(Charlie then interrupted and said that Todd Combs "had so much success [in short selling] that he stopped doing it," which drew laughter from the crowd.)
My question and challenge is would you ever reconsider committing capital to a short-selling strategy?
Would you or Berkshire consider being my "Homer Dodge," who invested in your partnership shortly after the original seven investors did?
Specifically, would either you or Berkshire Hathaway be willing to give my firm, Seabreeze Partners (specialists in short selling), at least $100 million in a managed account (for no less than two years) that would be committed solely to a short-selling strategy?If the Seabreeze account failed to outperform the change in Berkshire Hathaway's book value, all the earned fees (over the period) will be contributed to six charities in equal amounts: The Sherwood Foundation (the charity your daughter founded) and two other charities of your choice plus three charities of my choice, including Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County. And even if Seabreeze did outperform Berkshire, 25% of the earned fees would be contributed to the charities. I added that in a previous answer to a question, Buffett emphasized that he was technophobic and reluctant to invest in the technology sector. I emphasized that technology has been a disruptive force in a number of industries by virtue (or lack thereof) of its adverse impact on company business models. This provides a fertile ground for short-selling candidates. A: Denied. Charlie was emphatic. "No," he said. Asked why, Warren uttered what I thought was the best line of the day, "We don't like trading agony for money." Buffett then added, "But we wish you well."
Question No. 6 -- Is Howard Buffett Qualified to be Berkshire's Nonexecutive ChairmanQ: Warren, like you, I have two sons that I love. Like you, I have a son in the audience. This question is not meant to be disrespectful, but it is a question that I believe should be asked. Someday your son will be Berkshire's nonexecutive chairman. Berkshire is a complex business, growing more complex as the years pass. Howard has never run a diversified business nor is he an expert in enterprise risk management.
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