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Buffett's 'Dumb Deals': Ask Warren Transcript - Part 5

Monday, 1 Mar 2010 | 11:45 AM ET

This is part five of the transcript and video of Warren Buffett's 'Ask Warren' appearance on CNBC's Squawk Box on Monday, March 1, 2010.

Topics include: Buffett's view on Kraft's acquisition of Cadbury, global warming, Goldman Sachs, Moody's, and Greece's debt problem.

CLICK HERE FOR PART FOUR

KERNEN: Welcome back to SQUAWK BOX. Still to come in the next hour, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, that's coming up at 8:10. Let's get back to Omaha, that's where we find our very own Becky Quick with Warren Buffett. Beck, I was thinking about Matt Rose and Burlington and using stock and Warren with Kraft and Cadbury and I love to get him talking about that, to try to figure out why stock was a good idea for Burlington, that it wasn't a good idea for Kraft and I love it when you say you don't like that deal, even though you love management. Go into that again. What was the difference between Kraft using stock and you using stock, other than maybe valuation on the company being acquired?

BUFFETT: Yeah, well, we hate using stock. No question about it, Joe. And because we already owned some Burlington beforehand, it turned it we had to use about 30 percent stock and as I put in the annual report, even though the Burlington holders were getting $100 a share, we felt it cost us more than that because we thought our stock at the time we made the deal was somewhat underpriced. We'd have done all cash if I'd felt comfortable in terms of our balance sheet, using all cash. But I never want to put us in a position where we've--we're stretched in the least. So to make the deal, I had to do it. And I came to the conclusion that using 30 percent stock, which was about 6 percent of all the shares we had outstanding, still left us with a deal that made sense. But if it had to have been all stock or 50 percent stock, we couldn't have done it and if I'd had enough cash around to do it, so I could've done it all cash, I would've liked it better.

KERNEN: How about Kraft? You warming up to that finally? Or are you still--you still don't like it. You don't get to vote, I guess, do you?

BUFFETT: No, we didn't get to vote. And it wasn't just--it wasn't just the stock that was being used, although that was a terrible currency to use, just as our own stock is a terrible currency to use. But it wasn't just the stock, it was the price being paid and it was the fact that the pizza business was sold in a very tax inefficient manner to partly fund the purchase. And it just--in the end, I felt poor after the deal was made. But I, you know, I wish Irene the best on executing well on it and I hope it works out. We'll be a lot better off financially if it does, but I wouldn't have done it.

QUICK: Warren, that question that Joe raised is one that we got from a lot of viewers, too. In fact, Todd in Parker, Colorado, wrote in and said, "In your annual report, you say that you'll consider issuing stock when we receive as much in intrinsic business value as we give up. When exchanging Berkshire shares for Burlington Northern, did Berkshire shareholders receive less, equal or more in intrinsic value?"

BUFFETT: Well, we felt, Charlie and I, felt that we received as much or a tiny bit more in intrinsic value as we gave up. But we factored into that some other things I mentioned in the annual report. Namely, that putting $22 billion of cash to work made good sense for us in this business and that the opportunities over the next 40 or 50 years to keep putting more and more cash at reasonable returns in, just like we do in our utility business, also was an attractive opportunity. We're going to generate lots of cash over the years and we don't always have great places to put that. This offers one vehicle where we can put it at decent rates of return. Not great rates of return, but decent rates of return.

QUICK: Carl.

QUINTANILLA: Warren, you go--we know this is--you're passionate about this from the letter, you go into a long hypothetical about company A buying company B whose stock is undervalued. You say that CEOs long on confidence and short on smarts, wants to buy company B for the prestige and maybe the compensation. Is that a--is that a veiled slight at Rosenfeld?

BUFFETT: No, it's 50 years of being in board rooms and just seeing what happens. And you know, Keynes talked about--probably the best--the best chapters written on investing were chapters eight and 20 in "The Intelligent Investor" for individual investing. The best chapter ever written in sort of describing how the world works in markets is chapter 12 of "The General Theory" written by Keynes and in it he talks about animal spirits and what causes people to do the deals and all of that. It's a marvelous chapter. And I'm not sure that he had Kraft in mind, but he had a lot of the companies that I've experienced over the years in mind. It's a very normal thing. I mean, you know, everything looks--everything looks rosy, you know, when you first are looking at a deal. You don't see the downsides. You don't see the execution problems, you don't see the people who are going to leave. You don't see--you don't see all kinds of things. And I'm guilty of that, too, incidentally. I've made some dumb deals in my life and I'll make some more dumb deals and animal spirits will enter into those dumb deals. I guarantee you that. I just try to keep them under control and if I don't, I count on Charlie to keep me under control.

