Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, spoke with Bloomberg Television’s David Westin about the 2016 presidential race, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s E-mail situation. He also spoke on income inequality, China’s economy and the potential for a global slowdown.
On how Hillary Clinton handled the private E-mail situation, Buffett said: "It hasn't been handled well, but I've handled some things badly in my life too. You don't want to have too many of them, but I do not consider that determinative at all of the kind of the person she would be as president."
On Donald Trump, Buffett said: “He's going to spell out his economic program sometime in the next few weeks. I wouldn't be surprised if I agree with quite a bit of his economic program…From what he's said, in terms of he thinks the rich should pay more. He thinks that carried interest should be treated instead as regular income, it's just like they would be if they were investment advisors or anything of the sort. I have -- in terms of tax policy, I haven't heard him say anything yet that I disagree with."
Buffett On Trump’s Tax Policy: http://bloom.bg/1hUSgwe
Buffett: Clinton E-mails Haven't Been Handled Well: http://bloom.bg/1hUFnSU
Buffett: I'm Bullish on China, It Has Long-Term Potential: http://bloom.bg/1K5JIcC
Buffett: Government Should Do More on Income Inequality: http://bloom.bg/1hUEF8h
Buffett: I'm Less Enthusiastic About Crude Oil Prices: http://bloom.bg/1hUEJVt
Buffett: I Don't See Local TV as a Growth Business: http://bloom.bg/1hUEKJ5
DAVID WESTIN: We are here with Warren Buffett. Thanks for your time, Warren.
Warren Buffett: Clinton E-mail Situation Hasn't Been Handled Well
Warren Buffett: I'm a Huge Fan of 'Breaking Bad'
Billionaire Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, comments on "Breaking Bad" during an interview with Bloomberg's David Westin on "Bloomberg Markets." (Source: Bloomberg)
Buffett: I Don't See Local TV as a Growth Business
Billionaire Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, comments on his media holdings during an interview with Bloomberg's David Westin on "Bloomberg Markets." (Source: Bloomberg)
Buffett: Government Should Do More on Income Inequality
Billionaire Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, comments on income inequality during an interview with Bloomberg's David Westin on "Bloomberg Markets." (Source: Bloomberg)
Buffett: I'm Less Enthusiastic About Crude Oil Prices
Billionaire Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, comments on crude oil prices during an interview with Bloomberg's David Westin on "Bloomberg Markets." (Source: Bloomberg)
Buffett: I'm Bullish on China, It Has Long-Term Potential
Billionaire Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, comments on China's economy and the potential for a global slowdown during an interview with Bloomberg's David Westin on "Bloomberg Markets." (Source: Bloomberg)
WARREN BUFFETT: I'm delighted.
WESTIN: As they just said, but I'll repeat, we're here because you have you have your annual lunch that you auction off for charity. And it's Glide Foundation in San Francisco. Tell us about that and why you're involved.
BUFFETT: Well I was -- there was a church in San Francisco that was dying, had about 100 white parishioners and a young black minister was sent there. And then the 100 quit, but that fellow's name was Cecil Williams. And he turned that really defunct church into one of the most remarkable social institutions you can imagine. He has helped tens of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands of people that have given up on themselves, their family has given up on them, society has given up on them, but Cecil never gives up.
So they give a couple thousand meals a day. They had 10,000 volunteers out there. They give vocational training. They give beds. They take in battered women, you name it. And Cecil works with every one of them like they were the most important person in the world.
WESTIN: And your wife, Susie, was actually involved in it, right?
BUFFETT: Yes. She was very involved. And she actually sort of beat up on me to go there one time. And I thought this was probably a phony of some sort. I'm a skeptical guy. So I probably should have been in the news business. So I went on a Sunday, and I was blown away. I mean this guy was for real. And these people were having their lives changed. And so I really -- I mean that was a big thing that she convinced me to go there. And I can't do enough to help.
WESTIN: And through these lunches you have raised over $20 million for Glide.
BUFFETT: That's true.
WESTIN: And today it was $2.35 million, I think.
BUFFETT: Well what happened, somebody bid 23456789. That's a $2.345 million. I guess they thought it was lucky, but it won the lunch this year.
WESTIN: And he's chairman of a Chinese videogame company.
BUFFETT: Yes, exactly. And he had six friends, along with him, and his wife. And we had a terrific lunch.
WESTIN: So let's let him lead us to China. Let's talk about China and what's going on over there. There has been a lot of turmoil, a lot of ups and downs, back and forth. You have traditionally been pretty bullish on China.
BUFFETT: I'm bullish on China.
WESTIN: And has it any tempered your enthusiasm, the extent of the Chinese government intervention in the markets, both equity markets and FX markets?
BUFFETT: Not over time. I mean and it's -- I mean this country has gone through a couple of world wars in the 20th century, the Great Depression, went through a Civil War. I mean we've had lots of ups and downs in this country, but overall we've kept moving forward, and China will be the same way.
WESTIN: So long-term you're big on China.
BUFFETT: Long-term China has go -- it has got a long way to go.
WESTIN: And do you see opportunities right now? You have done some investing there.
BUFFETT: And a little bit of investing there. And we're open to ideas anyplace, and we've got a number of factories there, but capital travels.
WESTIN: And expanded beyond China, to what extent, if any, are you concerned that there may be indications of a more global slowdown? I mean you have got China slowing down. We're not sure really quite how much because we're not sure about the numbers. Brazil is an outright --
BUFFETT: Brazil has got a lot of problems.
WESTIN: And it looks like it's going to be there for a while. U.S. numbers are fair to middling. I mean they sort of range around -- Europe is growing some, but pretty slowly. Do you think we should we be concerned at all about a global turnout, and if so, what from a policy point of view could be done?
BUFFETT: Well I think it's unlikely that the world has some great slowdown, but it always can. I mean you look at history, and it's not been a straight line in this country or any other place. But what I look at is five, or 10 or 20 years out. And there is no way that America is not going to make progress, China is not going to make progress, Europe is not going to make progress over that period of time. I