To show just how excited he is to stave off retirement until “the bus hits,” (David Sokol‘s words, not ours) in an interview about his potential successors, Warren Buffett told Bethaney McClean that he “tap dances to work.”And just when he couldn’t get any cuter, he explains why he loves it so much once he’s there like this.
From Vanity Fair:
“I’m getting to paint my own painting,” he tells McLean, “and if I’m using red, no one is saying, ‘Why don’t you use a little more blue?’ It’s enormous fun. I get applause. I like it when people cheer for my painting.”
Aw! No wonder he was birthed from a Grandpa whose name is Earnest Buffett.
Buffett also has some inspirational words for those worried about China surpassing the U.S.
He told Vanity Fair:
“We had four million people here in 1790.”
“We’re not more intelligent than people in China, which then had 290 million people, or Europe, which had 50 million. We didn’t work harder, we didn’t have a better climate, and we didn’t have better resources. But we definitely had a system that unleashes potential.
“This system works. Since then, we’ve been through at least 15 recessions, a civil war, a Great Depression…. All of these things happen. But this country has optimised human potential, and it’s not over yet. It’s like what’s written on the tomb of Sir Christopher Wren: If you seek his monument, look around you.”
As far as potential successors go, because Buffett needs two to fill the two positions he currently fills, here’s who’s in the running for the CEO position, according to an upcoming Vanity Fair article which is teased here:
- Sokol, a fellow Nebraskan, “is the top pick of most Buffett-watchers.”
- Sokol’s number two, Greg Abel, is another name that is often mentioned.
- Ajit Jain, a Buffett lieutenant “with whom Buffett talks almost every day.”
- Matthew Rose, who runs Burlington Northern, a Berkshire Hathaway-owned company.
And for CIO:
- Li Liu (although when asked to join Berkshire months ago, he stayed where he was)
- Todd Combs, who recently joined Berkshire Hathaway from the small CT-based hedge fund Castle Point and is running a significant portion of the assets