How would Warren Buffett's departure affect Berkshire Hathaway?

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CNBC•BLOOMBERGBitcoin has divided Wall Street heavy-weights

Mr Abel was named vice-chairman of non-insurance business operations while Mr Jain (who is a legend in insurance, especially in re-insurance an catastrophe bonds) was elevated to vice-chairman of Berkshire's huge insurance group.

Although a hit rate of 70% would be so-so in many other walks of life, the feat has earned Buffett the moniker of "oracle" and near-religious admiration from investors around the world, given the difficulty of beating the market so consistently and comprehensively over such a long period of time.

The legendary investor's departure would put the company into unchartered territory for retail investors. The Omaha-based conglomerate employs tens of thousands in a variety of businesses including insurance, mobile housing and industrial concerns.

In the past Buffett has announced his health problems, including prostate cancer in 2012 and removal of polyps from his colon in 2000.

"I feel terrific. I love what I do".

Speaking of cash hoards, another thing I'll be keeping an eye on in 2018 is whether Berkshire finally decides what to do with its stockpile of cash, which stood at almost $110 billion at the end of the third quarter, and has likely grown since then. "There's nothing I'd rather be doing".

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"They've both got Berkshire in their blood", Buffett said.

Buffett, chairman and CEO of, warned on Wednesday the recent But Buffett added he would not take a short position on bitcoin futures.

"There's no horse race at all in these two folks".

Who Berkshire would pick to succeed Mr. Buffett as chief executive has always been on the minds of investors.

Buffett has said Jain may be irreplaceable as head of Berkshire's insurance division, which makes up roughly half of Berkshire's businesses and generates billions of dollars to invest elsewhere. The CEO is known for many things-his love of ice cream for breakfast and Cherry Cokes-but he's also known for managing a company that has beaten the S&P 500 index of United States stocks in 36 out of the past 52 years. One son, Howard, serves on Berkshire's board. Adam Wright, 40, a MidAmerican vice president, will become that unit's new chief executive. Someone will move up to be CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, he said, but otherwise there will be no changes in personnel as a result of the promotions. "At the same time, I continue to see everywhere I go, everyone's talking about [cryptocurrencies]".

In a telephone interview with CNBC, Vice Chairman Munger, who shares the podium with Buffett during the company's annual meetings, called the Jain and Abel promotions "a very good idea".

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