By Mark Hirschey (Work of Mark Hirschey) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Andrew Ross Sorkin sports “Berkshire sneakers” on the set of “Squawk Box.” He also has a question for Warren Buffett on the Volcker rule. “You do need intelligent regulation of banks,” says Buffett.
we’ve seen in the last three months and do you think it makes of lehman and bear and i say glass-steagall had nothing to do with them. glass-steagall was not the primary cause of what happened in 2008. it’s very hard to get at the primary cause because we all participated in a bubble. we liked the bubble while it was going on. government liked it, wall street liked did, main street liked it, homeowners really loved it. they were able to keep refinancing their homes, it became an atm machine for them. it’s hard to pick out one group and say, ah, there’s the culprit. but certainly the abilities of banks to have sieves and that sort of things, all kinds of things spring up. so you do need intelligent regulation of banks. in the end you can’t let them do everything they want to do because they will — we owned a bank at one time in 1969 and they passed a bank holding company act. they said it wasn’t a good idea for an ntity that owned a whole bunch other businesses like we did to own a bank and they were probably right. do you think the banks are still too big? wells fargo, which i know you have a big stake in, jpmorgan, which you have a personal stake in? our banks in this country are less concentrated that many other countries’, including canada. i don’t have a problem with the size of banks. up need capital commensurate with size and up need regulation, but size did not cause the problems. europe has been — i mean, in ireland the banks achieved a size relative to the economy that were ten times what they might be here. the size of our banks was not a problem. joe, you asked about why we were in iowa and not nebraska. warren can tell you more about that in just a little bit. i don’t know how tight we are up against the top of the hour. there’s an actual reason we’re here. the missouri river defined the border and the missouri river changed direction. it just looks like omaha. idn’t know whether you wanted to leave iowa and you just left it out west for the cows. it’s a great line where the character says i thought i was dead, too, but then i found out you didn’t embrace it. you’re kind of an iowaite. i can see why you’re saying those things from a distance. are you going to show those sneakers? i don’t know if warren is wearing his sneakers. i have mine at the table. these are special sneakers from this weekend. they say brk, these are limited editions and they have inside the sole here, can you see that? , the man himself. i assume, warren, you’re going to run a marathon later this year in these sneakers yourself. they were selling so strongly the other day. i sold my pair, too. what do they sell for, warren? over $50? because andrew was only too happy to accept this over $50. you haven’t been to the legal training. you can wear one of them. just getting started. warren buffett is fielding questions from the berkshire faithful. he did it all weekend and today he’s got two more hours left