Berkshire Hathaway‘s annual shareholders meeting begins this morning. 40,000 stockholders are said to be in attendance for the event. My friend Shira will have a liveblog up for WSJ Deal Journal staring at 9:30 am EST (link below) and that’s where I want you to be, but let me get something off my chest real quick.
I’m seeing and hearing a lot of this kind of nonsense:
“Will Warren apologize for the David Sokol incident?”
“Will Buffett take responsibility?”
“Is more being done by Warren Buffett to protect us from this kind of thing?”
To which I say, will you please do us all a favor and just STFU?
Warren Buffett owes YOU an explanation? GTFO! Sell Berkshire if you don’t like it. Buffett had an employee who did something stupid. BIG DEAL! What did it cost you?
Warren Buffett is the very manifestation of American Capitalism, you should be honored that he even chooses to say anything publicly and for your benefit at all. He is, as Doug Kass calls him, the Mozart of Investing. The fact that there’s been a public vehicle for regular folks to be invested in is nothing short miraculous.
O, the trades us shareholders have been priveleged enough to have participated in! The stealing of Goldman Sachs and the rescue of GE – both paying us loanshark-esque interest rates with equity upside kickers.
How about the Burlington Northern deal? We own a railroad outright, Warren is taking it back to the Age of the Industrial Barons with us along for the ride. And lest you think the BNI purchase was made because Warren likes to play with his choo-choo trains, understand that we now control the flow of Powder River Basin coal to China, Warren just Suge Knighted the whole global energy game – and we are his partners!
Buffett was buying housing-related companies (paint, carpet, siding) in 2000-2002 while you were gorging and choking on dot com stocks. He predicted and cleaned up on the housing boom and you don’t even realize it. He’s avoided tech from 2000 up until today, to the derision and disbelief of the world. The Nasdaq and 90% of its large cap stocks have done zero since then – who’s sneering now?
So please, keep your pointed fingers away from our Buffett, he is untouchable – teflon – and he should be. This Sokol stuff will fade away as it should and all that will remain are the gains and compounded returns.
He doesn’t owe you any answers for anything.
In the words of Kanye West, his presence is a present.