Posts Tagged ‘U.S.’

In Line to Succeed?

May 6, 2010

At the annual Berkshire Hathaway Inc. stockholders’ meeting on May 1, my traveling companion came up with an interesting observation that should have really mattered the most (and she’s usually right about 90 percent of the time, I guess) — no successors in sight or mentioned to replace Warren Buffett or Charlie Munger. Sure, both men had relayed that an immediate succession plan would be in effect should either of them be out. But it would help to see these folks on stage as well.

Future stockholders’ meetings exclusively with the octogenarians Buffett and Munger will be limited, and it would be a relief to many shareholders to see the next generation of competent managers. Maybe next year, Buffett would be wise enough to expand the stage’s panel to include top managers so that a surprise successor won’t cause investor flight. Now would be the time to at least hear some new voices, to create a sense of relief that the behemoth of a ship known as Berkshire won’t sink and its passengers (read investors) won’t be scurrying overboard.

For a duo who seem to advocate integrity, allowing the next generation of Berkshire managers to speak would seem like a no-brainer. Unless, of course, the reason being that Buffett and Munger want to hog all of the available air time with investors to themselves. Munger quipped on almost everything from competent CEOs to the state of Greece’s affairs to monetary policy.

From Buffett, “We expect to do dumb things. It’s that we get mad when people do dumb things with our money.”

From Munger, “If you’re scared to do something, maybe you should get your feet wet with a little more failure.”


Shitty Deal on the “Shitty Deal”

April 28, 2010


The New York Times seemed to have skipped it entirely, as did The Wall Street Journal. The Associated Press placed asterisks for letters between s and y. But television news organizations including C-SPAN didn’t bleep it out during yesterday’s proceedings. And Bloomberg News placed it prominently in the first paragraph of one story.

Senator Carl Levin, presiding over testimony from Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s sale of some mortgage-related investments, chose to describe the transaction — borrowing words from a Goldman executive’s email — “a shitty deal”. The profanity probably caught some news organizations scrambling for compliance with regulators on banned words. But I’m sure the Federal Communications Commission will turn a blind eye to the Senator’s multiple utterances of the s-word.