tv Countdown to the Closing Bell With Liz Claman FOX Business February 4, 2015 3:00pm-4:01pm EST
liz claman is sitting down with the man many people will pay millions for just the chance to hear his thoughts. and you liz are getting him exclusively for 60 minutes for free! "countdown" with warren buffett and liz claman starts right now. >> thank you very much, melissa, live at the nebraska furniture mart in the heart of omaha. and, yes, the man widely known as the most successful investor in history here in america is joining me. what about low oil? what about the strong dollar? what about the $107 billion stock portfolio he runs with names like coca-cola and amex and da vita health care. you need to hear about terrorism to the federal reserve to what's going on in europe? it may make you money, indeed. he's hear with us and you live, warren's way, let's start the "countdown."
. >> 50 years as what started as the distressed textile company and multiholding company with some 80 businesses from dairy queen to diamonds, insurance to investments like safety to furniture all run by warren buffett, a kid from omaha, nebraska whose first job was working in family's modest grocery store. in a fox business exclusive, warren buffett is here with me for his first interview of his 50th year as the founder. live at a business he and berkshire bought in 1983, on a handshake with founder rose blunken who began by selling furniture in her basement with a couple thousand dollars. some of the furniture was her own. the nebraska furniture mart one of the largest free standing furniture stores in the world
will outdo itself with a brand-new mega store that will redefine the term big box. you are looking at exclusive video shot for fox business. this is the brand-new dallas-ft. worth store, and perhaps this will put a finer point where warren buffett sees the recovery. in this hour, where is he placing next bets? why in the housing market, did he commit 400 million dollars to a play on the housing market? has oil hit a bottom. the fed, and does he think they'll tighten rates? when. plus terrorism with, his massive insurance portfolio, what will he underwrite and what won't he touch? here we are with warren buffett, 50th year of running a company. $10,000 invested back then would equal 170+ million dollars. >> something like that. >> you did a lot for yourself. >> it's working out okay. >> when you were starting back then, you were literally going
door-to-door, asking friends and family for money. >> i started the partnership in 1956, that was $105,000 from primarily the family, my roommate from college was there, too. >> they took a bet you on? >> i'm not sure why. i stopped at woolworth's and bought a ledger for 98 cents and we had dinner and entered contributions and went over the ground rules and went from there. >> aunt katie, you had to hit up family. how much did aunt katie give you? >> i think aunt katie probably gave me, it was in a couple different installments over time. maybe $20,000 or something. >> when she died, may she rest her soul, what was that worth? >> i think probably may have been worth a couple hundred million. i'm not sure. >> couple hundred million. a nice return. >> she never moved from the
house she bought in 1927. >> she got to fly private. >> but it didn't change much. >> running a publicly traded company, when you took that plunge. one of our first meetings, this shows viewers the contrast. it was held in a cafeteria back in the day. >> yeah, at first we held a meeting back in new bedford because we were a massachusetts corporation, and then we reincorporated in delaware and could move the meetings there and had a lunchroom at national indemnity. >> did anybody show up? >> at max, maybe 12. and aunt katie would come and uncle fred. and there was usually one other outside shareholder. 10 or 12 people there, and we had coffee machines so we could charge for anything they chose. >> you were always chosing. >> we started early. >> fast-forward to today, you have the massive meeting with
35,000+ people. a huge media crush, i leave with bruises because there are so many people elbowing me. how long does the meeting continue, warren? >> listen, we're having fun, charlie my partner, he's only 91, he's good for a couple years. we would do it if nobody came, we have so much fun. this year we'll go past 40,000. >> past 40,000? >> i think so. >> that's a new prediction, what else is new about this? you and charlie will have separate letters about the next 50 years of berkshire. >> they're done now, we've each written about the past 50 years as well as the next 50 years, and didn't change a word in terms of what the other guy said. as a matter of fact, charlie hasn't seen mine, he doesn't care what i say. i've looked at his, we're not changing anything, and shareholders will get his view and they'll get my view. >> what else will be different about this meeting?
