Berkshire Hathaway Warren Buffett appeared to take a swipe at President Joe Biden

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett’s annual letter, Posted on Saturday morning, includes the usual homespun wisdom expected of his partners, modest and self-deprecating reflections on his own unknown fortunes and downfalls. But at least one part of the letter was scathing and appeared to be directed at the president.

In that segment, Buffett discusses companies buying back their own shares, which he describes as a benefit to shareholders — assuming the shares were purchased at a fair price. He also insists that the withdrawal of shares will not harm the country. Berkshire Hathaway bought back $7.9 billion of its own stock last year, down from 2021.

See also: Berkshire records 8% drop in operating income

While Buffett did not directly name President Joe Biden, who has publicly disparaged the stock buybacks, he had sharp words for critics of the buybacks. “When you are told so All Repurchases are detrimental to shareholders Or to the country, Or Especially beneficial for CEOs, you’re listening to an economic illiterate or silver-speaker. No mutually exclusive),” Buffett wrote.

In answer to the question Baron’sA Berkshire Hathaway representative wrote that the comment was not directed at any individual.

Advertisement – Scroll to continue

“This was written six months ago and was not targeted at anyone in particular,” the rep wrote. “Mr. Buffett has written about buybacks for 20 years. Mr. Buffett has a policy of criticizing practices, not individuals.

Biden signed legislation last year to impose a 1% excise tax on stock buybacks. Earlier this month, Biden said in a statement State of the Union address He now wants to quadruple that line. “Companies have to do the right thing,” he said.

See also  Iyam Donkey made the country crooners a hit

Biden has particularly lashed out at oil companies that buy back their stock instead of increasing production — a phenomenon he says led to higher gasoline prices last year.

Advertisement – Scroll to continue

“They invested very little of that profit to increase domestic production and lower gas prices,” Biden said. “Instead, they used those record profits to buy back their own stock, rewarding their CEOs and shareholders.”

Buffett, however, sees owning most of the business when its shares are retired as an important and harmless benefit to shareholders. Berkshire owns large stakes in oil companies, including Occidental Petroleum (ticker: OXY ) and Chevron ( CVX ).

Write to Avi Salzman at [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *