Warren Buffett does it again. Here are some verbatim statements, that I enjoyed in his latest letter to the investors of Berkshire Hathaway.
By year end, investors of all stripes were bloodied and confused, much as if they were small birds that had strayed into a badminton game.
In God we trust; all others pay cash.
In poker terms, the Treasury
and the Fed have gone “all in.”
In good years and bad, Charlie and I simply focus on four goals:
(1) maintaining Berkshire’s Gibraltar-like financial position, which features huge amounts of excess liquidity, near-term obligations that are modest, and dozens of sources ofearnings and cash;
(2) widening the “moats” around our operating businesses that give them durable competitive advantages;
(3) acquiring and developing new and varied streams of earnings;
(4) expanding and nurturing the cadre of outstanding operating managers who, over the years, have delivered Berkshire exceptional results.
During 2008 I did some dumb things in investments. I made at least one major mistake of commission and several lesser ones that also hurt.
Furthermore, I made some errors of omission, sucking my thumb when new facts came in that should have caused me to re-examine my thinking and promptly take action.
As we view GEICO’s current opportunities, Tony and I feel like two hungry mosquitoes in a nudist camp. Juicy targets are everywhere. First, and most important, our new business in auto insurance is now exploding. Americans are focused on saving money as never before, and they are flocking to GEICO.
A promise is no better than the person or institution making it. That’s where General Re excels: It is the only reinsurer that is backed by an AAA corporation. Ben Franklin once said, “It’s difficult for an empty sack to stand upright
Ajit came to Berkshire in 1986. Very quickly, I realized that we had acquired an extraordinary talent. So I did the logical thing: I wrote his parents in New Delhi and asked if they had another one like him at home. Of course, I knew the answer before writing. There isn’t anyone like Ajit.
I described it as involving “borrowers who shouldn’t have borrowed being financed bylenders who shouldn’t have lent.”
capitalism at its best..