CHARLIE ROSE: Reasonable return is good enough?
WARREN BUFFETT: Reasonable return is good enough, Charlie. I mean, 50 years ago, I was looking for spectacular returns, but I can’t— I can’t get them. We have— we have eight or $10 billion to invest every year. And we’re in the utility business, and it’s the same thing there. When we build electric generation or something of the sort, we shouldn’t expect a spectacular return. We’re building things that are essential to society, and people need our services. They really don’t have any choice in the case of the electric utilities, for example, and sometimes in case of rail. And we should get a decent return on that. Enough to encourage us to keep putting money into the business, but we’re not entitled to spectacular returns.
You can see the transcript of the discussion on the Burlington acquisition here.
You can watch the full interview here. The Burlington discussion is at the beginning.