QUICK: You know, there was a viewer who wrote in and I can't find the question right now, but there was a viewer who wrote in and said do you ever have buyer's remorse when you get through a deal?

BUFFETT: I never have buyer's remorse immediately after a deal because I--the facts look the same to me the day after than they did the day before. But I've made big mistakes on deals. I mean, I laid out one for example, Dexter Shoe in the report. I mean, I've made lots of mistakes and that's the nature of making a lot of decisions. You've got to make sure that the mistakes don't kill you and you hope the big ones work out. But I never--I've never bought something and felt terrible the next day. That doesn't--or the next week.

QUICK: So you're not like some of us normal human beings out there.

BUFFETT: No, when I do something, I feel good about it.

QUICK: OK. We got a lot of questions from viewers regarding your investments, as well, and one came in from Aly Dya in Vancouver, British Columbia. `Would you still buy Goldman Sachs stock even with all the problems they face politically?'

BUFFETT: Well, I would buy the instrument we bought. We bought a $5 billion issue of preferred with 5 billion, roughly, of warrants attached. And I hadn't been--I had not been a buyer of Goldman stock--Goldman Sachs common stock, you know, a month before, six months before and--but I would buy the instrument we bought under the circumstances we bought it, yeah. And I think that it's--I think that the company has very good prospects. But I bought very few investment banking or brokerage stocks over the years. This was a situation where they needed money and validation that day and we were the only ones around, you know, with that kind of money, and so it was an opportunity to buy on favorable terms. Those favorable terms were justified in that--in the chaos that was going on, but I can't buy it today under those conditions.

QUICK: The question maybe points to this idea that Goldman Sachs is now blamed for every single problem that exists out there, including Greece, potentially defaulting at this point.

BUFFETT: Oh, yeah, no, no. It's...

QUICK: Would you still, given the political backlash, buy into this company, own stock, be associated with it and do you think it's a fair rap?

BUFFETT: Yeah. No, no, you're right. I mean, they're going to rewrite Genesis and have Goldman Sachs offering the apple, I mean, pretty soon. But no, I feel--I feel good about their business prospects. I mean, it is a--it's a very, very strong, well-run business. It's got a place in the universe and there are fewer big investment banks around than there were a few years ago worldwide, you know, they--when we did the Burlington Northern deal, they were called in for an advisory opinion and they got a $35 million fee. I don't like that. But they have that sort of market position and it's a terrific--it's just like Coca-Cola has a terrific market position. Goldman Sachs has a very strong market position. Lloyd Blankfein, you cannot find a better manager.

QUICK: All right. There's another question that came in from Steve in Charlotte, North Carolina.

BUFFETT: Mm-hmm.

QUICK: Touches on this same issue but says he's a Berkshire shareholder and is concerned about its ownership positions in Goldman Sachs and Moody's. "It seems that both of these two companies share a lot of the blame for the problems we've had over the last few years. What are you telling the management of these companies and how are you holding them accountable?"

BUFFETT: Yeah. I don't tell the management anything. I never have. We've owned stocks for--you know, I bought my first stock when I was 11. I, you know, I can't recall telling management, unless I've been a director of the company, very much about any of them. That would be like marrying somebody to change them. It's really not a very good idea. You know, and--but it's--we own stock in Costco, you know.

QUICK: Mm-hmm.

BUFFETT: Costco sells cigarettes. Cigarettes, you know, I'm not sure are good for people. I'm not telling them not to sell cigarettes. You know, it's--I'm not telling Walmart not to sell cigarettes or I'm not--there's--every company probably has something that if you were running it, you might feel a little differently about, but there's no question in my mind, Goldman Sachs is a first class, you know, operation. Moody's, you know, the rating agencies, I've said over the years, that we don't follow the ratings of the ratings agencies. I don't think--I think people should make their own judgments about credit quality and we've always done that. And frankly, we like it if we think something's misrated because that's--just like we like it when we think something's mispriced and--but we--I don't think I've ever--I've never been in Moody's. I've never--I've never--they've been out here once or twice when the investor relations people were around, but I don't pay any attention to that anyway. So we have nothing to do with running those companies, you see. You'll see--you'll see on our--on our list of investments, you know, 15 or 20 companies, but we don't buy them to change them. And if I want to--if I want to become a director of some company, then I--then I--then I might have a voice in them.

