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Buffett Love-Fest Marred by Ethical Lapse

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Droves of investors and fans of Warren Buffett will flood the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb. this weekend in order to take part in the Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) annual shareholders meeting. This event, considered by many to be the "Woodstock for Capitalists," is always hotly anticipated and closely watched.

The theme of this year's meeting will be, "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles." As he noted in his annual letter to Berkshire shareholders, companies including NetJets, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, and BYD will be spotlighted.

This presentation is sure to be exciting and insightful. However, it will be the question and answer portion of the meeting that will likely grab the most attention from Buffett followers.

Berkshire Hathaway has gone through a number of dramatic changes since the last time the crowds gathered in Omaha. During the Q&A section of the meeting, investors and fans will have a chance to query Buffett on not only these shifts, but also Buffett's general views and outlook regarding the state of the U.S. and global economy.

Some of the Buffett- and Berkshire Hathaway-related issues that may come up during this session include the future plans for Todd Combs; Buffett's personal succession plan; future acquisition targets; and the outlook for Berkshire following Goldman Sachs' (GS) decision to repurchase its preferred shares.

One topic that will likely generate plenty of interest will be Buffett's view towards the sudden and controversial resignation of David Sokol. Sokol, one of the more recognizable Berkshire names and a frontrunner to succeed the Oracle of Omaha stole headlines at the end of March when he announced that he was resigning from his post.

In his comments, Sokol insisted that he was stepping down in order to focus on his family's investments and his personal philanthropic efforts. However immediately following his resignation, controversy began to swirl surrounding his decision to personally purchase Lubrizol (LZ) shares prior to the company's acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway.

This week, the Berkshire Hathaway Audit Committee released an official report responding to Sokol's questionable trades. According to the report, the committee found that Sokol's actions, "violated company policies, including Berkshire Hathaway's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and its Insider Trading Policies and Procedures."

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