Buffett: "We made a mistake"


"Berkshire had owned convertible notes of USG since 2008 and was effectively forced to convert the notes when they were called for redemption by USG in December 2013," says Warren Buffett in a statement. "This event triggered a filing requirement for Berkshire (BRK.A, BRK.B) and we were late in realizing that fact.”

Previously: Berkshire Hathaway to pay fine over reporting violation

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Comments (13)
  • bibol11
    , contributor
    Comments (280) | Send Message
     
    I wonder if they have settled the tax evasion case
    20 Aug 2014, 04:07 PM Reply Like
  • 1logicalthinker
    , contributor
    Comments (98) | Send Message
     
    there is NO tax evasion case. That exists only in your mind.
    20 Aug 2014, 04:49 PM Reply Like
  • CassandraSees
    , contributor
    Comments (625) | Send Message
     
    With all the regulations that are out there, it is no wonder that this slipped under the wire - - - I commend Buffet for being transparent on the issue --- Now if the DC vagabonds would do the same....
    20 Aug 2014, 04:21 PM Reply Like
  • Realtor_k
    , contributor
    Comments (220) | Send Message
     
    You need to understand that USG is not Warren's first rodeo.

     

    With so many companies under BRK, they need to do a better job of tracking all of the SEC reporting requirements.

     

    If Warren's BRK is not able to track all the filing requirements, then he needs to outsource this task to his lawyers.

     

    Otherwise, this problem will happen again. And more fines will just keep piling up -- And of course, more embarrassment for Warren/BRK.

     

    $900,000 for one offense may not be significant in "BRK-world". But if there are 10 or 100 or 1000 offenses, then it becomes very expensive (and stupid) quickly.

     

    There is absolutely no reason to waste money on preventable fines. It's like paying for a stupid, speeding ticket. Who wants that???!!!
    21 Aug 2014, 04:59 AM Reply Like
  • 1logicalthinker
    , contributor
    Comments (98) | Send Message
     
    to bibol11: There is NO tax evasion case.
    20 Aug 2014, 04:48 PM Reply Like
  • CapVandal
    , contributor
    Comments (798) | Send Message
     
    In terms of money, it is less that a million -- or a couple of hours of earnings. Probably tax deductible also.

     

    A parking ticked for BRK
    20 Aug 2014, 06:01 PM Reply Like
  • Realtor_k
    , contributor
    Comments (220) | Send Message
     
    I wonder if Grandpa Warren is paying the $900,000 fine out of his pocket or is it coming out of the BRK pocket?
    21 Aug 2014, 12:43 AM Reply Like
  • CapVandal
    , contributor
    Comments (798) | Send Message
     
    It's coming out of his $100,000 a year salary.
    21 Aug 2014, 01:05 AM Reply Like
  • Realtor_k
    , contributor
    Comments (220) | Send Message
     
    Hey Cap: Are u upset that I'm asking who is paying the fine?

     

    If u are a BRK investor, aren't u curious?
    21 Aug 2014, 01:12 AM Reply Like
  • 1logicalthinker
    , contributor
    Comments (98) | Send Message
     
    I am not curious and I've been a BRK investor for well over a decade. Besides, the stock was up over 32% in 2013 and is up over 15% so far this year.
    21 Aug 2014, 04:42 PM Reply Like
  • Realtor_k
    , contributor
    Comments (220) | Send Message
     
    Does anyone know if GS (Goldman Sachs) also have convertible notes with BRK -- similar to USG vs BRK arrangement?

     

    If yes, then someone may also need to find out if BRK also needs to fulfill the same SEC requirement for GS.
    21 Aug 2014, 06:43 AM Reply Like
  • cjay18
    , contributor
    Comments (540) | Send Message
     
    This is less than a foot fault. The US has no antitrust enforcement policy (and has not had one for many years) and HSR is useless for anything but lawyers make-work. Lots of antipathy for WB here, but it's not his job to handle filings with the government.
    21 Aug 2014, 07:28 AM Reply Like
  • hugh01
    , contributor
    Comments (384) | Send Message
     
    These laws seem rather harsh - especially since it was made approx 6 years ago and not a direct stock purchase. There should be certain exceptions, such as whether the purchase was "material / significant event" and if there was intent. Given that Berkshire manages over $500 Billion in assets, and these were convertible notes, the fine was way too harsh.

     

    Bill Gates was also fined for a similar stuff up on ICOS Corp.

     

    The FTC looks like a bunch of pencil pushers looking for excuses to generate revenue for the government.
    22 Aug 2014, 05:20 PM Reply Like
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