Berkshire subsidiary reportedly looking at producing lithium for Tesla batteries


FRI, JAN 25, 2019


Buffett's Berkshire could become big lithium source for Musk's Tesla


A Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary says it is "evaluating the mineral extraction opportunity" at its California geothermal wells, but denies a Financial Times story (subscription required) that it has already signed a deal to allow the extraction of lithium, a key ingredient for electric car batteries.


In an email to Reuters, however, a spokeswoman for Berkshire Hathaway Energy did not directly address the FT's claim that BHE has been talking with Elon Musk's Tesla about supplying lithium to the carmaker.


The FT reported the Berkshire company could produce more lithium than top producers Albemarle and SQM. But Reuters notes it's very expensive to extract lithium using established methods and industry analysts are skeptical Berkshire will succeed where many others have failed.

Warren Buffett/Elon Musk

Elizabeth Warren's wealth tax would give Buffett a big bill


Forbes calculates Democratic White House candidate Elizabeth Warren's proposed wealth tax would increase Buffett's tax bill by $2.5 billion. Buffett has called for higher income tax rates for "mega-rich" people like him, but told CNBC in 2012 that he didn't "particularly favor a wealth tax, but ... would have no objection to it." His main concern, he said, is enforcing a tax on existing wealth because it's difficult to value farms and private businesses.


  • "When Charlie Munger Calls, Listen and Learn" is the headline on a Wall Street Journal story about a self-published author who got an unexpected phone call filled with advice from Munger after the writer sent the manuscript of his novel to Buffett's partner. 

  • CNBC's Make It has management author Suzy Welch recounting the career advice she received from Buffett that she says no one should ignore. It also recounts Buffett and Gates on why quitting one bad habit will help make you more successful in life.



Buffett's Berkshire and Musk's Tesla may be heading to a lithium deal, but the two men haven't always been in sync.


Just before the 2018 Berkshire annual meeting, Musk criticized the idea of competitive "moats," Buffett's word for the enduring advantage a company needs, often in the form of a strong brand, to fend off challengers.  Musk told a Tesla earnings conference call that "the pace of innovation" is what matters and the moat concept is "quaint."


In this clip from the Berkshire meeting, Munger and Buffett defend their favorite defense of corporate castles and suggest that Musk wouldn't "want to take us on in candy."


Two days later, during a CNBC interview, Buffett said he "salutes" Musk and Tesla for trying to improve a product, but "it's probably easier to develop a new car than compete with Snickers," due to the candy bar's strong brand.



Berkshire Hathaway Class A shares closed at $303,531 Friday, up 0.3% over the previous four weeks, and down 6.0% from one year ago.

Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares closed at $202.75, up 0.3% over the previous four weeks, and down 5.7% from one year ago.

The benchmark S&P 500 index closed at 2664.76, up 7.2% over the previous four weeks, and down 6.2% from one year ago.



Berkshire's top stock holdings by market value, based on today's closing prices. The number of shares held is as of September 30, 2018, as disclosed in the company's November 14 13-F SEC filing.


The full list of holdings and current market values is available from's Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio Tracker.



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