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Stocks B / Berkshire Hathaway


Subject:  Re: a very crude unfortunate look at repurchases Date:  12/13/2012  10:20 AM
Author:  rationalwalk Number:  196892 of 235672

Now regrettably if WEB dies around this repurchase period that would mean up to $27 billion with a B has been wasted on his mortality? or something like that.


Maybe it is partly due to supposedly being a "cult member", but I get pretty queasy when I start thinking about maximizing shareholder utility of Warren Buffett's lifespan. It's incredible that a man worth in excess of $40 billion chooses to continue adding value for shareholders well into his 80s when he could be pursuing so many other endeavors. Whatever the market reaction to his moves with respect to repurchases now or perceptions of a discount associated with his presence, Buffett is adding tremendous value for Berkshire shareholders and will continue to do so. To the extent that this value is not recognized during his lifetime and by some twisted logic, a "discount" disappears when he is no longer creating value for Berkshire in the future, the gap between intrinsic value and market value will only continue to grow.

Yes, Buffett loves investing and would rather read 10-Ks than retire to pursue other activities. But he doesn't have to pursue this via Berkshire and he doesn't have to work nearly for free. He could have long ago turned Berkshire over to others while compounding his wealth outside Berkshire at incredible rates. That would probably be just as intellectually fun for Buffett, maybe more so due to the wider investment universe, and his actions would have zero benefit for any of us.

It's like the bizzaro world. Up is down. Down is up. We're facing a "discount" as long as we still have the best capital allocator of the past 50 years working for us for free. But that "discount" will disappear when we no longer benefit from this windfall. I don't understand it but intend to profit from this weird mentality through ownership of Berkshire shares.
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