Warren Buffett: I Support Obama 100% | May 4, 2012 | Summary and Q&A

November 16, 2020
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Warren Buffett: I Support Obama 100% | May 4, 2012

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In this video, Warren Buffett discusses various topics, including his health, shareholder reactions to his cancer diagnosis, his succession plan, the performance of Berkshire's businesses, his predictions for the housing market, the low interest rates set by the Fed, his views on the Fed's actions, his decision to invest in tech stocks, attendance at the annual meeting, his thoughts on the upcoming presidential election, his opinion on Facebook's IPO, and the status of the investigation into David Sokol's behavior.

Questions & Answers

Q: How are you feeling after the announcement of your stage one cancer?

I don't feel any different in terms of energy level. At my age, it's one of the good things about being 81.

Q: What have your shareholders been saying about your diagnosis?

I have received lots of mail from shareholders. Usually, they say welcome to the club.

Q: What do you think about AFL-CIO's proposal to detail your succession plan?

It will be interesting to see who will succeed the President of the AFL-CIO. In companies like Exxon Mobil, Apple, American Express, and more, I don't know who the next person will be. The board's responsibility is to take care of that.

Q: How are Berkshire's businesses doing in relation to the strength of the economy?

Last year, all of our businesses performed well except in residential construction. This year, all of them are performing well, including our five largest companies outside of insurance. If I had to choose, I'd say the tick was up in home construction but very slightly.

Q: Can you predict the housing market for the next year?

I've learned not to make predictions, especially if someone has a good memory.

Q: Do you see any danger with the low interest rates set by the Fed?

It is fairly likely that we may face major inflation down the road due to the low interest rates. If rates remain low and money continues to pour into the economy without side effects, we would have done it a long time ago. While there are delayed side effects, we have to keep an eye on potential risks.

Q: Do you think the Fed's actions have been appropriate?

Yes, I think the Fed did the right thing by stepping in when nobody else was willing to. They had to convince the American public that they could intervene when the country was in free fall.

Q: Whose idea was it to buy IBM and Intel?

It was my idea, but if it doesn't work out, I'll let Charles take the blame. My new investment managers, Ted Wexler and Todd Combs, were not involved in bringing the idea to me. I don't discuss my buying or selling decisions with them, and we all make our own choices.

Q: Will this year's attendance at the annual meeting be a record breaker?

The ticket sales were a record breaker, but not by much. I expect about 35,000 attendees.

Q: How do you think the upcoming presidential election looks?

I think Obama is favored to win, but it will mainly depend on the state of the economy in the three months before November. If the economy worsens, it will hurt Obama a lot. He will be either credited or blamed for the economic situation.

Q: Do you still support President Obama?

Yes, I continue to support President Obama.

Q: Would you buy shares of Facebook considering Don Graham's connection?

No, I wouldn't. If I were to buy Facebook shares, it would require a checkup from my doctor.

Q: Is there any update on the investigation into David Sokol's behavior?

There is no update that I know of. The last time I talked to the SEC was informally in June of last year. Since then, I haven't heard anything. We are currently paying significant legal fees until there is a final adjudication, if there is one.


In this video, Warren Buffett addresses his health, shareholder reactions, succession plan, business performance, housing market, interest rates, presidential election, investment decisions, attendance at the annual meeting, and the investigation into David Sokol's behavior. Buffett remains optimistic about the future of the economy and continues to support President Obama. He emphasizes the importance of the Fed's actions during the economic crisis but sees potential dangers in low interest rates leading to inflation. Buffett also reveals that he prefers to keep his investment decisions private from his new investment managers. Despite his cancer diagnosis, Buffett remains active and engaged in his business and investments.

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