Warren Buffett has summoned the faithful to Omaha for the annual meeting or love fest. Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) What is he going to say this time? We know about the major acquisition. It was a railroad. We know about the elephant gun and itchy fingers but somehow he is not saying that so much anymore. We know about Lubrizol and Soskol. We know that Warren Buffett publicly stated no wrong doing occurred. We know many lawyers are investigating and legal action will be forthcoming shortly.
The legal actions may develop into a legal tar baby and Warren Buffett may spend the last few years of his life explaining a mistake and trying to salvage an enviable reputation. The lustre may wear off the Berkshire Warren Buffett brand.
Succession still seems to be a big problem. Warren Buffett will not or can not name the one individual or group of individuals who will replace him. You can start having an interesting discussion with a geriatric specialist about cognitive abilities and how they slowly slip away. Errors in judgment or difficulty in making decisions.
We also know that upon Warren Buffett’s death the bulk of his wealth will transfer over to the Gates foundation. Warren Buffett is nominally a Democrat (I think) so expect Republicans to rock the boat as most of the money goes for causes outside of the US of A. Why should the American tax payor cover that tab? This will create controversy and will be distracting to Berkshire from an operating point of view. Gates Foundation will also become embroiled in tax argumentation. Hey Bill Gates how is that Golf Membership in Atlanta working out.
One way or the other Warren Buffett’s dominant shareholder position will be sold off. Stock prices are determined by supply and demand. The biggest position will be for sale. All those billionaires Buffett and Gates have been soliciting will be watching closely and saying something like there but for the grace of God go I. Or some such culturally appropriate affirmation.
Disclosure: “George Gutowski” writes from a “Caveat Emptor Perspective” I hold no positions in stocks mentioned in this post. I have no plans to initate new positions within the next 72 hours.
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