Buffett: Bin Laden Death Not Likely to Boost Economy
Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKA) Chairman Warren Buffett told FOX Business Network on Monday he doubts the death of terrorist leader Usama Bin Laden would have much impact on the U.S. economy, or on specific industries such as insurance that are tied financially to terrorism.
However, Buffett said Bin Laden’s death will have a profound impact on how Americans view their leaders.
“How we feel about our government has changed dramatically,” he told anchor Liz Claman the morning after President Obama announced that the terrorist leader had been killed in a raid in Pakistan.
Scroll down to watch Liz Claman's full interview with Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Charlie Munger
Buffett said both the Bush and Obama Administrations deserve credit for the fact that nearly a decade has passed since a terrorist attack occurred on U.S. soil.
Buffett, who was joined by Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Chairman Bill Gates and Berkshire vice chairman Charlie Munger during the interview from Berkshire Hathaway’s headquarters in Omaha, Neb., said it’s significant that Congress has made the budget deficit a top priority.
Getting Democrats and Republicans to agree on a fix will be the tough part, he said. Gates said soaring health-care costs will have to be addressed if the U.S. hopes to get its fiscal house in order.
Buffett said he remains supportive of Obama and the president’s economic policies.
Buffett also acknowledged to Claman that he probably should have been stronger in his criticism of questionable stock trades made by former Berkshire executive David Sokol.
Sokol, once viewed as Buffett’s heir apparent at Berkshire, retired abruptly in March after it was revealed he had bought $10 million worth of stock in a chemical company at the same time he was pushing for the sale of that company to Berkshire.
Berkshire’s board has since ruled that Sokol violated Berkshire’s ethics policy.
The so-called Oracle of Omaha also doesn’t believe any single catastrophic event will derail the slow but “steady” U.S. economic recovery.
“I don’t think it will get shaken,” Buffett said. “This recovery, although it’s been slow -- we’re coming off an incredible shock -- it’s been steady.”
Natural disasters have had a far greater impact recently on the insurance industry than terrorism, Buffett noted.
Watch Buffett: Bin Laden's Death Not a Big Market Factor
Watch Buffett and Bill Gates on Sokol's Resignation
Watch Gates and Buffett on the Economy
Watch Buffett and Munger Feel Economy is Getting Stronger
Watch Buffett, Gates and Munger Tackle Acquisitions, Death of Bin Laden
Watch What Books Buffett, Gates and Munger Think You Should Read