This is a transcript and video clip of the first part of Warren Buffett's live interview this morning on Squawk on the Street with CNBC's Becky Quick in which he talks about the Federal Reserve, the U.S. dollar, the economy, and how his retail businesses are doing this holiday season.
Becky: I'm here with a very special guest today - Warren Buffett. Warren, we know it's hard to get you out of Omaha, but very once in a while he does leave Nebraska. Today's he's in San Francisco, and he's here for a very special cause, campaigning, or actually trying to raise money for Hillary Clinton who is running for president.
We're going to get to all of that in a moment, but, Warren, first off, I just want to start off talking about the Fed. We spoke last night, talked a little bit about what the Fed rate decision means. Tell us again what it means to you as an investor.
Buffett: As an investor, the Fed action today means nothing. We will buy a stock that we like today if the Fed raised rates or if they lowered them 50 basis points. We wouldn't sell anything based on it. It just isn't important to somebody that's going to own a business, or a part of a business through a stock, what the Fed does. If you were going to buy a farm today, if you were going to buy an apartment house today, and you looked at it as a good investment, you would not sit around, you know, on pins and needles, waiting to see what the Fed did.
We bought Washington Post stock in 1973 and it's worked out over one-hundred for one and I don't know what the Fed was doing then. So it's not a factor in our thinking on investment decisions.
Becky: Still, when you're looking at broader issues, something like a bet on the dollar or against the dollar, as you've done in the past, it is something you have to pay attention to, what the Fed is doing.
Buffett: Well, it's a big macro factor. The Fed is not the primary determiner of what happens to the dollar. Now it's true that when you have a weak dollar like we do now, if they take the rates way down, it will put more pressure on the dollar. But the real determinant is the current account balance, the trade balance. And over time, if you keep shipping two billion dollars a day out of the country, as we do of assets, you put pressure on the dollar and that's what's happened....MORE (including video)
Warren Buffett's Complete CNBC Interview: Video and Transcript (2 of 2)In this section, Buffett talks about the super-SIV proposal, the Bush administration's plan to encourage lenders to freeze some variable mortgage rates and about why he supports Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for president.