In Warren Buffett’s annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, the billionaire investor said he has lost none of his enduring confidence in the US economy, or his company.
He urged investors to focus on the long-term big picture, rather than higher inflation and other factors than in 2022. stock prices depressedalthough not those of Berkshire.
The 92-year-old investor also said dynamism in the United States has benefited Berkshire, which has dozens of operating businesses, including auto insurer Geico, the BNSF railroad and well-known consumer brands such as Duracell.
No bets against the United States
Buffett wrote: “I have yet to see a time when it makes sense to make a long-term bet against the United States. And I highly doubt any reader of this letter will have a different experience in the future.”
Buffett also championed share buybacks, a goal of politicians in Washington.Berkshire had repurchased 7.9 billion dollars of its own shares in 2022, indicating confidence that it was undervalued.
Buffett appeared in his letter to indirectly criticize President Joe Biden, who this month called for quadrupling a 1 percent tax on corporate share buybacks.
“Silver Tongue Demagogues”
While Biden has not called for an end to buybacks, Buffett said those who say all buybacks “are bad for shareholders or the country, or particularly good for CEOs” are “economic illiterates or silver-tongued demagogues”.
The letter was accompanied by Berkshire’s year-end results, including a record operating profit of $30.8 billion.
But the company also posted an annual net loss of $22.8 billion, compared with a profit of $89.8 billion in 2021, as prices for Apple and many other stocks in its broad investment portfolio declined.
All told, Buffett called 2022 a “good year” for Berkshire.