'I blew it': Warren Buffett laments missing out on Google

U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to cut the corporate tax rate to 15 percent would be a tailwind for profitability at Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc, but won't fundamentally change how its business units operate, Buffett said.

"Trumpcare isn't a health care bill".

He had long disdained the industry, which had gone through many bankruptcies, but said he is confident it will not resort to "suicidally competitive" strategies that could spell doom. "And then beyond that we have to have policies to take care of the people that become the roadkill in the process", Buffett said at Berkshire's annual shareholder meeting, often known as Woodstock for Capitalists, held at the CenturyLink Center in downtown Omaha of Nebraska.

Buffett says Wells Fargo didn't act promptly when it discovered the problem. In October, Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf resigned after testifying to Congress on why the lender opened 2 million bank accounts without customers' permission.

Berkshire Hathaway Energy now owns utilities across the Midwest and Western states as well as in Canada and northern England.

The IBM stake had grown to be one of Berkshire's largest stock investments, along with such companies as American Express, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, and more recently Apple and Kraft Heinz. Sloan, the bank's CEO, has said most calls to what the bank calls the EthicsLine were handled properly and promised to fix cases where they weren't. He said the company had too much cash it could not reasonably deploy.

Buffett said at Saturday's annual meeting that it's crucial his successor have what he calls a "money mind".

Apple, which Buffett scooped up a year ago, accounts for about 5.5% of Berkshire's portfolio. The 86-year-old tycoon is Berkshire's chairman. Berkshire said complex social and moral issues should not determine where it could invest.

"Berkshire ended March with more than $96 billion of cash and cash-like instruments, and Munger said it could do a "$150 billion" acquisition now if it wanted.

"The investing world is just a morass of wrong incentives, insane reporting and, I'd say, a fair amount of delusion", Munger said.

A lot of things are institutionalised in business. Berkshire, a conglomerate that wholly owns Geico Insurance and other assets, has seen its share price double over the past five years. The first question he faced at the annual meeting was about the bank.

Investors Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger told Berkshire Hathaway shareholders that they probably should have recognized Google's brilliance and invested in it. But, he added, "I think they may be a long way off".

"In retrospect, I think we were smart enough to figure out Google early, and we didn't", Munger said.

In recent years, Buffett has ventured a bit into tech investing but with mixed results.

A spokesman for Wells Fargo reportedly agreed with Buffett's assessment, and wanted to assure the billionaire that the firm has taken "decisive actions" to remedy the problem for both employees and customers. It's the company's largest shareholder.

We tend to agree with Mr. Buffett and we're not alone.

The executives who run Berkshire subsidiaries look forward to the meeting just as the shareholders do.

While there are some money managers who will do better than average in picking investments over time, most won't, he said.