He also said Berkshire bought just a "few" shares of IBM this quarter. He would have bought more but the price went up. Buffett tells Becky he probably won't buy a tech stock again, but if he understood a company and liked its management and price he wouldn't rule out another tech purchase.
Buffett says if he could only own one bank stock it would be Wells Fargo and Berkshire also added to its position in that stock during the current quarter.
On Bank of America, Buffett says the bank's deposit base is a "huge asset" and CEO Brian Moynihan has done exactly what he would do.
Buffett also repeated his praise for JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and says he owns some of those shares in his personal portfolio.
He does have some criticism for a big Berkshire stake: Johnson & Johnson. He believes too many mistakes have been made at the recall-prone company and while it is still attractive at its current price, he would sell some shares if he needed to raise capital. It's "obviously messed up in a lot of ways in the last few years."
Buffett on CEO Succession
Buffett defends Berkshire's decision not to disclose the name of the person the board has chosen to be his successor as CEO, saying he has invested in many companies where he didn't know who would be the next person running the company.
He does say the next CEO is "probably the CEO of some operation" within Berkshire.
Many people had interpreted Saturday's letterto shareholders as saying the board had only decided last year on a CEO successor, but Buffett tells Becky the board has actually known for years who it would go to if Buffett were suddenly unable to continue at the helm. That person, he says, has remained the same for more than a year and wasn't former Berkshire executive David Sokol. Answering a viewer's question, Buffett says the successor doesn't know he or she has been chosen by the board, and it isn't a board member.
Buffett says Berkshire is required by law to pay Sokol's legal bills, spending $1.4 million so far. He "assumes" something is happening with the SEC's investigation into whether Sokol was insider trading when he bought shares of Lubrizol before Berkshire announced its acquisition of the company.
Buffett on the Economy
Aside from the housing sector, Buffett says the U.S. economic recovery is healthy and won't be derailed by rising oil prices. He repeated what he's been saying throughout the recession, that it's always been a "terrible mistake" to be pessimistic on the U.S. over the long term.
Buffett says that except for its housing units, Berkshire's businesses have increased their hiring and that each business will have more employees at the end of this year than they did at the start.