How two of the most closely watched CEOs see the economy in the Trump era

Warren Buffet, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway. Foto: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Two of the most closely watched letters in American business -- the annual missives penned by Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett and General Electric chief executive Jeff Immelt to their shareholders -- were released in recent days. But while they were addressed to investors, they also may have had a second audience in mind: President Donald Trump and his administration.

The two letters were both largely optimistic, and neither one mentioned Trump explicitly by name. But they also took on different policy themes and at times, a different overall tone. Buffett touted the dynamism in the U.S. economy, taking pains to point out the value of immigrants and entitlements, while Trump campaigned on stalled growth and building a wall on the Mexican border. Meanwhile, Immelt delved into trade, saying the United States will be "less of a leader in trade." And he warned that the country is "diverging from the rest of the world" while saying he was "hopeful" about some Trump policies. "We are stripping away years of bad regulatory and economic practices to promote competitiveness," he said...

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