Invest Like a Dealmaker: Secrets from a Former Banking Insider

Invest Like a Dealmaker: Secrets from a Former Banking Insider

  • Investing
  • Invest Like a Dealmaker
  • Christopher Mayer

Invest Like a Dealmaker outlines an approach to investing that is far removed from what most investors have been conditioned to believe, but which has produced consistent profits for its practitioners decade after decade. While the concepts covered are not well known by the average investor, they are well appreciated by Wall Street insiders and dealmakers—particularly those who think about stocks as whole companies, as things with real assets, and cash flows that exist in the real world.

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Warren Buffett: Remarkable Advice from Warren Buffet to Manage Your Work and Take Control Over Your Life (warren buffett books, warren buffett way, warren buffett biography)

Warren Buffett: Remarkable Advice from Warren Buffet to Manage Your Work and Take Control Over Your Life (warren buffett books, warren buffett way, warren buffett biography)

Warren Buffett (FREE Bonus Included)

Remarkable Advice from Warren Buffet to Manage Your Work and Take Control Over Your Life

Warren Buffett: Remarkable Advice is a one-of-a-kind collection of pearls of wisdom and advice from one of the world’s most wealthy men. His success is largely driven by his exceptional ability to set goals and execute them flawlessly. This book will take his sage advice and make it available, approachable, and easily understood.

If you’re interested in improving your quality of life, Warren Buffett: Remarkable Advice will take a long, hard look at the life and words of Warren Buffet, and you’re along for the ride. You’ll learn to stretch your mind, develop new technique

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A Few Lessons for Investors and Managers From Warren Buffett

A Few Lessons for Investors and Managers From Warren Buffett

Peter Bevelin begins A Few Lessons for Investors and Managers with Warren Buffett’s wisdom, “I am a better investor because I am a businessman and a better businessman because I am an investor.” This book is about how managers and investors can increase their chance of success and reduce the chance of harm if managers think more like investors and investors more like businessmen.

There are a lot of books about Warren Buffett, but A Few Lessons for Investors and Managers is different. It tells in a short-easy-to-read way about what managers and investors can learn from Buffett. This is a selection of useful and timeless wisdom where Warren Buffett in his own words tells us how to think about business valuation, what is a good and bad busine

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Social Good Summit Announces 2013 Dates, #2030NOW Theme – Global Convening from Sept. 22-24 Imagines What Our World Can Be 2030


New York, NY (PRWEB) July 02, 2013

From September 22-24, the fourth annual Social Good Summit a unique convening of world leaders, technology pioneers and grassroots innovators will explore how todays use of digital technology for social good can build a better future. With 92nd Street Y in New York City as its base and introducing this years theme, #2030NOW, the summit will facilitate a global conversation and lively debate on the world we want in 2030 and how we unleash the next generation of innovation to make it a reality.

A unique mix of notable speakers will share their visions for the future. This group includes individuals such as:

????Pete Cashmore, Mashable
????Helen Clark, UNDP
????Dr. Jim Yong Kim, World Bank
????Michael Roth, Wesleyan University
????Hans Vestberg, Ericsson
????The Climate Reality Project
????Zeenat Rahman, State Department
????Astronaut Ron Garan, NASA
????Ian Somerhalder, RYOT & actor
????Jack Andraka, Youth cancer researcher
????Sarah Kramer, New York Times

This years summit will include creative new features to maximize engagement, such as an increased number of meet ups around the world to take place alongside the summit and prominent experts serving as Keynote Listeners. The first class of Social Good Summit Keynote Listeners will be announced in July. Registration for the global event is now open at http://www.socialgoodsummit.com.

Building a Brighter, Shared Future: #2030NOW

The Social Good Summit will take place as the UN General Assembly convenes for its annual meeting. This years theme, #2030NOW, will challenge participants to imagine the world we want in 2030 and share solutions, lessons learned, and ideas about how technology and social media can help create it. #2030NOW builds on the UN-led process to craft a post-2015 development agenda that will follow and accelerate progress on the Millennium Development Goals.

Summit participants will support the UNs long-term goals by focusing on the following question: Will the solutions we are creating in todays digital world truly have a lasting impact on our future and how are we paving the way for the next generation of innovation? Whatever global challenges we face, we know that quick and simple fixes are not always the best for deep-rooted problems. #2030NOW will confront the status quo of social media and social change by forcing participants to think about how to take technology and innovation to the next level.

