My concern with BRKa and BRKb is that we are tied
into the top two people, both of whom are - shall we
say - getting up there. I read in the notice of the
General RE action that one of the risks discussed is the
danger to the stock if WB is "unavailable." I believe
when he and Munger go, the stock will plummet. What is
being done to avoid that, or do they care? (Why the
heck should they - they'll be gone!) My other concern
is with major catastrophe coverage. This looks like
it is going to be a bad hurricane year - what does
that do to us?
.. GRN and BRK shareholders vote next week.
THe EU makes its decision on the merger 9/20/98.
.. I am not sure when the IRS makes its decision but
the merger has a viable alternative plan should the
..YES!! Let's get this show on the
road and get the GRN float into Buffetts hands while
this market is gyrating down.
..Does anyone know
exactly when Buffett will get his hands on the GRN float.
Is it after all the voting approval, EU approval and
IRS approval or is it when the actual conversion of
GRN to BRKA and BRKB occurs weeks or months down the
line, ie. sometime in the fourth quarter
..In the 1997 Annual report Buffett says about Market
fluctuations: (I know this has been posted before but its nice
to be reminded of these statements again and again
in this volatile market.)
"A short quiz: If you
plan to eat hamburgers throughout your life and are
not a cattle producer, should you wish for higher or
lower prices for beef? Likewise, if you are going to
buy a car from time to time but are not an auto
manufacturer, should you prefer higher or lower car prices?
These questions, of course, answer themselves.
now for the final exam: If you expect to be a net
saver during the next five years, should you hope for a
higher or lower stock market during that period? Many
investors get this one wrong. Even though they are going to
be net buyers of stocks for many years to come, they
are elated when stock prices rise and depressed when
they fall. In effect, they rejoice because prices have
risen for the "hamburgers" they will soon be
This reaction makes no sense. Only those who will be
sellers of equities in the near future should be happy at
seeing stocks rise. Prospective purchasers should much
prefer sinking prices.
For shareholders of Berkshire
who do not expect to sell, the choice is even
clearer. To begin with, our owners are automatically
saving even if they spend every dime they personally
earn: Berkshire "saves" for them by retaining all
earnings, thereafter using these savings to
businesses and securities. Clearly, the more cheaply we make
these buys, the more profitable our owners' indirect
savings program will be.
Berkshire you own major positions in companies that
consistently repurchase their shares. The benefits that these
programs supply us grow as prices fall...
At the end of
every year, about 97% of Berkshire's shares are held by
the same investors who owned them at the start of the
year. That makes them savers. They should therefore
rejoice when markets decline and allow both us and our
investees to deploy funds more advantageously.
when you read a headline that says "Investors lose as
market falls." Edit it in your mind to "Disinvestors
lose as market falls -- but investors gain." Though
writers often forget this truism, there is a buyer for
every seller and what hurts one necessarily helps the
other. (As they
say in golf matches: "Every putt
makes someone happy.")
We gained enormously from
the low prices placed on many equities and businesses
in the 1970s and 1980s. Markets that then were
hostile to investment transients were friendly to those
taking up permanent residence. In recent years, the
actions we took in those decades have been validated, but
we have found few new opportunities. In its role as
a corporate "saver," Berkshire continually looks
for ways to sensibly deploy
capital, but it may be
some time before we find opportunities that get us
truly excited. "
Url to the annual 1997 report.
If you haven't read it bookmark it and read it at
This ain't no mutual fund. Under no circumstances
fractional shared be issued. You should receive cash
the fractional share you would be entitled
Since you must also own whole shares of GRN, I
that you have 25 shares which yields 25*.105 = 2 5/8
You would receive 2 BRK + some cash. If you want to
up with 3 BRKB you should but another 4 GRN,
(25+4)*.105 = 3.045 BRKB.
..........I think we're going to luck out this
year.......North Carolina took a moderate hit with Bonnie [$256
million total claims] and we're over half way thru the
season...... now, our odds get better with each passing
day....... BTW........long term, things are changing in this
area with increasing regulation on ocean front
building. In some places down in the Carolinas, if you get
wiped out... too bad. You won't be allowed to rebuild,
and this should lessen storm surge damage in the
web (& i believe munger) have heirs who stand to
inherit stock & therefore would care about the price
beyond their own time on earth. besides which, these
guys have spent their lives working to grow this
company. i don't agree that they have no concern for what
happens after their death.
would stock plummet
when they go? yes, i believe so. i also believe that
the older they get, the less premium will be built
into the price that we are paying for their genius
capabilities. there is a sort of underwriting mortality chart
built into the stock. at least that's my theory.
Actually Buffet has commented before that he
would leave most of his stock to charity because he
doesn't believe in just bequeathing one's offspring with
billions of dollars. (It's certainly no more rational to
give it to random strangers in my opinion, who haven't
earned it either). Nevertheless, no one knows who the
shareholder will be...maybe a foundation of sort.
According to Mr. Buffett, successors to the
throne have already been chosen and they know who they
are. Only Mr. Buffett's inner circle apparently know
who they are. We, the public on the other hand, have
The Toronto Investment