2020 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting (Full Version) | Summary and Q&A

November 9, 2020
Investor Archive
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2020 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting (Full Version)

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In Warren Buffett's annual meeting of Berkshire Hathaway, he addresses the absence of his partner Charlie Munger and gives updates on the company's operations and first quarter results. He also discusses the current health crisis and its impact on the economy, reflecting on the resilience and progress of America over the years.

Questions & Answers

Q: Why is Charlie Munger not present at the annual meeting?

Charlie Munger, at 96 years old, has decided not to travel to Omaha for the meeting. However, he is in good health and has been using Zoom to continue his work and meetings.

Q: Who is Greg Abel and what is his role at Berkshire Hathaway?

Greg Abel is the vice chairman in charge of all operations except insurance at Berkshire Hathaway. He manages a business with over $150 billion in revenues and hundreds of thousands of employees. Buffett expresses his gratitude for Abel's contribution to the company.

Q: What segments will the meeting be divided into?

The meeting will be divided into four parts. Buffett will give a monologue with slides, recap Berkshire's first quarter results, have a formal meeting, and then answer questions from Becky Quick.

Q: What is the current situation of health and the economy in the United States, according to Buffett?

Buffett acknowledges that he does not have any insider information on the health situation. However, he expresses gratitude for Dr. Fauci's expertise in communicating about the complex subjects related to the pandemic. On the economic side, Buffett believes that the range of possibilities is still wide and unpredictable due to the voluntary shutdown of the economy.

Q: How has America's progress and resilience been tested in the past?

Buffett looks back at historical events such as the Civil War and the Great Depression as moments that tested America's progress and resilience. He expresses confidence in America's ability to overcome challenges and highlights the country's remarkable growth over the years.

Q: How has the stock market performed over the years?

Buffett explains that the stock market has experienced both periods of growth and significant declines. He mentions the crash of 1929 and the recent downturn due to the current health crisis. However, he emphasizes that America's long-term progress and economic recovery have consistently rewarded investors.

Q: What is the significance of the FDIC in preventing bank failures?

Buffett praises the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) as a crucial development in American history. He believes that the FDIC's existence would have prevented the significant number of bank failures during the Great Depression and instilled greater confidence in savers.

Q: How did the Great Depression impact the stock market?

Buffett recalls the stock market decline during the Great Depression, when the Dow Jones average dropped by 89% from its peak in 1929. He highlights the psychological impact and loss of faith among investors during that time.

Q: How did the stock market recover from the Great Depression?

After the Great Depression, the stock market slowly recovered over several years, reaching the same level as before in 1954. Buffett emphasizes the importance of maintaining faith in America and its potential for economic growth.

Q: How has America progressed in terms of equality and women's rights?

Buffett acknowledges that America has made progress in terms of equality and women's rights but recognizes that there is still work to be done. It took a long time for women to gain the right to vote and achieve representation in positions like the Supreme Court.


Warren Buffett reflects on the historical events that tested America's resilience and progress. He expresses confidence in America's ability to overcome challenges and highlights the importance of faith in the country's potential for economic growth. Additionally, Buffett acknowledges the need for continued progress in areas such as equality and women's rights.

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