Book value is a very specific number with a very specific meaning, which can be calculated and updated only on dates that a full balance sheet is completed. Those are the "books" from which the name is taken. Without the end result of that very involved process it can only be estimated crudely, whether by us or by Mr Buffett. Ergo, "then current" does mean "as on the most recently completed statements".Well, he receives very frequent business updates from all operating companies and is clearly aware of movements in the securities portfolio that impact book value. The derivatives mark-to-market that is nearly impossible to estimate for outside observers is something I am sure is marked daily by Berkshire. He is aware of the extent of catastrophe losses that we can only speculate about (Sandy for example). I would be surprised if he couldn't walk over to Marc Hamburg's office at any time and get an estimate of book value that would be a pretty accurate "then current" figure.In any case, this could be cleared up with a thirty second question at the annual meeting followed by a five second response.
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