tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg January 30, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm EST
>> from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." >> bill gates and warren buffett are here. thes is the co-chair of bill and melinda gates foundation. the philanthropy focuses on poverty and global health. ofren buffett, the chairman berkshire hathaway, one of the most successful companies over the last five decades. two have famously been friends for more than five years. they started the giving pledge 2010, encouraging the world's richest to donate the majority wealth into charities. berkshire hathaway has since than $24 billion to
charities. i am pleased to have both of them back. to say, in the interest of full disclosure, we just did something like this, at columbia university, with 1,000 students. before.this there is something special about the curiosity and the interest of young people. wanting to know how do they from you, wanting to know if you were starting over, what would you do. about values.w you do a lot of this. >> ha. well, about the friendship, we 1991. july 5, and hit it off immediately. reluctant atttle first, but he got there. >> reluctant to come. mother, wasn't for his we probably wouldn't know each other. we've had a good time ever since. on --cooperated particularly on the giving pledge, but other things as well. and i have to say, it's -- about it has turned out well. >> he sits on your board. >> sits on the berkshire board. and we have a lot of fun talking
about a lot of things. big thing really came out of one of those discussions, really was the pledge. that has worked out so much better than i ever anticipated, charlie. i thought if we got 30, 40 people, you know -- >> how many have you -- at 156 or we're something like that. the people -- and now they've gone beyond the borders which inited states, didn't know would originally happen. people are learning more, our members, about effective -- learning about things that didn't work. about how people handle within their families, wealthy families. muchjust worked out so better than i would have guessed six years ago. >> both of you have made the point that because of success and technology, there are a lot of people with a lot of money who are much younger. >> yeah. it's a great thing that these are doing so well.
as a group, i'd say it's a particularly philanthropic group. didn't give huge gifts until i was 45. are of them, in their 30's, already doing amazing things. >> why? if the word is reluctant, why were you thantant to give earlier that? toi hadn't taken the time understand where the huge payoffs were. and i was pretty maniacal about microsoft. in my late 30's, with some encouragement from my wife, start to study it, talk with her about it. by the we would do it time i was 60. we shouldided accelerate it and we found a lot of ways that we thought we could have high impact. principal sort of mission call was that all lives are equal? >> that's right. lot of that outside the united states has gone to save have kids grow up to
be healthy. >> how did you decide that you'd money to gatesr foundation and create some foundation of your own and go to run itnd people and do whatever you wanted to do? >> my first wife susie and i actually started a foundation over 50 years ago. we talked about it since we were in our 20's. i always thought -- she didn't think i would be. compound her, if i money, i hope to compound money, that will be really large sums on.r you're good at giving it away. i'm good at making it. so i'll make it first, you give away. she thought that was sort of logical.p-out and half >> and probably told you so. >> absolutely. so we did something, like i say, started over 50 years ago. i really thought there would be large sums later on and that she was particularly good at empathizing with people, understanding their needs, putting the personal energy into it, everything. givingld be better at
away money than i would be. she died in 2004, so then i had was going toat i do. so in 2006, i decided that essentially five foundations, the bill and melinda gates foundation being the largest. i was looking for people that had similar goals with as what i had. the idea that every life is of toal value is fundamental me. >> and you knew bill would run it well? >> of course. money up, which is a big deal. but far more than that, you had people, veryger bright, very hard working. they work much harder at this do in this country in their jobs. and they were on the same track i was on. it has -- everything about it made sense. continued to make sense, 10 years later. >> bill, talk about melinda's influence. me, about susie your late wife, i was a mess susie. met
>> i think that's understating. [laughter] >> she changed my life. i was a very lopsided, not well adjusted person who happened to good at one thing. and she put me together. it wasn't overnight either but she just had that little sprinkling can. finally she saw a few sprouts come up. we had very similar values. we were in sync, in a very big way. and she was way more mature than was. she was 19 when we got married. about 12but emotionally. she put me together. like i say, it took time. life. changed my i mean, i would not have been i had.g like the life >> and what did charlie munger add? partner ofmunger, my 57 or 58 years, and he's extremely wise. he's a wonderful friend.
