Buffett calls pessimists about United States 'out of their mind'




FILE PHOTO:    Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett plays bridge during the Berkshire annual meeting weekend in Omaha
FILE PHOTO: Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett plays bridge during the Berkshire annual meeting weekend in Omaha  

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Uncertainty about how the United States will cope with growing tumult in the world has not dampened Warren Buffett's optimism for the country's prospects over the long term -- even 100 years into the future.

"Whenever I hear people talk pessimistically about this country, I think they're out of their mind," Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc <BRKa.N>, said on Tuesday night.

Buffett spoke in New York at an event celebrating the 100th anniversary of Forbes magazine, and is on the cover of an issue featuring 100 of the world's greatest living "business minds."

The billionaire has transformed Berkshire since 1965 from a failing textile company into a conglomerate with more than 90 businesses in such sectors as insurance, railroads, energy and retail, and well over $100 billion of stocks.

Buffett said he expects the Dow Jones Industrial Average to be "over 1 million" in 100 years, up from Tuesday's close of 22,370.80. He said that's not unreasonable, given how the index was roughly 81 a century ago.

But he knows he won't be around to see it happen.

"When I hear talking about making it to 100, I get excited," he said. "I'm 87."

Buffett said he recently determined that of the 53,364 people in the United States who were at least 100 years old, the ratio of women to men was nearly 5-to-1.

"We should start thinking about a sex change," Buffett said, prompting laughter.

Nonetheless, he said long-term investing remains the way to go.

He noted that since Forbes created its first list of the 400 richest Americans in 1982 -- Buffett was worth just $250 million then -- some 1,500 different people have been included.

All with one thing in common.

"You don't see any short sellers," he said, referring to people who bet stock prices will fall.

"It has been 241 years since Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence," he said. "Being short America has been a loser's game. I predict to you it will continue to be a loser's game."

Forbes' list of top business minds included people with a variety of backgrounds.

Among them were Microsoft <MSFT.O> co-founder Bill Gates, Amazon.com <AMZN.O> founder Jeff Bezos, Facebook's <FB.O> Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, architect Frank Gehry, media mogul Oprah Winfrey, and singers Bono and Paul McCartney.


(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Indonesia demands answers after military chief denied U.S. entry
Indonesia demands answers after military chief denied U.S. entry

By Agustinus Beo Da Costa JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia intends to send a diplomatic note to the U.S. secretary of state and summon Washington's deputy ambassador in Jakarta to explain why the head of its military was denied entry to the United States, Indonesian officials said on Sunday. Armed Forces Commander General Gatot Nurmantyo was about to board a flight on Saturday when the airline informed him that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection had denied him entry, military spokesman Wuryanto told a news conference in Jakarta.

A Blueprint for Minimizing Iran's Influence in the Middle East
A Blueprint for Minimizing Iran's Influence in the Middle East

America needs a better strategy for containing and checking Iran, and that strategy is needed now. President Donald Trump would be making a serious mistake were he to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action-the 2015 nuclear deal between various world powers and Iran-in coming months. This action, which Trump has threatened if Congress does not act soon to toughen our overall Iran policy, would be a much more serious blow to American interests and to U.S. global leadership than Trump's previous treaty-related decisions.

Ramping up rhetoric, Turkey
Ramping up rhetoric, Turkey's Erdogan chastises U.S. over democracy
  • World
  • 2017-10-21 16:23:22Z

By Dirimcan Barut and Tulay Karadeniz ISTANBUL/ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan showed no retreat from a diplomatic row with the United States on Saturday, castigating Washington for what he said an "undemocratic" indictment against his security detail. Both Ankara and

Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett's advice for CEOs touches on a key issue plaguing the US economy

Warren Buffett generally likes to take a hands-off approach when it come to investing in companies, but he has some advice for CEOs on how to run a business better. Warren Buffett, generally speaking, likes to take the hands-off approach with companies he and Berkshire Hathaway invest in.

'Unacceptably high' number of Afghans flee military training in U.S.: report

By Josh Smith KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan soldiers and police brought to the United States for training go "absent without leave" at far higher rates than those of any other country, potentially imperilling efforts to assist Afghan security forces, a U.S. watchdog said on Friday. Of the 320 foreign military trainees who left while on courses in the United States from 2005 to 2017, 152 - or more than 47 percent - were Afghans, said a report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). SIGAR found that the rate of asylum seekers among Afghan military trainees rose in recent years as violence in the Islamist Taliban insurgency spread across Afghanistan and...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Economy

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.