It is impossible not to be criticized when you are in the spotlight. Case in point: Warren Buffett. In the space of two weeks he has been criticized for supporting Hillary Clinton in the US presidential race, for a Corporate Governance “manifesto” co-signed by several CEOs (I’ll adress that in a separate post), and now for being increasingly “relentless” in his search for efficiency.
Stanford GSB professors surveyed 80 managers of Berkshire Hathaway subsidiaries, giving us an up-to-date look into what these executives think about their parent company – and the way their “oversight” works. The consistency in their answers is astounding.
How NOT to understand Buffett after so many years: just read this Financial Times LEX piece on how GM is an “opportunity” for Buffett right now. Yes, GM.
Another article to foster even more anticipation for Buffett’s 50th anniversary letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders. We’d love to guarantee that we will read it with the normal independence and skepticism, but we’d probably be lying – it is too big a landmark for the world’s most interesting company.
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.
The CEO of AIG’s Americas Property & Casualty area leaves and takes 3 other senior executives with him. The surprise is that they were hired by Berkshire Hathaway’s Ajit Jain to build a P&C unit there. Very interestingly, Mr. Eastwood mentions that in time he may seek opportunities for Berkshire outside the US. Now even more interesting for us Brazilians is that one of the executives that join Mr. Eastwood at Berkshire is Sanjay Godhwani, who was the P&C president for Latin America and the Caribbean. Hmmm…
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…
H/T to My Investing Notebook, and his emphasis on what Buffett says of Jeff Bezos is spot-on as the best part of an altogether interesting interview. Just yesterday I had read an interesting piece on how well Amazon Prime is doing, so this connected immediately. Disrupting innovation indeed.
Warren Buffett called him “the Babe Ruth of Insurance” and not just because of the turnaround at GEICO. This New York Times obituary on John Byrne is a nice read. While Buffett always says you should seek out businesses that are so good that an idiot can run it (because one will eventually), sometimes companies are blessed with great leaders as well.
Yes, the 2012 Berkshire Hathaway letter is out (in PDF). You know you’ll print this right away (or send it to your e-reader) and read it over the weekend… or even tonight. Good reading!