we've been partners in that time. strong-minded. i'm strong-minded. we disagree. sometimes we have never had an that whole sometime and we never will. >> never had an argument? true.olutely >> you must disagree? >> absolutely we disagree. >> if you disagree, how do you to -- >> when we disagree, he says, well, warren, you'll end up agreeing with me, because you're smart, and i'm right. where do i attack that? but -- >> you figure it out, i'm right. >> no. listen, i respect his opinion enormously, whenever he gives it to me. but it's more fun doing things with partners. i mean, the most fun is a marriage partner. and that's the most important relationship. but having a business partner, if i'd done everything i'd done, it wouldn't have worked out this away. it's been more fun doing it with
charlie. >> bill gates? >> well, melinda -- >> melinda. seen it happen. ha ha! >> great when somebody knows, might movehen you too fast or be overoptimistic. know, if a team comes in and i'm pointing out things we haven't done. and, you know, maybe they're not as motivated afterwards. so, you know, they can get me to correct that. i've matured a lot. immenseve melinda credit. she still has work to do, but -- [laughter] think i'm getting there. and complimentary strengths isre you share the same goal a great thing. i have that with paul allen in microsoft.ays of i had that with steve ballmer, going.osoft kept now, both in my family life and the foundation, it's melinda. spend atch time do you microsoft? >> i'm there about 15% of the time.
and i get to work just on the r&d part, brainstorming with people, thinking, okay, how are we going to take this artificial intelligence and help you use your time better. it's a very exciting time in software. there's five companies that are in really strong position. is leading in some really cool stuff. >> like? >> oh, the way that a business information about customers, about communication data,ustomers, looking at usingission of really data and getting the productivity of all those to see more information, microsoft is the leader in that. it's a wonderful niche. a multi-hundred million niche that they're strong in. they will be innovating along that line, more in the next two in our history.
>> you have a passion for artificial intelligence, you do? >> yes. it's the ultimate dream when you start working on software, is deep understanding, intelligence that humans have. of, been the holy grail when can the computer learn to play games? when can the computer learn to read? when can it understand speech? and things like speech and have made such progress in recent years. i mean, you have been tracking exposing your viewers to some of it, because i can't overstate that even for people field, it's a pretty magical time. potential is to do what? change everything? >> well, in the first instance, the best assistant ever, to look at all your information in the fewu know, minutes between meetings, what you should look at, when you're a trip, organize. to be a much, much better today.nt than it is
and then eventually, certain mechanical tasks like warehouse work or driving, that it would take that over. but for intellectual work, it will just magnify the creativity time more value. >> is a principle criteria for you understanding the business? have to understand the business. there are lots of businesses i don't understand. some of them may be almost un-understandable and others are just outside my sphere. >> but you do have people now do have that kind of expertise, that you have brought in? >> i have two people who have different circles of competence. but they are chosen because they circle.ifferent there's a lot of overlap. there's overlap between them. know isrtant thing you not how -- it's nice to have a competence.of it's much more important, though, where the limits are of it. well if you only understand 5% of the businesses in the country. ha ha!
>> and you'll find plenty of opportunities. >> and you know that you've got circle.n that >> you made a huge purchase in 2016. precision was bought in 2016. >> yes. >> $37 billion. $33 billion in cash and the assumption of debt. harder and harder to find an acquisition candidate? >> sure. to move the needle. if we make $1 billion, we're quarter of 1%. ha ha! and that's after tax. ha ha! that's more than a billion and a half, pretax. things.hard to find i would do better percentage if i was working with a much amount of capital. >> how do you find them? >> it's interesting. i get a call. i'll be sitting thinking. i mean, different things. in terms of buying private businesses, it's because i get a from a private seller. just decideally i
to act. ha ha! and we never do anything but in terms of buying whole businesses. >> how has knowing bill changed or enhanced your sense of the way the world works? >> well, i learn from him. i like to learn from friends in of the wayur sense the world works? >> well, i learn from him. i like to learn from all friends. and bill happens to be one of -- a particularly good source. listen, that's the fun of having friends, charlie. i don't think i would -- it me to be ard for friend with anyone that i don't learn something from. get borde bored with me, i'd get bored with them. guy talking about stocks? >> and bill, what do you learn from him? >> an immense amount. he wrote an article for fortune magazine that i read before i him, about that it's not necessarily a good idea to leave to your children.
