1:33 pm: Buffett says we can usually make a decision in five minutes and are able to move quickly when appropriate. "If we can't make a decision in five minutes, we can't make a decision in five months." They know quickly if something looks good. "We waste a lot of time, but only on the things we want to waste time on."
1:37 pm: Buffett says he met Carlos Slim (world's second richest man on Forbes 400 list) many years ago, but doesn't know him well at all.
1:38 pm: When asked if he would encourage Coca-Cola to boycott the Beijing Olympics over Tibet, Buffett says he thinks every country should participate in the Olympics. Olympics are a "wonderful event" and contribute to a better world over time. Munger adds that he thinks China, while imperfect, is moving in the right direction. Buffett says the U.S. is also moving in the right direction, because at one time it denied the vote to blacks and women.
1:40 pm: Buffett - "We will figure out better ways" to use coal while protecting the environment. He notes Mid-American has put in a lot of wind power, but remains very dependant on coal, and will be dependant on it for some time to come. "Will require leadership and cooperation" on a worldwide scale, and the U.S. is not in a great leadership position due to its extensive energy use in the past. Munger says there's an environmental reason for being pro-coal compared to biofossil fuels. "Most people don't think that way, but I do."
1:47 pm: Question on how to stop nuclear proliferation. Buffett: "The genie is out of the bottle" when it comes to nukes. There is more knowledge and there will always be some people who want to do harm, so the chokepoint will be the nuclear materials. "It is the primary problem facing mankind." The larger the world's population, the more people will want to harm their neighbor. Nuclear technology potentially gives those people a powerful weapon, much stronger than someone throwing a rock at the next cave. "We live in a very, very dangerous world that is getting more dangerous.. We've been very lucky since 1945." He recalls the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 as a time when the world avoided a nuclear conflict.
1:52 pm: A lengthy statement from a woman who describes how she's teaching young people about financial responsibility is interrupted by applause. It doesn't stop the woman who continues until there's more applause and Warren asks her to ask her question. It is, what else should I be doing to help them learn. Buffett says he's ready to hire the entire class right now. "The most important investment you can make is in yourself." Pick up good habits when you're young, he advises.
1:56 pm: A nine-year-old from Chicago asks if Buffett would like to buy the Chicago Cubs, his favorite team, from Sam Zell and is baseball a good investment? Big laughter from audience. Buffett says baseball teams have been a good investment, in part because television has "expanded the stadium." Buffett says at the questioner's age, he thought he would eventually buy a baseball team, but no longer thinks he will.
2:04 pm: Q - Why don't Americans save more? A - "This country may not save very much because it doesn't need to save as much as a less wealthy country."
2:09 pm: Says he can't remember a similar crisis in his lifetime in which residential real estate sent "out the shock waves." But he's seen many variations on the theme. "There are these primal urges in trying to get rich and wanting to believe in the tooth fairy." Munger: "It was a particularly foolish mess." Even Internet-based delivery of groceries, which was really stupid, was smarter than what happened in the mortgage mess, says Munger.
2:14 pm: Buffett and Munger, sitting side-by-side at a simple table with a spotlight at one end of the arena floor, seem to still be going strong. Here in the press box, there are signs of fatigue among the hundred or so reporters typing away.