Every year, investors from Wall Street to Main Street await Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett’s annual letter to the company’s shareholders, for his commentary on the current business and economic environment, for his investment insights, and for his occasional folksy and humorous observations. In the run-up to the release of this year’s letter, which took place this past Saturday morning, there was hope that this year’s letter might do a little more – say, explain how Buffett intends to deploy the company’s growing mountain of cash, or comment on recent negative developments at Kraft Heinz. Although this year’s letter contains the usual ration of Buffett’s brand of investment wisdom, those who were looking for more undoubtedly were disappointed.  Buffett’s February 23, 2019 letter can be found here. (Full disclosure: I own BRK.B shares, although not nearly as many as I wish I did.)
Continue Reading A Closer Look at Buffett’s Annual Letter to Berkshire Shareholders     

cunningham buffett 4e coverWarren Buffett’s annual letters to Berkshire shareholders are prized alike by the company’s shareholders and by those who have no connection to the company other than an interest in what Buffett may have to say. Anyone who has followed Buffett’s letters over the years knows that the Berkshire chairman has certain themes to which he returns over and over again. Anyone who wants to assemble a comprehensive view on one of these recurring themes can of course sort through all of the shareholder letters that Buffett has written over the year, from the collection of the letters on the Berkshire website. However, the fact is that sorting through 38 years of letters would be a daunting and difficult task.

Fortunately for anyone interesting in Buffett’s writings and views, there is an excellent resource that organizes essays from over the years into a single volume organized by topic and accompanied by a detailed index. In his book, “The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America,” George Washington University Law Professor Lawrence A. Cunningham has done a truly commendable job distilling and organizing the essence of Buffett’s letter to Berkshire shareholders. In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Berkshire Hathaway under Buffett’s leadership, Cunningham has released an updated Fourth Edition of the book (here), which incorporates selections from Buffett’s most recent shareholder letters into the anthology.
Continue Reading Book Review: Buffett’s Lessons for Corporate America

bbbWhat Warren Buffett has accomplished at the head of Berkshire Hathaway is nothing short of astonishing. Not only has he built a massive company, but he has done it while maintaining an unparalleled reputation for business integrity. The man is an American business icon. He is also mortal. Buffett is now 84 years old. The

buffOne of the most highly anticipated events in the annual business cycle is the March release of Warren Buffett’s letter to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. Many investors and observers look forward to the letter for the business and investment insights that Berkshire’s Chairman provides, as well as for his plain-spoken style and homespun humor.

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett is often referred to as the “Sage of Omaha” and is respected for his business insight. But in many ways his reputation for sagacity is simply a by-product of a very basic, company-related project. What Buffett set out to do was to cultivate a certain type of shareholder for Berkshire

In her authorized 2009 biography of American business icon Warren Buffett, The Snowball,  Alice Schroeder admirably captured how Buffett’s long and successful business career resulted in the accumulation of not only vast wealth, but also of an impressively large and loyal network of close friends. Among Buffett’s buddies is Fortune Magazine’s editor-at- large, Carol Loomis.

Berkshire Hathaway’s Audit Committee has determined that David Sokol’s trades in Lubrizol shares prior to Berkshire’s announced acquisition of the company “violated company policies.” It also determined that his “misleadingly incomplete disclosures” to Berkshire management “violated the duty of candor he owed the Company.”  The Audit Committee reported these findings in an April 26 report

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett was not exaggerating when he stated at the opening of the company’s March 30, 2011 press release (here) that the release “will be unusual.” Not only did Buffett disclose the resignation of David Sokol as Chairman and CEO of several subsidiaries, but the release also revealed that Sokol