Warren Buffett, the chairman and chief executive of conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, told CNBC Monday that the U.S. Federal Reserve and other Fed policymakers are generally doing a good job managing the U.S. economy, adding that the effects from interest rates remaining low for an extended period of time are hard to predict.
Buffett also said Berkshire did not try to profit from global central bank monetary policy and that low oil prices were beneficial to the United States.
"It's a fascinating movie to watch," Buffett told cable television network CNBC, in reference to central bank monetary policy worldwide. "I don't try to make money off the movie.”
Buffett also said he would sell his big investments in American Express and Coca-Cola, and other companies, if a better option were available. But Buffett also noted that he would face a large tax bill on the gains if he did ever sell those investments, adding that tax considerations are a big factor in his investment decisions.
Buffett appeared on CNBC after meeting investors at Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting over the weekend. There were plenty of offerings for shareholders attending the event, with goods from some 50 Berkshire businesses available at big discounts. Around 40,000 people attended the gathering, dubbed the “Woodstock for Capitalists” and held in Omaha, Nebraska. The annual event’s main attraction is, of course, the 85-year-old Buffett.
This year the festivities were viewable via Yahoo Finance's live stream, making it possible for anyone in the world to tune in to the meeting, which featured a five-hour question-and-answer session with the chief executive.
Speaking on Saturday, Buffett vigorously defended Berkshire's large, long-standing investment in Coca-Cola, rejecting critics who say the company's sugary drinks harm people's health. He said it seemed "spurious" to argue that calories from Coke alone were a significant factor in obesity levels.
Hedge fund manager William Ackman, among others, has said he would not own Coke stock.
But Buffett noted that he consumes about 700 calories of Coke a day, saying, "I'm about one-quarter Coca-Cola," and that he had seen no evidence that switching to "water and broccoli" would make it easier for him to make it to age 100.
"I elect to get my 2,600 or 2,700 calories a day from things that make me feel good when I eat them. That's my sole test," he said. "I like fudge a lot. Peanut brittle. I am a very, very, very happy guy."
Berkshire owns 400 million shares of Coke, about 9 percent of the company.
Data from Reuters were used to report this story.