>> we're going to have the exhibition hall where our goods are displayed and sold, i might add. we're going to have that open friday as well as saturday. that will increase the time people can spend there and won't have to leave the meeting to spend money with us. >> that will increase the time and the money they spend. we've got more ceo's coming this year based on what they told me so far. >> how many, do you know? >> quite a few. i'm not sure i want to advertise their names, they have told me they're coming. >> new ceo's unrelated to berkshire hathaway? >> yeah, maybe of the companies we invest in. >> possibly. as you look at portfolio people can get a sense what that is. we are here at the nebraska furniture mart. you are making a huge prediction on housing. it will have 1.3 million square feet. we got the exclusive video shot, it's about to open. how much in annual sales will
the new nebraska furniture mart in fort worth dallas do? >> they don't want me to say this number, i will say it. i believe the store will do over a billion dollars. >> over a billion dollars? >> i do. the management does not want me to say that, but i really think it will. we do about -- this is the largest home furnishing store in the united states, and we're in the 50th or so largest market and we do 450 to 475 million here. we do 20 million in the week of the berkshire meeting. so we can do a lot of business. and i think it's going to be very big. >> right, i was hearing 600 million. you are saying a billion. >> the official forecast is 600. by the time of the annual meeting, i think i'll have a pretty good idea. if i'm right, you'll hear. >> let me see if you're right on mortgage rates and the federal reserve.
warren, mortgage rates are historically low. do you have berkshire hathaway home services. what kind of loans are you writing right now? >> well, we write just the standard loans of any real estate brokerage firm. we have the franchise operation we bought from prudential and we're renaming berkshire hathaway and have a bunch of realtors that we own. we're the second largest brokerage firm, and every day we're writing, and we offer people with a wide variety of mortgage. most qualify for freddie ornnie. we give them a lot of choices. >> do you think that the mortgage process and the mortgage regulations post crisis are too stringent right now? >> well, in some cases that's probably true. the mortgage servicers got burned so badly by the lookbacks that were taken. >> listen, i ask, i had trouble getting a refi and so did ben
bernanke. >> i read about bernanke. i didn't read about you, liz. >> i tried to keep it quiet. >> if you don't fit certain boxes to check, you probably have more problems, but mortgages are a -- buying a house -- i'm not saying this because we have real estate brokerage firms, it's not relative to berkshire. when can you borrow money at under 4%, you keep it for 30 years and if rates go lower, you refi and call it off after 30 minutes. it's a wonderful deal. >> before we go to break, do you think rates will be tightened by the federal reserve? >> i think it's going to be very tough to raise rates when you've got what's going on around the world. if europe has them at zero and
have you rates higher in the united states, that would exacerbate problem with the stronger dollar and funds flow. i think they've got a very tough -- tough for them to raise rates. >> is your bet that they won't raise rates. >> i don't bet on that particularly, but if you ask me whether -- i think if i were running the fed, i would be able to do it, i don't think it would be feasible to do. it would have a lot of international repercussions. >> speaking of international, that's what we want to hit next. oil slippery slide, investments in energy, what are his predictions on the price of oil? does he think keystone will be a reality? and the state of the world from russia to the middle east, what are his huge insurance holdings doing with terror attacks and cyberhacking policies? and later with coca-cola struggling, i'll ask will he ever sell any of the 400 million shares he owns?
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. >> reporter: i'm adam shapiro on the floor of the new york stock exchange. the dow is enjoying a good rise, 5 points in the up direction. nasdaq is positive for the year. the wonderful world of disney never looked so good. all-time high, $101.94. up 8% since the start of trading on incredible earnings we got yesterday. revenue up 9% in the last quarter, 13.3 billion dollars a lot attributed to the movie "frozen" and holiday toys attributed to "frozen." abc cable, espn and arts and entertainment up 11%. you think they don't have anything left at disney? "star wars" later this year. now back to liz claman and exclusive interview with warren buffett you can only see on the fox business network.
liz: and thank you. back now with warren buffett here at the nebraska furniture mart in omaha, nebraska. first interview of the 50th year, you met walt disney, he didn't know who the heck you were. you called and asked for a meeting. >> that was 40 years ago, i wasn't scheduled to meet with walt, i was scheduled to meet the treasurer. >> to buy stock? we own it. the whole company was selling with no debt. the pirates ride was about to be introduced, that was going to be 17 million. here was a stock selling less than rides. walt came in and said would you like to have lunch with me. he couldn't have been nicer, great experience. liz: the management today, would he be proud of bob augher? >> he is really, really good, and a great guy on top of that. liz: why don't you own a stock now? >> i made a terrible mistake!
