Here are some of the most important Buffett stories from the past week.
On Monday, market commentators buzzed after Bloomberg reported that certain Berkshire Hathaway notes were being seen by the bond market as safer investments than U.S. government bonds with similar maturities. According to the report, Berkshire two-year notes were yielding 3.5 basis points lower than comparative government bonds.
Berkshire was not the only company found to be trading at lower yields than Uncle Sam. According to the report, Procter & Gamble (PG), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Lowe's (LOW) debt were also selling at premiums compared to similar government bonds.Ultimately, holding U.S. government's debt remains a theoretically risk-free investment (ignoring inflation) because of the government's ability to turn on the printing press. However, the report highlights the growing risks that are associated with the nation's ballooning budget deficit level.
Berkshire's Liquor LicenseWhen Warren Buffett announced his plan to purchase Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNI) toward the close of 2009, many analysts and market commentators questioned the move, speculating that it could be the financier's last hurrah. However, Buffett proved this week he is still very much in a deal-making mood. At the start of the week Kahn Ventures, a distributor of wine and liquor in Georgia and North Carolina, became Berkshire Hathaway's newest acquisition. The deal was made through the Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary, McLane. This is not the first time that Buffett has gotten into the alcohol business. Berkshire Hathaway held shares of Anheuser-Busch (BUD) until InBev purchased the firm for cash in 2008. In a statement following the Kahn deal, Buffett hinted at the possibility of further expanding into the distribution business.
Buffett Slashes Stake in Moody'sIn what has become a common occurrence, Warren Buffett's company reduced its position again in Moody's (MCO). According to the SEC filing, the most recent sale amounted to 815,905 shares of the troubled ratings agency. Berkshire still holds close to 31 million shares, or 13% of the company's shares. This is down considerably from the 48 million shares held at the end of March last year.
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