If Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld was hoping for a public vote of confidence from Warren Buffett, she is surely disappointed this morning. Perhaps not surprisingly based on his unusual public criticism of Kraft on January 5, Mr. Buffett says that he “feels poorer” in light of Kraft’s richer bid for Cadbury and he disagrees with the decision to shed a highly profitable frozen pizza business to provide funding for the deal.
The statement today in a CNBC interview prior the special meeting of Berkshire Hathaway shareholders clearly refutes yesterday’s Wall Street Journal article which cited an unnamed source within Kraft who indicated that Mr. Buffett was “totally supportive” of the new terms.
Mr. Buffett also comments on a number of topics including the Obama Administration’s proposed bank tax, stating that he does not believe that banks are making “obscene profits” and companies that have already repaid TARP funds should not be forced to effectively pay for bailouts at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Other topics covered include the Berkshire Hathaway Class B stock split, Wells Fargo’s results, executive compensation, and Ben Bernanke’s prospects for a second term as Federal Reserve Chairman. In addition, Mr. Buffett is not planning to increase Berkshire’s stake in Posco at this time and indicated that reports yesterday to the contrary may have been due to a misunderstanding with Posco’s CEO due to language translation.
CNBC Interview: Part One
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CNBC Interview: Part Two
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The author owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway.