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Howard Buffett


StubbleJumper
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Howard Buffett, appointed to the BRK board of directors by WEB, apparently has a bit of a hobby of playing cowboys and indians:

 

https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/howard-buffetts-warren-buffet-son-border-war-cochise-county-11103225

 

 

This is the man whom WEB has entrusted to maintain the special BRK culture after Warren and Charlie move on to the big stock market in the sky.

 

 

 

SJ

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So, who knows more about the man and his integrity - his dad or this guy? From what I've read about Buffett, I don't think he'd let someone take over (even family) if he didn't trust them.

 

https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/author/beau-hodai/

 

author of things like:

 

America Eats its Young: Arizona Communities Embrace Use of Private Prison Employees in Drug Raids at Public Schools

 

I didn't even bother to read the article, for what it's worth. I just know that anything with that title is probably super political (and anything super political is also a super waste of time).

 

 

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So, who knows more about the man and his integrity - his dad or this guy? From what I've read about Buffett, I don't think he'd let someone take over (even family) if he didn't trust them.

 

https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/author/beau-hodai/

 

author of things like:

 

America Eats its Young: Arizona Communities Embrace Use of Private Prison Employees in Drug Raids at Public Schools

 

I didn't even bother to read the article, for what it's worth. I just know that anything with that title is probably super political (and anything super political is also a super waste of time).

 

 

So, you dismissed the article without even reading it?

 

FWIW, I don't much care about US border politics, but I do care a little about indications that directors might have a bit of a funny worldview.  If a director's priorities in his personal life are a bit extreme what does that say about how he views a company's priorities?

 

But, it's probably just a super political article, all you need to do now is figure out the motive.

 

 

SJ

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Disturbing.

 

Howard appears to be a "wannabe" warrior who just happens to have enough money to be included in the gang.

 

If this article is true (and it's pretty detailed) it presents him as a potentially disturbed individual.

 

Unless someone can present compelling evidence that this story is false, I will definitely be voting against his retention as a board member.

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Howard G. Buffett Foundation - Annual Report 2017.

 

Especially page 1 may be worth your time. So, somehow it may be old news - perhaps we just didn't know, nor discussed it earlier. Personally, I'm puzzled about formal & real support of law enforcement can be accepted as charital activity.

 

Edit:

 

Comparing with the mission statement and purpose of the foundation in the six-year report 2000- 2005, the purpose of the foundation has been changed between 2005 and 2017.

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Howard G. Buffett Foundation - Annual Report 2017.

 

Especially page 1 may be worth your time. So, somehow it may be old news - perhaps we just didn't know, nor discussed it earlier. Personally, I'm puzzled about formal & real support of law enforcement can be accepted as charital activity.

 

 

John,

 

Charitable donations are a completely normal and expected behaviour for businessmen and directors.  I have no problem at all with directors throwing a few bucks at an issue, even if I personally am not in agreement with the side of the fence on which a director or officer sits (this happens all the time with religious, reproductive, environmental and other issues). 

 

The strange aspect of the article which I linked is that it's alleged that Howard spends at least some of his spare time running around in the desert at night as part of a para-military style group carrying guns and night-vision equipment.  That, IMO, is *not* normal and expected behaviour for an officer or director of a major company.

 

So is he bonkers or not?  Seriously, some people in this forum have been hanging their hat on the idea that Howard will be the steady-Eddie type of guy who will help preserve and maintain the BRK culture after WEB and Charlie croak.  For that type of steady-Eddie type of role, you definitely don't want a guy who might or might not be bonkers.

 

 

SJ

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StubbleJumper,

 

-You "said it" - I "settled" with thinking it. [ ; - ) ]

 

My post is likely based on home bias. There is public control with charitable foundations here in Denmark - both with regard to capital allocation decisions [donations] and spending, which again can have tax consequences.

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I read part of the Buffett article, but skipped over his "America Eats its Young" one.

 

"The images depict a group of three friends standing proudly, armed to the teeth, striking their best badass poses."

 

This doesn't strike me as unbiased, quality journalism.

 

Warren Buffett has a bit of a funny worldview. But seems to be a pretty good business man.

 

How is what he's doing "extreme"? He hasn't killed anyone and is trying to help enforce the law.  I really don't see how it's "extreme".  I personally think a wall is a waste of money (but probably less of a waste than many other government expenditures).

 

 

 

 

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I read part of the Buffett article, but skipped over his "America Eats its Young" one.

 

"The images depict a group of three friends standing proudly, armed to the teeth, striking their best badass poses."

