Buffett said he has a "rooting interest" for the troubled retailer J.C. Penney because he worked in one of their stores when he was younger, but acknowledged it's "very, very tough" to compete against competitors who are always moving. "Coming from behind in retailing is just plain tough," he said.
Berkshire companies are still selling a "significant" amount of goods to Penney under "normal terms," he said and he's not worried about the retailer's survival.
In response to a question about the Obamacare health exchange rollout, Buffett said with a chuckle that he's glad he wasn't in charge, but argued that something is going to have to be done to control medical costs. They are the "tapeworm" of the American economy, he said.
On the economy, Buffett said he continues to see slow improvement and pointed out that "two percent a year growth with less than one percent population gains means one percent real growth per capita. In 20 years that's 20 percent. If every generation lives 20 percent better than the generation before them, that's not terrible."