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3 Takeaways From the 2023 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders’ Meeting

3 Takeaways From the 2023 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders’ Meeting

1. Buffett Says Opportunities Are Still Hard to Find

Berkshire Hathaway has nearly $130 billion in cash and Treasury bills on its balance sheet, leading to ongoing speculation about what the company might do with all that dry powder.

On Saturday, Buffett said he would rather do a deal for a large company than sit on the cash, earning interest, but that it depends on prices, noting that things are generally expensive these days.

2. Buffett Weighs In on Bank Collapses

Buffett, who is Berkshire’s CEO, had sharp criticism for the management teams of the several U.S. banks that have failed in 2023. He came prepared to discuss the turmoil in the sector, placing large printed signs reading “Available for Sale” and “Held-to-Maturity” on the table in front of him and Munger, to laughs from the audience. Those terms refer to the accounting treatment of securities on a bank’s balance sheet.

“The situation in banking is what it always was,” Buffett said Saturday. “Fear is contagious. Sometimes the fear is justified, sometimes it isn’t.”

3. Abel Will Carry on the Buffett Legacy

Abel, who oversees Berkshire’s non-insurance businesses, spoke several times during the Q&A session on Saturday, expounding on the performance of businesses including the BNSF railroad and Berkshire Hathaway Energy. Buffett, 92, and Munger, 99, praised him for his long-term outlook and value-oriented approach.

“When the opportunity presents itself, we’ll want to be an active purchaser of Berkshire shares,” Abel said Saturday. “It’s great for our shareholders to be able to own a larger share in all of Berkshire’s businesses.”