2002 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting (Full Version) | Summary and Q&A

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November 3, 2020
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2002 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting (Full Version)

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Summary

This video is a recording of Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholder meeting. The meeting covers various topics including the number of shares outstanding, the election of directors, and a proposal to refrain from making charitable contributions. Warren Buffett also discusses the performance of the insurance business, specifically the growth of float and the decision to sell certain stocks. The meeting concludes with a question-and-answer session.

Questions & Answers

Q: How many shares of Class A and Class B Berkshire Hathaway common stock are outstanding and entitled to vote?

The proxy statement indicates that there are 1,323,707 shares of Class A stock and 6,290,415 shares of Class B stock outstanding, with each share entitled to one vote.

Q: How many shares are represented at the meeting through proxies?

Of the outstanding shares, 1,103,455 Class A shares and 5,260,231 Class B shares are represented at the meeting through proxies returned by shareholders.

Q: How many votes were cast for the motion to dispense with the reading of the minutes of the last meeting?

The votes cast for the motion to dispense with the reading of the minutes of the last meeting were not stated in the video.

Q: How many votes were cast for the motion to elect directors?

The votes cast for the motion to elect directors were not stated in the video.

Q: What proposal did Gloria J. Patrick put forth regarding charitable contributions?

Gloria J. Patrick proposed that the company refrain from making charitable contributions.

Q: Was Gloria J. Patrick's proposal approved or rejected?

Gloria J. Patrick's proposal was rejected by the shareholders.

Q: Who presented Gloria J. Patrick's proposal at the meeting?

Stephen Mosher, Chairman of the Population Research Institute, presented Gloria J. Patrick's proposal at the meeting.

Q: Did Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger wear Fruit of the Looms to the meeting?

Warren Buffett confirmed that he was wearing Fruit of the Loom underwear, but it was unclear if Charlie Munger was also wearing the brand.

Q: How does Warren Buffett decide when to hold a stock forever and when to sell?

Warren Buffett generally holds stocks forever, but he may sell if he finds something even better or if he needs money for something else. The decision to sell is based on re-evaluating the competitive advantage of the business.

Q: What is the cost of float and how is it maintained and grown?

The cost of float refers to the expenses incurred in maintaining and growing the float. Float is maintained by replacing it through insurance operations, and it is grown by more than replacing it. The permanence, cost, and growth of float in Berkshire Hathaway's insurance business are influenced by the economic characteristics of the business and the ability to write profitable premiums.

Q: How confident is Warren Buffett in the future growth of float in Berkshire Hathaway's insurance business?

Warren Buffett does not explicitly state his confidence in the future growth of float, but he mentions that the nature of the business results in less natural erosion of float compared to other companies. He believes that the float has a longer duration due to retroactive contracts and reinsurance, but he cannot predict the exact growth of float in the future.

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