that was pretty fundamental. i remember reading that. i was convinced that that was right. it meant, wow, now you have to of how to give it away. i also remember warren showing and --calendar >> oh, love that. >> i had every minute packed. i thought that was the only way you could do things. careful that he is so about his -- [laughter] he has days -- >> that there's nothing on. >> absolutely. of 'em.s the best ha ha! >> well, this is october. careful. you might not understand. >> i'm not going to share this. but this is the week of april, which there are only three entries fore a week! >> four maybe by april. ha! >> file taxes! >> not to crowd yourself too toh and give yourself time read and think and -- >> right. time.ntrol your thinking may be
of much higher priority than a who there's all this demand and you feel like and see all these people. it's not a proxy of your seriousness that you filled every minute in your schedule. >> and people are gonna want your time. that's the only thing you can't buy. i buy anything i want, basically. but i can't buy time. >> and so to have time is the most precious thing you can have? >> it is. with it.be careful okay? there's no way i will be able to buy more time. in omaha makes that easier? >> makes it a lot easier. for 50 whatever years now -- well, for four years, i spent five minutes going each way. was aust imagine if that half hour each way. i would know the words to a lot more songs and that's about it. adds up, doesn't it? >> it really adds up. no. if you're doing an hour a day
have tond that you allocate it in a fair way. yeah, that basic framework, we the same.uch >> do both of you believe we can rate?e a 4% growth >> that's pretty high. but -- theust like 2016, i think, last -- it was like 1.6 or something? >> charlie, a 2% growth rate, if have a little less than 1% population growth, which we will, in one generation, 25 years -- now people have kids later -- will 19,000 per capita, family of four, 76,000, to real g.d.p. there will be -- for a foul of four, on average, there would stuff per family of four in one generation. i mean, we are going to have more -- the golden goose is going to keep laying more golden eggs. a wonderful system. >> but there are certain things that could get in the way of that. >> 2%? >> you'd do 2%?
>> and 2% will produce miracles. 3% is probably possible, isn't it? >> it could be. but that's -- that would be fabulous. and -- but 2% will produce. capita, that's greater than the existing -- than exists in a whole lot of countries. that will be added. the question is, what will we do with it? >> how do you see the future of china? >> well, they've done a great job on some things. democracy, so it hangs in the balance of how their political system will evolve. of raising incomes, getting rid of poverty, improving health, it's an unbelievable miracle that in their ownced, special way, the market since really 1990. well.e done very so they're the second biggest economy in the world. about trade.us they're serious about clean energy. they are super important. most important relationship in the world is the u.s.-china
relationship. >> clearly, because of the two biggest economic powers in the world. >> right. they're rising. and we're strong and we're going to stay very strong. >> yes. what could make us not stay strong? >> there's a lot of strength built up over decades, the way we do research, our thatrsities, the way people take risks and that's why aretechnology companies still so strong. companies are still so strong. so the education system is one to go back and look at. one huge and that is source of inequity, because if education,reat actually, the outcomes are pretty good. >> your experience has told you it's much harder than even you imagine? u.s. educatione
system. yes, the dropout rate has gone down a bit. so that is great. but the overall reading scores, and the inequality hasn't budged much in the last 10 years. the goals of our foundation is to, working with that.rs, change and so far, it's proven to be one of the tougher ones. believe that it's super important and it's promising, if individual schools. we see great things. so we still believe it's achievable. talk about immigration, are we still looking at a situation where brighteste best and from overseas come here, get an education, and then go back to or whereverna rather than staying here? >> well, a lot do stay. important import the u.s. has ever had, by far, is human talent. it's been to our benefit that a hardest-working, best
and brightest from almost every wanted in the world have to come to the u.s. at universitylook departments, or, you know, doctors, engineers, people up companies, building jobs, it's been a huge strength of ours. we've -- we haven't always made it super easy for that to work. worked very, very well. so the number going back, it's meaningful. but net, we are still a huge beneficiary of human talent. used to be said, we ought everyple a green card to diploma. >> i believe that. is that a bias, because i'm from the tech industry where we can create multiple jobs around the engineer? instead of having to do that outside the united states. yes. believe that keeping talent in the country is a great thing. >> tell us the story, because you told me the story, and i
didn't -- you think the second important document in america's history, after the independence, or perhaps the u.s. constitution or letter.u know, is this >> the letter written by two immigrants. and it doesn't sound like much. of 1939, just before germany moved into zolard, whose name is not well-known, born in germany.but he went to and he worked in germany with albert einstein. 1933, i believe both of them left germany. and where do they come? come to the united states. and they become united states citizens. and they cosign a letter to president roosevelt. thing to gete einstein to sign it, because he carried more weight. that letter you can see on the
internet, not even a full page, says germany is going to -- i'm really paraphrasing -- but germany is going to get a atom may work and that we better get to work on one. and the manhattan project came that. and who knows what would have war ii? in world a, if hitler hadn't been so anti-semitic basically. great scientists and everything. twosecondly, if those hadn't chosen to emigrate to the united states. the united states had welcomed them. saved thisy have country. they may have saved this country. >> so that germany did not get did?d we >> and all those v1's and v2's it's another warhead from the standpoint of the germans. charted three years later -- who knows what would have happened? remarkable men. were both immigrants.
