WHEN: Today, Thursday, September 29th
WHERE: CNBC"s "Squawk Alley"
Following is the unofficial transcript of breaking news from CNBC's Becky Quick on CNBC's "Squawk Alley" (M-F, 11AM-12PM ET) today, Thursday, September 29th. Following is a link to the story on CNBC.com: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/29/warren-buffett-denies-report-that-he-wants-major-changes-at-wells-fargo.html.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
CARL QUINTANILLA: WELLS FARGO'S JOHN STUMPF. IT HAS BEEN A PUNISHING SESSION FOR STUMPF AS HOUSE MEMBERS HAVE PRESSED HIM ON EVERYTHING FROM THE TIMING OF THE COMPANY'S DISCOVERY TO THE TIMING OF HIS OWN STOCK SALES. OF COURSE IT'S BEEN SAID THAT THERE'S ONLY ONE INVESTOR IN WELLS WHOSE OPINION REALLY MATTERS AND THAT IS WARREN BUFFETT. DOUG KASS HAS WRITTEN SOME COMMENTS ABOUT WELLS FARGO AND BUFFETT TODAY. OUR OWN BECKY QUICK HAS TALKED TO BUFFETT'S OFFICE ABOUT THAT AND MORE. SHE JOINS US ON THE PHONE.
BECKY QUICK: WARREN BUFFET HAS REMAINED SILENT ON THIS ENTIRE ISSUE UP TO THIS POINT. NO ONE'S BEEN ABLE TO GET HIM TO COMMENT ABOUT WHAT HE THINKS ABOUT WELLS FARGO OR JOHN STUMPF WITH ANY OF THIS GOING THROUGH IT. THERE HAVE BEEN CALLS FOR BUFFETT TO SPEAK OUT AND THERE HAS BEEN AN AWFUL LOT OF SPECULATION THAT HAS BEEN PUT OUT INCLUDING A NOTE FROM DOUG CASS THIS MORNING. WE KNOW DOUG KASS WELL HE'S THE PRESIDENT OF SEA BREEZE PARTNERS, MONEY MANAGER, A FREQUENT GUEST ON CNBC TOO. DOUG PUT OUT A NOTE TODAY SAYING HE HAD INTEL ON WARREN BUFFETT AND WELLS FARGO. HE SAYS HERE'S WHAT HE'S HEARD, ONE, WARREN BUFFETT HAS SPOKEN TO THE WELLS FARGO BOARD DIRECTLY AND HAS EXPRESSED HIS EXTREME DISSATISFACTION AND A NEED FOR A RADICAL TRANSFORMATION OF THE BANKS ETHICS IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS. TWO, BUFFETT WILL NOT SELL HIS WELLS FARGO STOCK. HE IS COMMITTED TO THE INVESTMENT. THREE, IF ANYTHING, SHOULD WELLS FARGO REMEDY THE ISSUE IT'S ENTIRELY POSSIBLE BERKSHIRE WILL ADD TO ITS WELLS FARGO HOLDINGS SUBJECT TO FEDERAL APPROVAL. I FORWARDED THAT NOTE TO BUFFETT'S OFFICE THIS MORNING. NOT EXPECTING TO GET A RESPONSE. BUT I DID GET A RESPONSE FROM DEBBIE PASANICK HIS ASSISTANT WHO SAID THIS CAN BE REPORTED TO BE FALSE. THAT'S COMING FROM BUFFETT, THAT THIS NOTE IN PARTICULAR CAN BE REPORTED TO BE FALSE. YOU CAN READ THAT A LOT OF DIFFERENT WAYS. THERE ARE THREE DIFFERENT THINGS. THIS IS A BROAD DENIAL OF WHAT WAS SAID IN THIS. I THINK PROBABLY WHAT'S MOST KEY HERE IS THE FIRST ASERTATION THAT KASS MAKES THAT BUFFETT HAS SPOKE TO THE WELLS FARGO BOARD DIRECTLY AND EXPRESSED HIS EXTREME DISSATISFACTION AND NEED FOR RADICAL TRANSFORMATION. MY GUESS ON THIS AND AGAIN THIS WAS A BROAD DENIAL MY READ ON THIS WOULD BE THAT HE HAS NOT SPOKE ON THE BOARD AND THAT HE HAS NOT EXPRESSED AN OPINION ONE WAY OR THE OTHER. THIS IS NOT UNUSUAL FOR BUFFETT NOT TO BE MAKING COMMENTS, AT LEAST NOT PUBLICLY. USUALLY HE WORKS BEHIND THE SCENES. IF THERE'S SOMETHING HE'S UNHAPPY WITH WITH ONE OF HIS INVESTMENT HOLDINGS, LIKE HE DID WITH COCA-COLA IN RECENT YEARS, WHEN HE WAS UNHAPPY WITH THE EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION PLAN, HE WORKED WITH THE BOARD. BUT IT