Warren Buffett ( Trades , Portfolio ) was recently interviewed by Carol Loomis of Fortune Magazine in October. The topics discussed included his views on the economy, the stock market, politics and more. My notes include the minute mark for the video below.
I found his discussion at the 2:00 minute mark to be the most interesting. He walks through how he thinks about economic growth by various components. Buffett dissects the U.S.'s 2% GDP growth and rationalizes how that compounds over a generation. He breaks out real per capita GDP growth after accounting for net births and immigration. In qualitative terms, Buffett points out that most people in the U.S. have a better quality of life today than John D. Rockefeller did at the height of his wealth. His discussion of current politics is also very insightful.
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How do you see the economy's health through the lens of Berkshire Hathaway?
Since 2009, economy has been in slow growth
Is current slow economic growth disappointing to you?
Buffett walks through how economy grows and illustrates effect of compound interest from generation to generation
Can you comment on recent stock market volatility?
Buffett does a double take and disagrees that the market has been volatile
He discusses volatility in greater historical context
Stock market does well over time because it reflects the success of American business
Interviewer asks about corporate governance and activists
Activism makes sense when management is not acting in shareholder interest or they're incompetent
Most activists want quick profit
Buffett doesn't want to be activist because he would rather do business with competent and shareholder friendly managers in the first place
Has your view of Hillary Clinton's presidential prospects changed?
Buffett still thinks she's most likely to be the next U.S. president
Demographics are trending in Democrats' favor
Interviewer asks about Precision Castparts acquisition
Buffett recounts the PCP negotiation process
Interviewer asks opinion on Republican primaries
Buffett believes we really have a three-party government
He doesn't name the Tea Party, but clearly implies that the Republican Party has splintered into two factions
How do you replace an underperforming CEO at Berkshire?
Buffett delivers message personally
He recounts story that one of his CEOs had Alzheimer's disease
Buffett elaborates further on activism
Buffett discusses his views on retirement
What are your views about hot tech startups?
Startups are too expensive and they stick with stuff they understand
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