>> you sent me a note a month ago, and you basically said i'm not worried about the american economy. what i worry about is that somehow, some way we'll make a of the in terms employment of nuclear weapons or some bad character will buy them steal them, and -- >> weapons of mass destruction there. and the knowledge -- >> maybe it's a therapeutic -- >> it's a tiny, tiny probability, any given day. but there are people who wish to who-- there are people would like to kill millions of americans. psychotics,some religious fanatics. a certaine world has number of them, and if they get in the wrong position and they have the knowledge and ability, who would likee to kill millions of americans. and the weapons are there to do it. einstein said shortly after the launch of what was then called bomb, i know not with weapons world war iii will but world war iv will
be fought with sticks and stones. the one job is, to the extent fromble, protect us weapons of mass destruction. they can exist with individuals but you don't worry too much about that. the intent. with organizations and maybe even with a couple of nations, only real cloud on america, over time. we'll solve the economic problems. but that's number one. >> you agree? >> i agree. and it's not just nuclear weapons. >> no. >> the bioterrorism piece is daunting. >> what's the bioterrorism piece? in an extreme case, somebody would reconstruct, say, have thatx virus and spread. and it would not only kill millions, it could potentially
kill bills. op ed piece in the new york times -- i checked with bill, because i don't stuff wellthis enough. he said, yeah, it makes sense, in terms of being feasible. about basically reconstituting small pox. there are people in the world, probablyanizations, are organizations, that would love the idea of creating a small pox epidemic. do you prevent them from doing that? to have you want surveillance to catch it as soon as you can. have medical tools vaccineu can create a and protect people. science is working on the of this at the same time it's making the offense slightly easier. so if we're vigilant, there's a lot of steps we can make to make the risk lower, just like to materials,ess
meaningfully reduces the chance a nuclear weapon. >> there's some who argue that war will not be a nuclear war or it may perhaps be even bioterrorism. it will be a cyber war. third area. and i -- you know, i personally think there's only the three. not much comfort. yes. society depends on electricity and communications information flow. and if you can, for a substantial period of time, that, then a lot of systems, including how a hospital organizes itself or how food gets moved around -- >> financial institutions. yeah, an airline decides what to do, or bank accounts. you know, what was that bank account supposed to be? of experts in
government and companies now are spending time thinking about, okay, how do you minimize that? how do you have -- how do you have duplicates, backups? a lot of sophistication going into that. charlie: can the united states risk a trade war with china or mexico? it's not a good idea. trade benefits -- the problem of benefits are the andsed -- diffused invisible. you don't walk in and buy a pair of shoes and you just saved 12% because this was purchased someplace. 320 million people are buying things cheaper than they would otherwise. effects, taking
somebody out of a job they've had for 25 years when it's too late to retrain them or anything -- they are very specific and terrible. what you want to figure out is a way to keep the societal benefits and take care of the -- they arereally the roadkill, basically, in this. and there will be roadkill. there's no sense getting yourself. we start with the textile mill at berkshire. 1/2 hour workers only spoke portuguese. they work in hot, loud conditions. they spend 20 or 25 years on looms. when textiles moved elsewhere, their economic lives were ruined. that's going to happen. that is part of trade. and the benefits, you know, somebody buys whatever textiles we were turning out, handkerchiefs, anything, they may buy them a little cheaper. we've got to keep the trade benefits for everybody, us and them, as a society.
