Buffett Sidekick Munger Gives Univ. of Michigan $110 Million (WSJ)
Charles Munger is going back to school. At least, a lot of his money is. Munger, Warren Buffett’s longtime investing sidekick at Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) +1.58%, has donated $110 million in securities to build a massive new dorm at his old stomping grounds, the University of Michigan, the university said in a statement Thursday. (Munger attended Michigan but never graduated, instead enlisting in the army. Despite the lack of diploma, he still managed to get into Harvard Law.) The money—the largest single gift in Michigan’s history—will be used to create a residence hall and fellowship program for graduate students in multiple disciplines. More than 600 students will bunk in apartments with up to seven bedrooms apiece, though they do get their own bathrooms. The design was inspired by a similar complex that Munger helped fund at Stanford University.
Warren Buffett Shows His Faith in Housing (Fool)
When Warren Buffett declared that housing was on the rebound last summer, he immediately put his money where his mouth is. His company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) partnered with Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (NYSE:BAM) to create HomeServices of America last fall, which has been busily scooping up real estate brokerages — and recently revealed its new logo as the rebranded Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. …The new entity is gearing up to be a national, full-service real estate company and has incorporated its formerly separate Prudential Real Estate and Real Living brands under the new umbrella. The complete unveiling of the new company will continue throughout this year.
Warren Buffett Has His Secretary—and Barack Obama Has…Me (IWF)
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has his secretary—and Barack Obama has…me. Like countless other U.S. taxpayers, I was interested but not at all surprised to learn, when I paid my annual visit to Mr. Block, that my effective tax rate for 2012 was higher than Mr. Obama’s enviable effective rate of 18 percent. I wonder if Mr. Buffett’s secretary—who, as the president never tires of reminding us, pays at a higher rate than her mogul boss—can recommend a good support group? Honestly, I didn’t expect President Fair Share to kick in more than his legal requirement. You’d probably have to be even more enamored of big government than President Obama to randomly send insatiable Uncle Sam more than the federal government is “asking” from you.
China’s BYD to ditch petrol power (IOL)
BYD, one of the better known Chinese brands thanks to a stake held by billionaire US investor Warren Buffett, may stop making conventional petrol-fuelled cars within two years and focus on ‘new energy’ battery models as part of a “re-birth plan” to arrest a slump in sales. Shares in BYD, which once harboured long-term ambitions to be as big as Toyota, have tumbled by almost three quarters since a late-2009 peak. Now the company is poring over internal plans to radically adjust and possibly streamline its business – which sprawls across batteries, cellphone assembly, solar panels, LED light bulbs, and electric and petrol-powered cars and buses.