Buffett calls threat to not raise U.S. debt limit a 'political weapon' - CNBC

Reuters
Investor Warren Buffett speaks to students at Georgetown University with Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan (not pictured) at an event co-sponsored by Bank of America and the Global Social Enterprise Initiative (GSEI) at Georgetown's McDonough School of Business in Washington September 19, 2013. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan/Files
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Investor Warren Buffett speaks to students at Georgetown University with Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan (not pictured) at an event co-sponsored by Bank of America and the Global Social Enterprise Initiative (GSEI) at Georgetown's McDonough School of Business in Washington September 19, 2013. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan/Files

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway (NYS:BRK-A - News), said Wednesday that the threat of not raising the U.S. debt ceiling is a political weapon.

The idea that Congress could fail to raise the $16.7 trillion U.S. borrowing limit is a "political weapon of mass destruction," Buffett told cable television network CNBC.

Buffett also said that his firm's spending rate this year, particularly in reference to acquisitions, is as "high as ever," and that his firm missed an "elephant" acquisition recently that would have exceeded $12 billion.

Buffett said Berkshire Hathaway owns short-term Treasury bills and is "not worried" about the bills being paid, despite concerns about the U.S. debt ceiling.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said the United States will exhaust its borrowing authority no later than October 17.

While discussing his firm's investments in Bank of America Corp (NYS:BAC - News) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYS:JPM - News), Buffett said "the banks are in the best shape I can remember."

Regarding his stake in International Business Machines Corp (NYS:IBM - News), Buffett said he felt "fine" about his firm's investment in the company and has bought some additional shares this year.

(Reporting by Sam Forgione Editing by W Simon)

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