To answer this question one must first determine what long-term annualized rate of return they would expect if they bought BRK at the current market price? How does that change if they bought at $75? What long-term annualized rate of return would they expect if they bought IBM at $200?
if one were going to publicly indulge one's propensity to pedantry, one would do well to remember that "one" is singular.
yes, your question answers itself. everybody here who can read had long since answered it. no, it's not the right question.
the correct question is "how much is it really worth to have a durable competitive advantage in the reinsurance industry?". buybacks weaken the capital base in an absolute sense; investments strengthen it. reasonable people can disagree (widely) on how big a hurdle that represents to distributions, but buffett has been crystal clear and admirably consistent for a very long time in his opinions. it isn't difficult to see his plan is *working*. bending over goldman sachs for a couple billion? pretty good sign you're doing something right.