Warren Buffett CNBC Interview May 6th 2013 [VIDEO]

bought a couple smaller businesses in europe. we bought some european stocks. and the fact that there are krubls in europe — and there are plenty of troubles and they’re not going to go away fast does not mean that you don’t buy stocks. we bought stocks when the united states was in trouble in 2008 and it was in huge trouble and we spend 15.5 billion in three weeks between september 15th and october 10th. it wasn’t because the news was good. it was because the prices wer good. and if you believe that europe is going to be around, which it certainly is and it’s going to have huge amounts of purchasing power with citizens and all that, then you actually look at troubles as possibly being — offering you an opportunity to buy. i bought my first stock when the united states was — or right after pearl harbor. i didn’t buy it because i thought it was a great idea. i bought it because i thought stocks were cheap and eventually we would win the war. so you’ve been buying european stocks. has that been disclosed already? well, we bought some in our re-insurance company we have over there. we spent a couple billion euros a year or so ago and we would look at more. if you find a good business — coca-cola was based in amsterdam instead of atlanta. we would love to buy it. and if it’s cheap enough. we like good companies at cheap prices. would you buy in some of the southern european countries, too, and specifically in greece and italy and spain? and i ask that because we were joined recently and said he would be interested in making deals in greece. i don’t see it as impossible. i would there’s a higher hurdle to clear in looking at businesses in those areas. but many of those businesses are international businesses, too. but, yeah, the answer is, if i understand the business well, and i trust and admire the management and the price is right, we’ll buy there. charlie did crack on the stage on saturday that if it was in greece, you hoped you’d give him a call before you went ahead ask buy it. i’ll do that, but he says no to everything i come up with, so it won’t make difference. an rue, i know you have a question, too. warren, this is a follow-up from the meeting on saturday. and it came after you had commented during the meeting, we got a number of e-mails asking for the follow-up. so here is the follow-up. it was a philosophical question related to having a chairman and a ceo and where they should be the same person. he had commented about the reasons for having howard be the inventorial successor, nonexecutive chairman to oversee things and be a check on the ceo. after you said that during the meeting, invariably, i got half a dozen e-mails from people in the audience who said follow up and ask should that be applicable across the board. i guess given the news related to jpmorgan, you could put knit that context. but more broadly, do you think there should be a separation between the chairman and ceo now that you’re thinking about the future of berkshire, at least in that way a little bit. yeah. i think either system is okay. but one advantage of having the chairman separate from the ceo is that it becomes easier to change the ceo if you have the wrong person in the job. and the biggest problems for the ceo is not the occasional one. the problem is that you get somebody who is reasonably good, but that you can come up with somebody better. we have all kinds of second and third string quarterbacks, they’re very good, but you still want the top person playing in the position. and it’s very difficult when you have the chairman and ceo and they’re likable, then they have appointed you to the board. they’re doing their best, they’re doing a reasonable job. but you can get somebody better and perhaps you should. that is not an easy thing, when people come into board meetings six times a



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