May 6 Billionaire investor Warren Buffett and
Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger are
answering five hours of questions from shareholders, journalists
and analysts at Berkshire's 52nd annual meeting in Omaha,
The weekend known as "Woodstock for Capitalists" is unique
in corporate America, a celebration of the billionaire's image
and success at a conglomerate whose businesses range from Geico
insurance to the BNSF railroad to See's candies to Ginsu knives.
Below are a few of the comments from Buffett, the "Oracle of
Omaha," on topics ranging from Wells Fargo to celebrating a
pioneer of index funds.
ON WELLS FARGO, IN WHICH BERKSHIRE OWNS $27.8 BLN STAKE
"At Wells Fargo, there were three significant mistakes, but
one dwarfs all of the others ... You have to be careful what you
incentivize. There was an incentive system built around
cross-selling ... That was incentivizing the wrong kind of
"The main problem was they didn't act when they learned
ON BERKSHIRE'S EARNINGS REPORT
"The realized investment gains or losses in any period
really mean nothing ... We don't really think about the timing
of what we do. We do not make earnings forecasts."
"I feel very good about the first quarter even though our
operating earnings were down a little bit."
ON VANGUARD FOUNDER JACK BOGLE
"It was not in the in the interests of Wall Street to have
the development of index funds, because it brought down fees
dramatically. When Jack started, very few people, certainly Wall
Street did not applaud him. He was the subject of some derision.
And now we're talking trillions when we get into index funds.
"Jack at a minimum has saved, in the pockets of investors,
he's put tens and tens and tens of billions into their pockets.
It's Jack's 88th birthday on Monday. Happy birthday, Jack and
thank you on behalf of (investors)."
ON AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES
"Driverless trucks are a lot more of a threat than an
opportunity to Burlington Northern."
"Autonomous vehicles, widespread, would hurt us if they
spread to trucks, and they would hurt our auto insurance
business. They may be a long way off. That will depend on
experience in the first early months of the introduction. If
they make the world safer, it will be a very good thing but it
won't be a good thing for auto insurers."
(Compiled by Nick Zieminski in New York; Editing by Chris