We maintained our dividend of $10 per share in 2013 even though we reported a loss. As I have said throughout this
letter, 2013 was an excellent year for your company, masked by hedging losses and fluctuations in stock and bond
prices. However, do not expect any increase in dividend soon.++
Last year, I quoted a major U.S. bank CEO who famously said, ‘‘As long as the music is playing, you have to get up and
dance.’’ You can see how difficult it is not to dance! And what a party it was in 2013! The S&P went up 30% while the
Russell 2000 was up 37%. As discussed earlier, the high tech stocks were soaring – particularly those with no earnings
and very little revenue. Tesla Motors, for example, sold 22,477 cars in 2013 but commands a market cap of
$31 billion, while Fiat, which we like, sold 4.4 million cars but has a market cap of only $14 billion. Amazon has a
market cap of $167 billion but has not earned more than $1.2 billion in any one year since it went public in 1999.
Facebook has recently made a $19 billion offer for WhatsApp – a company with approximately 50 employees and
$20 million in revenue. This is the poster child for the excesses that prevail in the tech world!
Signs of speculative excesses are everywhere – even though the U.S. economy is still very tepid. The world might+++