BECKY: Did you continue buying?
BUFFETT: Oh, the cheaper things go, the better I like it. I mean, if I can buy the whole American economy at three-quarters of X instead of X, I feel better off. And particularly when I compare it with rolling, you know, Treasury bills at a quarter of a percent, of a half of a percent, or buying the ten-year at three percent. I know that buying the ten-year at three percent is not going to work out very well in terms of purchasing power. I know that rolling Treasury bills is not going to work out in terms of purchasing power. And I think I know that if you buy the American economy at 60 percent of what it was selling for a few years ago, and you get a cross-section of companies that aren’t highly leveraged, or something of that sort, you’re going to do well.
BECKY: Does that mean that as we got into March that you stepped up or continued your buying, either in your personal portfolio or through Berkshire?
BUFFETT: The cheaper things have become, the more I’ve wanted to buy, yeah.
BECKY: And the more –
BUFFETT: If I run out of gas, I run out of gas.
That last comment refers to his desire to maintain a comfortable level of cash, so Berkshire "doesn't have to rely on the kindness of strangers." Buffett likes to have a solid cash cushion, and definitely won't borrow money to buy stocks, no matter how cheap they might look. He told us last fall his minimum is $10 billion.
And it was that goal of keeping a cash cushion that prompted Berkshire to do some selling instead of buying in recent months.