A Growing Global Conversation

This years Social Good Summit will extend across the globe, reaching more communities than ever before. Last year, people in more than 300 cities in 150 countries joined the summit conversation by organizing in-person or online meetings in their own communities and connecting via video and social media. Through the newly launched +SocialGood platform and with the reach of the UN Development Programmes country offices, the 2013 summit organizers will increase the number of meet ups in local communities around the world. Meet ups currently scheduled to happen include Brazil, Morocco, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Somalia and Ukraine. To get involved in a global meet up, go to: http://www.socialgoodsummit.com.

More Exciting Speakers to Come

Additional speakers at the 2013 Social Good Summit will be announced online and on social media every two weeks leading up to the Summit. Speakers will include technology pioneers, global leaders, UN experts, celebrities, youth innovators and others currently doing cutting-edge work to solve todays most important global challenges.

About the Social Good Summit Partners

The 2013 Social Good Summit is proudly presented by Mashable, 92nd Street Y, the United Nations Foundation, the United Nations Development Programme, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Ericsson.

###

Mashable: Mashable is a leading source for news, information and resources for the Connected Generation. Mashable reports on the importance of digital innovation and how it empowers and inspires people around the world. Mashables 25 million unique visitors and 11 million social media followers have become one of the most engaged online news communities. Founded in 2005, Mashable is headquartered in New York City with an office in San Francisco.

92nd Street Y: 92nd Street Y is a world-class nonprofit community and cultural center that connects people at every stage of life to the worlds of education, the arts, health and wellness, and Jewish life. Through the breadth and depth of 92Ys extraordinary programs, we enrich lives, create community and elevate humanity. More than 300,000 people a year visit 92Ys New York City venues, and millions more join us through the Internet, satellite broadcasts and other digital media. A proudly Jewish organization since its founding in 1874, 92Y embraces its heritage and enthusiastically welcomes people of all backgrounds and perspectives.

United Nations Foundation: The UN Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the worlds most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP): UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in 177 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

Ericsson: Ericsson is a world-leading provider of communications technology and services. We are enabling the Networked Society with efficient real-time solutions that allow us all to study, work and live our lives more freely, in sustainable societies around the world. Our offering comprises services, software and infrastructure within Information and Communications Technology for telecom operators and other industries. Today 40 percent of the world’s mobile traffic goes through Ericsson networks and we support customers’ networks servicing more than 2.5 billion subscriptions. We are more than 110,000 people working with customers in more than 180 countries. Founded in 1876, Ericsson is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2012 the company’s net sales were SEK 227.8 billion (USD 33.8 billion).

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving peoples health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all peopleespecially those with the fewest resourceshave access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. .







Related Warren Buffett Press Releases

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Learning from Warren Buffet’s Annual Letter to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders

Warren Buffett’s annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders was released over the weekend. Readers will find plenty of investing lessons among the twenty-three pages. Warren began this letter as he begins each letter, by stating Berkshire’s change in per-share book value:

“Our gain in net worth during 2005 was .6 billion, which increased the per-share book value of both our Class A and Class B stock by 6.4%. Over the last 41 years, (that is, since present management took over) book value has grown from to ,377, a rate of 21.5% compounded annually.”

Some may wonder why Buffett opens by announcing the change in per-share book value rather than the earnings per share number. Over long periods of time, the change in per-share book value should nicely approximate the returns to owners. You may remember that, in my analysis of Energizer Holdings, I applauded the company for reporting comprehensive income within the income statement. Although a company’s net income is often referred to as its bottom line, net income is, in fact, a (sub)component of comprehensive income. Energizer Holdings (ENR) literally reports comprehensive income as its bottom line.

FASB merely requires that “an enterprise shall display total comprehensive income and its components in a financial statement that is displayed with the same prominence as other financial statements that constitute a full set of financial statements”. Unfortunately, despite the lack of attention paid to it by investors, the statement of changes in stockholders’ equity is considered “a financial statement that constitutes a full set of financial statements”.

Therefore, comprehensive income can be reported in a statement many investors either do not review or do not understand. Alternatively, a company may choose to report comprehensive income in a separate Statement of Comprehensive Income. This, of course, baffles many investors, who think they are reading a second copy of the income statement. After all, what is comprehensive income? Isn’t the net income number reported in a (traditional) income statement a comprehensive number?

No. The widely reported earnings per share number is not comprehensive. That isn’t to say the EPS number isn’t important. It is very important. In fact, for certain businesses, it may be the most useful figure for evaluating a going concern. This is especially true if the investor is only looking at the financials for a single year. A single year’s comprehensive income may actually be less representative of a business’ performance than a single year’s EPS number (both can be pretty unrepresentative).Remember, the earnings per share number does not tell you how much wealth was actually created (or destroyed). You need to look to the comprehensive income number to find that information.

Essentially, Buffett is reporting Berkshire’s earnings in that opening line. He is simply using a more comprehensive income figure. He’s saying here’s how much wealth we created, and here’s how much capital it took to create that wealth. When he writes “Our gain in net worth during 2006 was .6 billion, which increased the per-share book value of both our Class A and Class B stock by 6.4%” he’s really saying Berkshire earned .6 billion and a 6.4% return on equity. He prefers using comprehensive income rather than net income, because comprehensive income includes non-operating earnings such as changes in the market value of available for sale securities.

If you still have doubts about the idea that Buffett is essentially reporting Berkshire’s comprehensive income in that formulaic opening line of his annual letters, compare the change in net worth numbers Buffett has reported in past years to the comprehensive income numbers found in Berkshire’s annual reports. For the past three years, Berkshire’s reported “gain in net worth” and Berkshire’s reported “comprehensive income” were .6 billion vs. .5 billion, .3 billion vs. .2 billion, and .6 billion vs. .4 billion. I hope this helps explain why I like it when public companies prominently report comprehensive income instead of presenting net income as if it were the Holy Grail of investing.

Of course, there is no such Grail. Neither net income nor comprehensive income captures the true economic changes to an owner’s share of the business. There is no truly comprehensive income number – and there never will be. A review of the financial statements alone is not sufficient to determine how a business’ competitive position has improved (or deteriorated) over the course of the year.

“Every day, in countless ways, the competitive position of each of our businesses grows either weaker or stronger. If we are delighting customers, eliminating unnecessary costs and improving our products and services, we gain strength. But if we treat customers with indifference or tolerate bloat, our businesses will wither. On a daily basis, the effects of our actions are imperceptible; cumulatively, though, their consequences are enormous.”

It is to these actions and their effects that an investor must look when he is forming his qualitative assessment of a business. After all, a company may lose money and yet improve its competitive position. In fact, that is exactly what a great many young businesses do. The question, of course, is whether those present losses will be more than offset by future gains after accounting for the opportunity costs incurred.

All costs are opportunity costs. It makes no sense to evaluate a year’s losses as if the alternative was to stop time. The available returns on the lost capital must be considered as well. That is why when one of Berkshire’s units has consumed capital, the loss has weighed heavily on Buffett.

Over Berkshire’s history, the cost of any losses also included the over twenty percent compound annual gain that was foregone. Buffett has always been painfully aware of the fact that, for Berkshire, losing ,000 today would be much the same as losing over ,000 ten years from today or over 5,000 twenty-five years from today. Berkshire will no longer grow its per-share book value at over 20% a year. So, these particular figures are outdated. However, if you refer to Buffett’s thoughts at the time when the Buffalo News was losing money (and when Berkshire’s textile operations were losing money), you will see just how heavily these opportunity costs weighed on him.

Still, it is possible that a business operating at a loss is actually improving its competitive position and creating wealth for its owners. One very difficult question that must be answered is exactly what the assets (often the intangible assets) that have been gained at great expense are actually worth. In some very special businesses, huge expenses are fully justified.

“Auto policies in force grew by 12.1% at GEICO, a gain increasing its market share of (the) U.S. private passenger auto business from about 5.6% to about 6.1%. Auto insurance is a big business: Each share-point equates to .6 billion in sales.”

“While our brand strength is not quantifiable, I believe it also grew significantly. When Berkshire acquired control of GEICO in 1996, its annual advertising expenditures were million. Last year we were up to 2 million. And I can’t wait to spend more.”

This excerpt helps explain why I think all the money PetMed Express (PETS) puts into cable TV ads is money well spent. Pet medications, like auto insurance, is a highly fragmented business. Sales volume is important. Obviously, name recognition is as well. PETS can spend a lot on cable advertising and still spend less per sale than its competitors. It’s also important to remember that pet medications are rarely the sort of thing a customer buys once (just like auto insurance). While you won’t be able to retain all your customers, you will have a much easier time getting a current customer to stick with you than you will getting a new customer to switch from a competitor.

I’ll end this post with one of Buffett’s best lessons:

“Long ago, Sir Isaac Newton gave us three laws of motion, which were the work of genius. But Sir Isaac’s talents didn’t extend to investing: He lost a bundle in the South Sea Bubble, explaining later, “I can calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men.” If he had not been traumatized by this loss, Sir Isaac might well have gone on to discover the Fourth Law of Motion: For investors as a whole, returns decrease as motion increases.”

Learn about tulipa sylvestris and parrot tulip at the Tulip Care site.


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Super Bowl Webinar Explores How To Build Winning Business Teams with “Hiring Secrets of the NFL” Author Isaac Cheifetz January 30 at ExecuNet from 3-4:30 PM

Super Bowl Webinar Explores How To Build Winning Business Teams with “Hiring Secrets of the NFL” Author Isaac Cheifetz January 30 at ExecuNet from 3-4:30 PM












Minneapolis, MN (PRWEB) January 28, 2008

Get your business game on this Wednesday at ExcuNet (http://www.execunet.com/r_network_detail.cfm?fmtid=80a7). Isaac Cheifetz, by day an executive recruiter and organizational consultant at Open Technologies, Inc., by night a student of the NFL, will work from his engaging and insightful new book, “Hiring Secrets of the NFL” (http://www.hiringsecrets.com, published by Davies Black) to explore how to build winning business teams using the drama of the Super Bowl, the hiring histories of the NFL and the nuances of football and business in general.

Join Isaac online at ExecuNet (http://www.execunet.com/r_network_detail.cfm?fmtid=80a7) January 30, 2008, from 3-4:30 EST for a lively interactive webinar in which the C-level strategist brings together his passion and professional expertise to discuss how to build winning teams in business like the winning teams competing in Sunday’s Super Bowl.

“With the Super Bowl coming up, it’s an ideal time to talk about the power and personalities and the psychology and the politics of what makes championship teams – and great companies – tick,” Cheifetz says. “Who are the genuine player talents and characters in the Big Game? And who are they most like in the business world? Are there any ‘Eccentrics’ who may make the difference in the contest? Who are the ‘Gamechangers’ on both sides? Any ‘Teamwreckers’ (Randy Moss?!!) in this event? Does one lead your company? This special Super Bowl Seminar promises to be entertaining and educational about making the right hiring choices for optimum performance.”

Other topics this veteran recruiter, speaker and consultant will cover, using the metaphors of football to speak the language of business, include:

·    The overpriced payouts for underperforming stars

·    The need for fierce competition, teamwork and strategic alignment.

·    Recruit and retain all-around excellence with an eye to the future, not the past

·    Apply the value-investing method made famous by Warren Buffett to avoid overpaying for talent

·    Seek out and distinguish eccentrics from teamwreckers–and learn to manage them effectively

·    Assess the strength of your entire system–not just your stars.

The dialog promises to be wise, witty and pragmatic — just in time for one of the sporting world’s most watched events.

For more information visit: http://www.hiringsecrets.com and http://www.opentechnologies.com

To interview Isaac Cheifetz any time — please contact Martin Keller, Media Savant Communications Company, 612-729-8585.

# # #






















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Three stocks poised to gain from a retail rebound

Three stocks poised to gain from a retail rebound
On Tuesday, I outlined <> the case for a retail recovery. In short, we’ve learned the lessons from the pain of US and European recessions and reacted as though we’ve had one here, but without the human, economic and fiscal costs of skyrocketing unemployment.
Read more on Brisbane Times

Negative Movers: High Yield Out of Favor
The markets are trading solidly to the upside after China reported a strong GDP reading. High yielding Indexes are struggling today as investors appear to be taking on more risk. Other Indexes are suffering because companies have reported lower quarterly earnings or lowered guidance for future quarters.
Read more on Indie Research via Yahoo! Finance

Morning Spy: Social Media Leads, Netflix Increases Prices
The markets have started Wednsday to the upside. Traders may be buying after China released better-than-expected GDP data. The country came in with a reading of 9.6% year over year versus expectations for 9.3%.
Read more on Indie Research via Yahoo! Finance

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Gas at $3.72 average, up 92 cents from ’10

Gas at .72 average, up 92 cents from ’10
AAA Michigan said Monday gasoline prices are down 16 cents per gallon over the past week to a statewide average of $ 3.72 a gallon. That’s about 92 cents per gallon higher than last year at this time.
Read more on Detroit News

75% of Indians optimistic about future of economy
Nearly 75% of Indians were optimistic about future of economy and 60% wanted to maintain discretionary spending, a survey by management consultancy said.
Read more on The Economic Times

