US billionaire Warren Buffett says his conglomerate’s profit has more than quadrupled as it received a $29-billion boost because of a one-time benefit from the enactment of Donald Trump’s new tax law, which he opposed.
In an annual letter to Berkshire’s shareholders on Saturday, Warren Buffett, the company’s chief executive, said the conglomerate recorded the gain because of the tax overhaul that became law in December.
Buffett, one of the richest men in the world who endorsed Hillary Clinton, although in his favor, had opposed Trump’s tax plan. The new law, greatly touted by the US president, lowered the tax rate paid by US corporations from 35% to 21%, allowing many to undertake major new outlays and others to book significant fiscal gains.
In his letter to investors, Buffett said the tax cut accounted for nearly half of the firm's gain in net worth during 2017.
Buffet emphasized that much of his conglomerate’s profit had nothing to do with “accomplishments.”
“2017 was far from standard: A large portion of our gain did not come from anything we accomplished at Berkshire,” he said. "Only $36 billion came from Berkshire's operations. The remaining $29 billion was delivered to us in December when Congress rewrote the US Tax Code."
Berkshire Hathaway owns dozens of companies — from Dairy Queen to Duracell — and holds significant shares in large and diverse corporations including American Express, Apple, Bank of America, Charter Communications, Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Moody’s, Wells Fargo and Southwest Airlines.
Forbes magazine estimates Buffett’s personal worth at around $87billion.
Warren has undertaken — as part of the so-called Giving Pledge he co-founded with Bill Gates and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg — to donate more than 99% of his fortune to charities, and has already given away $32 billion.