Monday, May 30, 2005

Chicago Goes to Omaha, BRKB Valuation, Berkshire Hathaway Bank, etc

So I am biased and point out headline #1 below, about last week's trip to Omaha. It was a great trip, and we will make a few posts about the trip over the next few weeks as we compile our notes. The Motley Fool article (#2) about figuring Buffett's worth is a good back of the envelope valuation estimate of Berkshire. The bogey I think is valuing the float, and there is the growing argument about whether the value goes down slightly as it gets bigger and more difficult to deploy. Here are some links about float, if interested, here, here, here, here. The third article link below is from the previous Motley Fool article, by a long time annual meeting attender wondering if Buffett's popularity is leading to the scarcity of opportunity. Perhaps in part... The Invisible Empire article is a great one on MidAmerican's real estate brokerage role up strategy, and provides a nice case study in the value of national vs. local brands. Next, BRK finally cuts off Ron Ferguson, ex-CEO of Gen Re, after he decided to follow Greenberg's lead and plead the 5th. A few comments on the MTM losses Buffett is feeling on his currency bet. A bunch of articles on the Pacific Corp deal -- a good note on Geico's strategy and on the blues in media stocks, losing competitive advantage and readers. Finally, RC Wiley, the furniture sales shop, is starting a bank. Berkshire Hathaway Bank. I wonder if Mr. B has larger plans for it, as a competitive lender for other retail enterprises within the now sprawling conglomerate.

Buffett Group Meets its Namesake
Chicago Business Online (subscription) -
Warren Buffett, Chairman of the Board of Berkshire Hathaway and the second-wealthiest person in the world, met with 80 GSB students in an event organized by ...

Figuring Buffett's Worth
Motley Fool - USA
Spring is a wonderful time of year: Birds sing and flowers bloom -- and Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRKa)(NYSE: BRKb ...

Interesting albeit slightly main street commentary with some historical perspective on annual meetings and Buffett

Warren Buffett's Invisible Empire
BusinessWeek - USA
For years, Warren E. Buffett has been selling us everything from Dairy Queen sundaes and Fruit of the Loom briefs to Benjamin Moore paint and skillets from The ...


Berkshire Hathaway Cuts Ties With Ex-Exec
Forbes - USA
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has severed ... chief executive. Officials at Berkshire Hathaway were not immediately available for comment Friday.

A Finger on the Pulse of Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffett
Throughout the spring, the snowballing financial scandal at insurance giant American International Group has put the spotlight on the firm's partner in the improper deal, General Re Corp. Could the damage extend to Gen Re's owner, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and its legendary chief, Warren Buffett? The questions about Gen Re come on top of another that gets larger every year: Can Berkshire continue to deliver outsized returns to shareholders after 74-year-old Buffett, who has run the company for four decades, passes from the scene?


Buffett's Big Bet
Forbes: The Oracle of Omaha bet on a falling dollar, but it's starting to rise.

Warren Buffett Says He's a `Bull' on British Pound (Update3)
Bloomberg –

Pacific Corp Deal

Five Days Buffett Steps Up; Another Step Down for GM
New York Times -
New York,NY,USA
... POWER PLAY After a long hiatus from deal making, Warren E. Buffett jumped back in, using some of the $44 billion in cash accumulated by his Berkshire Hathaway ...

Shark bait?
Sunday Herald -
... to the world in a surprise deal announced on Tuesday why ScottishPower had decided to sell PacifiCorp to
Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway investment business. ...

Business: Buffett Pays $5.1 Billion for Utility and Promises More Deals NYT By HEATHER TIMMONS and JAD MOUAWAD Warren E. Buffett bought the electric utility PacifiCorp from Scottish Power, promising to buy similar assets in the future.

Business: Buffett Steps Up; Another Step Down for G.M.
GOOD news abounded this week. Americans were all a bit wealthier, at least if they own homes; the economy grew faster, rebounding from a bit of a slowdown early in the year; and markets rose.


Buffett's AAA Discount
Motley Fool -
I'd never attended before, so it was a tremendous thrill to meet Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger and let their wisdom massage my inner contrarian in person. ...

GEICO's Lean, Green Machine
Motley Fool - USA
... As Warren
Buffett explains in his most recent letter to shareholders, "a company (in a commodity-type business) holding a low cost advantage must pursue an ...

Big Media Blues
Motley Fool - USA
... During the press conference at the recent Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRKA)(NYSE: BRKB) shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, Warren
Buffett and Charlie ...

Proposed Bank Would Handle RC Willey Loans
KSL-TV - Salt Lake City,UT,USA
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Billionaire investor Warren
Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway company plans to operate a Utah industrial bank to handle consumer loans for ...

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