Berkshire Hathaway Inc BRKa.N shareholders on Saturday rejected a proposal to have the conglomerate run by Warren Buffett disclose its political contributions twice a year.
"If someone walks in with a solar project tomorrow and it takes a billion dollars or three billion dollars, we're ready to do it", he said.
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. Buffett's longtime partner Charlie Munger said he'd rather own Berkshire shares, for his part. In a March presentation, the firm said captial expenditure forecasts for the next two years have increased $4.6 billion from the prior year, primarily due to wind and solar energy projects.
"Nobody should be roadkill", Buffett said on Saturday at the annual meeting of his Berkshire Hathaway in Omaha, Nebraska.
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"In fact, Berkshire's insurance subsidiary Geico was an early customer of Google, buying ads on the search engine for "$10 to $11 a click", so the investors had a front row seat seat to the business' growth, Buffett said. He said Friday that Berkshire recently sold off one-third of its 81 million IBM shares because the investment hasn't performed as well as he expected.More news: Curry sinks Spurs in hurry
He added the company had become too accustom to paying fines much larger than the $185 million it paid the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and didn't properly assess the severity of the misconduct.
The billionaire nonetheless expressed sympathy for the proposal at Berkshire's annual meeting, expressing strong opposition to the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 decision in the Citizens United case, which allowed unlimited independent spending by corporations and labor unions in election campaigns.
Throughout his legendary career, Buffett has stressed the importance of investing in products that are tangible, one reason he bought into companies like Coca-Cola and Dairy Queen over the years.
Buffett, who is 86, said Bogle will celebrate his 88th birthday Monday.
Buffett started the meeting by noting that Berkshire reported far fewer investment gains in the first quarter, which proved a drag on first-quarter results.
Shareholder Jerry Meyer said the exhibits are a neat way to learn about Berkshire and boost investor enthusiasm.