Infiltration attempts across LoC at 20-year low: Army
Denying reports of infiltration across the LoC, the Army claimed the bids were at 20-year low as no militant has been able to sneak into the Kashmir Valley so far this year.
Read more on The Economic Times

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Berkshire Hathaway: From Primordial Ooze to an Unimaginable Cosmos — Excerpt from the first chapter of Andy Kilpatrick’s “Of Permanent Value: The Story of Warren Buffett/2008 Cosmic Edition”

Berkshire Hathaway: From Primordial Ooze to an Unimaginable Cosmos — Excerpt from the first chapter of Andy Kilpatrick’s “Of Permanent
Value: The Story of Warren Buffett/2008 Cosmic Edition”











BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (PRWEB) March 13, 2008

    Out of the primordial ooze of dollars from a struggling textile mill called Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett took some small cash streams and, using the investment wizardry honed during his early years working with limited funds, along with plain old stock-picking virtuosity, literally “spun” money through mergers and acquisitions. These financial maneuvers jump-started unequaled returns on capital, which were multiplied by the magic of compounding, creating today’s Berkshire–an unimaginably large cosmos (hence the theme of the book).

With the roll of the years, today’s Berkshire is a powerhouse generating earnings at a breathtaking pace of $ 2 billion to $ 3 billion per calendar quarter with a stock market value of more than $ 200 billion. This accomplishment, as it turns out, is of great value to more than just Buffett and Berkshire shareholders because Buffett has arranged for the bulk of his shares to “go back to society.” This gift outright is the largest philanthropic donation in history. Ever!

From 1965 to 1985, Buffett’s investments, such as See’s Candies, The Washington Post, GEICO, and Nebraska Furniture Mart, while vastly different, had an overall connection: they were unwaveringly American.

On the other hand, Berkshire’s emergence as a “cosmic” firm began in the 1990s with investments in Coca-Cola and Gillette (now part of Procter & Gamble). Although these are American companies, both conduct a big portion of their business overseas.

Berkshire’s investees, including such bellwethers as Anheuser-Busch, ConocoPhillips, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft Foods, UPS, and Wal-Mart, all have global reach. One could argue that Berkshire’s billions of dollars invested in railroads such as Burlington Northern are part of the global supply chain. (Maybe this is part of a plan to ship Berkshire’s huge variety of products throughout the cosmos.) Also, many of Berkshire’s operating firms have assets overseas. For example, Berkshire’s MidAmerican Energy has large utility holdings in the U.K., making it the third largest distributor of electricity there.

In addition, Berkshire, to better compete, has moved some of its operating businesses abroad, including some operations of its Dexter Shoe Companies, Fruit of the Loom, and Russell Corp.

In 1998, Berkshire bought General Re, a giant reinsurance company that conducts business worldwide, particularly in Europe. In 2003, Berkshire took a stake in PetroChina, an East-meets-West energy investment that has mushroomed into a winning investment of cosmic proportions, one that’s now been sold for a profit in the billions.

Foreign investing has been building for years. “We probably bought our first non-U.S. stocks 50 years ago,” Buffett said at Berkshire’s annual meeting in 2007. Recently, stakes in international holdings have surfaced, with investments in Tesco, the U.K. grocery and retailing giant; in Diageo, which sells Guinness beer; and in POSCO, a South Korean steel firm which is the third largest in the world. Also, Berkshire has a handful of British and Japanese stocks which are below the threshold of its disclosure requirements. And Berkshire owns two German stocks. “We’re looking everywhere but Antarctica,” Buffett has said.

Believing the dollar would weaken because of the U.S. current account and trade deficits, Buffett set in motion a series of foreign currency buys earlier this decade. Most of those positions have been sold.

In Berkshire’s 2005 Annual Report, Buffett said that a way to reinforce his bet that the dollar would weaken was “by purchasing equities whose prices are denominated in a variety of foreign currencies and that earn a large part of their profits internationally.” In 2006, hints emerged of more overseas investments and in 2007, hints about a foreign currency investment turned out to represent one in the Brazilian currency, the real.

Going Global

Berkshire’s breakthrough moment of going global came in 2006 when it bought Iscar Metalworking Companies of Israel, which operates not only in that country but also in more than 60 countries around the world, particularly in fast-developing South Korea. Iscar opened a plant in China in late 2007. The Berkshire-Iscar merger was quickly ruled a “conglomerate merger.”

