Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York, U.S. (Photographer: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg)  

Warren Buffett's Message to Washington: Bipartisanship Works

(Bloomberg) -- Warren Buffett’s political message amid government shutdowns and international trade talks was brief and simple.

“Our country’s almost unbelievable prosperity has been gained in a bipartisan manner,” he wrote in his annual letter to shareholders as he traced the growth of U.S. economy over the last 230 years. He listed a number of obstacles, including wars and financial panics. “All engendered scary headlines; all are now history.”

He added that the U.S. should rejoice at the growth prospects of other countries. “Americans will be both more prosperous and safer if all nations thrive,” he wrote.

The billionaire investor’s annual letter, which ran 13 pages this year and quoted Abraham Lincoln and Christopher Wren, typically goes beyond Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s results to discuss investing principles and his and business partner Charlie Munger’s thoughts on a wide range of topics.

Buffett has taken a careful approach to the political conversation since the 2016 election. He supported Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election and at the time criticized now-President Donald Trump’s refusal to release tax returns. Since then, he’s pushed back against some trade policies, but has generally argued that the U.S. will continue to prosper decades from now.

“Charlie and I happily acknowledge that much of Berkshire’s success has simply been a product of what I think should be called The American Tailwind,” he wrote. “It is beyond arrogance for American businesses or individuals to boast that they have ‘done it alone.’”

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