No its not time a divi yet, there are still plenty of small businesses out there that Buffett would like and of course, there is always the remote possibility that he might just add more to his current positions of Coke and Gillete. He'll continue to dabble in hte market and look for opportunities. A billion here and billion there....many streams running together to form a river
I don't see anyone mentioning the huge growth in operating cash. This is huge as it enables Buffett to fund purchases with cash provided by existing businesses without giving shares. As long as he can find good businesses with returns equal to what we have Berkshire has a long way to go IMO.
Just using some of the numbers from the cash flow statement, and based of what we know about Gen Re, looks to me as though cash flow from operations was about $3.5 billion, ex WTC. Wouldn't bet on that number, but it doesn't seem far off. A decent underwriting year and cash flow could approach $5 billion in a few years, given the right circumstances, like a few more acquisitions. If the $3.5 billion is close, and based on some growth and the right acquisitions, this number could approach near $10 billion in ten years. Wouldn't surpirse me if BRK could comfortably start paying a $2000-3000 a year dividend at the end of that period.
Sounds a little far fetched today perhaps, but not unrealistic. Stranger things have happened.