Monthly Archives: February 2012

Notes on the 2011 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report, Part 3 (On Acquisitions)

Though part of a series, this post is different.  I went back through the last 35 years of shareholder letters to analyze Buffett’s approach to acquisitions.  As Charlie Munger has said, Buffett is scary smart.  I say this because he adjusted through many different eras, while running a business that was part conglomerate, part closed-end […]

Notes on the 2011 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report, Part 2

Picking up where the last post left off: 13) So Buffett told us he has a successor lined up, but won’t tell us who, but will tell us that the successor doesn’t know that he is the successor.  Really does not seem like much of an improvement over the past, except that the CIO function […]

Notes on the 2011 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report, Part 1

Start with the basics, this is on the Annual Report, not just the shareholder letter.  I may have a second report out after the 10K is released. 1) One thing that was fascinating was the large number of low level acquisitions happening in the subsidiaries, and the desire for more of them.  There is interest […]

Thinking about the Insurance Industry

Recently I decided to spend some time analyzing the insurance industry.  It’s a different place today than when I became a buy-side analyst nine years ago.  Why? First, for practical purposes, all of the insurers of credit are gone.  Yes, we have Assured Guaranty, and MBIA is limping along. Old Republic still exists. Radian and […]

Proposal to the SEC on Money Market Funds

To readers at the blog, I have formally submitted this to the SEC. -=-=-=-==–=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=–=-==-=–==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- To those analyzing policy for money market funds at the SEC: Greetings.  My name is David Merkel, and I run Aleph Investments, LLC, a Maryland RIA.  I manage stock and bond portfolios for upper middle class people, and for small institutions.  […]

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Finance Business   Breaking Ranks: Former Broker Turns Bomb Thrower @reformedbroker interview previews his book: $$ Feb 24, 2012 Why CLO managers continue to struggle Low issuance, warehousing is tough, need more subordination, fewer senior buyers Feb 24, 2012 My Favorite Quote from Baupost’s 2011 Annual Letter DIstressed bond mgrs get […]