What Do I Plan to Accomplish at the Meeting?
"Praise by name, criticize by category."
-- Warren Buffett
I take Warren Buffett on face value.I like to think that he selected me for the purpose of having me ask hard-hitting, pointed, thoughtful, original, perhaps even uncommon questions in order to spice up the Q&A session of the annual shareholders meeting. My plan is to ask a series of unique questions on a variety of topics. (I don't want to spill the beans. As well, I am still compiling the questions in my mind based on my research!) I plan, in the process, to be courteous and respectful, and I fully recognize that I am Daniel in the lion's den of tens of thousands of Berkshire and Buffett admirers. I am likely the sole bear, wading in a sea of Berkshire enthusiasts. I also plan, at times, to approach the questions with the same sort of levity and wit that Mr. Buffett writes his letters to shareholders. I am certain that my humor will pale in comparison to The Oracle, but I will try! So, my primary objective is to go where no questioners have previously gone and to elicit responses to some important questions facing the company that have never been asked. To say that I face an uphill fight is an understatement. It is fair to say that the odds are stacked up against me - similar to Herb Stempel, who was defeated by Charles Van Doren in the television quiz show "21," the fix is on! I am prepared for derision, some raspberries and even several Bronx cheers from the fans of Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffett. And I am prepared to have Charlie Munger call me a chump. Nevertheless, I am up to the challenge. Finally, in the interest of total honesty and disclosure, I am very excited. And my biggest thrill will be to take a picture with The Oracle and my son, Noah (the Huffington Post writer, " Ask Noah" columnist for TheStreet and soon-to-be PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania), who I am lovingly taking along on my pilgrimage to Warren Buffett's Omaha.
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