'I blew it': Warren Buffett laments missing out on Google

Tammy Harvey
May 16, 2017

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Berkshire Hathaway shareholders are attending several events around Omaha this weekend after the company's annual meeting on Saturday.

The next leader of Berkshire is "going to have to allocate maybe $400 billion or something like that, maybe more", Buffett said.

'I don't value IBM the same way that I did six years ago when I started buying, ' Buffett said on Saturday.

He said the current 35 percent corporate tax rate was "not much" of a competitive disadvantage for US companies, despite Trump's push to slash it to 15 percent.

In 2015, Berkshire made a bet that could profit from increased cyber breaches.

Berkshire's two major tech holdings are Apple and IBM.

"We'll do well by getting US$10.2 billion (RM44.16 billion) today, with a maximum payout of US$20 billion" between "now and Judgement Day", Buffett said.

"Berkshire in fact ended March with more than $96 billion of cash and cash-like instruments, and Vice chair Charlie Munger said it could do a "$US150 billion" acquisition now if it wanted.

"I thought it would do much better", Buffett admitted. The billionaire investor puts a great deal of the blame of Wells' former-CEO John Stumpf, who Buffett says acted far too late in stopping the fraudulent scheme. At that moment, that's the key to everything.

Buffett said that he 'really underestimated the brilliance of the execution'.

Buffett said he still believes in the long-term prospects of the bank even though Wells Fargo mishandled the scandal.

Buffett plans to play bridge with shareholders at Borsheims.

But he also said it would be a "terrible mistake" if capital allocation were not the "main talent" of his successor.

"Change is painful for a lot of people", he said.

On 3G, with which Berkshire controls Kraft Heinz Co and tried to merge it with Unilever Buffett revealed to the meeting a dislike for the cost-cutting for which the Brazilian firm is known.

The Oracle of Omaha is bullish on Apple's flagship iPhone product.

Separately, Buffett expressed regret over his failure to invest early in Internet search company Google, now part of Alphabet Inc GOOGL.O , saying "I should have some insight into" what became an "extraordinary business" with attributes of a monopoly.

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