Are Buffett and Trump in a Proxy War of Words?




Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B) released its 2018 annual report and chair Warren Buffett’s annual shareholder letter over the weekend. Last year, amid the US-China trade spat, Buffett said, “I don’t think either country will dig themselves into something that precipitates and continues any kind of real trade war.”

Now, in this year’s annual letter, Buffett has targeted US President Donald Trump without actually naming him. Buffett said, “It is beyond arrogance for American businesses or individuals to boast that they have ‘done it alone.’” Buffett also said, “Americans will be both more prosperous and safer if all nations thrive.”

Buffett backed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 elections. However, last year, his comments suggested that he wasn’t really against the Section 232 tariffs that Trump imposed on national security grounds.

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Meanwhile, Trump, who earlier claimed that markets would crash if he were ever impeached, again highlighted the market performance. In a tweet, Trump said, “Since my election as President the Dow Jones is up 43% and the NASDAQ Composite almost 50%. Great news for your 401(k)s as they continue to grow. We are bringing back America faster than anyone thought possible!” While Trump hasn’t named Buffett, it wouldn’t be an unfair assessment that the tweet could be targeted at the legendary investor.

Meanwhile, markets (SPY) have continued their good streak in February. All the FAANG stocks (FB) (AMZN) (AAPL) (NFLX) (GOOG) were in the green. Yesterday, General Electric (GE), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Micron (MU), Microsoft (MSFT), Alibaba (BABA), and IBM (IBM) gained 6.4%, 1.4%, 0.4%, 0.6%, 3.6%, and 0.15%, respectively. However, QUALCOMM (QCOM), NVIDIA (NVDA), and Baidu (BIDU) closed with losses.

In the next article, we’ll discuss Buffett’s views on Apple.


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