Full Q&A morning session from the 1997 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting with the world’s richest man, Warren Buffett and most successful investor and his partner, Charlie Munger.
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1997 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting With Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger [Full Q&A]
Good morning. I'm Warren Buffett the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway as you probably gathered by now. I've had a real problem last night I was losing my voice almost entirely. I don't want you to think I lost it cheering for myself this morning. But I think I think I'll do all right. But we've always had Charlie here too. He's always done the talking I just moved my lips you know so I'd like to tell you a little bit about how we're going to conduct things and then we'll go through a script that was written by a speechwriter for Saddam Hussein. It has all the warmth and charm and participatory elements you'd expect. We'll get to the business of the meeting as promptly as we can which is usually about five or six minutes and then Charlie and I will answer questions your questions until noon when we'll have a break for about a half an hour. There's food outside all the time and that at 12 30 will reconvene and we'll go till the 330 or thereabouts. And I hope my voice last we've got various non Coca-Cola products designed to keep it going. We'll have a zone system where we have 12 microphones placed around and I believe it's 12 and we'll we'll just go around and order. And if you'll go to the microphone nearest you.
Ah there will be someone there who will try to arrange that people get to ask questions in the order in which they arrive and we'll make sure that everybody gets a chance as strict questions before people go on the second questions particularly in the afternoon we'll make a special effort to answer the questions from people that have come from outside North America. We really got quite an attendance today. All 50 states at least in terms of tickets. All 50 states are represented. We had had it here somewhere yeah we we we had ticket requests at least and I've met a number of people from South Africa Australia Brazil England France Germany Greece Hong Kong Ireland Iceland Israel Spain New Zealand Saudi Arabia Singapore Sweden Switzerland so when people have come from that sort of distance we we want to make sure that they are obviously we want to make sure that they particularly get their questions answered. Interestingly enough we have a an increased percentage from last year who come from Nebraska this year. And you have to be a little careful in interpreting that because some people say they're from Nebraska and really aren't because for status reasons they like saw so make them produce their driver's license. If they if they tell you they gave in Nebraska. I think that's most of the preliminary so I'm going to get into this. We'll get the meeting over with here promptly with your cooperation. And I will go through this little script that has been prepared for me and it says the meeting will now come to order. I'm Warren Buffett chairman of the board of directors of the company. I welcome you to the 1997 annual meeting shareholders. I will first introduce the Berkshire Hathaway directors that are present in addition to myself.
I've introduced you to Chartley already and the other directors I believe in the front row here they'd stand when I mention their names you can withhold any applause until finished and then it's optional. Howard Buffett Hourihan stand up. Susan Buffett Walter Scott and Malcolm Chase the third Kim chase. And that is our extensive directory give him a lot of applause because they don't get much else for it. It's a rather low mainboard also with us today are partners in the firm of the light into our auditors they are available to respond to appropriate questions you might have concerning their firms audited the accounts of Berkshire Mr Forrest Crater's Secretary Berkshire he will make a written record of the proceedings. Ms. AMIC has been appointed an inspector of elections at this meeting she will certify to the count of votes cast in the election of directors named approximant holders for this meeting or Walter Scott Jr. and Mark the Hamburg proxy cards of in return for last Friday representing one million twelve thousand fifteen.