he is a board member. he beat every board member. i think he might have beat most berkshire employees. under 20 minutes. he’s the boss. i didn’t want to have to — you were hungover probably. you would have lost so badly. i would have lost so badly i couldn’t bring myself. did you say you were going to be there and then you didn’t? i said i was contemplating. he did say he was going to be there because they were looking for him with the cameras. i waited to shoot the gun. where is andrew? where is andrew? burke ran a 2:39 marathon. that’s scary. thank you for raising that issue. you’re welcome. tattle tale sister over here. a good excuse to talk about the wonders of steve burke’s running performance, which was outstanding we should say. was it under 20 minutes? yeah. that’s what i heard. he’s fast. i want to say 18. under 21 i’m told. i’m told under 21. a lot faster than andrew or i did. very quickly before we go to a break, i want to ask you about jc penney. a story about how goldman sachs had been potentially lining up a line of credit for them. it’s got to be a company you’re following too. fruit of the loom is a supplier. i worked for a considerable period. i have an interest for them. i would like to see jc penney succeed. do you think they’re going to? i think it’s very tough. they obviously alienated a significant part of their customer base in the last 18 months or whatever it’s been 37 . and retailing is — it’s a tough game. and you’ve got very, very smart competitors doing smart things every day. when you lose momentum and when you turn off a significant part of your customers, sit a big job to get back. i hope they pull it off. i’m for him. and i think they’ve got a good man in there to do it. but i’ll just have to wait and see the numbers. they have been burning through cash quickly. sure. has it ever gotten to a point where as a supplier you’re worried. no. but you worry about your retailer getting to that point. when your suppliers get worried, you’re in trouble. so you have never worried about it? no. if you let us, we will jump
Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, chairman & CEO, talks with CNBC’s Becky Quick about the nation’s budget problems and why he believes a “tax holiday” will push investment abroad.
we are speaking with warren buffett this morning. been talking about a lot of things. the annual meeting is a place where you see a lot of people — it’s just an mazing place to people watch. you have seen huge successful people from business and beyond. some of the people i ran into were bill ackman, lee cooperman. and kathy ireland. she beat me. she beat you in mini golf putting. one of the people who was here that really caught my attention was bowles. we spoke about his new plan. this is 2.0, where he’s coming back at congress again saying we still have a lot that needs to be done, that the sequester was stupid. he said it was three times stupid because it’s dumb cuts the way you use it and it’s not attacking what we should be attacking which is really the entitlements. where do you come down? well, congress said we’re going to propose something so dumb that we can’t do it. and then they did it. you know, it is a stupid way to enact a cut in the budget. it was designed to be stupid. at some point they will face up to the fact that their job is a responsible, long-term budget plan. and some things immediately that make sense in terms of where the economy is now and where expenditures should be made, whatever the case is. we deserve a congress better than that. the biggest issue that you talk about for a long time is health care costs, something that irskin has talked a lot about as well. we are a very rich country. so we can get away with things like that. we can mismanage in significant ways. health care c are the biggest factor that make us noncompetitive. we have anywhere from six cents on the dollar to eight cents disadvantage in costs from that one item against the rest of the world. imagine if we faced six percentage point disadvantage in terms of the cost of our steel or something like that. it would be a national emergency. but health care marchs on. the affordable health care act is being brought more into play. does that help or hurt? i don’t know how to answer that. but we are not addressing the costs overall. and it isn’t government the problem, it’s the whole system. and we need some very, very good minds to tell us how we can get to perhaps 15% of gdp going to health care. if the rest of the world is anywhere from 8 to 11 or anything of the sort, we ought to figure out how to have a good system for all americans, 15% of gdp. and i would love to get may co, kaiser, cleveland clinic, give them that task to design a system. the head of cleveland clinic was here. he was talking how they are rolling the program out, looking for a lot of ways to try to get that there. the idea is getting down to 15%, how do you that without crushing innovation and hurting the quality