Warren Buffett says coal won't make a comeback

Warren Buffett says coal won't make a comeback

Warren Buffett says coal won't make a comeback

"Medical costs are the tapeworm of American economic competitiveness", he said.

Buffett, 86, was ranked this year by Fortune magazine as the world's second-richest man, worth an estimated $75.6 billion.

Investor Warren Buffett says Wells Fargo made a huge error in failing to respond promptly to its sales practices scandal.

"They actually have to do something", Buffett said. It's the largest shareholder in businesses including Wells Fargo & Co., Delta Air Lines Inc. and Coca-Cola Co.

"The 3G people do it very fast, and they're very good at making a business productive with fewer people", he said.

In contrast, the billionaire offered little defense of one major holding of Berkshire: IBM.

Two shareholder proposals that would have required Berkshire to report on its efforts to reduce methane emissions, and divest stakes in companies involved in fossil fuels, were also voted down overwhelmingly.

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Buffett also raised the possibility Berkshire could pay its first dividend since 1967, if "reasonably soon, even while I'm around", the company had too much cash it could not reasonably deploy.

Buffett started his career as a stock picker and much of the success of Berkshire has come from the company's investments in US equities.

Buffett noted that he has had to oversee job cuts himself, citing job losses at the original Berkshire Hathaway textile business, which shut down 20 years after he took it over.

Buffett likened the situation to Salomon Brothers Inc, where in 1991 he was installed as chairman to clean up a mess left when the former chief executive failed to tell regulators that a trader was submitting fake bids at Treasury auctions. Currently, Berkshire has more than $90 billion in cash on hand.

Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway and Bill Gates, billionaire and co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting. Berkshire, a conglomerate that wholly owns Geico Insurance and other assets, has seen its share price double over the past five years. When a protester from Germany delivered a long speech decrying Coke, sugar and capitalism itself, Buffett said he would continue to drink his favorite beverage, Cherry Coke. "And the CEO has to act".

Buffett made his comments during the company's annual meeting Saturday in Omaha, Nebraska.

"If you even have a billion dollar fund and get two percent of it, for bad performance, that's $20 million", Buffett said.

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