It's been more than seven weeks since I put on a tie or anything. It's just a question of which sweatsuit I wear" — describing how the pandemic has altered his behavior.
5. "I have a box here of our peanut brittle and I've got another box of fudge right here, and I'll probably take them all home and not share with Greg" — referring to See's Candies, his "dream business."
6. "Charlie is really taking to this new life. He's added Zoom to his repertoire, so he has meetings every day with various people, and he's just skipped right by me technologically, but that really isn't such a huge achievement. It's more like stepping over a peanut or something" — joking about how Berkshire's vice chairman and longtime partner, Charlie Munger, has adapted to the lockdown.
7. "Equities are going to outperform the 30-year Treasury bond, and they're going to outperform Treasury bills. They're going to outperform that money you stuck under your mattress."
8. "I happen to believe that Berkshire is as about as sound as any single investment can be in terms of earning reasonable returns over time, but I would not want to bet my life on whether we beat the S&P 500 over the next 10 years."
9. "We never want to be dependent, not only on the kindness of strangers, but the kindness of friends" — explaining why Berkshire always maintains significant cash reserves.
10. "You could come to me on Monday morning with something that involved $30 billion or $40 billion or $50 billion. And if we really liked what we were seeing, we would do it. And that will happen someday" — pledging to eventually invest a chunk of Berkshire's $137 billion cash pile.
11. "Ajit has one of the best minds in the world. I wrote his father after he worked for us for a few years, and I said that 'if you've got another son like this, send them over from India because we'll own the world'" — praising Berkshire's vice chairman of insurance operations, Ajit Jain.
12. "The world has changed for the airlines" — explaining why Berkshire sold its stakes in the "big four" US carriers in April.
13. "Our airline position was a mistake. Berkshire is worth less today because I took that position than if I hadn't."
14. "We're not going any place voluntarily, but we probably will go some place involuntarily before that long" — acknowledging that he and Munger will pass away sooner rather than later, given their combined age of 185.
15. "My plan has been thought out and in place for a long time. It not only ensures that the money that's been made off Berkshire, all of it ends up going to various philanthropies staggered over time, but it will also keep the wolves away" — reiterating his commitment to give more than 99% of his wealth to charity.
16. "There's a lot more money in selling than in managing actually, if you look to the essence of investment management" — discussing fund managers' promises of big returns in exchange for hefty fees.
17. "Most good salespeople believe their own baloney."
18. "If I could issue a currency, 'Buffett bucks,' and I had a printing press, and I could borrow money in that, I would never default" — dismissing the idea that the US will ever default on its national debt.
19. "When it becomes politically correct to do something in this country, if you're a politician, the best thing to do is get on board. But Berkshire is going to do what it thinks makes sense for our shareholders" — defending share buybacks against recent criticism.
20. "Have her lend it to you. If you're willing to pay 18% or whatever, she's not going to find a better deal. I'll lend you money" — Buffett's response to a friend, who had come into some money but was reluctant to pay off her credit cards, when she asked him what her daughter should do with some spare cash.
21. "I do not want to come up with anything different than capitalism, but I certainly do not want unfettered capitalism."
22. "I am 100% for taking care of the people that really get hurt by something that they've got nothing to do with" — commenting on the Paycheck Protection Program, which makes loans to small businesses that are forgiven if they keep all of their employees on payroll for eight weeks.
23. "We won't be able to pay. It's like people that landed at Normandy. For the disadvantaged, there's unimaginable suffering. They're working 24-hour days and we don't even know their names. If we go overboard on something, we ought to do things that can help those people" — replying to a question from comedian Bill Murray on how the US can repay a "new class of war veterans" in the form of healthcare staff, grocery-store clerks, and other frontline workers during the pandemic.
24. "Never bet against America. That is as true today as it was in 1789, during the Civil War, and in the depths of the Depression."
25. "American magic has always prevailed, and it will do so again."Read the original article on Business Insider
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