It’s difficult to find anyone that is willing to go on the record and bet against Warren Buffett in public.
Despite Warren Buffett’s very public call for those that are short on the Berkshire Hathaway stock, he could not find a bearish analyst or bearish investor to bring to the annual Berkshire Hathaway meeting that’s taking place on May 3.
As a change of pace, Buffett invited Greggory Warren, a MorningStar analyst, and asked him to be the third questioner on a panel of analysts. The rest of the panel includes Jonathan Brandt of Ruane, Cunniff and Goldfarb; and Jay Gelb of Barclays.
Since the year 2009, Berkshire Hathaway began inviting a total of three journalists to the annual meeting in Omaha Nebraska to ask questions of Warren Buffett and his business partner and longtime friend Charlie Munger while the meeting was taking place. The reporters are to pick questions previously submitted by shareholders. Beginning in 2012, Buffett also added three financial analysts to the panel, and they are allowed to generate their own questions.
Munger and Buffett will answer questions for over six hours from all six questioners and from audience members and shareholders alike, while drinking Coca-Cola and enjoying See’s Candies.
Buffett switched up the tradition a bit last year and added a twist, and invited a “credentialed bear”, otherwise meaning any investor that had a seriously negative outlook for Berkshire Hathaway stock. Doug Kass, hedge fund manager, was the bear picked last year. He was granted the opportunity to ask Buffett and Munger six questions.
In his annual letter to shareholders this year, Buffett mentioned that he was prowling around for a bear to add to this year’s panel. He invited many applicants that have shorted the company stock and asked them to contact him. They had to provide evidence that they were currently short the position.
But alas, Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway never found their bear, according to a spokesperson. Mr. Kass mentioned recently in an interview that he had not heard from Buffett or Berkshire.