Help Wanted: Buffett Asks A Berkshire Bear To Grill Him At Annual Meeting
(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
After adding journalists and analysts to question him and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger in recent years, the billionaire now wants a more elusive species: a bear on Berkshire.
In Friday’s annual letter to shareholders, Buffett said the firm will welcome back Fortune’s Carol Loomis, CNBC’s Becky Quick and the New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin, along with insurance analyst Cliff Gallant from Nomura, as well as adding Jonathan Brandt of Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb to ask non-insurance questions.
Finally – to spice things up – we would like to add to the panel a credentialed bear on Berkshire, preferably one who is short the stock. Not yet having a bear identified, we would like to hear from applicants. The only requirement is that you be an investment professional and negative on Berkshire. The three analysts will bring their own Berkshire-specific questions and alternate with the journalists and the audience in asking them.
Historically speaking bears have been dead wrong on Berkshire, but after a 2012 in which the firm’s increase in book value failed to outpace the S&P 500′s total return for just the ninth time in 48 years Buffett may have an easier time finding someone to take the bait.
The Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting — which is half corporate event and half county fair with portfolio companies selling their wares at the event space — is set for May 4 at Omaha’s CenturyLink Center.