May 072012

At the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting on May 5, 2012, there were 35,000 shareholders in attendance.  A total of 67 questions from shareholders and analysts were answered by Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger.  Approximately 1/3 of these questions came from the audience, 1/3 selected by three journalists (Andrew Ross Sorkin, Becky Quick, and Carol Loomis) from the hundreds of questions submitted by e-mail from shareholders, and 1/3 from three insurance industry analysts (Cliff Gallant, Jay Gelb, and Gary Ransom).  The question I submitted was selected by Andrew Ross Sorkin (He mentioned my name and that I was from Maryland (University of Maryland)):  “One of Berkshire’s largest investments is in Walmart.  Have you changed your opinion of this company as a result of the Mexican bribery scandal”?  Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger responded  that this “was a diversion of management time”…”Walmart’s earning power would not be materially affected”… and there was “nothing fundamentally dishonest about Walmart”.

I was also quoted in a Bloomberg article on Warren Buffett’s comments with respect to U.S. banks:

“The fact that he thinks U.S. banks are in fine shape would be consistent in arguing against further regulation,”said David Kass, a professor at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. “However, he has said that it’s not necessary to agree on all issues with everyone you have dealings with.”

The entire article is available at:

 Posted by at 7:00 pm

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