It’s always a pleasure to listen to Warren Buffett. The Oracle of Omaha is funny, intelligent and has a knack of explaining things in a way that even I can understand. He was on Squawk Box on CNBC this morning (with the lovely Becky Quick) and while I was hardly going to get up early and watch it, the least I can do is take some time to tell you guys what he had to say.
Warren really likes Piccolo Pete’s. That’s a steakhouse located in the heart of Buffett’s stomping grounds in Omaha. It was suggested that he’s too cheap to buy anyone dinner. Warren doesn’t really disagree with this. Also, I want to point out that the interview started at 4:45am Omaha time. Warren must really like appearing on CNBC.
Warren also weighed in on the health care debate. He wants free enterprise to play a role in revamping the system and for government expenditures going toward health care to eventually go down.
When asked if Coke helped contribute to childhood obesity, Warren basically said that it isn’t Coke per se that makes people fat, it’s the fact that they eat too many calories. He believes that people should have a choice of where they get their calories. If someone wants to drink Coke, then hopefully they compensate for those increased calories by cutting somewhere else. This is personal responsibility at it’s finest folks.
Warren thinks the housing troubles in the U.S. are at a bottom and the sector should be better after this year. He says that with housing starts at such a low level, builders will have to start adding inventory to make up for the natural demand.
There are three candidates for replacing Warren as the head of Berkshire. The board spends time discussing the succession plan every meeting, which Warren describes as “a little morbid.” Personally, I’m a little tired of this question. Buffett should just retire and name a successor and get it over with.
One of the things Berkshire is insuring against is France winning the world cup. If they take home the trophy, Warren estimates Berkshire is out $30 million. Who said the reinsurance business isn’t interesting?
I could keep going. I’ve barely scratched the surface of the entire interview. You can read the whole thing on the excellent Everything Warren Buffett blog.