it penalizes certain people terribly. we have to take care of the people who are getting hurt, because we have the resources to do it. charlie: "take care" means? warren: you have to have retraining and all that when that's feasible, but it is infeasible when you only speak portuguese and you are in new bedford and you are 55 years old and you have spent your whole life on a loom. we can do it as a society. we don't want to let the individual case prejudiced against trade benefits for everybody. but we also don't want to say because everybody benefits, to -- with this guy. that's how we get a good trade policy. charlie: did you appreciate, bill, the economic insecurity that was out there that donald trump was able to tap into politically? bill: no. i'm not an expert on political attiment, so i was no better seeing those trends than other people. charlie: or with brexit?
bill: again, i was surprised by the brexit vote. charlie: and the notion of the populist uprising taking place, in the sense of feeding off of that? bill: well, there's no doubt that younger people and urban people, in terms of their social being seen to benefit relatively more from the new technology and things that are out there -- there is somewhat of a divide there. the fact that that would lead to these political results is a bit of a wake-up call. in terms of economic and social y improving we bu medicine, improving the education system? by we take -- can we, improving medicine, improving the education system, engage in of blood -- engage and uplift
their views for the future? to me, the greatest surprise of all was and how people voted, but, this general question when you say, will your children be better off than you? i believe they will, but the fact that they don't feel that way, that the improvements in health, the new products that will be available to them -- charlie: and what technology enables them to do. bill: that is a concern. because the people don't see the arrow of time pointing towards greater things. it's a doubling down on more research, taking the best education, getting that spread around. it creates a sense of malaise, where you don't have the guidance. some things are working. let's do more of those things.
charlie: can america lose -- if you look at the day -- we have the best military, best economy, best university. do we have the best talent and the best spirit of innovation and creativity? could we lose that? warren: i don't think we will. i think the odds of losing that are very -- charlie: this is what you call "the special sauce." warren: we've got the special sauce and we've still got the
special sauce. if the rest of the world learns from that special sauce, then it's not a zero-sum game, that is terrific. it won't deprive us. aggregate, our society will be far richer 10, 20, 30 years ago, if you just take in aggregate, our children will live better. will he continue to leave lots of people behind? -- the question is, will it continue to leave lots of people behind? if somebody is, however you want to measure it, 10% below average, their opportunities in this world today have not improved at all from 30 or 40 years ago. is, yousic situation take the forbes 400 in 1982. number one guy was -- they had $2 billion.
now it would be 30 or 40 times that. 30 or 40 times. and this more highly specialized economy, year after year, different from that agrarian economy of 200 years ago, it's going to be more and more people at the very top winning big time, and it really won't do, absent certain types of programs, it won't do much for the person that doesn't have any special skills for the market. slightlyge person or below average person in terms of particularly market talents is not going to do very well unless we have policy to make sure that they participate in some way, and the guys at the top are going to keep doing better. it has to be government. the market system is this traffic cop. it don't ask resources -- it directs resources. it also directs all of the winnings. it will continue -- continuously
favor more people at the top. government came in with social security and government redirects the winnings so it isn't totally the market system that directs the winnings. i don't want to kill the market system in terms of producing. we want more and more stuff. but there will be more and more people falling further relatively behind, and that's not a good result. we can do better. charlie: i'm sure you saw this. there was a report i think last week that suggested it took eight billionaires, and basically said they have more wealth than the bottom half of the population in the world. warren: in this country, if you took the forbes 400, they have $2.3 trillion now, 25 times as ago.as 35 years believe me, that does not strike somebody that's working 40 hours a week and trying to support a couple kids on it --
charlie: and their income has remained the same -- warren: they just aren't participating. charlie: they are threatened by forces they can't -- warren: the market system pays more and more -- just think. say you are a middleweight boxer. in the 1930's, you were limited -- you would not even get on the undercard at matt is going -- at madison square garden. then comes cable-television and pay-per-view and millions of dollars. at the top, it's terrific. if you are the 45th best middleweight in the country, it's pretty much the same. the spread gets wider. frank sinatra is a lot better off with television. it's magnified. if you've got a good business idea, you can get it capitalized and become worth billions just on the idea. it's just tougher. 1800, and ifack to
you are reasonably strong and willing to work hard, you were worth 90% as much on a farm as the very best guy. the differential -- it will keep widening. the market system will push it in that direction. government is there -- charlie: what would you change? warren: i would change the earned income tax credit big time. i am where i am not by myself at all. there are 320 million americans out there. just -- i benefit enormously by having come along when and where i came along, and some people did and some people didn't. there's nothing wrong with a market system that rewards anybody who makes -quite -- who makes life better for people, but you have to take care of the people who don't fit well into that particular niche. if this country paid off based on athletic ability, i could study eight hours a day and have
