Last week, Berkshire Hathaway just reported that they made their biggest quarterly earnings after the closing bell. Buffett and Berkshire reported an increase in profits by 41% to $6.4 billion. We thoroughly looked over the Berkshire Hathaway 10-Q over the weekend and took copious notes. Here are the biggest takeaways to pay attention to:
Warren Buffett tells us that he chose not to buy the Washington Post because he was not looking to place an added burden on his family or his company.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Buffett’s investing conglomerate, was also the largest shareholder of the Washington Post prior to it being sold to Amazon and Jeff Bezos, so it’s no doubt that Buffett thought about making the purchase.
Buffett told Fortune magazine that his consideration was only brief. He didn’t want to buy the Post because he wasn’t ready to saddle his children or the next CEO of Berkshire Hathaway with a major metropolitan newspaper.
Berkshire and company currently own 31 medium and small sized daily newspapers all purchased by Buffett.
Buffett really didn’t say specifically why he chose to pass on the Washington Post. But in the past, he has mentioned on a number of occasions that he believes smaller newspapers are going to do much better in today’s digital information age because of the community aspect.
You’ll recognize many of the same names and faces at the top of the latest forms 400 list of the wealthiest individuals in America. Bill Gates is at the top of the list, and this is his 20th year in a row. His net worth is currently $72 billion. Next on the list is Warren Buffett, followed by Larry Ellison of Oracle, the David and Charles Koch are a tie for fourth place, and the Walton clan – of Walmart fame – occupy spots six through nine.
Michael Bloomberg, New York City Mayor is in 10th place at $31 billion. Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos comes in it 12th place. Larry Page and Sergei Brin of Google fame ranks 13th and 14th. Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook is the 20th person on the list, and his current net worth is $19 billion.
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, recently lost ground to Carlos Slim, finance and technology tycoon from Mexico, as the world’s richest person, but he’s actually regained the global top spot as well.
According to Forbes:
“The 400 wealthiest Americans are worth a record $2.02 trillion, roughly equivalent to the GDP of Russia. That is a gain of $300 billion from a year ago, and more than double a decade ago. The average net worth of list members is a staggering $5 billion, $800 million more than a year ago and also a record. The minimum net worth needed to make the 400 list was $1.3 billion. The last time it was that high was in 2007 and 2008, before property and stock market values began sliding. Because the bar is so high, 61 American billionaires didn’t make the cut.”
The list of billionaires invited to the Sun Valley, Idaho media conference by Allen & Co. includes Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. The event is taking place next week and the information in this article comes from a guest list that Bloomberg News obtained.
Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google Inc., Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com Inc., and Apple’s CEO Tim Cook are all other billionaires who made this year’s guest list. And let’s not forget Rupert Murdoch who is the CEO and chairman of News Corp.
This is a very exclusive gathering that is sponsored by Allen and Co. They have been holding this event since 1983, and it is the type of setting where media executives can connect on an intimate level, discuss the things going on in the industry and also enjoy forms of family entertainment like bike riding and fly fishing. It’s well-known that many of the biggest media buyouts in history were either first spawned, or pushed along at the Sun Valley event. Comcast decided to purchase NBC Universal in 2011 at this very event, so it’s an extraordinarily big deal.
You’ll also find many elected officials at the Sun Valley event. Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey met Mark Zuckerberg at this event last year and their relationship turned into a $100 million donation from Zuckerberg which was used for Newark schools. Zuckerberg is the chairman and CEO of Facebook Inc. You will find both men on the guest list this year, and another famous political figure, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, will also be in attendance. He is the founder of Bloomberg News.
Warren Buffett also attended this event in 2011, and since then he has been acquiring many newspapers because he believes that these publications for local communities won’t have any trouble thriving since there really isn’t any competition in their local market.
Rupert Murdoch and his sons James and Lachlan have all been invited and are expected to attend. Murdoch announced recently that he is planning on spinning off the publishing division of his company. Others close to Murdoch that were invited are Joel Klein, who heads up his company’s education division, and Chase Carey, COO.