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Sokol Says He Should Have Left Berkshire Earlier


Parsad
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Some harsh words:

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323689604578222051534145538.html

 

I was quoted in this article, but after reading what Sokol said my "probably breached his trust" line seemed like a bit of an understatement!

 

When this was going on a few years back, I didn't think it was that big of a deal at the time. But with hindsight it looks like it was a good thing he left -- I wouldn't want that kind of person running things at Berkshire.

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Some harsh words:

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323689604578222051534145538.html

 

I was quoted in this article, but after reading what Sokol said my "probably breached his trust" line seemed like a bit of an understatement!

 

When this was going on a few years back, I didn't think it was that big of a deal at the time. But with hindsight it looks like it was a good thing he left -- I wouldn't want that kind of person running things at Berkshire.

 

Wow, very harsh words. Makes me really wonder WTF went on behind the scenes. Buffett has been behind-the-back vindictive before so I wouldn't be surprised if he did something that crossed the line for Sokol

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Some harsh words:

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323689604578222051534145538.html

 

I was quoted in this article, but after reading what Sokol said my "probably breached his trust" line seemed like a bit of an understatement!

 

When this was going on a few years back, I didn't think it was that big of a deal at the time. But with hindsight it looks like it was a good thing he left -- I wouldn't want that kind of person running things at Berkshire.

 

Wow, very harsh words. Makes me really wonder WTF went on behind the scenes. Buffett has been behind-the-back vindictive before so I wouldn't be surprised if he did something that crossed the line for Sokol

 

Could be.  Or vice-versa. 

 

Buffett has always said that "you lose a shred of reputation for the firm...and I will be ruthless!"  He cut Alice Schroeder out of the circle pretty quick over the book.  If you piss him off or damage his/Berkshire's reputation, you are gone.

 

While the SEC didn't find anything to charge Sokol with, I think everyone here thought it was unethical when the information came out.  Cheers!

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Some harsh words:

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323689604578222051534145538.html

 

I was quoted in this article, but after reading what Sokol said my "probably breached his trust" line seemed like a bit of an understatement!

 

When this was going on a few years back, I didn't think it was that big of a deal at the time. But with hindsight it looks like it was a good thing he left -- I wouldn't want that kind of person running things at Berkshire.

 

Wow, very harsh words. Makes me really wonder WTF went on behind the scenes. Buffett has been behind-the-back vindictive before so I wouldn't be surprised if he did something that crossed the line for Sokol

 

Could be.  Or vice-versa. 

 

Buffett has always said that "you lose a shred of reputation for the firm...and I will be ruthless!"  He cut Alice Schroeder out of the circle pretty quick over the book.  If you piss him off or damage his/Berkshire's reputation, you are gone.

 

While the SEC didn't find anything to charge Sokol with, I think everyone here thought it was unethical when the information came out.  Cheers!

Interesting information...where would you suggest one begin looking to find similar stories about Buffett's behind-the-scenes decisions? It is obvious that he painstakingly grooms his public image, but in private he is a different beast.

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Some harsh words:

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323689604578222051534145538.html

 

I was quoted in this article, but after reading what Sokol said my "probably breached his trust" line seemed like a bit of an understatement!

 

When this was going on a few years back, I didn't think it was that big of a deal at the time. But with hindsight it looks like it was a good thing he left -- I wouldn't want that kind of person running things at Berkshire.

 

Wow, very harsh words. Makes me really wonder WTF went on behind the scenes. Buffett has been behind-the-back vindictive before so I wouldn't be surprised if he did something that crossed the line for Sokol

 

Could be.  Or vice-versa. 

 

Buffett has always said that "you lose a shred of reputation for the firm...and I will be ruthless!"  He cut Alice Schroeder out of the circle pretty quick over the book.  If you piss him off or damage his/Berkshire's reputation, you are gone.

 

While the SEC didn't find anything to charge Sokol with, I think everyone here thought it was unethical when the information came out.  Cheers!

Interesting information...where would you suggest one begin looking to find similar stories about Buffett's behind-the-scenes decisions? It is obvious that he painstakingly grooms his public image, but in private he is a different beast.

 

Read Schroeder's book..."The Snowball".  I thought it had too much of the gossipy stuff, but some of that helps formulate how Buffett's relations with people formed or why they may have deteriorated.  Also has plenty of detail on his life and business as well.  Cheers!

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It gets worse.  Here is what he said to the Wall Street Journal:

 

 

I will never understand why Mr. Buffett chose to hurt my family in such a way, but given that he is rapidly approaching his judgement [sic] day I will leave his verdict to a higher power".

 

Quoted from the www.businessinsider.com/

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Read Schroeder's book..."The Snowball".  I thought it had too much of the gossipy stuff, but some of that helps formulate how Buffett's relations with people formed or why they may have deteriorated.  Also has plenty of detail on his life and business as well.  Cheers!

