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As a post script, the tax aspect is interesting also. Mr Buffett, as chairman of Berkshire, has a duty tominimisea tax liability that would be around $400m in the event those capital gains were crystalised.
Note that Mr Buffett’s stake in Berkshire, worth $63bn, is about a fifth of the company’s $305bn market capitalisation. The value of that perfectly legal piece of tax avoidance to him personally is $80m.
Yet it has passed largely without comment that the very rich man who says he would like higher taxes on the rich has pulled off a deal designed entirely to avoid a large tax bill. America’s favourite billionaire indeed.++