Highlights of Jeff Bezos Interview at Economic Club of Washington on September 13, 2018

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Sep 152018

In this Jeff Bezos interview (1 hour and 9 minutes) the Amazon CEO quotes from Warren Buffett and explains why he bought the Washington Post which is now profitable and hiring additional staff by becoming a national and global newspaper via the Internet.  Amazon located in Seattle, Washington so they could draw from the talent at Microsoft.  They will announce the location of their second headquarters by the end of 2018.  Amazon Web Services initiated cloud computing and it took seven years before anyone else entered this market resulting in its very large market share.  Bezos was always an A+ student, was his high school’s valedictorian (class of 750 in Miami, Florida), and graduated summa cum laude from Princeton in 1982 where he majored in electrical engineering, physics, and computing.

Bezos is starting charities focusing on pre-school education in poor neighborhoods to minimize the probabilities of children being left behind, and is also donating $2 billion to fight homelessness.

Jeff Bezos owns 16 percent of Amazon which is approximately a $1 trillion company.  He is the richest person in the world, worth $160 billion and “has created $840 billion in wealth for everyone else”.  He gets eight hours of sleep every night, exercises regularly, and has his first meetings everyday with staff at 10:00 a.m.  He is too tired at 5:00 p.m. to make major decisions.  He “putters around” in the morning by reading newspapers and has breakfast with his children before they go to school.  He previously worked for D.E. Shaw (investment management firm) in New York City where he met his wife Mackenzie Bezos who also graduated summa cum laude from Princeton.

Even though he had an excellent job with D.E. Shaw, he wanted to start a business selling books on the Internet.  What people think about late in life are “errors of omission”, what people could have done but did not.  He did not want this to be one opportunity that he did not pursue.

Warren Buffett has previously described Jeff Bezos as the best business person he has ever met.

Jeff Bezos was interviewed by David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-chief executive officer of the Carlyle Group.


 Posted by at 7:35 am
Sep 032018

In a Berkshire Hathaway news release on July 17, 2018, Berkshire’s Board of Directors announced an amendment to its share repurchase program.  The earlier share repurchase program provided that the price paid for repurchases would not exceed a 20% premium over the then-current book value of such shares.  Under the amended plan, share repurchases can be made at any time that both Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger believe that the repurchase price is below Berkshire’s intrinsic value, “conservatively determined”.

“The current policy whereby share repurchases will not be made if they would reduce the value of Berkshire’s consolidated cash, cash equivalents and U.S. treasury Bills holdings below $20 billion will continue.  Berkshire will not initiate any share share repurchases under the amended program until it publicly releases its second quarter earnings, currently scheduled after the close of the markets on Friday, August 3, 2018.”

On August 30, during an interview on CNBC, Warren Buffett stated that “we’ve bought back a little” (shares of Berkshire Hathaway).  Therefore, these shares were purchased between Monday, August 6 and Thursday, August 30 (Buffett: “We’re buying stocks this morning.”)  Between August 6 and August 30, Berkshire Hathaway traded approximately between $310,000 and $315,000 per share (approximately a 45% premium to its June 30 book value of $217,677).  A purchase price in this range implies that Buffett and Munger probably estimate that Berkshire’s intrinsic value is at least a 55% premium to its book value, or at least $335,000 per share, allowing for a “margin of safety”.  On Friday, August 31, Berkshire closed at $315,800.


 Posted by at 8:12 pm