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Stocks B / Berkshire Hathaway


Subject:  2005 The Warren & Charlie Show Date:  5/7/2006  7:25 PM
Author:  mhirschey Number:  119002 of 220788

I got back last night from the AM and was too bushed to post. I got up at 4:30 am on Saturday so that a bunch of students and I could rush the stage at 7:00 am to get good seats. Either we're slowing down or the crowd is getting faster…

Anyway, here are my top ten takes from the meeting:

1. On an overall basis, I found Warren and Charlie to be upbeat and voluble. Personally, I don't see how Warren can be so patient and considerate with those questioners who incessantly focus on succession issues, and there were a lot of them. I scarcely worry about the imminent prospects of my own demise, and I wish other shareholder held a common view when it comes to Warren. If the peanut brittle doesn't get him, we'll be fine. BTW, it's the unforeseen risk that gets you. Anticipated risk is taken care of by the intelligent. I believe it is more than fair to assume that Warren, Charlie and the Board have addressed succession in the same intelligent manner that they address other important issues facing Berkshire.

2. Warren is still sensitive to the risk of a derivatives-led meltdown in financial markets. His discussion about LTCM in 1998 and Salomon in 1990—when they were on the verge of bankruptcy filing—was sobering. Both Warren and Charlie continue to believe the potential is there for a big hic-up.

3. Lots of discussion centered on momentum-strategy hedge funds and how their incentive structure led them to swinging for the fences. Warren kindly suggested that few hedge fund managers were worth their fees. Charlie was disdainful.

4. Warren spent a lot of time talking about macroeconomics. It sounded like he'd prepped a speech on