Presented with Musk's comment, Buffett acknowledged that the acceleration of technological advancement in recent years has made more moats vulnerable and "susceptible to invasion". Its segments include Insurance, such as GEICO, Berkshire Hathaway Primary Group, General Re Corporation and Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group; Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC, which is engaged in the operation of the railroad system; Berkshire Hathaway Energy, which includes regulated electric and gas utility; Manufacturing, which includes manufacturers of various products, including industrial, consumer and building products; McLane Company, which is engaged in the wholesale distribution of groceries and non-food items; Service and retailing, which includes providers of various services, including fractional aircraft ownership programs, aviation pilot training and various retailing businesses, and Finance and financial products, which includes manufactured housing and related consumer financing, transportation equipment, manufacturing and leasing, and furniture leasing.
Both Democrats and Republicans in the United States believe in the benefits of free trade, he said.
Buffett said that cyber risk is part of his estimate that every year carries about a 2 percent chance of a super catastrophe that would cause $400 billion or more of insured losses.
Buffett has tended to stake out neutral territory, even as people continue to urge the Berkshire chief executive officer to explain and potentially reconsider his views. And at the last of the once regular press conferences following the AGM, Buffett told me his reading had slowed some, because he then "only" read two books a day.
"He's done a phenomenal job for his shareholders", said Gary Gocken, of Lincoln.
"Elon may turn things upside down in some areas, I don't think he'd want to take us on in candy", Buffett quipped.
"I will make a moat and fill it with candy".
"They are not going to find $50 billion or $100 billion acquisitions that they can make at remotely a sensible price", ReCode quoted Buffett as saying at the company's annual meeting held at Omaha city in the USA state of Nebraska.More news: Bellew stops Haye in 5th round in all-British grudge rematch
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There was one clash that Buffett and Munger didn't avoid this year.
"The overriding question is: How is American business going to do in your lifetime?" On why he is sticking with Wells Fargo after the scandal, he noted they had made mistakes and had the wrong incentives in place. Wells Fargo had been trying to fix its reputation after admitting in 2016 that employees opened as many as 2 million accounts without getting customers' permission to meet aggressive sales targets.
Speaking of the USA trade deficit, Buffett said he would not like the gap to get too wide, but "when you think about it, it's really not the worst thing in the world to have someone send you the goods that you want and for you to send a piece of paper".
The questions at the meeting always include a few focused more on life lessons than investing. Among the motivations was that we never knew how long the show would last - at 75 and 82 respectively, Father Time seemed to be rapidly catching up the AGM's stars, Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger.
How seriously should we take this? The pace of innovation, he said, is more important in the long run.
- "We'd do a lot better in all of our stockpicking if we did it in retrospect", Munger said.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc is a holding company owning subsidiaries engaged in various business activities.