Billionaire Warren Buffett, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” moments ago.
He came on with Fortune magazine’s Carol Loomis to talk about her new book “Tap Dancing to Work,” which chronicles her Buffett articles between 1966 and 2012.
In addition to Loomis’s latest biographical book about Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha also talked about key issues such as the fiscal cliff and taxes.
As for what’s going on in Washington, D.C., Buffett thinks lawmakers will come to a common sense solution on the fiscal cliff issue, but it might not be by December 31st.
Buffett told CNBC that he wants to see 18.5% of GDP as revenues and 21% as spending. He called those levels of spending and revenues “sustainable.”
What’s more is Buffett thinks it’s better if lawmakers don’t negotiate in public on the fiscal cliff issue.
He ssaid that hte fiscal cliff has nothing to do with long term investments.
“The fiscal cliff does not enter into my investment decisions,” Buffett later added in the interview.
Last Friday, Buffett published an op-ed in the New York Times where he said the starting point for taxes should be $500,000 instead of the $250,000 proposed by President Obama.
“He knew my view on it because they made a call on Friday to see if I was able to speak to the President.”
Buffett said he sent a copy to Obama beforehand, but that $500,000 didn’t didn’t come up in the conversation.
Buffett said that under his tax proposal, he would pay 35% tax on all the money he earns.
“In the last 10 years, my tax rate has averaged way less than when I was in my 30s and 40s and, believe me, I’m making a lot more now,” Buffett said.
During the CNBC interview, wel also learned more about Buffett’s friendship with Loomis.
Loomis, who has known Buffett for 45 years and talks to him every day, said the thing she was most struck by is how consistent his thinking is when it comes to investing. For example, he doesn’t get into things that he doesn’t understand, she said.
When she first met him, Loomis said she was “quite sceptical” at the time that he was the greatest investor because he was not very well known then. However, she realised that when she met him he was really different from anyone she had ever met before, she told CNBC.
Buffett said when he first met Loomis his first impression was that “she was pregnant,” he joked. He noted that she’s a “terrific writer.” She’s the “No. 1 read” for him in the financial news world.
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