all these -- i'm still going to get in the ring and, 10 seconds later, i'm on my back. rewarded inthat get the market system are important because they bring us more of the goods and services that the country wants and they make all kinds of improvements in how we live. just incredible. but they leave people behind, and it won't be solved simple by education. charlie: is it the responsibility of government to do something? warren: sure it is. bill: but the government -- you businesso has to keep in shape that it has the incentive to do things right. striking that balance, you know, should be at the heart of political dialogue. warren: you need more golden eggs. you have the ferrous island of the world. two guys deciding how they should divide up a palm tree. so, beyond national
security issues, when you -- what do we have to be careful of in the future? when we talk about it, some people believe that artificial intelligence offers some kind of risk. and you've spoken to that, that it could get out of control. you spoken to that and other people have. what's around the corner that will both benefit us, artificial intelligence is clearly one of those things, too, but also offers a scary world, whether it is gene editing or that kind of -- you think of these things? bill: gene editing is a good one, where the promise of helping with disease, making plants that are more prophetic -- productive -- gene editing is playing with the software of life. to yet deciding exactly how
be used -- if you could make sure your child was thin or attracticve or had certain other characteristics, is that an appropriate use of the technology? so, society -- charlie: who's going to answer that question? warren: i will volunteer for the beta testing on that one. [laughter] charlie: seriously, who will decide that? is there a balance between freedom and security? even in terms of getting inside of a phone in which a terrorist might have left future possible terrorist acts? bill: that's another one where, you know, making sure the government isn't completely --ind to what goes on completely blind to what goes on, financial transactions, communications, because you trust the
appropriate policy for when and how government ability to see information is used. that's another one where there will be a big debate about, you know, some extremists might say government shouldn't really see anything. others would say government should see everything. i think there's the potential for the best of both worlds approach. charlie: it is appropriate procedure -- bill: we have had procedures. some people feel that, even so, some things went on, so there are voices out there that would tend towards the, "hey, let's ot let government see things." that's another political question. how much do we do gene editing? we need politicians who really .raw in great opinions running the health-care care system and deciding when people are inventing superexpensive treatments. should health care demand so much of the economy that
investing in education and social services and those things -- that will be another huge debated int will be the political arena. charlie: who has health care right? who's got health care right in your judgment? bill: the european countries -- charlie: scandinavian court -- scandinavian or? bill: u.k. spends about one/two -- 1/2 as much as a percentage of gdp as the united states. it's hard to express what a mammoth difference that is. you're talking about almost 9% of gdp difference. that is 1 out of 11 people who go to work every day are the care activity here in the united states. so, i'm not saying we should wholesale it off of their system, which is a single-payer system."
there are other really good systems that are not single-payer. germany, switzerland, france -- they do quite well. it's one of the few things, access to medical care is one of the few things that we actually do quite a bit worse than other rich countries. there's some like education -- a lot of rich countries don't do a very good job. on this one is where we are sort of uniquely bad. charlie: health care and education we don't do as well as other industrialized nations? bill: most rich countries don't do that well on education. there are pieces like universities, where we are the best in the world by a lot. that one, we are more middle of ourpack, in terms of achievement. in health care access, you would have to say we look particularly bad. charlie: is there a ticking clock on global warming? bill: yes. fortunately, it's not overnight. impactsly bi, negative -- big negative impacts are in
the 30-year to 70-year timeframe, although it has already increased the chance of drought and storms. and we are seeing that. charlie: you can see a direct causation there? bill: yes. the heating effect is already there. overlaid with that is the pacific oscillation and normal weather things. so, exactly how much of it is the heating signal versus those other things, you can get reasonable disagreement. but there's no doubt that that's there, that global average temperature is rising and that droughts, particularly in places like the middle east or parts of 're already seeing some of that. as you go out in time, it gets a lot worse. changing the energy system, which has a long lead time of invention and deployment, i feel this is one of the most urgent problems. charlie: and is the urgent
answer finding alternative sources of energy? threefinding that magic characteristics, reliable, clean, and low-cost. there are many paths to get there. so, we have to encourage lots of innovators, trying different things. if you could take sun and turn it directly into gasoline, that would be an approach, because that can be scored -- stored 24 hours a day and you can move it around very well. there are approaches that involved taking nuclear to a new level of safety and lower level of cost, so that that would be a key part of the system. we need to fund a lot of innovative ideas, both governments and private sector. charlie: is your life today more intellectually challenging than when you were running microsoft? bill: that's hard to compare. i'm on a steep learning curve in both cases. love the fact that i get to
meet great people. i get to see things work, see things that fail. for this stage of my life, i'm in a perfect position. i couldn't be happier. charlie: because you have an influence on microsoft -- bill: i enjoy going over and sharing my thoughts. i get to keep up-to-date a little bit. and we are using some of those digital enablement things, like to get cheap financial services to poor people all over the world were to look at medical data. -- world or to look at medical data. staying up-to-date on the digital piece helps me do my foundation work. charlie: the average person today lives better than john d rockefeller did when he was alive. bill: that is true. charlie: lives better. warren: you live better. in terms of your entertainment choices, your travel choices -- you could not buy them. that's in one lifetime. it's amazing.
