While I may have called it the “Woodstock of Crony Capitalism,” I have never ceased to be mesmerized by the Berkshire Hathaway (BRK – USA) annual meeting. Like a fly to poo, I continue to be drawn to it, even though I already know the well-worn routine;
-40,000 self-assessed contrarians descend on Omaha, Nebraska to be told to buy good companies at a fair price (if that isn’t consensus, I don’t know what is)
-You can watch 2 geriatrics consume enough peanut brittle to give me type 2 diabetes just by watching
-Warren then spends the day bemoaning the failures of capitalism (which has incidentally made him one of the wealthiest people on the planet)
-You get an update on how taxes should be higher—while Berkshire continues to utilize all sorts of tax schemes
-You clap and then go buy all the choochkies that Berkshire tries to foist onto shareholders
So why do I continue to go? Because all my friends go. I go to see people who I speak with all year long; yet only get to see for a few days in Omaha. The global diaspora of finance professionals converge on Omaha and turn it into a circus. There are so many idea dinners and cocktail parties, my head is spinning trying to prioritize it all. Besides, when else can you line up at 5 am with a mind-splitting hangover, get an elbow check from a grandma racing you for a seat and still feel like you’re doing your job?
In the spirit of meeting friends (old and new) I will be attending the AGM again this year (May 2-6). If you would like to grab a beer, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, after the AGM, on Saturday, I intend to post up at Mr. Toad (1002 Howard st) starting at 7pm. Please come and join me, but shoot me an email so I know you’re coming.
Disclosure: I am long shares of Berkshire Hathaway