I have just finished reading Berkshire Hathaway’s 2015 10-K. The letter to shareholders by Warren Buffett (edited by Carol Loomis) is brilliant, as usual. I have written here about how these two “walk their talk” (Buffett and Munger), and this 51st letter to Berkshire shareholders is another fine example. The section on Productivity is mandatory reading, especially so for Brazilians.
As the date of the 2013 Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting approaches, here are four news pieces and interesting generalities about Berkshire – including the purchase of the 20% of Iscar the company didn’t own, articles on Doug Bass, the bear who will get to ask tough, unscripted questions at the meeting and more.
Very interesting WSJ article for those interested in Brazilian infrastructure investments – my cup of tea of late. It doesn’t hurt that Burlington Northern is a Berkshire Hathaway company either…
Two quick articles: a relatively thorough article in the Financial Times about Brazil’s construction and infrastructure boom in the next few years, and a cautionary tale about things that “happen all the time” – until they don’t.
Not even oil is sacred in Brazil, it seems. In Petrobras it’s mostly about government intervention, in OGX – down a whopping 27% today – it’s mostly about terrible expectations management. This post is by no means an evaluation of either stocks’ prospects and attractiveness as investments. The only point is that there’s maybe a lesson here about optimistic expectations: taking with lots of salt not only what emanates from the companies, but also how much you can really know about factors such as political risk, a certain local amateurism in expectations management and so on.
Reading other sources after the meeting I found a few tidbits worth mentioning. H/T Century Partners. On Ted Weschler and Todd Combs, there’s more detail on their compensation (also repeated inside) in a WSJ.com story.
We are a few hours away from Berkshire Hathaway’s 2012 annual meeting, so here are related links – including the Q1 2012 earnings release and a 30-minute video interview with Charlie Munger. This is NOT a “live meeting notes”-type post, as I am not there (regrettably) and trust other sources to do a great job. I will still post updates of the most relevant discussions during the day.
After taking a two-week break, I return right when the Berkshire Hathaway weekend is fast approaching. I was going to attend the meeting – my fourth – but couldn’t, so during the weekend I’ll point our readers to the best 3rd-party sources out there. This year’s meeting is bound to be very interesting with questions on IBM, Ted Weschler and so on, but obviously the main issue will be succession. Buffett’s announcement that he has stage 1 prostate cancer is definitely in the news, but as in all things involving Berkshire & Buffett it gets blown out of proportion.
Great article at BusinessWeek highlights the immense difficulties of integrating large acquisitions or mergers – in this case, United and Continental Airlines. The link to rocket science is in the article’s last line, and it’s hilarious.