QUICK: And maybe you talk with your feet, like you've been selling shares in Moody's?

BUFFETT: Well, we--it's a matter of record we've sold shares in Moody's, right.

QUICK: So is that your way of doing things? Either you sit by passively...

BUFFETT: No...

QUICK: ...get involved on the board or?

BUFFETT: ...we sell companies when we think they're fully priced, when we think that there's better uses for the money elsewhere. We've sold a lot of stocks in the last year.

QUICK: Mm-hmm.

BUFFETT: The first part of the year we sold it to buy--we had a commitment to buy three billion of Dow Chemical and a couple of billion in Swiss--or a billion in Swiss REI later in the year. When once I made the deal to buy Burlington, you know, I was going to have to come up with some money and I wanted to have a lot of money left over after I came up with the money. So I'm always--I'm always--I want to--I want to operate from a position of strength. So we will share things that I still like to do things--if it's going to leave me a little bit barren on cash.

QUICK: Things like Proctor & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson.

BUFFETT: Yeah, yeah.

QUICK: That you pointed out in the letter.

BUFFETT: Those are great companies. I don't, you know, anybody who owns Proctor & Gamble or Johnson & Johnson is going to hold them for 10 years, in my view is going to make a bit of money. And on the other hand, we had to come up with 8 billion of cash. We had to borrow another 8 billion to do Burlington and I wanted to end with 20 billion in cash.

QUICK: OK. Another shareholder writes in, or I'm not sure if this is a shareholder or a viewer, but Larry from Mount Prospect, Illinois, says, "Normally, you're a long-term holder. Yet you bought Exxon in the third quarter of 2009, and sold it the following quarter. Why did you change your mind so quick?" And several other shareholders wanted to know if it had to do with the XTO deal.

BUFFETT: No. The answer is no to that. Sometimes I'll start in buying something and not got a full position. I would tend if I'm--if I'm going to buy something like Burlington, if I had a--started in on something and I had a small amount, I'd probably just kick out that sort of thing because it--I just wouldn't keep it around.

QUICK: OK. Alex...

BUFFETT: Incidentally, I should mention one thing.

QUICK: OK.

KERNEN: Warren...

BUFFETT: A lot of--yeah.

QUICK: Go ahead, Joe.

KERNEN: Oh, OK.

BUFFETT: Yeah.

KERNEN: I was just sitting back--I was thinking about this Goldman question and if you want to finish your thought on what you were just talking about, that's fine, but I want to take it this way. I'm trying to figure out what your views are on how we regulate or reregulate the financial industry. And as an example, let's say a client by the name of Greece comes to the best--one of the best investments on the street, Goldman Sachs, says you know, we'd like to spend some more money, we don't want to have it on our balance sheet. Design a way for us to raise more money and keep our credit rating. Goldman Sachs does that, acts as an agent, and then at some point in the future, thinks that Greece is vulnerable and buys some credit default swaps betting on the possible--or insuring against the insolvency of that company's debt. Is there anything right there that you think they're liable for? And should financial regulation, considering it's going to be brought up in the--in the common media that that is like, you know, starting your neighbor's house on fire after you bought insurance, that's how it's being characterized. How do you--how do you not regulate--over-regulate things when it appears that there's a huge conflict?

BUFFETT: Yeah. Well, if you've got a trading department, you know, there's going to be tens of thousands of trades going on. I mean, you have traders all over the world trading all kinds of things. And on the other hand, if you have an investment banking department, you know, you are working, supposedly, for what the client tells you they want to do and you measure that against the laws, you know, of what you're doing. So I don't see how you'll ever have your trading department entirely shut off from transactions that involve anything that you've been involved in in investment banking over the previous five or 10 years. I do think that people that have their liabilities in effect guaranteed by the federal government, I mean, I think if you are attracting money from the world because you have a government guarantee, I think there should be quite a few limitations on what you're able to do. I mean, with--if you can get money simply because the United States government says if you don't pay, they'll pay, you know, I think there's--I think there should be a lot of regulation of that and I think that...

KERNEN: So that's how we--that's how we should address, the implied too big to fail, you know, taking risks that you know the government's going to cover. Is that the main thing we should try to get rid of with the regulatory reform?

