Berkshire Hathaway’s CEO Warren Buffett says he hasn’t read the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
But in an hour long interview with Charlie Rose in San Diego Monday night, the “Oracle of Omaha” said there are two things that can be done to keep the financial system from going “crazy.”
“One is keeping some limits on leverage and we didn’t do a very good job of that last time,” Buffett told Rose.
“The second thing is having the proper incentives for people at the top of important financial institutions,” he said in his interview, “We saw institution after institution go to the government and say we’re too important to this society that you can’t let us fail. So pour in the money, do whatever’s necessary and I’m going go off and be rich. I’m the guy that screwed it up.”
What’s more is Buffett says “too big to fail” firms will always exist and that they shouldn’t be broken up.
“No, we decided the whole banking system was too big to fail when we put in the FDIC in effect. We can’t exist without them. So we have to do something to change the behaviour of people that are at the top of those institutions so they have huge downsides. They didn’t have down side.
I’m not going to name names but those people did not have down side. They had down side to their reputation but they walked away with tens of millions of dollars so you can’t have that situation exist and expect great behaviour. And then you have to have some restrictions on leverage.