Warren Buffett: Bankers like Tim Sloan are 'piñatas' because of political 'poison in Washington'

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Warren Buffett

David A. Grogan | CNBC

Warren Buffett doesn’t like the way former Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan left the bank, saying he was “an excellent banker” that was forced out by undue political pressure.

“I was 100% behind Tim Sloan the day it was announced he resigned,” Buffett told CNBC’s Becky Quick on Thursday, as his firm Berkshire Hathaway kicked offed its annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska.

Buffett believes there are “certainly dozens” of qualified Wall Street bankers that would “be capable of running Wells Fargo” as it overhauls its businesses. 

“But they would be piñatas from now until the election time. And they would face questions that aren’t really questions from Senators and Congressman that are using the hearing to make a statement. They wouldn’t be listening to what they said or anything of the sort. It would be poison in Washington,” Buffett said.

Because of the political environment in the U.S. capital, Buffett thinks that any banker who “is good enough to take the job shouldn’t want it.”

“I mean it’s a terrible way to spend your time,” Buffett said.

Buffett said Sloan mentioned his resignation the day before it was announced, which Buffett felt was unnecessary given Sloan’s credentials.

“I was delighted when he was running the bank and it just got so he felt he couldn’t be helpful under the circumstances that existed in Washington, so he decided to resign. But I would have never asked for his resignation,” Buffett said.

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