 

Somewhere at the start of the book it says "Warren said: "If you have multiple versions of the same story, use the least flattering one"", I always wondered whether he really said that..

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Some harsh words:

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323689604578222051534145538.html

 

I was quoted in this article, but after reading what Sokol said my "probably breached his trust" line seemed like a bit of an understatement!

 

When this was going on a few years back, I didn't think it was that big of a deal at the time. But with hindsight it looks like it was a good thing he left -- I wouldn't want that kind of person running things at Berkshire.

 

Wow, very harsh words. Makes me really wonder WTF went on behind the scenes. Buffett has been behind-the-back vindictive before so I wouldn't be surprised if he did something that crossed the line for Sokol

 

Could be.  Or vice-versa. 

 

Buffett has always said that "you lose a shred of reputation for the firm...and I will be ruthless!"  He cut Alice Schroeder out of the circle pretty quick over the book.  If you piss him off or damage his/Berkshire's reputation, you are gone.

 

While the SEC didn't find anything to charge Sokol with, I think everyone here thought it was unethical when the information came out.  Cheers!

Interesting information...where would you suggest one begin looking to find similar stories about Buffett's behind-the-scenes decisions? It is obvious that he painstakingly grooms his public image, but in private he is a different beast.

 

Read Schroeder's book..."The Snowball".  I thought it had too much of the gossipy stuff, but some of that helps formulate how Buffett's relations with people formed or why they may have deteriorated.  Also has plenty of detail on his life and business as well.  Cheers!

What was wrong with Alice Schroeder's book ?

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I will never understand why Mr. Buffett chose to hurt my family in such a way, but given that he is rapidly approaching his judgement [sic] day I will leave his verdict to a higher power".

 

Would any of you ascribe any importance to the word "rapidly"?

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I will never understand why Mr. Buffett chose to hurt my family in such a way, but given that he is rapidly approaching his judgement [sic] day I will leave his verdict to a higher power".

 

Would any of you ascribe any importance to the word "rapidly"?

 

The word "rapidly" also caught my eye when I read it the first time.  I really thought it was both in poor choice and poor taste for Sokol to say that.   

 

That being said, Buffett is now in his early 80's and none of us are going to live forever...except Ericopoly, because he can now afford his own cryogenic freezer and monitoring system for the next 50 years!  ;D  Cheers!

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I will never understand why Mr. Buffett chose to hurt my family in such a way, but given that he is rapidly approaching his judgement [sic] day I will leave his verdict to a higher power".

 

Would any of you ascribe any importance to the word "rapidly"?

 

 

The only importance that might be ascribed to the word "rapidly" is it proves Sokol is an asshole.

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I will never understand why Mr. Buffett chose to hurt my family in such a way, but given that he is rapidly approaching his judgement [sic] day I will leave his verdict to a higher power".

 

Would any of you ascribe any importance to the word "rapidly"?

 

The word "rapidly" also caught my eye when I read it the first time.  I really thought it was both in poor choice and poor taste for Sokol to say that.   

 

That being said, Buffett is now in his early 80's and none of us are going to live forever...except Ericopoly, because he can now afford his own cryogenic freezer and monitoring system for the next 50 years!  ;D  Cheers!

 

Terrible taste indeed... saying it to a cancer patient. However this is a written response and this guy probably had time to think over his words. Did he also try to indicate something else with this dirty punch below WeB's belt?

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I will never understand why Mr. Buffett chose to hurt my family in such a way, but given that he is rapidly approaching his judgement [sic] day I will leave his verdict to a higher power".

 

Would any of you ascribe any importance to the word "rapidly"?

 

The word "rapidly" also caught my eye when I read it the first time.  I really thought it was both in poor choice and poor taste for Sokol to say that.   

 

That being said, Buffett is now in his early 80's and none of us are going to live forever...except Ericopoly, because he can now afford his own cryogenic freezer and monitoring system for the next 50 years!  ;D  Cheers!

 

Terrible taste indeed... saying it to a cancer patient. However this is a written response and this guy probably had time to think over his words. Did he also try to indicate something else with this dirty punch below WeB's belt?

 

We don't know.  It's possible.  Apple kept Steve Jobs' condition under wraps for a long-time.  I think shareholder's have to trust the CEO and board's judgment about such things.  Cheers!

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I will never understand why Mr. Buffett chose to hurt my family in such a way, but given that he is rapidly approaching his judgement [sic] day I will leave his verdict to a higher power".

 

Would any of you ascribe any importance to the word "rapidly"?

 

 

The only importance that might be ascribed to the word "rapidly" is it proves Sokol is an asshole.

 

lol agreed.

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What Sokol did (buy a stock first, then pitch the idea to Buffett without disclosing his holdings) is self-serving and reprehensible. Especially considering how petty the amount of gain (3 million) was, compared to his net worth (in hundreds of millions) which means it was more about the chutzpah and arrogance than the unjust enrichment aspect that was more alluring to him.

