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Berkshire Weekend: Buffett on Selling JNJ to Buy GS

|Includes: Berkshire Hathaway A (BRK.A), BRK.B, GS, JNJ

Liz Claman of Fox Business Channel quotes or paraphrases the Berkshire chairman:

Question: You’ve talked a lot about opportunity-costs. Can you discuss more important decisions over the past year?

Buffett: When both prices are moving and in certain cases intrinsic business value moving at a pace that’s far greater than we’ve seen - it’s tougher, more interesting and more challenging and can be more profitable. But, it’s a different task than when things were moving at more leisurely pace. We faced that problem in September and October. We want to always keep a lot of money around. We have so many extra levels of safety we follow at Berkshire.

We got a call on Goldman on a Wednesday - that couldn’t have been done the previous Wednesday or the next Wednesday. We were faced with opportunity-cost - and we sold something that under normal circumstances we wouldn’t - J&J.