Sunday, May 1, 2011

(Double-Bonus) Better than a Transcript: Three Live-blogs of the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting Pt. V (BRK.B; BRK.A)

With the bonus and double bonus schtick I'm reminded of a 2009 post: "More Than a Trade: Career Tips from John Paulson (But Wait! There's More!)":
...As seen on MarketBeat. And boy can it catch fish.
[you've lost it -ed]
Ya know, I'm getting tired of the constant sniping. I was making a slightly ADDled reference to someone who kept his eyes open and swung big, Ron Popeil, he of the Veg-o-matic and the Pocket Fisherman. Geez.
Now he's got a nice piece of property up for sale and I thought our readers should know about it. From the Los Angeles Times...
Now how much would you pay?
Alrighty then, moving right along.

Although what Berkshire's hometown paper, the Omaha World-Herald, did for 2011 wasn't technically a live-blog, the overall package has to be seen to be believed. Here's one part of it:

Q&A with Buffett and Munger

Much of the attention leading up to Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting revolved around the controversy of David Sokol's resignation and trading of Lubrizol shares. The topic was covered but accounted for only a fraction of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger's marathon question-and-answer session.
A sampling of some of the other highlights and topics that were raised by stockholders, and the responses by Buffett and Munger:

On the U.S. debt ceiling

Congress will raise the debt ceiling, you can take that to the bank. But, Buffett said, not before much politicking and pandering.

If the ceiling isn't raised it would be the “most asinine act Congress has ever performed,” Buffett said. “It's extraordinary, that with our deficit running well over $100 billion a month ... having a debt ceiling to start with is a mistake. The U.S. of 2011 has a different debt capacity than the U.S. in 1911.”

“The amount and number of silly statements you hear (from Congress) seems like such a waste of time. In my view, there's no chance they don't increase the debt ceiling.”

On too big to fail

Buffett isn't a fan of bailouts but said government intervention with some of the major financial institutions and other companies was necessary.

The General Motors bailout, for example, was a good choice: “I was really on the fence about saving the auto companies, but I think the administration did the right thing. They made the right decision.”
In a perfect world, Buffett said, executives would face serious consequences for making risky bets and decisions that later backfired and crippled their companies.

He said companies need to “reduce the propensity to fail” by making sure there are rules in place so that if the CEO and any directors of a company need to be bailed out by taxpayers, the CEO and his or her spouse should be left “dead broke,” and officers and directors should also face severe consequences.

On the weakness of the U.S. dollar...MORE
Also at the OW-H: