At yesterday’s Capital Markets Competitiveness conference hosted by U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, there was a chance for many to speak, including the Oracle from Omaha.
The Toronto Star summarized some of the proceedings, including these remarks from Warren Buffett:
Buffett, one of the world’s richest men, said corporate America did not shine during the 1990s and is now working through the regulatory crackdown that followed. “It has no choice but to digest what’s being served up.” One result is that managers and directors are increasingly consumed by regulatory process, said Buffett, who is chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
“We are doing a lot of things that I regard as unnecessary,” he said. “It has changed the complexion of things that go on in our boardroom … Hours and hours get spent on process.
“The process that’s gone through detracts from more important issues that a board should be looking at.”
One benefit of being an oracle is that you can say what many people are thinking. Here’s the full panel that included Mr. Buffett:
Framing the Issues: Markets Perspectives
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson
SEC Chairman Christopher Cox
Warren E. Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway
James Dimon, JPMorgan Chase & Co
Jeffrey R. Immelt, General Electric
Charles R. Schwab, Charles Schwab Corp
John A. Thain, NYSE Group
Ann Yerger, Council of Institutional Investors