Berkshire’s Investment Write-Downs: “Gotcha Moment” or Difference of Opinion?

It should come as no surprise to careful readers of Berkshire Hathaway’s financial statements that the company recorded an “other-than-temporary impairment loss” of $938 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 related to declines in the market value of certain equity securities. However, recent media reports seem to treat recent revelations of correspondence between Berkshire and the SEC as a “gotcha moment”. We take a look at this question in this article.

The Investor’s Guide to Amazon’s Kindle 3

Many readers will relate to this scenario: The printer is hard at work producing a 100+ page SEC Filing when the room becomes strangely silent. Surely not enough time has passed to signal a completion of the job? Sure enough, the printer has run out of paper, depleted its toner, or may even require a new drum unit. The only positive aspect of the breakdown is that fewer fine particles of indoor air pollution are being produced, at least for the moment. Surely there must be a better way? We think there is: The Kindle 3 from Read this article for more details.

SEC Madoff Failures: Outlier or Systemic Problem?

The Securities and Exchange Commission has now admitted what has been obvious to anyone who has been paying attention over the past several months: Inspectors utterly failed to detect Bernard Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme despite numerous warnings over a sixteen year period that something was amiss. The Wall Street Journal reported on the contents of the “executive summary” which was posted on the SEC site on September 2. Do these revelations point to a one time lapse in oversight or a systemic problem?


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