Berkshire Hathaway Annual shareholders meeting #BRK2011

Check out NYT DealBook Live-Blogging of the Meeting. Here is an excerpt (with emphasis added),

“2:54 p.m. A love-fest for Ajit Jain

Buffett always keeps his list of potential advisers close to the vest, even after Sokol resigned. But earlier today, the billionaire mentioned that the he would lay money down on the current leading candidate’s being a real straight-arrow.

And a few minutes ago, Buffett has expressed yet more admiration for his reinsurance guru, Ajit Jain. Jain’s mind is a machine, and he puts Berkshire first and foremost, Buffett gushes.

10:33 A.M. The effect of this year’s natural disasters

Buffett says that it’s hard to estimate the cost of the Japanese earthquakes. Same with the antipodal flooding.

Here’s what he has to say about the tornados that tore through the South, killing more than 300 people: “Incidentally, the tornados in April, just at Geico, and all we’re talking about here is automobiles we estimate that 25,000 cars will get automobile claims. That’s a lot of automobiles. Our market share is about 9 percent. But it’s been an extraordinary tornado season. That doesn’t hit the reinsurance business, I don’t think.” […]

10:07 A.M. Revisting Salomon Brothers

In light of the David Sokol controversy, Berkshire is now playing a clip of Mr. Buffett testifying before Congress about Salomon Brothers, the investment bank that the billionaire bailed out.

Mr. Buffett’s pledging Salomon Brothers’ full cooperation and delivering a candid message about how he intended to guide the firm. “Lose money for the firm, and I will be understanding. Lose a shred of reputation for the firm, and I will be ruthless.” The line draws a few cheers from the crowd.

Of course, one has to wonder whether Mr. Buffett will adopt a similar posture this year.

Here are tweets from Becky Quick at Berkshire Hathaway Annual shareholders’ meeting,

“Movie clip from Buffett Solomon testimony @ #BRK2011. “Lose a shred of reputation for the firm and I will be ruthless” Applause from crowd” (Need to see what Warren has to say on this.)

* Buffett says chairman size Sees peanut brittle has abt 37k calorie count. #BRK2011

* “Charlie Munger @BRK2011 on why original Sokol release wasn’t angrier :”You can always tell a man to go to hell tomorrow.”

* “Buffett #BRK2011: Calls Dave Sokol’s actions w/ regard to Lubizol trades “inexplicable” and “inexcusable”.

* Asked what did you learn last year, Buffett at #BRK2011: “I learned to have Charlie write the next press release.”

* Munger: “I approved that damn press release. Shareholders are going to be in terr. trouble if they’re relying on me to fix your errors.”

By the way, Check out this Apr 29th video interview, “Warren Buffett Didn’t Want to Look Dumb About Sokol: Biographer

Will write more later.


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