invest your total net worth in one company, you said WFC. What would it be in 2014?
WB: It’s a great question that won’t get an answer.
Most proxies list comp for 5 or more executives. Why does BRK include only 3 (WB, CM, Mark CFO)? Why does this not include other major managers?
WB: The next CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) will be entitled to get paid a lot. I will write about this topic next year. There are companies where there are managers below the CEO who make more than the CEO and who do not get listed on the proxy. I think it might hurt some companies to do this.
At Salomon, everyone was unhappy with not due to absolute pay but due to relative pay. We had a crisis because John Meriwether’s group got paid a huge amount and this leaked to others. I would argue his team probably earned this pay. This caused jealousy to break out. I actually think CEOs get paid more because other companies’ CEO pay are publicized
CM: I don’t think disclosing more about BRK manager comp would help our shareholders.
WB: BH Energy will have multiple opptys to buy other businesses. 2 days ago we agreed to buy transmission lines in Alberta. At BNSF, we will capex a lot but will not be buying other companies, so we dividend out earnings to parent. BH Energy will keep buying other companies. If when BH Energy buys other companies it needs more equity, the 3 shareholders can all subscribe (Berkshire Hathaway, Greg Abel, Walter Scott). The 2 smaller holders don’t necessarily have to participate.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) will always have about 20bn in cash sitting around. We never want to depend on anyone else, including bank lines. There will be a chaotic time in the next 100 years. A few years ago, we lent money to HOG, TIF, GS, GE at very high rates. Cash is a lot like oxygen. You don’t notice when it’s there. But when it’s not there, it’s the only thing you notice.
CM: We are very lucky to own businesses that can employ more capital at reasonable rates of return.
WB: CM was 35 when I met him and I was 29. We have disagreed on many things over the years but we have never had an argument.
Wb: Charlie, would you