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All through all of this, people on this board and elsewhere repeated, whenever the topic came up, that it was impossible --or at least highly impractical-- to try and take advantage of this discrepancy, for various reasons... and I continued to observe that in fact it was quite plausible, and at times downright easy.

That's great. I did write about it several times back in early 2009 and it was discussed elsewhere on occasion. It is not the only time I didn't act when perhaps I should have. Part of the issue is that most, but not all, of my Berkshire holdings were in taxable accounts at that time.
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