Jan

20

The Sage of OmahaThe Sage of Omaha has always been on record of never splitting shares, giving a multitude of reasons, (which I personally agree with). That's one reason BRK.A is so expensive. Now, BRK wants to split their B shares 50 for 1. That's hypocrisy. It also might be a tell, but my crystal ball is a little cloudy these days. Buffett purportedly wants to greatly expand the investor base. This whole thing smells like something out of the play book of Vanderbilt or Gould.

Stefan Jovanovich writes:

The comparison might be with Merrill Lynch in the 1950s. "Throughout the bull market of the postwar period and the 1950s, Merrill Lynch continued to be an innovator and a popularizer of financial information. The firm erected a permanent Investment Information Center in Grand Central Station, distributed educational brochures, ran ads with titles like "What Everybody Ought to Know About This Stock and Bond Business," and even sponsored investment seminars for women. These new ideas made Merrill Lynch the best-known investment firm of the day. Charles Merrill's reputation soared to such heights that shortly before his death in 1956 one Wall Street historian referred to him as "the first authentically great man produced by the financial markets in 50 years." Berkshire is being structured to become the stock that all "good" people should own and keep forever.

Kim Zussman shares:

Fanfare for the Common Man

Jeff Watson adds:

In the 1800s, consuls and other forms of gilts were considered safe investments that all "good" people should hold forever.


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5 Comments so far

  1. Roger Saad on January 20, 2010 3:05 pm

    You should have been at the meeting today. WB is a populist at heart and in his old age is taking the opportunity to voice his politics through his B shares. Maybe he is just upset about Scott Brown…who knows…

  2. Chopshop on January 21, 2010 12:12 am

    Good look, Jeff. this split stinks to high heaven and CNX is all too convenient a beard, especially with Warren's rather ostentatious "all-in" quote.

  3. Cubtrader on January 21, 2010 7:15 pm

    I think he wants to give the NFs takeover a tax free option.

  4. Barry Gitarts on January 22, 2010 1:14 pm

    When BRK-B started trading options that was a prelude, from the sage who claims to despise derivatives & stock splits, his company is now a producer of both.

  5. Jason Brown on January 22, 2010 6:36 pm

    I think he wants to unload on the public.

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