Billionaire Warren Buffett and other major business leaders said the rising cost of energy is creating “enormous pressure” on companies as customers and is taking a financial toll on their businesses.
“When you put additional pressure on your cost structure, and on your cost structure in this business, you’re either going to create more jobs, or you’re going to have to pass those costs on,” Buffett said during a Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting Thursday.
Bloomberg said Thursday that Buffett, with 135 million shares of electric-vehicle maker Tesla, the largest private owner of the stock, said the company should consider production in Omaha.
During the meeting, Buffett also made another surprise revelation — that Bill Gates, who holds a 12 percent stake in Berkshire Hathaway, is not his only rival.
The Oracle of Omaha said Walton heirs Christy Walton, Jim and Alice Walton and Alice’s daughter Susie Walton pledged to give 90 percent of their wealth to charity. Buffett said they made “the same decision as my father and I, about 90 years ago.”
Berkshire Hathaway is the world’s largest holding company, but only consists of the billionaire’s stake in companies such as Wells Fargo, American Express and Dairy Queen. He also owns a big stake in Nebraska Furniture Mart.
Last year, Buffett revealed that he no longer has part ownership in the California utility Pacific Gas & Electric Co. that delivers electricity to 22 million people in Northern and Central California. Buffett blamed Pacific Gas & Electric’s CEO, Al Steineman, for the losses at the utility.
“I just thought that there was a rational decision for me to make, and that rational decision was to stay away from Pacific Gas & Electric,” Buffett said. “It’s been a miserable corporation.”