Today is the big day! My entire team is at the Berkshire Hathaway 50th annual shareholders meeting and we will be blogging live from the floor of the meeting! Happy 50th Warren and Charlie. Stay tuned for updates everyone!
7:44 – On the floor level, waiting for things to start!
9:22 – Warren and Charlie just walked onto the stage! Buffett is thanking everyone. Here we go!
9:31 – Carol Loomis asks the first question about Clayton homes alleged predatory pricing and 3G Capital agressive acquisitions. Buffett responds that Clayton keeps the mortgages, vs. selling them like other companies. Clayton provides homes to many that cannot afford homes. Buffett says story is not true about profits. Reporter confused gross profit and net profit.
9:56 -Shareholder asks if there’s a checklist to predict profit in 5 years. Munger responds that every company is different. No checklist.
10:07 – 97% of shareholders voted to reject a dividend. Wow!
10:29 – Buffett says any company that has an economist has 1 employee too many. This is in response to a question about macro event influencing decisions.
10:45 – Buffett says the the dollar will be the reserve currency of the world 50 years from now.
10:57 – Shareholder asks what the biggest mistake is of the past 50 years? Buffett replies that it is the purchase of Dexter and using Berkshire shares to make purchases.
11:31 – A lot of questions about 3G cost cutting being counter to Berkshire’ culture. Buffett reminds everyone that Berkshire runs very lean and has cut staff and projects in the past. Buffett said he admires 3G’s operational efficiencies.
12:57 – On lunch break. Meeting will resume in a few minutes. This has been the best shareholder’s meeting I’ve ever attended by far!
1:12 – Buffett said that global warming has no effect on Berkshire’s property and casualty insurance prices.
1:33 – Buffett – “We don’t ignore short term results, we just don’t live by them.”
1:48 – Whitney Tilson asks if buying Netjets was a mistake? Buffett says no, it’s a good business. Netjets pilots are currently on strike.
2:15 – Buffett – The Eurozone can, and will, survive but it is going to take some changes.
2:44 – Berkshire only has 3 computers at headquarters! Buffett says he would give up his jet before giving up the Internet.
3:11 – What matters most to you? Charlie -Rationality. He sees it as a moral obligation to be as smart as you can be. Buffett – That Berkshire does well because the shareholders depend on it.
3:23 – Question and answer session is over. Business meeting starts.
Meeting is over! Incredible meeting. Feels like getting an MBA over the weekend. Estimates are that 40,000 attended this year, making it the largest shareholder meeting ever. The promo material said it best – 50 years of a profitable partnership!
Be Free. Nothing else is worth it.
Just can’t stop reading? Check-out these other posts: