Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Berkshire/Buffett – headlines from this weekend’s annual meeting

Berkshire/Buffett – headlines from this weekend’s annual meeting
· BRK’b earnings – net income swung to a $3.63 billion first-quarter profit from a year-earlier $1.53 billion loss, helped by an improving economy and gains from investments and derivatives. Operating earnings rose 30 percent to $2.22 billion from $1.71 billion, reflecting "a pretty good uptick" in business activity – Reuters 
· GS/Goldman – strong defense of the company from Buffett – remains happy w/his investment in the company and w/CEO Blankfein.  Buffett said the SEC charges weren’t serious enough to raise reputational risks for Goldman.  Berkshire has no plans to sell its stake in Goldman.  Reuters 
· GS/Goldman – Buffett thinks Goldman is doing a poor job on the PR front but doesn’t think the company committed fraud.  CNBC
· Ratings  agencies (MCO, MHP) – despite being a recent seller of Moody’s shares, Buffett says the companies have great business models and a lot of pricing power.  WSJ 
· Buffett says the pace of sovereign borrowing recently has made him skeptical about the ability of currencies to hold their value (WSJ) 
· Buffett says planned derivatives regulations may spar Berkshire from having to post additional collateral; “if the bill passes tomorrow we won’t have to post a dime”; if more sweeping legislation was passed, then Berkshire would have to post billions of additional dollars worth of collateral; Buffett says Berkshire will comply w/whatever law is passed and will have no problem doing so  Bloomberg 

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