FRI, SEP 08, 2023
Jimmy Buffett 'made everybody feel good, particularly me'
Jimmy Buffett with Warren Buffett at the 2016 Berkshire meeting. Lacy O'Toole | CNBC
In a written statement to The Wall Street Journal this week, Warren Buffett paid tribute to musician and entrepreneur Jimmy Buffett, the "roguish bard of island escapism" who died of a rare form of skin cancer late last week at the age of 76.
"Jimmy loved the audience just as much as they loved him. He never lost a fan. Music changed, performing styles changed, but if you liked Jimmy in 1983, you wanted to see him again in 2023. And you wanted to bring your kids.
"I never heard him make an unkind remark -- either publicly or privately -- in the more than 35 years I knew him. He made everybody feel good, particularly me. We weren't related but in his first call to me, he began with 'Cousin Warren?' and I replied 'Cousin Jimmy' and that's the way it stayed."
How did the two Buffetts know they didn't share some of the same genes?
According to an extensive 2018 New York Times profile of billionaire Jimmy Buffett, the very successful, and very busy creator of a "Margaritaville" business empire based on an easygoing, no worries, frozen drinks on a sunny beach lifestyle he could no longer afford to live:
"He's so rich that he’s done a 23andMe DNA test with Warren Buffett because in addition to sharing a last name, the mutual ability to sustain such mind-boggling wealth is so otherworldly that it could surely only be the result of the same extremely rare and fortunate genetic mutation. The test showed no biological relationship, but they stayed friends."
Jimmy Buffett regularly attended Berkshire's annual meeting, even opening the 2007 gathering with a rendition of "Margaritaville" featuring rewritten lyrics about "Wasting away in Berkshire Hathaway-a-ville / Searchin' for some good companies to buy."
In an interview during CNBC's live coverage of the 2022 annual meeting, Jimmy Buffett told Becky Quick he bought Berkshire stock "probably" 25 years ago and had not sold any of it.
VIDEO: Musician Jimmy Buffett says he bought Berkshire shares 25 years ago
In its "Billionaires 2023" profile, Forbes estimates the shares make up just under 2% of the musician's $1 billion net worth, or roughly $20 million.
And it quotes Warren Buffett as saying, "I wish there were more Jimmy Buffetts, but there aren’t. Tell Jimmy to keep me in his will!”
'Everyone wants' a clean-energy Berkshire deal ... even in coal country
A partnership between a Berkshire Hathaway renewable energy subsidiary and Republican lawmakers in West Virginia is behind a new clean-energy industrial project in the state.
This week, The Wall Street Journal highlighted plans for "manufacturing hub" featuring a $500 million factory that will be powered by solar panels and rechargeable batteries.
Berkshire's Precision Castparts subsidiary will use the plant to make titanium for aircraft parts. That requires lots of energy, which will be provided by a solar farm constructed by Berkshire's BHE Renewables unit.
West Virginia has approved $400 million to support three renewable-energy projects, including Berkshire's, and the GOP-controlled legislature has passed laws to promote solar power.
According to the newspaper, "The Buffett name and the promise of 300 jobs helped the companies overcome resistance in a state where coal provides more than 90% of the electricity."
The Republican head of the state's economic development department is quoted by the Journal as saying, "Everyone wants a Berkshire deal."
Buffett told the newspaper, "I'm glad it worked out. I can claim no personal credit."
The article notes that billions of dollars in federal subsidiaries are playing a key role in winning over "coal-centric" areas by reframing "the renewable-energy debate away from global warming and environmental protection, and toward economic development."
BUFFETT AROUND THE INTERNET
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HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE ARCHIVE
Buffett’s politics: “I’m a card-carrying capitalist”
BERKSHIRE'S TOP U.S. STOCK HOLDINGS - Sep. 8, 2023
Berkshire's top holdings of disclosed publicly-traded stocks in the U.S., Japan, and Hong Kong, by market value, based on today's closing prices.
Holdings are as of June 30, 2023 as reported in Berkshire Hathaway’s 13F filing on August 14, 2023, except for:
The full list of holdings and current market values is available from CNBC.com's Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio Tracker.
Please send any questions or comments about the newsletter to me at email@example.com. (Sorry, but we don't forward questions or comments to Buffett himself.)
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Also, Buffett's annual letters to shareholders are highly-recommended reading. There are collected here on Berkshire's website.
-- Alex Crippen, Editor, Warren Buffett Watch
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