Author Topic: Buffett/Berkshire - general news  (Read 490932 times)

Value^2

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #40 on: November 02, 2014, 12:16:50 AM »
Maybe I'm being bitchy, but does anyone else think Brit Cool should stop giving advice and interviews until she has actually done something?  She's 30 years old and the only thing I'm aware of her having done is hire the husband of a friend of hers to run Benjamin Moore and subsequently fire him when he cheated on her friend with a secretary.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/advice-buffetts-30-old-hand-174812229.html
Is that part true? If it is, it really doesn't bode well for BRK post-Buffett. On the other hand, pardon me if I'm being sexist or something here, but hiring her straight out of school when he has turned down multiple super talents with far more experience (Pabrai comes to mind) who also offered to work for free/very little may not have been optimal either.

Why Buffett should hire someone who mimics him shamelessly?

edit: other than that, i agree and understand your point.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2014, 12:22:23 AM by Value^2 »


rmitz

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #41 on: November 03, 2014, 08:25:21 AM »
^To be fair, WEB does have a weakness for young, attractive blondes...

I think it’s much more likely that she got lucky.  She can’t have been the first woman to try.  He may have started to realize just at that time that he needed more help for some of these things.

To be fair, consider this: she was a new MBA graduate in 2009. During the summer of 2008, she had internship with Lehman Brothers, Bank of America, and 85 Broad (85 Broad is a None-profit organization founded by Women MDs/Partners at Goldman sachs). In 2008, every banks was firing people, nobody was hired. Lehman bankrupted. Yet, she got 3 jobs. And she had no real world work experience, especially in finance(before MBA, she was an undergraduate at harvard). After graduation, she got a job with Warren Buffet when I think she could be the only person in her MBA class who got a job.

Let me be clear: I have no doubt she’s good.  Very good.  But clearly inexperienced.  What I mean by luck is that surely many many people along the years, some of whom may have been objectively better (though that’s very difficult to actually measure) would have gotten turned down.  That’s life.  All of us who have been successful have some measure of luck, though we may do our best to tilt the odds in our favor.

bookie71

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #42 on: November 03, 2014, 08:33:28 AM »
To gain experience, you have to have screw-ups as well as successes.  That is why I liked Guy Spier's book,he admitted his screw-ups.
Always remember, Pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered.

alwaysinvert

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #43 on: November 03, 2014, 10:51:40 AM »
I don't think there's anything necessarily wrong in making a "nepotist" hiring. Sometimes it can be optimal because you know their capabilities best from prior experience.

But if it goes awry the way it did in this case, you clearly have not taken the necessary precautions, which due to biases should probably be even more stringent than if you hire someone you don't know. Philandering and sexual harassment are not habits you suddenly take up at age 61.

longinvestor

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #44 on: November 03, 2014, 11:42:40 AM »
As always, any association with Buffett makes good headlines. Especially about a 29 something woman who shares the Omaha office and seems to enjoy the confidence of the boss. It is also very possible that the combination of a Harvard Business degree and Midwestern farm work ethic/experience has more to do with her getting the job than any other bally-hoo swirling the media. All we know is that she is playing a role that will help the next CEO ease into the job. And no, she is not on that shortlist, that rumor was squashed already.

fareastwarriors

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #45 on: November 03, 2014, 11:45:36 AM »
How Buffett's Brooks Running plans to become a $1 billion brand


http://fortune.com/2014/10/31/how-buffetts-brooks-running-plans-to-become-a-1-billion-brand/

fareastwarriors

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #46 on: November 10, 2014, 08:55:24 AM »
Buffett Said He Paid a Steep Price. $15 Billion Later, BNSF Is a Cash Machine. 'He Stole It'


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-10/buffett-s-15-billion-from-bnsf-show-railroad-came-cheap.html

peter1234

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #47 on: November 10, 2014, 09:19:58 AM »
Thanks for posting.

Let's not forget that some esteemed value people called the deal very expensive at the time.
 ;)

treasurehunt

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #48 on: November 10, 2014, 01:37:12 PM »
Thanks for posting.

Let's not forget that some esteemed value people called the deal very expensive at the time.
 ;)

Indeed. I remember Bruce Greenwald, esteemed professor at Columbia University, claim that the BNSF purchase was a crazy deal. "At $100/share we think he has lost his mind." is a verbatim quote. Not so insane, it seems. There is probably some element of luck in how well the BNSF deal turned out, but we should also give Buffett credit for understanding the railroad business better than many others.

Tim Eriksen

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #49 on: November 10, 2014, 02:20:23 PM »
The article says the 10-Q notes that $15 billion in dividends have been sent to Berkshire since the acquisition.   Does anyone know where that is in the 10-Q?  I personally wasn't a big fan of the purchase back then because it was so capital intensive.  If I understand things correctly BNSF still spends more on capex than depreciation, thus not all of its earnings can be sent to BRK.   If I recall correctly BNSF debt was $10 billion and has increased by nearly $10 billion since the acquisition. 

Any discussion of the merits of the BNSF deal should compare it to alternatives which is hard to do.  The S&P500 has doubled over the five year time frame.  Since shares were issued in the deal it diluted shareholder ownership in existing BRK businesses.