During an interview on “This Week,” Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffett this morning bemoaned the political gridlock in Washington, telling chief business and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis that it is “tough to watch.”
“It’s tough to watch what happens in Washington. It’s gotten more and more partisan, but now so many elections are determined by the primaries and not the November elections, that it does tend to push both sides to the extremes and to cause them to dig in and feel that they can’t bend from positions ’cause they’ll get primaried.”
Buffett, an iconic investor, also weighed in on the economy, saying it has improved since the recession of 2008, but made no predictions about where the stock market is headed.
“I think to some extent it takes time. We’ve had a lot of fiscal stimulus. We’ve had an extraordinary amount of monetary stimulus. And I think those were the right things to be doing, considering the incredible situation that existed in 2008. I generally approve of what the latter stages of it hit, what the Bush administration did. I approve of what the Obama administration has done. Nothing is perfect, but we had some huge problems in 2008, and our country is doing reasonably well coming out of that. It’s a lot slower than people would like, but it was a lot bigger problem than any of us had ever seen,” he said.
“I don’t know the answer to what the market will do next week or next month or next year. But the economy generally has gotten better over the last four years. The stock market got very depressed. I wrote about it in late 2008, and said the stocks are very cheap. They’re not as cheap now. They don’t look overpriced. They certainly look more attractive than fixed income investments to me. But I have no idea what the stock market will do next week or next month or next year,” Buffett said.
During the interview, the “Oracle of Omaha” also highlighted the importance of fully utilizing women when it comes to the economy.
“I think we have made a terrible mistake in this country and a lot of other countries too in not using all of our talent. I mean, if we said we were only gonna let people — men five foot ten or below engage in three or four occupations, it would be regarded as totally nutty. And for decades, centuries, we relegated women to just a few occupations. We did not fully use the talent that’s available. And we’re making progress, but we’ve got a ways to go,” he Buffett said.
“I think there should be more pushing forward in terms of both the outer structure, but then I was also encouraging women to not hold themselves back.”
Buffett, who said he joined Twitter to help draw attention to an article he had written in Fortune about women in business, joined the site amid much fanfare. Still, he called himself a technophobe.
“You’re still looking at a technophobe who’s kind of pathetic in all things new, but I felt it would give additional distribution, particularly to an article I wanted to have wide distribution about women. So I joined Twitter and it seems to be working,” Buffett said.