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Warren Buffett Defends Non-Existent Gun Investments

Don’t be ridiculous about Berkshire divesting from companies it doesn’t own but might if they get cheap enough.
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Don’t get Warren Buffett wrong: There are some things he and his 400-year-old sidekick Charlie won’t own, like immoral pharmaceutical companies. Now, in the wake of the recent horror in South Florida, one might take a look at the Berkshire Hathaway portfolio and say, “Hey look, no guns! Way to go again Warren, you randy, folksy old do-gooder!” And you’d be right: Berkshire does not own any gun companies. It owns a jewelry chain, a private-jet business, an underwear manufacturer, a giant energy holding company, some shitty furniture stores, a bon-bon maker, a press-release distributor and a realtor, but no business that is arming the children of America, not even one of the ones better known for selling those backpack-sized water bottles.

But you’d also be wrong: Berkshire isn’t not packing heat to virtue signal or avoid a PR nightmare like some less-cuddly investors. It’s just that gun companies are terrible, terrible investments.

“I think what the kids are doing is very admirable, but I don’t think Berkshire should say we’re not going to do business with people who own guns,” Mr. Buffet said on CNBC. “I think that would be ridiculous.”

Speaking of ridiculous, Warren Buffett may not think much of the president made to look like the stupid, petulant child he is over his proposal to stop the slaughter of high-school students by arming your daughter’s Kindergarten teacher, but he can think of about 30 billion nice things about him.

Berkshire recorded a hefty windfall from the tax bill that Congress passed at the end of last year. The annual report said the tax overhaul produced a $29.6 billion gain that was offset slightly by $1.4 billion of tax payments on repatriated foreign earnings. The tax gain contributed nearly two-thirds of Berkshire’s $44.9 billion in net earnings for 2017…. In commenting on the contribution from lower taxes, Mr. Buffett said: “The $65 billion gain is nonetheless real — rest assured of that.”

Buffett Won’t Boycott Gun Makers, ‘That Would Be Ridiculous’ [WSJ]
Buffett’s Annual Letter: Berkshire Records $29 Billion Gain From Tax Goal [DealBook]
Blackstone Wants To Know About Funds’ Gun Investments [WSJ]
Firms Reasses Involvement in Gun Industry in Wake of Florida Shooting [WSJ]


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