 

One would think he would come to his senses by apologizing and make amends with his former boss, not just because it's right, but because it would lessen the damage this entire debacle has caused on his reputation. Belittling someone as influential and respected as WEB publicly (whether justified or not) is just digging your own grave IMO simply because in the public's eye, WEB has accomplished more in his lifetime than 100's of Sokols can ever dream about accomplishing.

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I do not agree with the comments Sokol made now, but I did feel at the time that Sokol did get thrown under the bus by BRK after the PR storm erupted.

I did not get the sense that Sokol was after monetary gain when he made the recommendation. To me it seemed like he had invested in Lubrizol, liked the investment and recommended it to WEB.

We do not know what his real motive may have been but it did not appear to me that it was motivated by monetary gain.

 

For those who attended the 2011 AGM if you recall WEB had recounted the story of how he had offered Sokol a performance bonus payable if he met performance targets at Mid American. Sokol had gone back to him asking that the bonus be shared equally between him and Greg Abel his deputy at the time, thereby foregoing $25 million of potential income.

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I do not agree with the comments Sokol made now, but I did feel at the time that Sokol did get thrown under the bus by BRK after the PR storm erupted.

 

Under the bus is clearly where he belonged! --Given his comments now and what he did at the time.  Buffett's rules are and were clear.  To all his managers he says, here is the line, not only are you not to cross it, you must never, ever get anywhere near it!.

I did not get the sense that Sokol was after monetary gain when he made the recommendation. To me it seemed like he had invested in Lubrizol, liked the investment and recommended it to WEB.

We do not know what his real motive may have been but it did not appear to me that it was motivated by monetary gain.

 

That is totally immaterial.  If your hand is in the till, whether it is for you, for your ailing grandmother or for Mother Theresa, the fact remains: Your hand is in the till.

[*]Get your damn hand out of the till

[*]and you're fired.

 

Remember Munger's analogy: if you catch bad behavior once, the odds are that it has occurred before and will occur again.  I would call it the roaches in the kitchen problem; one is enough clue to call the exterminator.

 

For those who attended the 2011 AGM if you recall WEB had recounted the story of how he had offered Sokol a performance bonus payable if he met performance targets at Mid American. Sokol had gone back to him asking that the bonus be shared equally between him and Greg Abel his deputy at the time, thereby foregoing $25 million of potential income.

 

This only proves that Warren was not totally wrong to have hired the guy in the first place.

 

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Buffett's rules are and were clear.  To all his managers he says, here is the line, not only are you not to cross it, you must never, ever get anywhere near it!.

 

netnet,

 

And yet, this is what Buffett had to say when he announced Sokol's resignation (pg. 2):

 

Neither Dave nor I feel his Lubrizol purchases were in any way unlawful.
(emphasis supplied)

 

Sokol effectively got thrown under the bus as a result of the fairly vocal outrage over his trading in Lubrizol following this disclosure. Munger admitted as much in an interview (CNBC, I think) following that year's Annual Meeting.

 

Best,

Ragu

 

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Buffett's rules are and were clear.  To all his managers he says, here is the line, not only are you not to cross it, you must never, ever get anywhere near it!.

 

netnet,

 

And yet, this is what Buffett had to say when he announced Sokol's resignation (pg. 2):

 

Neither Dave nor I feel his Lubrizol purchases were in any way unlawful.
(emphasis supplied)

 

Sokol effectively got thrown under the bus as a result of the fairly vocal outrage over his trading in Lubrizol following this disclosure. Munger admitted as much in an interview (CNBC, I think) following that year's Annual Meeting.

 

Seriously, is legality the only standard?  Not for Buffett nor for me.  Hence the idea of staying away from the line. 

First I should note that Sokol's behavior violated the written rules of the BK.

 

Secondly, even if it were not in the corporate policy, would you want your partner to behave like this?    (Remember, this guy was potentially slated to be  the custodian of the wealth of many, including me!) 

 

The partnership test is what WEB and CM have repeatedly mentioned as their rule for business ethics.  How would an ethical partner behave in that situation.  In the words of a Wall Streeter of a bygone era; you should be able to trust your partner with your wallet and your wife. 

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We do not know what his real motive may have been but it did not appear to me that it was motivated by monetary gain.

 

What on earth is wrong with being motivated by monetary gain?  I am motivated by monetary gain, WEB is as well.  What makes something either moral or not moral has nothing to do with it being motivated by monetary gain or not.

 

If someone robs me and gives the loot to charity it is still immoral even though it wasn't motivated by monetary gain.  If someone invests my money for me and makes me rich while charging me a fee it is moral even though it was completely motivated by monetary gain.  I know it is a small point, but I see this "money is evil" meme all over the place, it is discouraging to see it even on an investing discussion board.

 

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