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Buffett seems to blame Trump, lies dealing with lack of Berkshire letter



(Reuters) – Warren Buffett on Saturday seemed to fail US President Donald Trump to over-credit for economic growth, while acknowledging that market conditions make it difficult for Berkshire Hathaway Inc to find more large companies to buy.

FILE PHOTO: Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc, visits the showroom at the company's annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, USA May 5, 2018. REUTERS / Rick Wilking / File Photo

Buffett complained about these states of affairs in his annual letter to the Berkshire shareholders.

Berkshire said the buying price and a large write-down for the investment in Kraft Heinz Co led to a loss of $ 25.39 billion in the fourth quarter. Many of its more than 90 companies, such as Geico Auto Insurer and BNSF railway, have performed well.

Buffett, 88, said that Berkshire's success has been partly a product of "the American backwash" which has enabled the country to enjoy "almost incredible prosperity."

He said that since he began investing in 1942, prosperity has been monitored by seven Republican and seven democratic presidents, and achieved in two ways, even through wartime and financial crisis.

Trump often takes credit for good financial news, including on Twitter.

Buffett, who supported Hillary Clinton in his 2016 White House race, said no one should.

"It is beyond arrogance for US companies or individuals to boast that they have" done it alone, "Buffett wrote.

Buffett, who invests in Chinese electric car manufacturer BYD Co, also made a possible slant criticism of Trumps brag about American economic performance, among other countries like China,

Buffett said the United States would "rejoice" when other countries have bright futures.

"Americans will be both more prosperous and safer if all nations thrives, "he wrote." In Berkshire, we hope to invest substantial sums across the borders. "

The White House was not immediately available for comment. Berkshire did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

LOOKING FOR ELEPHANTS [19659015] Part of the reason why Buffett may be looking to invest overseas is that he is struggling to find big investments at home and does not expect it to change soon.

Berkshire h is not a major acquisition since he paid $ 32.1 billion to Precision Castparts producers in floating elements in January 2016.

Buffett said the long-term outlook for several acquisitions was "not good" because prices are "sky-high" for businesses who had decent long-term prospects.

While Buffett said the prospect of an "elephant-big acquisition" causes his heart to "hit faster", the reality was that Berkshire would probably spend $ 2019 million in cash to buy more shares.

Berkshire finished 2018 with $ 172.88 billion shares, but many of these suffered two-fold fall in prices in the quarter, including a 30 percent slide in their biggest business, iPhone manufacturer Apple Inc.

These declines were an important factor in Berkshire's large quarterly losses, and its 91 percent fall in full-year earnings.

U.S .. the shares have risen since the end of last year, but the main index for S & P has not recovered all losses in the fourth quarter.

FILE PHOTO: Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc, pauses while playing a bridge as part of the company's annual meeting weekend in Omaha, Nebraska, USA May 6, 2018. REUTERS / Rick Wilking / File Photo

The results were also damaged by a write-down of $ 3.02 billion for intangible assets that Buffett said was "almost entirely" attributed to Kraft Heinz, where Berkshire owns a 26.7 percent stake.

The packaged food company on Thursday shocked investors when it reported its own $ 15.4 billion write-down for Kraft, Oscar Mayer and other assets, and that US securities regulators investigated their accounting practices.

While dated Saturday, Buffetts shareholder letter is in good time, and did not discuss Kraft Heinz's recent travails or 3G Capital, the Brazilian firm and the Buffett business partner running the day-to-day business.

Reporting by Jennifer Ablan, Trevor Hunnicutt and Jonathan Stempel in New York; Further Reporting by Roberta Rampton in Washington, Editing by Andrea Ricci

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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