Warren Buffett covers a lot of ground in an interview with CNBC's Becky Quick.


FRI, MAR 29, 2019


In wide-ranging interview, Buffett sees slightly slower economic growth


Warren Buffett was interviewed Thursday by CNBC's Becky Quick at a fundraising event to benefit The Gatehouse, a "supportive living community for women," in Grapevine, Texas.  

Among the headlines:



  • Boeing's problems with the 737 Max 8 jet "won’t change the industry over time or anything,” Buffett predicted, citing the overall excellence of the safety record for airline travel. But, he added, the company "has a lot of work to do very promptly." Berkshire owns big stakes in four major airlines. They include American and Southwest, two of the carriers that had been flying the 737 Max 8. Southwest cut its revenue target as a result of the grounding.

  • Buffett said that when he realized a big Delta Air Lines stock repurchase had pushed Berkshire's stake above 10 percent, a level that he generally tries to stay below, he decided to just go ahead and buy more. "Once I'd lost my virginity, essentially, I thought, why stop at one?" He didn't, however, express any preference for Delta over the other airline stocks in the portfolio.

  • Berkshire also owns a big stake in Wells Fargo. In the interview, Buffett said he supported embattled CEO Tim Sloan "100 percent." Hours later, Sloan abruptly stepped down. After that was announced, Buffett told CNBC Sloan had told him the day before about his plan to leave the job.

  • Buffett didn't sound very enthusiastic about Apple's move into streaming original video content, an already crowded and competitive space. “I’d love to see them succeed, but that’s a company that can afford a mistake or two.”

  • Berkshire owns more than $47 billion of Apple stock, but Buffett is still using an inexpensive flip phone. “Here’s my phone, incidentally. Alexander Graham Bell lent it to me and I forgot to return it." (Apple CEO Tim Cook has offered to come to Omaha and help Buffett set up an iPhone.)

Here's a video of the entire conversation.




Berkshire Hathaway Class A shares closed at $301,215 Friday, down 1.2% over the previous four weeks, and up 0.7% from one year ago.

Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares closed at $200.89, down 1.1% over the previous four weeks, and up 0.7% from one year ago.

The benchmark S&P 500 index closed at 2,834.40, up 1.1% over the previous four weeks, and up 7.3% from one year ago.



Berkshire's top stock holdings by market value, based on today's closing prices. The number of shares held is as of December 31, 2018, as disclosed in the company's February 14 13-F SEC filing, except for Delta Air Lines, which is as of March 11, 2019.


The full list of holdings and current market values is available from CNBC.com's Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio Tracker.




Last week, we asked if you think the Wall Street speculation will prove to be true and Buffett will buy an entire airline.


The short answer, as Stuart L. succinctly put it, "He will not buy an airline."


Kenny G. (not the musician) had some advice for Buffett. "Airlines are overloaded with debt due to the cost of airplanes. Cash flow is their life blood, and if it slows, if fuel prices rise, if the unions are overly demanding, then the house of cards will come down as it has done numerous times in the past. Don't do it, Warren. As you have said (many times),only buy what you understand."


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