SOUNDS TO ME LIKE HE HAS NOT WEIGHED IN WITH THE WELLES FARGO BOARD AT THIS POINT. NOT TO SAY THAT HE IS GOING AHEAD AND SAYING THAT HE IS CONDONING ANY OF THIS BEHAVIOR, BUT IT DOESN'T SOUND LIKE HE'S WEIGHED IN ONE WAY OR THE OTHER ON IT. THE OTHER THING I CAN POINT OUT IN DOUG'S NOTE IS THE IDEA THAT BERKSHIRE WOULD BE BUYING MORE WELLS FARGO STOCK. I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANY WAY TO GET APPROVAL TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT. BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY IS ALREADY THE LARGEST SHAREHOLDER WITH OVER 10%. AND WITH FINANCIAL COMPANIES YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO CONTINUE TO BUY AFTER YOU OWN THAT MUCH. HIS SHARES, HIS STAKE, BUFFETT'S STAKE IN WELLS FARGO, HAS INCREASED BECAUSE BUT THAT'S BEEN BECAUSE WELLS FARGO'S BEEN BUYING BACK STOCK, VERY SIMILAR SITUATION WITH WHY HE OWNS MORE THAN 10% OF AMERICAN EXPRESS. AS A COMPANY BUYS BACK STOCK, BERKSHIRE'S STAKE GOES UP, BUT IT'S NOT BECAUSE OF PURCHASES THAT HE'VE BEEN MAKING ON THE OPEN MARKET. AGAIN, THIS IS NOT CLARITY. IT DOESN'T TELL YOU A WHOLE LOT. BUT THIS IS THE MOST THAT I'VE BEEN ABLE TO GET HIM TO WEIGH IN ON SOMETHING CONCERNING WELLS FARGO SINCE THE SCANDAL BROKE.
SARA EISEN: BECKY, IT'S GREAT CONTEXT. SARA HERE. TO THE STOCK PERFORMANCE, WE'RE LOOKING AT WELLS FARGO SHARES THEY'RE DOWN ABOUT 9.5% THIS MONTH BRINGING THE YEAR TO DATE LOSSES TO 11.5%. IT'S CLEARLY SPECULATION AT THIS POINT, BUT YOUR STUDY OF WARREN BUFFETT, HOW HE VIEWS HIS LONG-TERM INVESTMENTS, DO YOU THINK HE'S JUST WAITING TO SEE HOW IT SHAKES OUT AFTER SOME OF THE POLITICAL PRESSURE COMES OFF LIKE WE'RE SEEING IN THIS BIPARTISAN BEATDOWN ON CAPITOL HILL TODAY?
QUICK: YOU KNOW, IT'S THAT AND I THINK IT'S ALSO HE JUST TENDS TO WORK BEHIND THE SCENES. I THINK HE'S OF THE OPINION IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO ACTUALLY GET DONE YOU CAN MEDIATE IT THROUGH THE PRESS OR YOU CAN WORK BEHIND THE SCENES OR WAIT AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS. LIKE I SAID, HE'S NOT SOMEBODY WHO I WOULD EXPECT TO BE COMMENTING ON THIS STUFF WITHOUT TALKING TO ALL OF THEM FIRST. BUT TO ME, THE MOST SIGNIFICANT DENIAL IN ALL OF THIS IS THE IDEA THAT HE'S EXPRESSED HIS EXTREME DISPLEASURE TO THE BOARD. I DON'T KNOW FOR SURE BECAUSE I HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO GET HIM ON THE PHONE. BUT THAT TO ME SAYS HE HASN'T WEIGHED IN WITH THE BOARD AND HE'S WAITING TO SEE HOW IT PLAYS OUT.
QUINTANILLA: STOCK AWFULLY STEADY, BECKY, AT 45, HASN'T MOVED FAR FROM THAT LEVEL ALL MORNING LONG. THE BEST GUIDANCE WE HAVE AT THIS MOMENT IN TERMS OF WHEN HE WOULD WEIGH IN PUBLICLY REMAINS WHAT?
QUICK: DON'T KNOW. I DON'T HAVE AN ANSWER ON THAT. I'VE BEEN WAITING AND TRYING TO SEE IF I GOT A RESPONSE THIS MORNING. I WAS SURPRISED ACTUALLY WHEN I DID. MY GUESS IS IT'S NOT GOING TO BE FOR SOME TIME.
QUINTANILLA: BECKY, WE APPRECIATE THAT. OF COURSE PEOPLE ARE CLAMORING FOR ANY GUIDANCE AS TO WHAT HIS OPINION IS REGARDING WFC. WE APPRECIATE IT. BECKY QUICK JOINING THUS MORNING, HAVING ALREADY WORKED THROUGH SQUAWK TODAY.
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