There are many ways journalists, investors, and Warren
Buffett himself refer to the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, held in Omaha,
Nebraska. These short-cuts and sobriquets add a larger-than-life aspect to what
is typically, for almost any other public company, a rather perfunctory affair.
Barring any significant controversy, expected or unexpected, no one that
doesn't absolutely have to show up at an annual meeting usually makes the trip.
I had the good fortune to spend some time on Saturday
with the New York Bureau Chief of The Economist Matthew Bishop.
He's a UK native and co-author of the book "Philanthrocapitalism".
This was also his first time at the "Woodstock for Capitalism." (That's what
Warren Buffet calls the event in his Annual
Letter to Shareholders but I think this "Buffettism" is oxymoronic.) Bishop told me that in
the UK there used to be mush higher attendance at shareholder meetings, usually
for the banks. This reliable audience consisted mainly of retirees because the
companies served a lovely lunch in the City. When that stopped, most budget-minded
pensioners no longer made the trip.
Every once and a while someone calls me a "gad-fly" with
regard to audit industry reform. I don't much like that term because it makes a
buzzing sound in my ears. When they also mention fabled shareholders' activist Evelyn
Y. Davis in the same breath, I warm to the label.
Read this article in its entirety at the re: The Auditors, a blog by
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