Full feed on

Archive for August, 2007

Berkshire Annual Letter 1998 (Part 4)

Michael Kinsley has said about Washington: “The scandal isn’t in what’s done that’s illegal but rather in what’s legal.

Many CEOs have no hesistation about manipulating earnings to meet the desires of Wall Street.

Their first assumption is that their job is to encourage the highest stock price possible, something which Warren Buffett disagrees. To get a high price, operational excellence is required failing which they will resort to accounting gimmicks.

…Continue reading » Restructuring and Merger Accounting

Charlie Munger Autographing Feat

More jokes from Warren Buffett:

Borsheim’s normally is closed on Sunday but will be open for shareholders from 10am to 6am on May 2nd. On annual meeting last year, the store did an incredible amount of business. Sales were double those of the previous year, and the store’s volume on Sunday greatly exceeded volume for any day in Borsheim’s history. Charlie attributes this record to the fact that he autographed sales tickets that day and, while I have my doubts about this proposition, we are not about to mess with a winning formula. Please give him writer’s cramp. On last year’s Sunday, Borsheim’s wrote 2501 tickets during the eight hours it was open. For those of you who are mathematically challenged, that is one ticket every 11.5 seconds.

Is Warren Buffett Buying Countrywide?

In an earlier interview with CNBC, Warren Buffett mentioned that the current crisis offers fine buying opportunities. Rumours have been flying that Warren Buffett is currently buying shares in distressed mortgage lenders, one of them Countrywide.

…Continue reading » Is Warren Buffett Buying Countrywide?

More humour by Warren Buffett in his letters:

The Omaha Golden Spikes will meet the Iowa Cubs on Saturday evening, May 1st, at Rosenblatt Stadium. Your Chairman, whose breaking ball had the crowd buzzing last year, will again take the mould. This year I plan to introduce my “flutterball”. It’s a real source of irritation to me that many view our annual meeting as a financial event rather than the sports classic I consider it to be. Once the world sees my flutterball, that misconception will be erased.

Berkshire Annual Letter 1998 (Part 3)

Many companies ignore the cost of stock options when earnings are calculated, even though such employee’s compensation should be an expense.

Imagine that GEICO spends $190 million for advertising and pays for it all using Berkshire options. Isn’t that an expense, and should be charged accordingly to the earnings?

…Continue reading » Stock Options as Compensation

Bridge with Bob Hamman

Warren Buffett joke on his Bridge skills:

Bridge players can look forward to a thrill on Sunday, when Bob Hamman – the best the game has ever seen – will turn up to play with our shareholders in the mall outside of Borsheim. Bob plays without sorting his cards – hey, maybe that’s what’s wrong with my game.

Archives Link Added

I have just added an archives link. On that page, you will be able to see a listing of all posts sorted by category. Hope you find it useful.

Here’s a recent interview that Becky Quick of CNBC did with Warren Buffett. In this interview, Warren Buffett talks about:

…Continue reading » Warren Buffett Sees Potential for Opportunities: CNBC Exclusive Interview

Berkshire Annual Letter 1998 (Part 2)

General Re

On December 21 1998, Berkshire completed the $22 billion acquisition of General Re Corp. This ownership will allow General Re to operate in whatever manner that will maximise its value without worrying about market perception.

For instance, a publicly held reinsurer by the very nature of its role, has very volatile earnings. This volatility can hurt it’s credit ratings and p/e ratios. As a result, an reinsurer might sometimes do things to smoothen the earnings that is actually costly to its core business.

…Continue reading » General Re Corp and GEICO

Waiting to Allocate Capital

More humour by Warren Buffett

Charlie and I have the easy jobs at Berkshire: We do very little except allocate capital. And, even then, we are not all that energetic. We have one excuse, though: In allocating capital, activity does not correlate with achievement. Indeed, in the fields of investments and acquisitions, frenetic behavior is often counterproductive. Therefore, Charlie and I mainly just wait for the phone to ring.

Next »