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I Finally Arrived Home from meeting last night about Midnight (after a side trip to D.C.), and Stayed up till 4 AM reading this board. I must say that I thought the coverage here was excellent, so like Charlie "I have nothing to add" --- Well maybe a little.

I have to admit that I skipped out of the meeting at noon to visit the net jets exhibit on the theory that any thing that I missed I would be able to find here when I got home, a decision that certainly proved to be accurate.

Net Jets

I asked one of the net jets people about the possibility of a supersonic executive jet. He said that Boeing was currently spending several hundred million on design but that there were two big problems that had to be solved before there was a chance of production. The biggest problem being engine design, current engines capable of supersonic speeds require too much maintenance, and would be too expensive to operate. So a better more reliable engine would have to be developed, second he said Boeing was working on ways to reduce the sonic boom so that the plane could be operated over populated areas.


On the plane going and coming I re-read last years notes from the transcript provided by OID that came with the Annual Report. By comparison I thought that both Charlie and Warren were much more up-beat this year and though they did spend time trying to lower expectations about over all market, they were more positive about Berkshire itself. With Charlie even going so far as to admit that they had done much better in the last year or two than he had expected. And Warren " I can not recall ever having more fun".

First Quarter

I thought that the insurance figures were good, and that they will probably get better as the year progresses. Based on what we know now I am guessing that first Quarter Revenue will be north of $10 billion. As for income I am more optimistic than Elias (as Always) He said $4 billion for the year before tax, but if you just take the after tax figures from last year and back out the underwriting loss add in $603 m for no more good will, add $250 investment income for $7 billion increase in Float and some for acquisitions and growth in operational Companies (maybe S150 m) you have $4.5 Billion AFTER TAX.

Divide by four and gives you $1.125 B per quarter. Add $210 B for after tax investment gain (average quarter last year) and you have total net for quarter of $1.32 B. or $880 per share, which is about what Alice was estimating for 2003 or about 40% over her estimate for 2002

Any way this is probably a bit too optimistic, but let's hope not too far off. In any event we will know Saturday and I am definitely looking forward too seeing the actual figures.

For me the only disappointment in Omaha was that I did not get to meet more people that I wanted to meet from the board. I was unable to get to Joann's Barbeque because of conflicts that developed Saturday. I did See Usually reasonable and met Howardroack for the first time (See Pictures from dairy Queen in link below), but did not see many of the other people that I wanted to meet.

The thought occurred to me as I watched the Guy with the big Yellow hat at Borshiem's that we ought to find a way to identify other TMF'ers that we have not met, at NFM, the meeting and other functions. You know white shoes or red hair something like that.

Perhaps some could come up with a sticker or something that we could hang on the meeting credential. That way, while my wife is shopping I could be meeting people. Friday we stayed at Borshiem's for quite a while but I did not see anyone I knew from the board even though I suspect there were posters that I have not met in the crowd.

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When Life Gives You Lemons
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