Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Warren Buffett's latest letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders is out, and it boasts what Buffett claims as a historical first: cooked "pro forma" earnings numbers for Berkshire which are lower than audited earnings. (Their insurance operations got lucky).

Along with Buffett's usual salty commentary -- this year on financial derivatives (concentrated in the hands a few operators, they become "financial weapons of mass destruction"), corporate governance (riddled with captive boards), mutual fund companies (as bad as any of them), bogus accounting standards, and the U.S. Senate's role in maintaining them -- there's news of the annual meeting, with the usual sale on Berkshire products for shareholders, and this priceless bit of synergy, Buffett style:

On Saturday, at the Omaha airport, we will have the usual array of aircraft from NetJets available for your inspection. Just ask a representative at the Civic about viewing any of these planes. If you buy what we consider an appropriate number of items during the weekend, you may well need your own plane to take them home. Furthermore, if you buy a fraction of a plane, I'll personally see you get a three-pack of briefs from Fruit of the Loom.

But remember, this uniquely innovative program is available to Berkshire shareholders only.


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