BUFFETT: Well, I think that's a big thing, but I also think when you--there are going to be too big to fail institutions. I mean, we can't get away from it. This is a world of scale. So we're going to have to those and the rest of the world's going to have them. Now the--you--what you have to do is you have to get the equation of the fellow at the top or the woman at the top, but usually it's a fellow who gets us in trouble, you have to have a fellow at the top so that--so that he's got to downsize...

KERNEN: Not at Kraft. Not at Kraft.

BUFFETT: You've got to have a--you've got to have that person so they've got a real downside in it and you've got to have a focus primarily on not--on doing--on running that place so that they'll never have to go to the government for help. I mean, that is--and we have had the wrong, in my opinion, we have had the wrong equation for people that run these super large institutions. They get the upside and the stockholders and the government gets the downside. And I would--I just--I think there should be fundamental change there. I wrote a little bit about it in the annual report so that directors and the top officer are on the hook when a company gets--is so big and has such a connection with society that its failure causes all kinds of disruptions throughout society. I wanted to have a little disruption for the CEO that got us into that position.

KERNEN: What about Volck...

QUICK: On that...

KERNEN: Sorry, Beck.

QUICK: Go ahead.

KERNEN: I just wondered about...

QUICK: I think we're going to the same place, Joe.

KERNEN: Yeah, I think we are, but I just wonder, you look at how this is bogged down and the Volcker proposal, that got bogged down on both sides. It--it's another illustration of how hard it is to do anything, but how do you get--what's the most important things you tell Chris Dodd? What do we need to do?

BUFFETT: I--it is hard to take on vested interests. There's no question about it. And you know, and the money is on the side of, you know, of the present--of continuing with past sins. But I would have something so that the--if an institution had to go to society and say save me because if I--because if you don't save me, I'm going to topple society, I would have it so that that person, the CEO and his spouse, you know, at least come away broke, you know. And I would have the directors pay a heavy price for having somebody in there with the wrong incentives and having the wrong person, perhaps, and having that happen. I wouldn't cause them to go broke, but I would have them pay significant penalties that could not be covered by insurance or by the corporation. I mean, they have--if you screw up in such a way that society starts quaking, I think there should be a real downside to that and I think it would change behavior.

QUICK: The financial regulatory reform, though, looks like it's reached a bit of a deadlock right now. Last night, apparently, or over the weekend, I guess, you got to a situation where Dodd put out this idea and said the consumer protection agency should be a part of the Treasury. He also said that it should have rule-making authority, and that's something that made Corker and Shelby both back out. To this point, Corker had been crossing the aisles trying to work with Dodd and get that agreement in there. Is the consumer protection agency, is that an idea that you think is important and needs to be part of this regulatory reform?

BUFFETT: To tell you the truth, I haven't followed it that much, Becky. I did make suggestions in terms of things like ARM mortgages and things like that. I sent along a draft to the Treasury a couple of years ago as what I thought they ought to do to make it much simpler and just have something that said, `Under the worst case, your payments could go to this much,' you know, and have it all just on one page, not dozens of pages of fine print. But consumer protection I really don't know that much about. I want societal protection big time. I mean, you know, we have seen what some--what you might call semi-rogue institutions, you know, have done, and starting, incidentally, you know, with the two that are run by Congress, Freddie and Fannie.

QUICK: There was a viewer who wrote in and asked specifically about Fannie and Freddie, what needs to be done. What should the government be doing right now about that?

BUFFETT: We're going to have to come up with a whole mortgage policy for the country. Right now we've got--we've sort of stumbled into, because of events, I mean, forced them upon us. But we have Freddie, Fannie and FHA making 90 percent of the mortgages in the United States. So the federal government is the mortgage instrument for the United States. And they've botched it somewhat in the past, and it's time to think through, you know, whether you really want to have mortgage standards that will assure that we don't go through a period like has happened in the last three or four years. And I would think that's a good idea. Exactly how it gets implemented, I don't have a great idea.

QUICK: You may not thought an awful lot about financial regulatory reform and exactly how that is flowing through the halls of Congress, but what about carbon emissions and the cap and trade? I mean, that's something you followed pretty closely because of MidAmerican Energy Holdings, correct?

BUFFETT: Yeah. Well, I follow generally as a citizen. I mean, I...

QUICK: Yeah.

