Warren Buffett On Economy, Politics and Activism

Warren Buffett On Economy, Politics and Activism
By Mark Hirschey (Work of Mark Hirschey) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway shared his view about the U.S. economy, politics, and activism during an interview at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women conference.

America is a marvelous economic machine

During the interview, Buffett said the U.S. economy is growing at 2%, which he believes is not bad at all. According to him, certain areas of the economy accelerated such as the auto industry, the housing market is picking up, but the industrial sector slowed down.

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Buffet emphasized that he is not disappointed with the 2% economic growth and he believed that people in the United States in two generations will live better than he lived. He said America is a “marvelous economic machine.”

When asked about the daily movement of the stock market, Buffet said the fluctuation is “not dramatic.” He noted that the country suffered devastating situations such as two World Wars, a great depression, recessions, epidemics, the atomic bomb and others. He said the stock market does wonderfully over time citing the reason that American businesses are doing great.

Buffett pointed out, “America is great now. It’s never been greater. Think how we lived 20 years ago.Our kids are going to live so much better than we do now.”

His perception is in contrast with Republican businessman and presidential candidate Donald Trump, whose slogan is to “Make America Great Again.”

Warren Buffett: Activism has a place in corporate America

Buffett believed that there is no reason for activists if every company in the United States is managed well. He said, “There might still be a few, but there will be no reason for it.”

However, Buffett believed that activism has a place in corporate America because not all businesses are run by capable management. According to him, change is needed when something like that happens. Sometimes the board of directors implements the necessary changes, but other times they don’t. That’s when activists come in.

According to Buffett, activism makes sense when some management is incompetent, and the Board does not do something about it. When asked if he has an appetite for joining the activists, Buffett said, “I’m not interested.”

Hillary Clinton is the most likely person to become president

During the interview, Buffett is betting on the Former First Lady and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. He believes Hillary is by far the most likely candidate to get the Democratic nomination.

Buffett also believes that the Democrats will win the presidential election if they get turn out. According to him, the demographics are keep moving in the direction of the Democrats, but he emphasized that the party needs an organization to make sure that people will go out to vote. He said Hillary is the most likely person to become the President of the United States.

Last week, Hillary disclosed her plan to prevent another financial crash. According to her, “People who commit serious financial crimes should face serious consequences, including big fines, disbarment from working in the industry and the prospect of imprisonment. As president, I will seek to extend the statute of limitations for major financial crimes, enhance whistle-blower rewards, and increase resources for the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate and prosecute individuals. We should also hold financial executives accountable for egregious misconduct by their subordinates. They need to lose their bonuses and, in some cases, their jobs.”

When asked about the Republican Party, Buffett thinks that they can settle the contest and choose their standard-bearer during the convention.

He also noted that the United States is no longer a two-party government because of the existence of the tea party (culture vote). According to him, the Republican has the plurality, but no longer a majority because of the culture vote. He said, “You’re witnessing a quiet revolution in terms of how America will be governed. It’s not a two-party-system now.” He added that it’s startling to see that few Republicans seem to want to become the Speaker of the House.

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