LIVE BLOG ARCHIVE: Warren Buffett's Power Lunch Interview
This is a live blog archive of Warren Buffett's interview with Becky Quick on CNBC's Power Lunch, Wednesday, June 25, 2008.
All times eastern.
11:52a: The interview with Warren Buffett is scheduled to begin just after 12p. Buffett is in New York to host a "power lunch" with the high bidders in last year's Lunch with Warren charity auction. Investors Mohnish Pabrai and Guy Spier paid $650,100 for the invite. The money goes to San Francisco's Glide Foundation.
12:01p: Becky begins the interview with Buffett at New York's Smith & Wollensky Steakhouse restaurant.
12:02p: First question is about the Glide Foundation, which is the beneficiary of the charity lunch. Buffett describes the organization in San Francisco, which helps the poor and homeless.
12:03p: Buffett says the Federal Reserve should be concerned about both rising prices and slowing growth because both are happening right now. He's glad he doesn't have Ben Bernanke's job.
12:04p: Buffett sees inflation everywhere - it's "exploding" even as the economy get weaker.
12:05p: Buffett says his businesses see weakness in everything concerning the consumer and housing, and it's getting worse.
12:06p: Buffett doesn't blame the Fed for the weak dollar. He again says its the result of U.S. trade policy, and if that policy isn't changed, the dollar will continue to get weaker.
12:06p: Buffett says high oil prices are the result of "supply and demand", not speculators. He says there isn't excess capacity anymore, and that's driving prices higher. Even if oil futures stopped trading altogether, Buffett doesn't think it would affect the price of energy very much.
12:08p: Buffett says he hasn't talked to anyone at all about InBev's bid for Anheuser-Busch , discounting reports that he favors one side or the other. (Berkshire Hathaway has a big stake in BUD.) He says it's an "interesting spectactor sport" but he's not taking sides, yet.
12:09p: Buffett thinks money will be a "non-issue" in the presidential campaign as both sides have plenty of funding.
12:10p: Buffett says it's "very hard" to have windfall taxes on oil, or anything, for that matter. He doesn't think it makes a lot of sense to tax anyone because they have a commodity that's gone up in price.
12:11p: Buffett repeats his callf or higher taxes on the super-rich and less reliance on the middle class. He wants a "major overhaul" in the payroll tax.
12:13p: No one wants to pay higher taxes, but it's Congress' job to do what's fair, and Buffett thinks it would be fairer if the super-rich paid more in taxes.
12:13p: What will he talk about at lunch with the high bidders? A: Since they paid $650,100, they can ask about anything they want (except what he's buying and selling.)
12:14p: Asked if he would consider running for office, Buffett said he "would go Sherman one better" and totally dismissed any idea of standing for any elected office.
12:15p: The interview has ended.
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