BUFFETT: I'm not a physicist, but if--it may be that odds are 90 percent that the global warming people are right. It may be 95 percent, it may be 50 percent. But if it's 20 percent, you still have to act like they're right, because, I mean, if you're betting on the future of the planet, you know, you do not want to say, you know, `Well, I'm not sure about it,' when the problem keeps increasing year by year. So we have to do something significant to reduce carbon emissions. I didn't think--the cap and trade thing was a big wealth transfer, basically, from the Midwest to the coast. But we can--we can dictate that X percent of electric generation by 2020, by 2030, by 2040, you know, has to be--you have to get rid of the stuff that's polluting the atmosphere. And the utility industry will do that. It'll be expensive. Consumers will pay for it. I mean, it's the nature of utilities. Consumers will pay for it. But it's the price we pay for the planet. The big problem, of course, is it's a worldwide problem and the United States can't do it by itself.

QUICK: That sounds like a shift from what you were telling us about a year, a year and a half ago when we asked you about some of these questions as it was moving through, because you said at that point the consumers, the American consumer couldn't handle another tax. Do you think the consumer's getting to the point where it may be able to pay for it?

BUFFETT: Well, I don't think you would do it by--the tax comes through the costs over the years...

QUICK: Sure.

BUFFETT: ...of abandoning--no, I think that's going to--that's inevitable.

QUICK: It's inevitable, so it's something that should be taken on at this point.

BUFFETT: I think that there ought to be something that firmly reduces carbon emissions. And I think we ought to get the cooperation of the world. We ought to--I mean, we should go to China and say, `Look, we have sinned like no other country. We've been putting out more pollutants per capita into the atmosphere by far than you have and, you know, we apologize. Unfortunately we can't undo the past, but we can change the future. And here--we're going to do something drastic in our country on that, and we need--we need you to cooperate.' But it won't do any good if we do it by ourselves.

QUICK: And what about Copenhagen? Things kind of fell apart there.

BUFFETT: Yeah, well it's...

QUICK: Didn't...

BUFFETT: ...these things aren't easy.

QUICK: Yeah.

BUFFETT: You know, I mean, if you're--if you're Chinese, you say, `Well, wait a second.' You know, you're like the guy that moves into a forest and then rolls out the--takes up the drawbridge and says, `We don't want anybody else here,' you know? I mean, `Just because you got there first in terms of polluting, you got--you got away with it, now you're telling us we can't do the same thing in China.' So it's a tough--it's a tough negotiation, but I would go there and say, `Lookit, we were wrong. You know, we didn't see this problem coming early enough. We want to do something big time about it, and it won't do any good for the world unless you help us and talk to the major'--and--but China's the big one on that.

QUICK: You know, Warren, I'm not sure if you saw it over the weekend, but Senators Kerry, Lieberman and Graham said that they are going to be introducing legislation in the Senate as early as this week. They said cap and trade's dead, in their opinion. They're going to be introducing legislation that would do something similar, I think, to what you've talked about, which is to put caps on different industries...

BUFFETT: Yeah.

QUICK: ...starting with the utilities and eventually working its way to industrial--the industrial sector as well. That's an idea that you would get behind and support...

BUFFETT: Yeah.

QUICK: ...without having seen the details?

BUFFETT: Yeah, in a general way I would, but I would try to--if we're going to make changes, I would--I would--I would try to bring along as much of the rest of the world as possible, and I would--I would--but I would do it in the spirit of going forth and saying, you know, `I have sinned,' and I would go to the front of the church and say, `I have sinned' and hope other people start following.

QUICK: All right. Let's get to some more questions that came in from shareholders. There's one guy's--number 184 for the control room. This came from Scott Deller in New York. He says, "How much debt would sink the United States? If the answer's unknown, isn't it risky to race at top speed toward that line?" There were a lot of questions like this that came in.

BUFFETT: Yeah. Well, we are doing things that are causing the debt to rise at a very rapid rate, I mean, when you're running, you know, a fiscal deficit like we are. As long as you issue debt in your own currency, debt doesn't sink you. Now it--what it does is it destroys the value of money over time. So you can make--you can make it so that the person who lent you money, 10 years from now or 20 years from now gets back dollars that aren't worth very much. But you can--as long as you've got a printing press, you can--you can issue any amount of debt in your own currency. It's when the world says to you, `We don't want debt in your currency any more, issue it in something that's more solid,' and that's what they do--they've done to various developing countries. That's what they used to do to South American countries and so on. And then the music stops. The IMF comes in and whatever they take. We have this great reputation for 200 years, and people will accept dollars for a long time. But if the printing presses would run at a sufficient rate, people after a while would say, `Wait a second. We're going to get stuck.' You know, it's interesting, when we talk about what's happened in the last year or two how the taxpayers paid for this or the taxpayers paid for that, taxpayer hasn't paid for any of it. We haven't raised taxes on anybody. What we've done is the lenders have paid for it. So it's...

