Billionaire Warren Buffett published his annual letter to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway on Saturday. Berkshire's net worth grew by $65.3 billion in 2017, Buffett said, but $29 billion of that gain came from savings effected by the Republican tax plan passed in December. The new tax law lowered the nominal corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent.
For individual investors, Buffett cautioned against going into debt to purchase stock because the market may drop. "There is simply no telling how far stocks can fall in a short period," he wrote. "Even if your borrowings are small and your positions aren't immediately threatened by the plunging market, your mind may well become rattled by scary headlines and breathless commentary. And an unsettled mind will not make good decisions."
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross made light of the U.S. missile strike against Syria last month, telling an audience at the Milken Institute Global Conference on Monday that the assault, which took place during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to President Trump's private Mar-a-Lago resort, served as late-night amusement for guests, free of charge.
"Just as dessert was being served, the president explained to Mr. Xi he had something he wanted to tell him, which was the launching of 59 missiles into Syria," Ross said. "It was in lieu of after-dinner entertainment." This garnered laughs from the crowd, Variety reports, and Ross continued: "The thing was, it didn't cost the president anything to have that entertainment." Ross is right — Trump didn't spend a dime on the missiles, but the U.S. military did, to the tune of around $59 million. Don't expect Ross, a billionaire investor, to have his own set at the Chuckle Hut anytime soon. Catherine Garcia