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‘Nothing attractive’: Warren Buffett’s Berkshire sells ALL stakes in US airlines, reports $50bn Q1 loss amid Covid-19 shutdown

‘Nothing attractive’: Warren Buffett’s Berkshire sells ALL stakes in US airlines, reports $50bn Q1 loss amid Covid-19 shutdown
With Berkshire Hathaway Inc reporting a record quarterly loss of nearly $50bn amid the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, Warren Buffett remains optimistic that in the long run, “nothing can stop America.”

Speaking at an annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, which for the first time was livestreamed and held without shareholders, the 89-year-old billionaire tried to reassure everyone by recalling the hardships of the past that the US successfully survived.

The famously bullish Buffett, however, expressed doubt that the markets have hit the bottom yet, saying “this is a very good time to borrow money,” but not lend or invest. Berkshire Hathaway revealed that its cash pile grew to $137 billion in the first quarter, reflecting the challenge of finding anything good to invest in, while reporting a record $49.75 billion net loss due to huge unrealized losses on stock holdings amid the market meltdown.

We haven’t done anything because we don’t see anything that attractive... That could change very quickly or it may not change. 

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At the same time, the conglomerate chose to liquidate its entire positions in American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines, with Buffett admitting the investment in the sector was his own “mistake,” while hinting that he does not expect the industry to recover any time soon.

I think there are certain industries, and unfortunately, I think that the airline industry, among others, that are really hurt by a forced shutdown by events that are far beyond our control.

“If we like a business, we’re going to buy as much of it as we can and keep it as long as we can,” he added. “And when we change our mind we don’t take half measures.”

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