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Buffett criticizes United and its CEO over dragging incident

Buffett criticizes United and its CEO over dragging incident

He argued that the American Health Care Act, which passed the House this past week, amounted to "a huge tax cut for guys like me".

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

"If you even have a billion dollar fund and get 2% of it, for awful performance, that's US$20 million", Buffett said.

"I don't know that much about cyber, but I do think that's the number one problem with mankind".

"I had plenty of ways to ask questions, or anything of the sort, and educate myself", Buffett said.

Berkshire Hathaway has operations ranging from insurance to freight railroads and investments in a host of businesses, including troubled bank Wells Fargo, which has been rocked by a fake accounts scandal.

"Watson is a pretty wonderful invention", Buffett said.

Warren Buffett continues looking for major acquisitions for Berkshire Hathaway. "It would be no fun to go through life and say, 'I'm doing this for the greater good, and so that shoes or underwear was all for 5 percent less'".

On the issue of Amazon, Buffett underestimated Jeff Bezos' business savviness and faulted the execution of the site's concept.

But he also said it would be a "terrible mistake" if capital allocation were not the "main talent" of his successor. He said the company had too much cash it could not reasonably deploy.

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett prepares to hug table tennis player Ariel Hsing, bottom.

He also said that a lot of the benefits of lower corporate taxes would likely be competed away.

He said he was more comfortable buying shares of Apple Inc, in which Berkshire has disclosed a 133 million share stake.

Wells instituted a system in which sales goals "incentivized the wrong type of behavior", Buffet said Saturday at Berkshire's annual meeting in Omaha, Neb.

"When the time comes-and it could come reasonably soon, even while I'm around-and we really don't think we can get the money out in a reasonable period of time into things we like, we have to reexamine, then, what we do with those funds", Buffett said. He wrote that investors were effectively saying: "Don't send us a dividend but instead reinvest all of the earnings".

"They actually have to do something", Buffett said.

Berkshire is Wells Fargo's biggest shareholder. Both are among the largest companies in the world today.

"We count very heavily on principles of behavior rather than loads of rules", Buffett said.

Mr. Buffett also occasionally replaces top executives.

At the start of the annual meeting on Saturday, Buffett called out the attendance of Vanguard Group founder Jack Bogle in the audience.

"It is no cinch that the industry will have some more pricing sensibility in the next 10 years than they had in the last 100 years, but the conditions have improved", he said.

Other recent Berkshire subsidiary CEO turnovers include Cathy Baron Tamraz, who retired as CEO of press-release distributor Business Wire Inc., and was succeeded by Geff Scott. Buffett's Vice Chairman Charlie Munger is 93.

Buffett, however, was skeptical about the plan's effect on Berkshire Hathaway.

For years, Buffett was a true believer in Big Blue, but told CNBC in an interview he had cut his holdings in the stock by a third. "We would like to own 100% of any business that we run".


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