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Stocks B / Berkshire Hathaway


Subject:  Re: My Notes Date:  5/6/2002  12:07 PM
Author:  bubblejet Number:  63288 of 244805


Zamboni, fabulous post.

I just want to supplement your notes with mine (if you don't mind) with WB and CM quotes, as I think those who could not attend may be interested.

Q1: WB "It is just not our inclination to sell. We've held WPO since 1973, KO '88, G '89, AXP '91. I've never sold a BRK share. We used to sell to buy something else (didn't want to borrow money). Now we sell if we re-evaluate the economics of a business; the competitive adv. may have changed or eroded. Classic example is the newspaper industry in general which in 1970 we thought was impregnable. Also network TV stations. Things change"

Q2 WB "We want intelligent float growth. Poor float is dangerous. Float cost us money last year. How will it grow? I don't know. Our float has less natural erosion than most, and I think it will grow.We seem to attract alot of special transactions. We want good float, but can't predict the specifics. The float of Amer. Prop/Cas Business is $400 bill., we have 8-9% of that."
CM "Growing good float at low cost is difficult, but we will do it"
WB "The important thing is the low cost of the float. The troops
will deliver it and we will allocate the capital"

Q3 WB "The speed of asbestos payments is more important than the total, remember all our liability is capped.Ironically, this can be good for BRK :lots of opportunity after bankruptcy filings, we may see more companies in our stable.(I had the same thought on USG as I wrote my notes)
CM "Complete fraud situation and getting worse"
WB "Be careful if you own stocks in co.'s with asbestos liab.-many surprises, big problem. No corporate solution is forthcoming. We will be very careful. I'm not scared about our insurance exposure, it's the co.'s we own or will buy that concern me. Many of these same issues concern mold in houses."

Q4 WB "Don't toss a large chunk in at one time(S and P Index) as this is an implicit bet on the time of the market. No one metric exists to time the market, you can't do it reading or watching the TV,it's too complex. It just doesn't work that way. Don't worry about small or mid-caps etc., you just can't know that."

Q5 WB "I'm quite worried about a nuclear disaster. Humans haven't changed much, but the ability to inflict damage is remarkable now. Our terrorism insurance (we write alot) excludes nuclear,chemical, biological
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