[ laughter ]. >> we owned a chunk of abc, and merged with this, and kept the disney stock for a while and sold it, that was before augher took over. we probably shouldn't have sold cap abc, that is the home run asset of all time. liz: you dummy! what were you thinking? >> you're being kind! [ laughter ]. liz: you were just saying before we went to break that if you were running the fed, it would be awfully difficult, you couldn't see hiking rates in 2015. right off the bat, i want to ask you, janet yellen, has she created, unintentionally any bubble that you see? >> no. liz: no bond bubble? >> well, no, the last asset i want to buy is a 30-year government bond, but that's a byproduct of other policies which make sense. liz: how about a 10-year? >> i don't want a 10-day bond.
[ laughter ] >> there's a good chance, who knows what the probability is, but a 30-year bond, you know, with a 2.5% coupon, that bond could sell at 60 very easily sometime in the not-too-distant future. who knows? but what europe is doing is to some extent, i think, putting in a little box in terms of raising rates. >> that does bring us to a very strong dollar, have you made any currency bets as it pertains to europe?,
. >> no, it does a lot of business already, keystone might affect it in a marginal way, that's a very good business. liz: do you think keystone becomes operational and is passed? >> i continuing should. liz: it goes through nebraska. >> and it disturbs a lot of people in nebraska and, you know, i can understand it. if you had a farm, you don't want it going through. that's always a problem with
pipelines. nobody is going to -- there's a lot of the not in my backyard problem, but i think by and large, keystone should be done. liz: let's get to how oil is affecting russia and that's an international picture. putin, dangerous? more dangerous as he is pushed further into the sanction corner? >> he's got a lot tougher economic problems than a couple years ago. apparently he's very popular and who knows how the russian people react to it, but the economic hand has been hurt obviously. liz: then things are cheap there. do you see bargains in russia? are you looking? >> no, the answer is, we do some business in russia, but we want some foreign securities, and we'd like to buy more businesses around the world, we're probably going to buy a small business in europe, but i'd love to buy big ones. liz: the small business, i'm not going to ask you, i know you wouldn't tell me. is it in western europe?
>> yeah, that's as far as we'll go. liz: okay, there's news, you're going to buy a business in europe. that's the first. you own an israeli business. >> yeah. we own israeli business, and we have a lot of subsidiary operations there, and we have a -- the oldest reassurance company in the world formerly called cologne is now generate. liz: we know it well. there is so much going on, the terror, i need to quickly get this on how and you insurance companies are underwriting terror for businesses that now want to protect themselves? >> it's pretty hard to do, because you don't know what limits you need something like that. you don't know whether somebody can do billions of dollars worth of damage to you or tens of millions. liz: have they come to your desk or anybody's desk? >> we have not written any -- there may be something i don't know about. but basically we have not been
in the cyberinsurance business. i don't know how to write the policy. i don't know how to evaluate them. liz: lloyds of london is writing a lot of cyberhacking policies? >> i guess, but the limits aren't big. i don't know that, but i guess that. liz: when we come back, and the closing bell is ringing in about 39 minutes. he's got the trains, burlington, northern, and planes, not jets, and automobiles. the number five auto dealership and one billion dollar investment in gm, what is buffett seeing in the auto industry? and one of his best acquisitions ever, car insurance geico in the land of uber and self-driving cars? how does geico win? plus a surprise guest. a rare interview, 50 years at berkshire, warren's way. got a surprise for him in just a minute. live from omaha.
