Buffett Likes Wells (WFC) Over JPMorgan (JPM); Says BofA's (BAC) Moynihan is Doing Well; Invested in Phillips 66 (PSX)

July 13, 2012 1:22 PM EDT
Warren Buffett, of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A)(NYSE: BRK-B) and stock investing fame, recently issued comments about the economy to CNBC and sat down with Bloomberg TV Friday for another interview. The following are some of the more notable comments made during the session, but not repeated verbatim.

Commenting on JPMorgan's (NYSE: JPM) second-quarter 2012 results:
  • Buffett wasn't surprised by the $4.4 billion CIO trading loss and assumes the bank has it worked out by now. He noted that JPMorgan probably lost more than that on loans, mortgages, compensation, and warranties. Banks are a business and they take risks, said Buffett. With risk come the potential for loss. You can put banks under a rock and they won't lose a dime...but they also won't make any money.

    Buffett hasn't spoken to JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon about the loss. He would tell Dimon to keep his head down, he's got a great institution on his shoulders and is making money everyday.
On Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC):
  • Buffett noted how the mortgage market was at $3 trillion not that long ago if it gets back there, he hopes Wells is getting a third of those.

    He likes Wells better than JPMorgan, saying Berkshire's been buying the institution month after month for years.
On Bank of America (NYSE: BAC):
  • Buffett says BofA never declined his investment. He wishes he had done the deal for $10 billion.

    He likes BofA's deposit bases and thinks CEO Brian Moynihan is doing a great job and got the bank back to basics.
On Buffett's newspaper investments:
  • Primary (smaller) newspapers are still prominent in many areas of the U.S., Buffett contends. He would also rather buy newspapers directly rather than something like News Corp (Nasdaq: NWSA).

    Buffett also said he doesn't go out an buy newspapers, but there might be a couple more acquisitions this year. He didn't disclose which ones, given that the papers generally call him.
On Facebook's (Nasdaq: FB) IPO:
  • Buffett said the real question is valuation. He also said that people buying the IPO simply because they though it was going to go up the next day is a terrible reason to get in.

    Don't buy a farm and look to sell it the next day for more money.
On ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) and Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX):Finally, on where the U.S. stands:
  • He thinks people are disgusted with Congress.

    As the country grows, so does the capacity for debt, and the entire debt ceiling argument is a waste of breath. Everyone knows lawmakers are going to do it, so why waste weeks on end debating the issue? The entire debate is all about political positioning.

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