Nov 112011

During the third quarter, Berkshire Hathaway invested $23.9 billion.  This compares to $3.62 billion in the second quarter, and $834 million in the first.  The investments, which were disclosed on November 4, include $9 billion for the acquisition of Lubrizol, $5 billion for Bank of America preferred shares and warrants, and $6.9 billion of equities which may be identified when Berkshire releases its SEC 13F filing on November 14.

These investments may not be identified if Berkshire receives confidential treatment from the SEC so as to limit copycat investing while Berkshire is adding to, or reducing, a position.  In addition, Berkshire is not required to report its holdings of foreign based companies.

I was quoted in a Bloomberg article on this topic on November 7:

“He’s broadly diversifying across numerous industries, and he would perhaps want that to be part of his legacy,” said David Kass, a professor at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. The third-quarter stock spending “sounds like at least one major investment. And it wouldn’t surprise me if it were two or three,” said Kass.

The entire article is available at:

I was also interviewed on this subject on the National Public Radio (NPR) program, Marketplace on November 7:

Not so for Buffett, who doesn’t always like to show his full hand. He has a good track record of getting privacy, says University of Maryland professor David Kass.

David Kass: This is not unusual. It’s at least 50 percent of the time. And this has been going on for years.

Buffett often buys and sells big blocks of stock that could move the markets, says Kass.

Kass: He may be getting special treatment largely because there are probably thousands of investors who would follow along and just make similar purchases or sales.

The entire NPR story is available at:


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