E Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting Highlights

High-Margin Business

Buffett said, “Well, we’ve always known that the great business is the one that takes very little capital and grows a lot, and Apple and Google and Microsoft and Facebook are terrific examples of that. I mean, Apple has $37 billion in property, plant, equipment. Berkshire has $170 billion or something like that, and they’re going to make a lot more money than we do. They’re in a better business.“

Macroeconomic Predictions

Buffett said, “We don’t know what happens from the present policies. The best thing to do is recognize you don’t know and proceed in a way where you get a decent result, no matter what happens. That’s what we try and do at Berkshire. We do not think we can make money by making macroeconomic predictions.”

Berkshire's Size

Charlie said, “I don’t think we’re getting too big to manage because we’re different from practically every other big corporation in the United States in that we are so excessively decentralized. We have decentralized so much, and we have so much authority in the subsidiaries that we can keep doing it for a long, long time—as long as it keeps working. And I would say so far that our decentralization has caused more benefits than defects, but nobody seems to copy us.”

Berkshire's Future

Buffett remarked that, “We’ve seen some strange things happen in the world in the last 15 months, and we’ve always recognized the fact that stranger things are going to happen in the future. And I would say, if anything, it’s reinforced our desire to figure out everything possible we can do to make sure that Berkshire is 50 or 100 years from now every bit the organization and then some that it is now.”

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