 

This doesn't strike me as unbiased, quality journalism.

 

Warren Buffett has a bit of a funny worldview. But seems to be a pretty good business man.

 

How is what he's doing "extreme"? He hasn't killed anyone and is trying to help enforce the law.  I really don't see how it's "extreme".  I personally think a wall is a waste of money (but probably less of a waste than many other government expenditures).

 

 

Okay, I might be the only one who thinks that a civilian going out on armed patrol at night is extreme.  I guess I just figure that type of behaviour would put a guy in the 0.1% or maybe even the 0.01% of the population.  It's not quite vigilantism, but...

 

"Normal" leisure behaviour might be watching an Arizona Diamondbacks game, which would put you in the 10%?

 

All in the eye of the beholder, I guess.

 

SJ

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I read part of the Buffett article, but skipped over his "America Eats its Young" one.

 

"The images depict a group of three friends standing proudly, armed to the teeth, striking their best badass poses."

 

This doesn't strike me as unbiased, quality journalism.

 

Warren Buffett has a bit of a funny worldview. But seems to be a pretty good business man.

 

How is what he's doing "extreme"? He hasn't killed anyone and is trying to help enforce the law.  I really don't see how it's "extreme".  I personally think a wall is a waste of money (but probably less of a waste than many other government expenditures).

 

 

Okay, I might be the only one who thinks that a civilian going out on armed patrol at night is extreme.  I guess I just figure that type of behaviour would put a guy in the 0.1% or maybe even the 0.01% of the population.  It's not quite vigilantism, but...

 

"Normal" leisure behaviour might be watching an Arizona Diamondbacks game, which would put you in the 10%?

 

All in the eye of the beholder, I guess.

 

SJ

 

I don't think it's all that "extreme" ;)

 

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-border-militia-caravan-20181026-story.html

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-militia/armed-patriots-the-private-citizens-out-to-secure-the-u-s-border-idUSKBN0H50VA20140910

 

I think that so many people, like the article, try to do character assignation on others just because they don't like their opinions on something. It happens all the time for liberals and conservatives.

 

 

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I read part of the Buffett article, but skipped over his "America Eats its Young" one.

 

"The images depict a group of three friends standing proudly, armed to the teeth, striking their best badass poses."

 

This doesn't strike me as unbiased, quality journalism.

 

Warren Buffett has a bit of a funny worldview. But seems to be a pretty good business man.

 

How is what he's doing "extreme"? He hasn't killed anyone and is trying to help enforce the law.  I really don't see how it's "extreme".  I personally think a wall is a waste of money (but probably less of a waste than many other government expenditures).

 

 

Okay, I might be the only one who thinks that a civilian going out on armed patrol at night is extreme.  I guess I just figure that type of behaviour would put a guy in the 0.1% or maybe even the 0.01% of the population.  It's not quite vigilantism, but...

 

"Normal" leisure behaviour might be watching an Arizona Diamondbacks game, which would put you in the 10%?

 

All in the eye of the beholder, I guess.

 

SJ

 

I don't think it's all that "extreme" ;)

 

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-border-militia-caravan-20181026-story.html

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-militia/armed-patriots-the-private-citizens-out-to-secure-the-u-s-border-idUSKBN0H50VA20140910

 

I think that so many people, like the article, try to do character assignation on others just because they don't like their opinions on something. It happens all the time for liberals and conservatives.

 

 

So there's a couple hundred people along the border who are involved in this type of activity, but it's not extreme?  There's more than a couple hundred in the Michigan and Montana militas, but despite the numbers, I don't think I'd characterize those as "main stream."

 

 

SJ

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I know plenty of people who would do it if they lived closer.

 

The mentality is way more common than what you think.

 

Personally, I wouldn't do it but, I find it almost admirable - putting one's self in harm's ways to do what they think is right (whether it is right or wrong is debatable). It's much easier to sit in a high rise and dole out money.

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I read part of the Buffett article, but skipped over his "America Eats its Young" one.

 

"The images depict a group of three friends standing proudly, armed to the teeth, striking their best badass poses."

 

This doesn't strike me as unbiased, quality journalism.

 

Warren Buffett has a bit of a funny worldview. But seems to be a pretty good business man.

 

How is what he's doing "extreme"? He hasn't killed anyone and is trying to help enforce the law.  I really don't see how it's "extreme".  I personally think a wall is a waste of money (but probably less of a waste than many other government expenditures).

 

 

Okay, I might be the only one who thinks that a civilian going out on armed patrol at night is extreme.  I guess I just figure that type of behaviour would put a guy in the 0.1% or maybe even the 0.01% of the population.  It's not quite vigilantism, but...

 

"Normal" leisure behaviour might be watching an Arizona Diamondbacks game, which would put you in the 10%?

 

All in the eye of the beholder, I guess.

 

SJ

 

I don't think it's all that "extreme" ;)

 

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-border-militia-caravan-20181026-story.html

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-militia/armed-patriots-the-private-citizens-out-to-secure-the-u-s-border-idUSKBN0H50VA20140910

 

I think that so many people, like the article, try to do character assignation on others just because they don't like their opinions on something. It happens all the time for liberals and conservatives.

 

 

So there's a couple hundred people along the border who are involved in this type of activity, but it's not extreme?  There's more than a couple hundred in the Michigan and Montana militas, but despite the numbers, I don't think I'd characterize those as "main stream."

 

 

SJ

 

Dude, you're blowing this way out of proportion. 1.) He has written a book on the issue, if you want to know what he thinks first hand, read the damn book. 2.) He has a ranch by the border, has seen drug smuggling and human trafficking first hand. 3.) The liberal media has brain washed you and nearly everyone else to thinking border security is anti-immigration and taboo.

 

I think that sums up this post.

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I read part of the Buffett article, but skipped over his "America Eats its Young" one.

 

"The images depict a group of three friends standing proudly, armed to the teeth, striking their best badass poses."

 

This doesn't strike me as unbiased, quality journalism.

 

Warren Buffett has a bit of a funny worldview. But seems to be a pretty good business man.

 

How is what he's doing "extreme"? He hasn't killed anyone and is trying to help enforce the law.  I really don't see how it's "extreme".  I personally think a wall is a waste of money (but probably less of a waste than many other government expenditures).

 

 

Okay, I might be the only one who thinks that a civilian going out on armed patrol at night is extreme.  I guess I just figure that type of behaviour would put a guy in the 0.1% or maybe even the 0.01% of the population.  It's not quite vigilantism, but...

 

"Normal" leisure behaviour might be watching an Arizona Diamondbacks game, which would put you in the 10%?

 

All in the eye of the beholder, I guess.

 

SJ

 

I don't think it's all that "extreme" ;)

 

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-border-militia-caravan-20181026-story.html

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-militia/armed-patriots-the-private-citizens-out-to-secure-the-u-s-border-idUSKBN0H50VA20140910

 

I think that so many people, like the article, try to do character assignation on others just because they don't like their opinions on something. It happens all the time for liberals and conservatives.

 

 

So there's a couple hundred people along the border who are involved in this type of activity, but it's not extreme?  There's more than a couple hundred in the Michigan and Montana militas, but despite the numbers, I don't think I'd characterize those as "main stream."

 

 

SJ

 

Dude, you're blowing this way out of proportion. 1.) He has written a book on the issue, if you want to know what he thinks first hand, read the damn book. 2.) He has a ranch by the border, has seen drug smuggling and human trafficking first hand. 3.) The liberal media has brain washed you and nearly everyone else to thinking border security is anti-immigration and taboo.

 

I think that sums up this post.

 

 

Brain washed by liberal media?  I don't think so.  You haven't the faintest clue what I think of border security or immigration.  I most definitely have views on the matter, just as I have views on drug trafficking, theft and white-collar crime.  If Howie had donned a kevlar vest and started patrolling the inner city of LA to prevent drug trafficking as some sort of civilian police officer wannabe or if he had done a "Patrick Byrne" and created a wacky website about white collar crime, you probably would have seen a similar uncomfortable post from me.  With respect to the other end of the political spectrum, I'd be equally intrigued if he were involved in the sit-in against the Keystone pipeline or if he were involved in the 1% protests.  All of those are considerably more activist behaviours than what I'd like to see from a company director, particularly one who has been designated to be the conservative guy putting the brake on organisational culture change.

 

The particular challenge is that the most unhinged people on both ends of the spectrum tend to get attracted like moths to a light to these activist sorts of behaviours.  So, is that Howie or not?

 

 

SJ

 

 

 

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The article, in particular Part II is disturbing and not a good PR news for Howie Buffett, a current BRK board member and its designated future Chairman.

 

Kudos to Howie and his foundation for building hydroelectric plants in Africa, fighting hunger while helping farmers around the world; these are noble causes.

 

The fact that Howie advocates tighter security on U.S. borders, investing in Mexico and fighting drug trafficking is not shocking either, given his values and the challenges at the border.

 

A BRK board member who likes wearing the sheriff uniform in his county while playing cowboys, G.I. Joe, Vigilante or whatever you like to name it, can seem awkward, but it's is not even my business. Boys like playing cowboys and American patriots like carrying guns while taking pictures with their militia buddies. Although, militias shouldn't act or replace law enforcement officers; militias are part of the American culture dating back to the revolutionary war.

 

But, what is disturbing to me is Howie Buffett alleged association/financial support with far-right ranchers and the white-supremacist ideology, which is described in the newspaper.

Howie is supposed to guard Berkshire culture once Charlie and Warren are gone, but will shareholders support Howie Buffett in the future?

 

Following some scandals, Warren Buffett successfully extracted his son from the boards of ADM in 1995 & Coke in 2017 while preserving his reputation.

 

As a BRK shareholder, I would expect some clarification from Howie and the BRK board of directors regarding this negative article and the reputational damage that it can cause.

 

“Do nothing that you would not be happy to have an unfriendly but intelligent reporter write about on the front page of a newspaper.”

 

"Lose money for the firm, and I will be understanding. Lose a shred of reputation for the firm, and I will be ruthless."

Warren Buffett

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Regardless of whether Howard's hobbies are mainstream or not, it just would've been great if WEB's always-super-rational thought process didn't lead to his son being on the board. Even before this thing (which I'm not even sure is a "thing"), it felt odd that out of the entire corporate world, WEB found the most capable board member among his children. Not Dimon, not Gates, not Bob Hamman (kidding, but probably still better than Howard... but seriously look this guy up. He's a genius and Buffett looks up to him), but Howard Buffett. Just seems odd for someone who preaches AGAINST the ovarian lottery. Now, I know Howard is not actually get a ton of personal money from Buffett so the ovarian lottery reference is not super accurate, but still, I'm at a loss for understanding why Howard is the best candidate (regardless of the merits of this article). Any and everything out there about Howard indicates he's a fairly average businessperson. Should not be too difficult to find someone better for that job, like, say Marc Hamburg who has worked super hard for a (comparatively) low salary for MANY years. I mean, that ought to show dedication to Berkshire?

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Regardless of whether Howard's hobbies are mainstream or not, it just would've been great if WEB's always-super-rational thought process didn't lead to his son being on the board. Even before this thing (which I'm not even sure is a "thing"), it felt odd that out of the entire corporate world, WEB found the most capable board member among his children. Not Dimon, not Gates, not Bob Hamman (kidding, but probably still better than Howard... but seriously look this guy up. He's a genius and Buffett looks up to him), but Howard Buffett. Just seems odd for someone who preaches AGAINST the ovarian lottery. Now, I know Howard is not actually get a ton of personal money from Buffett so the ovarian lottery reference is not super accurate, but still, I'm at a loss for understanding why Howard is the best candidate (regardless of the merits of this article). Any and everything out there about Howard indicates he's a fairly average businessperson. Should not be too difficult to find someone better for that job, like, say Marc Hamburg who has worked super hard for a (comparatively) low salary for MANY years. I mean, that ought to show dedication to Berkshire?

 

I agree 200%.

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I understand the criticisms, but I do believe Warren has a clear reason for making Howard non-executive Chairman (and Bill Gates Lead Independent Director) and I am sure that Warren considers his reason rational and based on specific experience on many corporate boards.  It is more about making sure a future CEO is not chairman.  He trusts Howard to remove a CEO if it is ever required to preserve the culture.  I'm pretty sure they've talked it over once or twice...

 

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=12&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjOnvDt_-rfAhVGQ6wKHRoABK8QwqsBMAt6BAgCEAc&url=https%3A%2F%2Fbuffett.cnbc.com%2Fvideo%2F2013%2F05%2F04%2Fis-buffetts-son-howard-buffett-qualified-to-be-berkshire-hathaway-non-executive-chairman.html&usg=AOvVaw0dEXOeMEf7VAo77HjnJVGi

 

 

- by the way, I have a shortened screen name, used to post as 'globalfinancepartners' - no skeletons in the closet that I know of

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Guest longinvestor

Running Berkshire Hathaway of the future should be independent of the directors' political leanings or worldview. We have had 50 years of WEB at the helm where this was unquestioned. I would argue that just the size of Berkshire in the future requires even more independence than the past 50..

 

All that said, I have added to my reading list Howard Buffet's book and writings on this and other subjects.

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