Sage of Omaha Warren Buffett eyeing benefits of Trump tax cut

Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway Inc.is a major shareholder of United and other big USA airlines, said Monday, May 8, 2017, that the recent spotlight on poor customer service in the airline industry doesn't change his investment strategy. "The main problem was they didn't act when they learned about it".

Yet Buffett and Munger stood by Wells Fargo and other Berkshire investments, including United Airlines and Coca-Cola.

"It is a huge tax cut for guys like me", Warren Buffett said at the 52nd annual event, known as the "Woodstock of Capitalism".

He and Berkshire Vice Chairman Charles Munger noted that they avoided technology investments for most of their careers because, they said, it was too hard to figure out which companies would win.

And this year, those who made the trek heard Buffett on Saturday criticize the Trump administration's health care overhaul as a giveaway to wealthy individuals like himself, and heard him rebuke the previous management of Wells Fargo, of which Berkshire is one of the biggest shareholders. Still, Buffett said that layoffs were sometimes necessary to make companies more productive.

According to FactSet, Berkshire Hathaway is UAL's largest shareholder with a more than 9 percent stake.


Berkshire now owns 133 million shares of Apple, which Buffett said behaves more like a consumer-products company than a tech company.

"Beyond that, we have to have policies that take care of the people that become the roadkill in the process", Buffett said.

Buffet also said that people should remain invested in strong businesses and that it was easier to invest in 1950 than today as there was less competition.

Berkshire plans to name one of its existing managers chief executive officer after Buffett is gone and the decentralized structure of the company allows Berkshire's subsidiaries to largely run themselves. "It's a very, very, very valuable product to people that build their lives around it".

But for long time watchers of Buffett, perhaps the most tantalising point to emerge, was a stronger suggestion of a dividend - either by way of a cash payment or capital management. Berkshire is also the top shareholder at Delta, No. 2 at Southwest and No. 3 at American. MSFT, -0.09% founder Bill Gates, who was at the interview, along with longtime Buffett partner, Charlie Munger.

Separately, Mr. Buffett expressed regret over his failure to invest early in Internet search company Google, now part of Alphabet Inc, saying "I should have some insight into" what became an "extraordinary business" with attributes of a monopoly. Several said they got there almost five hours before doors opened around 6:45 a.m.

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