Saturday, Warren Buffett, 89 anni, gave his assessment of the United States’ ability to withstand crises, as he acknowledged that the coronavirus chaos could have a wide range of impacts on the economy and his firm’s investments.
He opened the annual meeting of his Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) in Omaha, Nebraska with 105 mins of remarks on the medical emergency chaos’ effects on the global economy his conglomerate, saying, “it does not feel like an annual meeting”.
He called dealing with the COVID-19 coronavirus “quite an experiment” that had an “extraordinarily wide” range of possible economic outcomes.
He said Americans have persevered and prospered through such crises as the Civil War in the 1860’s, the Spanish flu in 1918 and the Great Depression, and the “American tailwind” would help them do it again.
“Nothing can stop America when you get right down to it,” Mr. Buffett said. “I will bet on America the rest of my life.“
The meeting was held for the 1st time virtually without shareholders and streamed live via Yahoo Finance.
Berkshire reported a record $49.75-B Q-1 net loss, reflecting huge unrealized losses on common stock holdings during the recent 4 wk market meltdown.
While Quarterly operating profit rose 6%, several larger businesses including the BNSF railroad posted declines, and Berkshire said some of its more than 90 businesses are facing “severe” negative effects from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Mr. Buffett said operating earnings will, through at least this year, be “considerably less” than they would have been had the medical chaos not happened.
Berkshire’s cash pile ended the Quarter at $137.34-B
He also said he decided that he “made a mistake” investing in US airlines, and that this accounted for some of the net $6.1-B of stocks that Berkshire sold in April.
Mr. Buffett said Chairman Charlie Munger is in “fine shape” and looking forward to attending Berkshire’s 2021 annual meeting. Mr. Munger live in Manhattan Beach, CA and is sequestered there,
Shareholders elected former American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault to Berkshire’s board, making him the company’s 1st African American director
Have a healthy weekend, Keep the Faith!