NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It's Buffett Time again.
The first weekend in May brings the annual meeting of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A - Get Report) (BRK.B - Get Report) in Omaha, the corporate Woodstock (or Warrenstock) presided over by the smiling face of the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett.
We love Warrenstock because we love Warren. He's grounded. He's straightforward. He likes simple things such as Dairy Queen. He's also usually right about the financial weather.
This year's Warrenstock finds us in a mature recovery, dominated by energy, with Buffett worried that, just like in the last decade, complex derivatives could bring about a financial collapse.His big deal is the purchase of Alberta's largest electric transmission company, AltaLink, and the renaming of his electric company from MidAmerican Energy to Berkshire Hathaway Energy. Its CEO, Greg Abel, is among the candidates to succeed Buffett, and he's been buying both utilities and renewable-energy facilities to power them for years, creating one of the largest transmission systems in the West. Retailing energy is a good business for Buffett. Energy resources have turned out to be a bad business. The company held bonds in Energy Future Holdings, which recently declared bankruptcy after it bet on coal-fired power plants and rising natural gas prices. Yes, Warren Buffett makes mistakes. But what draws the crowd to Warrenstock is Buffett's economic populism. This year he's on the warpath against huge bonuses at Coca-Cola (KO), chastising JPMorgan Chase (JPM) for its complex derivatives holdings -- thus the prediction of potential financial collapse -- and telling small investors they can still win by running their own money through low-cost exchange-traded funds instead of managed brokerage accounts.
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