QUICK: Well don't those--don't those costs eventually get passed onto the consumer too, though?

BUFFETT: Not--the costs really get passed on--generally speaking, they get passed onto the saver. They just--inflation steals from savers, and inflation is the logical consequences of printing too much money.

QUICK: And seniors who are living on fixed incomes.

BUFFETT: Anybody that's living on any kind of fixed income. I mean, you know...

QUICK: And small businesses that are maybe hoping to get a loan from a bank that can't give it at this point.

BUFFETT: ...anybody that has their money--anybody that has their money in a money market fund or anything like that, you know, if we issue enough--if we keep printing enough--if we keep a large enough fiscal deficits we will eventually print a lot of money and money will be worthless. And incidentally, if the United States runs up trillions and trillions and trillions of debt to the rest of the world, you know, I will guarantee you that the politicians of 10 or 20 years ago will not want to pay that back in hard money. It just doesn't--it doesn't make any sense.

QUICK: When you look at the situation in Greece right now and what's happening with the trouble they've gotten into, do you believe that contagion spreads to not only other EU nations, but potentially other states here in the United States? Is that a huge worry for you?

BUFFETT: There's a huge incentive for the EU to handle something like Greece and, of course, that's what you're seeing now. I mean, it isn't--it isn't because the rest of--the other 15 countries in the EU have suddenly developed this great affinity for Greeks. They just--they know the consequences of, you know, if A is going to lead to B and you can't stand B, solve A. And that is essentially the situation. That's what we went through a year and a half ago, you know, after--when we stepped in and guaranteed money market funds and commercial paper and all of those things. We saw a run on the country developing, and, believe me, it was developing. And no one has to lend money to country A or country B or country C. And if they lose money with country A they're going to get more worried about country B and country C just like the same experience we had with financial institutions in the fall of 2008. The time to stop runs is early on.

QUICK: But do you think that this is something that could happen here in the United States, if you look at California or New York, if you start looking at some of the states that have very large financial problems?

BUFFETT: Yeah, and they can't print money.

QUICK: They can't.

BUFFETT: No, no. What they can do is one of three things. They can cut expenses, they can raise income, or they can go to Washington eventually.

QUICK: And you think Washington would cover all of those problems?

BUFFETT: It would be very tough if you're in Congress and they say, `Well, you bailed out General Motors, and you did this and that. And are you going to say, "People in the largest state in the union or whatever it is, that we're not going to take care of you? I mean, the political problem would be huge. But there's no question that states and municipalities the fiscal--the financial situation for them has deteriorated dramatically. We did not write any municipal insurance to speak of in 2009. The risk got higher and the premiums got lower and that just--it made it a dumb sort of thing to do in our view.

QUICK: Tying this back to Europe and if Europe and Germany do step in and provide for Greece, as it looks like they very--may very well do at this point...

BUFFETT: Almost have to, yeah.

QUICK: ...does that make you think that all these hedge funds that are betting against the Euro are on the wrong side of this fence?

BUFFETT: Well, I don't know what happens to the euro exactly, but I mean, there are--I'm sure there are hedge funds that are betting against the euro that are hoping that for one reason the Germans gets mad at the Greeks, or whatever it may be, you know, they are--let's say there are two banks in town. You own a bank and I own a bank. Now, if I want to put you out of business what do I do? I go out and hire 50 bums on the street and get them to stand in line in front of your bank. You know, that's all I have to do. You know, and those 50 will become 100. And after a while, I can let the 50 bums and go, and it will create its own dynamic. You do not want that to happen with countries. So you better stop it, you know, right off the bat. And everybody realizes that. The only question is whether it gets it gets bogged down in something or other.

QUICK: OK. We're going to have more with Warren Buffett in just a moment. Remember, Mr. Buffett is Coca-Cola's largest shareholder through Berkshire Hathaway. We're going to get his first comments on the beverage giant's deal with its largest bottler. We talked a little bit about it, but guess what, Mr. Coke will meet Ms. Pepsi. Pepsico's CEO Indra Nooyi has a deal of her own. She's going to tell us all about that and mix it up with the Oracle of Omaha. Stick around.

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