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liz: during the 50 years of running berkshire hathaway, warren buffett amassed a stock portfolio worth $8 billion today. warren's way is to buy companies or shares in companies that are number one or two in business, great management, and the trade at discount. that means jumping in when skies are darker. you always made this quarterback analogy to me. >> there's knol nothing like having the right quarterback in there. i just sit on the sidelines. i mean, i'm not there to run the ball or anything
of the sort of thing sort. in baseball, just swing. if they have the style and record, put them in there and take bows for them. >> would you take a bigger chance on a quarterback company that's hurt? >> sometimes you have a chance to buy something very cheap because of that. happened with geico when jack burn came in. the company was in a lot of trouble in the '70s. a great quarterback came in, jack, and it was one of the first good things that happened to us. when i was 20 years old, i went down to geico. it wasn't called geico then. and a wonderful man named davidson gave me an education and insurance more valuable than anything i learned in college. >> we have the man who
owns it now. tony. in a rare interview, very rare interview, tony, the chairman and ceo of geico. you got in front of the camera. thank you so much. do you remember when you first met warren buffett, tony? oh, i do, yes. as you know, warren has been associated with the company for a long time, as have i. i learned a lot from jack burn, but i've been associated with warren for a lot longer and learned so much more from warren. >> i didn't know tony was coming on. but i will tell you this, no one has done more for berkshire hathaway than tony. he's every ceo's dream. he's the ceo of geico. you don't have to worry about anything with tony in charge. liz: at the last shareholder meeting, you said the insurance
company shot out the lights basically. that's how well geico did printing money. tony, you look at how warren has managed all this. i'm wondering right off the bat, aren't you mad at him that he said you're too old to run berkshire hathaway. >> i never said that. >> i have the best job in america. warren says he does, but i think i have the best job in america. and i'm quite happy at geico. two things happened to me in my career that i'll never forget. one was in april of 1993 when warren and a number of the board called me into a meeting and said, tony, you're going to be our next ceo. i was scared to death and didn't think i'd be up to the job. two years, later, warren called and said, tony i'd like to buy all the rest of geico that berkshire doesn't already own. that's the best thing that ever happened to me
and geico. and it has given us the opportunity to do some things that i never dreamed possible. >> well, geico is my first love. and i couldn't have anybody -- you care a lot about your first love. and you're the guy i want to have with my first love, that is for sure. liz: warren, the business, and tony knows this, the business is changing. you guys changed a lot of the business with the nutty commercials. you had the super bowl commercials. you have a lot of people buying online and a lot of people are running far from this one where you were playing axl rose. tony, you must have thought warren was nuts when he did that commercial. >> he put me up to it. >> well, he's our greatest cheerleader. everyone at geico knows him and loves him because he's our greatest cheerleader at
geico. he's been to our major offices. >> he absolutely adores the business. it throws off a lot of cash. as this business changes, we know that we have driverless businesses coming. we know that the uber world, lyft world is here now, are you insuring uber drivers today? >> we have been licensed with our new product. we hope to roll it out to more states. but we want to insure uber drivers. we think we have the right policy to protect them well. we're license north dakota maryland and in maryland and virginia and hope to be licensed soon. >> with tony in charge, i don't worry about anything. liz: are you worried about driverless vehicles. with fewer accidents, will that hurt geico's
business. >> that will bring down the cost of insurance and that will be good for hundreds of millions of americans. >> yes, it will drive down frequency, but it will happen gradually. >> yeah, i agree with tony. i think it will be slower for a number of reasons. but anything that makes cars safer, driving safer, we're for. liz: you're for. tony, we so appreciate you getting in front of the camera. we appreciate it. we hope to see you at the annual shareholder meeting. warren says there will be live steers walking down the street. >> i don't doubt it. >> well, geico will insure him too. we have a special rate for steers. [laughter] liz: thanks so much, tony. >> you bet. thank you. liz: tony nicely of geico. wow. >> i'd like to know how
you got him. i've never seen him get in front of the camera. he doesn't want to take any credit for anything. he deserves incredible credit. liz: that's the kind of manager you really like. you and charlie, you don't take well to activists, but if an activist came to you and said spin off the insurance company it's worth so much more. what would you say to that activist? >> i would say, you're free to propose it at the annual meeting and you'll lose. i'm writing something about spin-offs in the annual report this year. liz: absolutely. no way. this famous picture of you and charlie. i don't know who took that picture. but you almost channeled each other. >> we were walking down the street in savannah, georgia. >> walking the same. glasses are the same. >> we were probably thinking the same thoughts too. >> that's how you made this the third most
valuable company in america. coca-cola, you still consume it every day. right? >> five, 12-ounce servings. will the largest shareholder of coke sell any of his 16000000000.9% stake. why warren buffett spent half a billion dollars on glow sticks and rainbow hats. what does he wish he hadn't bought. what does he wish he hadn't bought? it's warren's way. a fox business exclusive continues.
