WHEN: TODAY, MONDAY, MAY 2ND AT 8AM ET
WHERE: CNBC'S "SQUAWK BOX"
Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of billionaire investor Warren Buffett on CNBC's "Squawk Box" today. The full transcript and video of the interview will be available today at buffettwatch.cnbc.com. All references must be sourced to CNBC.
BUFFETT ON HOUSING:
THE ECONOMY IS GETTING BETTER AND I THINK YOU'LL SEE MAJOR PROGRESS WHEN IT PICKS UP WE JUST BUILT A COUPLE MILLION, 3M TOO MANY HOUSES - WE HAVE AN INVENTORY THAT WERE WORKING OFF DON'T KNOW WHERE LINES CROSS BUT EVERY DAY WE GET CLOSER TO WHERE THEY CROSS, THEN WE WILL HAVE RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION COME BACK.
BUFFETT ON ECONOMY:
BUT I THINK THE ECONOMY CONSIDERING THE BODY BLOW THAT IT TOOK IN THE FALL OF 2008 HAS BEEN DOING QUITE WELL, AND I THINK IT WILL SHOW UP IN THE EMPLOYMENT FIGURES MORE DRAMATICALLY THAN MOST PEOPLE MAY FEEL WHEN RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION COMES BACK BECAUSE IT ISN'T JUST GOING TO BE THE PEOPLE OUT BUILDING HOUSES. WE'RE GOING TO FEEL IT IN OUR FURNITURE MART AND CARPET BUSINESS. THEY'LL BE A LOT MORE THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE COMING BACK WHEN RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION COMES BACK
BUFFETT ON GASOLINE PRICES:
WE TALK IN THIS COUNTRY AND SAY HOW UNWISE IT WOULD BE TO HAVE A TAX INCREASE AT THIS POINT IN THE ECONOMY. WELL THIS IS A TAX INCREASE. WHEN YOU RAISE THE PRICE OF GASOLINE, IT'S A TAX INCREASE. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE THE TAX GOES TO OPEC INSTEAD OF WASHINGTON BUT IT HAS EXACTLY THE SAME IMPACT ON THE CONSUMER AS WOULD A VERY MAJOR TAX INCREASE.
BUFFETT ON MISTAKES TO BET AGAINST US:
IT'S ALWAYS BEEN A MISTAKE TO BET AGAINST AMERICA, SINCE 1776. WE TAKE OUR BODY BLOWS FROM TIME TO TIME, BUT THIS COUNTRY ALWAYS COMES THROUGH AND WHEN WE GET UNITED - GET OUT OF THE WAY
BUFFETT ON OSAMA BIN LADEN:
A MASS MURDERER OF ALMOST INCOMPREHENSIBLE DIMENSION HAS BEEN ELIMINATED, JUST AS WAS THE CASE WITH HITLER. BUT THERE ARE LOTS OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD THAT ARE GOING TO HAVE EVIL INTENT TOWARD THIS COUNTRY, AS WELL AS OTHER PEOPLE. THEY'RE NOT GOING TO GO AWAY AND THEY WILL CONTINUE TO SEEK WAYS TO HURT US, DISRUPT US.
BUFFETT ON THE DEBT CEILING:
THE DEBT CEILING WILL GET CHANGED. I DON'T THINK THERE SHOULD BE A DEBT CEILING TO START WITH, BUT IT IS ENORMOUSLY, THE POSTURING AND WASTING OF TIME AND ALL SORTS OF THINGS IN THE END THEY'LL HAVE TO INCREASE THE DEBT CEILING AND IT WOULD BE INSANE NOT TO DO IT.
BUFFETT ON SOKOL:
HE SAID I HAVE OWNED THE STOCK AND I FOLLOWED IT AND IT LOOKS LIKE OUR KIND OF COMPANY. NOW, IF ANY MEMBER OF BERKSHIRE'S MANAGEMENT OR BOARD SAID THAT TO ME I WOULD NOT HAVE ASSUMED THEY BOUGHT A LOT OF STOCK DAYS BEFORE. IF I HAD SIMPLY ASKED THE QUESTION, IT WOULD HAVE SAVED DAVE A LOT OF TROUBLE BUT IT WOULD HAVE SAVED US A LOT OF TROUBLE.
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