I have attended many shareholder meetings in my career but never do I hear the kind of exchange like I heard at last Saturday’s Berkshire Hathaway meeting. The five and half hour Berkshire Q & A session offered plenty of evidence that if Buffett and Munger are from Venus, then most of Wall Street is from Mars.
What is Venus like? Buffett summed it up at the beginning of the meeting:
“As a rule, Berkshire does not show quarterly earnings per share because undue focus on quarterly earnings is bad for managers and even worse for investors.”
On Mars, investors expect to benefit from quarterly earnings management.
Here are some of the Buffett and Munger “nuggets” culled from our meeting notes, a transcript posted by The Inoculated Investor and notes from other colleagues. We’ll parcel out a few every day for the next month. Here are two for today:
“People have to distinguish between countries that borrow in their own currencies and those that borrow in other currencies [like the Euro.] If you borrow in your own currency, then all you need is a printing press – you don’t default.”
“The biggest threat to the U.S. economy is a major chemical or nuclear attack.”