>> i'm adam shapiro on the floor of the new york stock exchange. the dow pulled back 109 points. now at 75 points. this happening during the interview with liz claman when warren buffett said it would be tough for the fed to raise interest rates. walt disney company accounting for 48 points on the upside of the dow. now back to liz claman and her exclusive interview with warren buffett on the fox business network. liz: so, of course, he owns 107 billion dollars' worth of stock. i wanted to ask you about one name. moody's. you still own a big chunk of moo moody's. warren: that's true. liz: i have to say why. when you look at these companies, s&p just settled from the crisis era situation. you know moody's might be next. why are you still
holding on to moody's. warren: it's a fantastic business. so is s&p incidentally. they're paying a big fine. but s&p is a wonderful business. it takes no capital. it has pricing flexibility. you know, i can't -- if i sell a bond issue, i'll sell one in another month or something like that. i need a moody's rating and standard & poor's rating. >> so you won't sell your moody's stake. warren: haven't for a long time. liz: your biggest stake is coca-cola. warren: wells fargo is the biggest. liz: right. but warren it's losing its important connection with its customer versus the product. it's struggling. i mean, i stopped drinking diet coke, and i hear a lot of people saying, i'm trying not to do that anymore. you may drink it every day. are you worried they've lost their way a little bit. they're rolling out
fancy milk and stuff like that. warren: 1.8 dlon servings of coca-cola sold today. it's gone up every year since 1876. that's true. there's more publicity about it than in this country. i do not worry about it. i'm 80 years old. one quarter of the calories i've consumed have come from cola. and i'm feeling great. when i pass on, i think the coca-cola company should take my body around the country. drag it around. this guy made it to 100 and drank nothing, but coke. >> so you won't skim any of the foam off the top of your share hold, even if you need the money to buy something you like better. >> we have 16 billion in cash so we're unlikely to need the money. i've never sold a share
of berkshire or coca-cola. liz: there's coke at almost every party. coca-cola. there's all kind of things like party plates and glow sticks. sam is the ceo of oriental trading. who among us hasn't gotten the catalog at once. what is the company doing for you? warren: millions of happy customers. two new subsidiaries. and we're just starting. liz: better to be run by buffet? >> can't even compare. november 27th, 2012 was when berkshire acquired us. liz: travis s is on the phone. >> we went through several rounds of equity ownership. now we have autonomy.
