In an interview Monday morning with CNBC, Berkshire Hathaway CEO and billionaire Warren Buffett was asked what he thinks of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and her views of Wall Street.
“I think that she would do better if she was less angry and demonized less,” he responded. “I believe in hate the sin, love the sinner, and I also believe in praising by name and criticizing by category.”
He continued that while there are “plenty of other candidates” whose political style he doesn’t agree with, “I do think it’s — I think it’s a mistake to get angry with your, with people that disagree with you,” he said of her. “In the end we do have to work together… And it does not help when you demonize or get too violent with the people you’re talking to.”
Sen. Warren has long been a staunch advocate of financial reform, helping to usher in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and going after regulators for what she sees as leniency in holding Wall Street accountable for its role in the financial crisis.
But Buffett’s use of the emotional word “angry” may be a sign of some subtle sexism. Women are far more likely to be described with negative words describing personal attributes. News articles are far more likely to refer to women as bossy and pushy. College students are much more likely to call their female professors bossy and annoying and more likely to call male professors brilliant and knowledgable.
This shows up in the workplace as well: in a sampling of voluntarily shared performance reviews in technology, women got more critical and negative feedback, much of it focused on their personalities where men’s focused on their skills. Women were much more likely to be told they were abrasive, bossy, strident, or aggressive, and while some men were also called aggressive, they were told to be more so. Other research has found that women face social and financial backlash at work when they act assertively.
Buffett, who ranks at number three on Forbes’s list of billionaires and is worth $72.3 billion, also has reason to “love the sinner” on Wall Street. He’s made his fortune through his company Berkshire Hathaway, a holding company that makes investments across a range of industries.