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1994: What are the prospects for tobacco stocks?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah, thanks Mr. Buffett. My name is Stewart Hartman from Sioux City. After the brevity of the last question from section 4, I’ll try to be extremely brief.
The — given the scrutiny that the tobacco business is going under right now, number one, what do you see as the business prospects for those huge cash cows? And, at any point, would that be attractive to you given their liability?
WARREN BUFFETT: The question is about the future of the tobacco business?
I don’t — I probably know no more about that then you do because it’s fraught with questions that relate to societal attitudes and you can form an opinion on that just as well as I could.
But, I would not like to have a significant percentage of my net worth in the tobacco business myself, but —
They may have better futures than I envision. I don’t really think that I have special insights on that.
Charlie, you —?
CHARLIE MUNGER: No.
WARREN BUFFETT: You have to come to a conclusion as to how society is going to want to treat — and the present administration for that matter. And the economics of the business may be fine, but that doesn’t mean it has a great future.