Sage of Omaha Warren Buffett eyeing benefits of Trump tax cut

Reuters

Reuters

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett displays Berky Shorts, made by Fruit of the Loom, one of the Berkshire-owned companies, as he tours the exhibit floor at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb., Saturday, May 6, 2017, where company subsidiaries display their products. "The CEO has to act", Buffett said.

"The deferred taxes that are applicable to unrealised gains on securities would all be applicable to us", Buffett said during Berkshire's annual shareholders meeting on Saturday.

Buffett said USA stocks looked "dirt cheap" for anyone who believed interest rates will stay low for a long time.

"I would say that we failed you there", Munger also said.

Several questions homed in on politics, and Buffett, a Democrat with close ties to former President Barack Obama, offered measured criticism of President Donald Trump's policies.

Buffett said the bloody removal of a 69-year-old passenger from a United Express plane in Chicago was obviously "a bad mistake".

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is the largest investor in the American bank, holding a 10 percent stake in Wells Fargo worth almost $27 billion. Both are among the largest companies in the world today.

But he also said it would be a "terrible mistake" if capital allocation were not the "main talent" of his successor.

"They have followed the standard capitalist formula ... of trying to do the same business with fewer people", Buffett said.

The billionaire investor said he hoped that the person who succeeds him will already be "very rich" - because the executive will have already worked for a long time and had success - and wouldn't be motivated by having 10 times or 100 times as much money as they need.

Berkshire and 3G control Kraft Heinz Co KHC.O and recently tried to merge it with Unilever NV ULVR.L UNc.AS for $143 billion, but was rebuffed.

And on his surprise change of heart about IBM, Buffett admitted he was wrong to think IIBM "could do better" when he started amassing 81 million shares six years ago.

"In retrospect, I think we were smart enough to figure out Google early, and we didn't", Munger said. "We got it wrong on IBM and will find out whether we are wrong on Apple", Buffett said.

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