Israeli authorities found that Berkshire companies already operating in their country were many. Gen Re provides insurance products there; Berkshire Hathaway Group offers annuity policies there; Scott Fetzer Companies sells vacuum cleaners and compressors; NetJets, a fractional jet service, flies there; Shaw provides carpets and flooring; and Berkshire’s CTB International, which makes systems for poultry, hog, and egg production, bought a small Israeli firm called AgroLogic several days after the Berkshire-Iscar announcement. Indeed, all these companies do business in Israel.

As Berkshire develops a worldly face, its shareholder base, too, is taking on an increasingly international look. In addition to representation from all 50 U.S. states, about 600 people from foreign lands were among the 27,000 attendees who made the odyssey to Berkshire’s annual meeting in Omaha in 2007. The two people at stage center were kindly aliens from remote parts of the cosmos.

A final aspect of Berkshire’s cosmic proportions came with Buffett’s announcement in June 2006 that he would be giving most of his wealth to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, now a philanthropic leviathan, which touches lives throughout the world by fighting AIDS and enhancing health in Third World countries. As Buffett follows through with this commitment, he is fulfilling his expressed desire that the bulk of his fortune go not only to American society but also to the world at large. Buffett has orchestrated an international company so strikingly successful that he and other shareholders can make meaningful contributions in areas of great need throughout the world. This announcement was the incandescent, culminating event — of permanent value.

The gift is growing since Berkshire’s stock hit $ 100,000 per share on October 5, 2006 and even momentarily pierced $ 150,000 per share in late 2007, closing the year at $ 141,600. Those figures are instantly understood anywhere in the cosmos.

Buffett giving his enormous fortune to an already existing, up-and-running foundation is classic Buffett–why reinvent the wheel and why self-aggrandize when a needed process that is accomplishing your goal of improving life for many throughout the world is already in place and being so superbly run?

Going Cosmic

In light of a $ 7 billion groundbreaking arrangement in 2006 to take over the remaining insurance liabilities held by thousands of Lloyd’s of London “Names,” Berkshire truly blossomed into a real live international company, even a cosmic company.

Finally, late on Christmas Day 2007, Berkshire announced it planned to buy 60% of Marmon Holdings for $ 4.5 billion from Chicago’s Pritzker family and that it would buy the rest of the company in stages over the next five or six years.

Marmon Holdings is a privately held company and an international association of more than 125 manufacturing and service businesses with total sales of about $ 7 billion a year. Marmon employs about 21,000 people at more than 250 facilities mainly in North America, the United Kingdom, Europe, and China.

Reminiscent of baseball’s Ernie Banks cry of “Let’s play two,” Berkshire, days after its Marmon announcement, started a bond insurance company–Berkshire Hathaway Assurance Corp. Doubling up on the breaking news for the day, Berkshire, in yet another plot twist, agreed to buy the reinsurance unit of Dutch banking and insurance company ING for $ 440 million.

Berkshire’s bond-insurer, which will write insurance for municipal bonds, is seeking business from local governments at a time of a threat of possible slippage in credit ratings for other insurers during a huge credit crisis. Berkshire’s bond-insurer opened for business in New York on December 31, 2007. Buffett told The Wall Street Journal (December 28, 2007) that Berkshire also will seek to do business in California, Puerto Rico, Texas, Illinois, and Florida. The appeal of doing business with Berkshire would be its Triple-A credit.

Berkshire could be due for a name change to Berkshire Hathaway International, an investment engine focused on the world: that is, focused on the cosmos.

(Berkshire, reluctant to hire many folks at headquarters, now has a Manager of International Tax, Marilyn Weber. Maybe she’ll earn a promotion to Cosmic Tax Manager.)

Barron’s, whose coverage of Berkshire over the years has ranged from spotty (the “Warren, What’s Wrong?” cover story of December 27, 1999 comes to mind) to spot-on, announced in a cover story of September 8, 2007 that its annual survey of the business landscape concluded that Berkshire is “the most respected company in the world.” Beyond that, Berkshire was becoming All-Powerful Oz.

Few yet recognize the possibility of Berkshire’s future growth, growth that is not limited to any one product, any one industry or even to any one country–as this business supernova expands far into the galaxy. Not into a galaxy far, far away, but right here under our noses. Right now.

In keeping with all the above, in late 2007, Buffett traveled to Canada for a fund-raiser and to China and Korea to have a look at Iscar plants. The publicity was worldwide from scores of reporters following the events.

On leaving China, Buffett, better known than any person in the global investment community, waved and told CNBC’s Becky Quick, “I’d say goodbye in Chinese, but then I’d be showing off.”

The full 2 volume set can be purchased through Amazon.com here.





















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