zero debt. the cash we generate, we're able to invest in the business. >> you have this warehouse. it's unbelievable. we shot some video of it. the warehouse is gigantic. you have very much become a part of what has become the chock can the gat center. maybe you can get them to run the warehouse. >> those are two big warehouses. liz: you want him acquiring businesses. i'm now going to reveal something that will be the first time anyone has ever seen this. >> liz, not on this program. liz: that will be tonight for later. we're revealing, at the shareholder meeting, your businesses sell tcohces. they are the 50th anniversary additions of the charlie and warren
ducks. this is the -- tell me about this. this is the warren duck. right? >> we prepare party supplies, toys and novelties. every year, we have done a version of the shareholder meeting. this is our third year of berkshire hathaway. liz: how much would these cost? >> we haven't discerned the cost on those. >> leave a little room. >> i don't want my teacher to come back and say, what do you think? those are the only two we have in existence. that's the sample we have from our supplier. liz, you're holding the two in existence. >> the 50th anniversary charlie and warren ducks. i won't put them on ebay. >> i get one in the bathtub. i'm giving charlie one of those so that he too can come up with an idea. >> because he's such a slouch when it comes to ideas. sam, good luck to you and oriental tradings. a business buffett
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liz: after 50 years, it was last year that warren buffett gave his shareholders a bit of a scare. he announced he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. have you beaten it? warren: yeah. it wasn't a big problem. the radiation was painless. you know, it's -- my psa is below one. so... liz: that made some shareholders anxious and nervous. they're always anxious and nervous. they want to know the succession plan. i know you've said there are three people -- warren: i just joke about that. liz: it's in your head? warren: no. the directors no. we talk about it all the time. liz: i picked gray gable. midwestern guy at the moment. runs berkshire hathaway. when the buffett faithful get whipped up, they say his name a lot. warren: well, he would be
terrific. i'll write more in the annual report. liz: something there for that, i'm sure. will you ever pay a dividend? warren: actually i cover that in the annual report too. and i'm pretty specific about that. liz: something tells me the heels are dug in further, always on dividends? warren: they're not dug in. we'll do whatever is most important for shareholders. liz: you want them to vote on something like that? warren: we had a vote last year. and by 45-1, the shareholders, hundreds of thousands of them said don't send us any money. i don't think there's a company in the world that would say that. but 45-1. liz: your cash pile 16 billion. warren: right. liz: you want 20 billion. warren: 40 billion is excess. >> you're about to buy a small western european country. a lot going on. we're heading into
elections. you have said right off the bat. hillary will run and will win. >> i think the probability is high she'll run and if she runs, she'll win. and you will support her? warren: 100 percent. >> jeb bush is smart. >> i think he's a fine guy. but i think it will be hillary. >> do you think it will be those two against each other? >> i'm no better on that. >> is there one columnist political or financial you read and say more often than not, he or she got that right? >> probably not say that about any columnist. the columnist i enjoy the most is gail. she's very funny and smart. >> gail columns. you made her day. >> the next 50 years, warren, how long are you sticking around?
warren: i hope a long time. as long as i can keep drinking coca-cola, no telling how long i will last. >> you're not a high-tech guy. will you buy an iwatch? warren: tim cook sent me a christmas card, and he said his goal in 2015 was to get -- have me get rid of my flip phone i have. so i have a couple of stages to go through before i get to the iwatch. he's a terrific guy. >> so tim cook. bob iger. and, of course, tony nicely. a lot of news in this hour. appreciate you coming on. first interview in your 50th year. again, this is berkshire hathaway, the top most valuable biggest cap companies in the world. you know, there's still time. warren: there's still a few slots above us. liz: can you get there?
>> we're working on it. >> warren buffett, thank you. as you heard exclusively, warren believes it will be tough for the fed to raise rates this year. he thinks keystone should absolutely happen. adam shapiro seemed to jump higher on a couple of his statements. the guy who wasn't born when his grandmother sold his business. why he's betting on this company and warren buffett. that's after the bell. don't go away. ido what everybody else does. start a business. build yourself a website.
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i'm a nerd about the fed. we keep track of what they're doing. on same day jack welch said they weren't raising rates. we heard anthony scaramucci say that time and again. to hear warren buffett say. that you can pretty much bank on that if you hear warren buffett say it as well. let's go to adam shapiro. we had interesting day with the markets. really in the red when we were in the frein, there were own green. only three stocks keeping it in the green. that was disney, home depot. a lot of what is happening has to do with oil and energy sector getting hit hard today. >> oil and energy sector. oil traded over $50. it was $50.08 a barrel. within a couple hours we were down below $50. trading in the after-market below $48. transocean, conocophillips, exxonmobil, they all traded down. david: what is bad for energy is
good for airlines, no exception. >> good for airlines. they were all up today. [closing bell ringing] delta with a new partnership with starbucks, david. david: meanwhile the bells ring on wall street. very close to a flat day for the dow. it managed to eke out green arrows but just by a nose. again three stocks keep in mind, walt disney, visa, home depot, they accounted for 90% of the gain when the market was up. without those dow would be in the red. most indices are in the red, by a half percent. "after the bell" starts right now. >> before we get into the meat what happened with today's markets let's head to omaha, nebraska, where liz finished an