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Berkshire Toughens Stance on Derivatives of Mass Destruction

In a twist to Berkshire's annual meeting, Buffett and Munger fielded questions from Seabreeze Partners President and Real Money Pro contributor, Douglas Kass.

Some questions centered on the profits Berkshire took from providing emergency capital to banks in need during the financial crisis.

Kass pointed out that distressed investments in Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report), Bank of America (BAC) and General Electric (GE - Get Report) veered from Berkshire's historical focus on the investing in companies with solid fundamental growth opportunities.

The Seabreeze president questioned whether a successor to Buffett would be able to make similar investments in an economic emergency.

In response, Buffett said his successor would have more capital than he had so will absolutely have the ability to take on any distressed opportunities that arise.

"Berkshire will have unusual capital in turbulent times. My successor can say yes very quickly to distressed deals that require large sums of capital. That will set you apart very quickly from others." Buffett was very confident that his successor would be willing to deploy that capital when the need for capital arises, but only in sound deals.

Buffett explained, "Berkshire is the 800 number to call when people need capital in distressed times." It's more a sign of Berkshire's brand than anything attached to a single individual, he said.

-- Written by Antoine Gara and Lindsey Bell.

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