charlie: what brings you the most satisfaction? beyond family? my greatest satisfaction is just staying in good health. when you are 86, you look at this a little differently. [laughter] charlie: you are in good health? warren: oh, yeah. i enjoy every day. charlie: what is it that you enjoy? warren: i enjoy running berkshire, if you get right down into my psyche. charlie: that's what i want to know. warren: it's been my painting for some 50 years. i get to paint what i want. i don't have to follow what wall street is telling me to do in that quarter or something. i own the brush and the campus. the campus is unlimited. it's a pretty nice game -- and the canvas. the canvas is unlimited. it's a pretty nice game. i don't have to associate with anyone who causes my stomach to churn. if i were in politics, i would
have to smile at a lot of people i want to hit. i've got a good deal. i'm hanging onto it. charlie: i often repeated the story. "i spent too much of my life worrying about what people thought of me, then i only care about what i think of them." warren: my business -- i'm lucky that way. business is so much easier than philanthropy. philanthropy may be a lot more important, but in business you are looking for easy choices, people that you like to associate with. you're -- to an extent, i can create the world around me. charlie:charlie: if somebody walks in the door and they want you to buy their company and you saw it as a golden -- warren: golden goose run by a -- i would say no. charlie: even though you knew -- warren: charlie, marrying for money is probably a bad idea under any circumstances, but if you are already rich, it does not make any sense at all.
[laughter] satisfaction -- what's the metric of satisfaction? warren: doing a decent job of running a place that gets harder to do because of the size over time, but it's working with a whole lot of people on interesting -- it's like gene mccarthy said about being a football coach. it's just difficult enough to make it interesting, but it really isn't that hard. [laughter] peoplea way of getting -- charlie: what brings you the greatest satisfaction? bill: i think learning things and making breakthroughs. after all the great family stuff, that is a lot of fun. every once in a while, it's something -- if something really makes sense and you can teach people about it, share and insight, i think -- share an insight, i think that's also very gratifying.
when i sit down with melinda to write the annual letter, ok, what can i share this releases think that might be helpful -- that is release the succinct that might be helpful to people? between my learning and being able to share where i see, oh, this is really simpler than i thought it was, that gives me great satisfaction. warren: now at 86, i've seen a lot of people that have gotten older, and i've never seen anybody that is 70 who felt good about their children that felt bad about their life. charlie: you've never seen anybody who felt good about their children that also felt bad about their life. warren: and i've seen plenty of people with lots of money where it hasn't worked out well in the family. charlie: who didn't feel good about their children. warren: or the children didn't feel good about them. whichever way. at the most
important teaching job they had in personal relationship. sometimes it happens for extraneous reasons. but i really have never met anybody, regardless of their economic circumstances, who felt their life was a failure, felt -- charlie: if their children had become -- their children were doing well. warren: they brought them into the world. charlie: and they felt like they had equipped them said -- equipped them for the future. -- thank, very much you very much. on hbo on january 30, there is a film called "becoming warren buffett," in which you will see a remarkable sense of the evolution of the human being and surrounded by family, but also the lessons and the experiences that 86 years have given him. see you next time. ♪
>> the asia-pacific is falling. wall street down after u.s. stocks fell. gold is on the advance. the catalyst, president donald trump and his controversial travel ban. some of the americans being detained say they oppose his stance. >> elsewhere, a horror show at sony pictures. the studio may take a $1 billion charge. under pressuren from the fed. we will go live to tokyo in just a few minutes.