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Portfolio > Economy & Markets

Buffett Jabs Wall St., Saying It ‘Doesn’t Feel Loved’

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Wall Street “doesn’t feel loved,” Warren Buffett told Charlie Rose in an interview on Sept. 30, Bloomberg reports. Buffett noted that some rhetoric from President Barack Obama led to a lack of support from Wall Street.

Buffett is attempting to attract support for the president’s re-election, according to Bloomberg.

Obama on Sept. 19 announced a plan to reduce the deficit by more than $3 trillion over the next 10 years, with $1.5 billion coming from the Buffett Rule, or an increased minimum rate on those who earn more than $1 million per year.

“You take the number of people making a million dollars or over on Wall Street and you can fill a very large auditorium,” Buffett said in the interview. “I think the president felt, ‘My God, look at all the things we did for business, and they’re unappreciative, and I’m all that stands between them and the pitchforks.’ ”

Buffett did a series of interviews on Friday, Bloomberg reports, discussing investments at Berkshire-Hathaway, Bank of America’s ongoing struggles and the debt crisis in Europe.

“We’re ready to buy lots of things,” he said in an interview with Betty Liu on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Specifically, he noted that his firm is ready to invest “billions and billions and billions” in plants, equipment and new acquisitions.

As of June 30, the firm, which announced a stock buy-back plan on Sept. 26, had a $67.6 billion equity portfolio. Buffett said in the interview with Rose that the firm would buy stock if “we think we’re doing a favor for the people that are staying in the boat.”

Buffett expressed confidence in Bank of America, acknowledging that the bank has “lots of problems,” but adding that it has a “wonderful underlying business.” Berkshire invested $5 billion in the bank in August.

Potential investors, he told Liu, will have to bet on whether CEO Brian Moynihan can resolve those problems. “It won’t take six months or a year; it will take much longer than that even. But the underlying business is doing fine,” he said.

Berkshire unloaded most of its European sovereign debt holdings over a year ago, Buffett said in an interview with CNBC, and isn’t interested in investing there again soon.

“They need capital in their banks, in many of their banks,” Buffett said in a Bloomberg interview. “We would not be a good prospect,” he said.


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