Berkshire Buys Back $1.2 Billion in Stock (WSJ) Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) +2.78% bought $1.2 billion of its own shares from the estate of a "long-time shareholder" as it increased the amount it is willing to pay to repurchase its stock. Berkshire's board, headed by Mr. Buffett, authorized the repurchase of 9,200 of Berkshire's Class A shares for $131,000 each. It said it was now willing to pay up to 120% of book value per share to buy back its stock. Both moves were announced in a news release just after markets opened Wednesday morning. Trading in Berkshire stock was halted until the statement was released at 9:38 a.m. East Coast time. When trading resumed, Berkshire shares rose 2.4% to $133,941.
Warren Buffett And The Collective Action Problem (Forbes) I think this is quite a decent little jibe by Warren Buffett over higher taxes and voluntary payments: Answering Republican calls for the mega-billionaire to donate money to the US Treasury if he wants to help with deficit reduction, Mr Buffett told Time magazine they should all join hands in the effort. “If we go to a contribution system, I’ll match the total contribution made by all Republican members of Congress. And I’ll even go three for one for McConnell,” he said, according to interview excerpts released by Time.
Buffett Is Latest Billionaire to Struggle With Newspaper Revival (SFGate) Warren Buffett, the investor famous for betting on aging industries like railroads and insurance, is now trying to pull off something other billionaires have tried and failed to do: save the newspaper business. His company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., has spent more than $342 million on 80 newspapers -- including its hometown paper, the Omaha World-Herald -- and used them to build a new business unit. And Buffett isn’t done. Though the division announced plans to close an underperforming newspaper in Virginia last month, he’s said that more acquisitions may be in store.
Warren Buffett And George Soros Want Higher Estate Tax Than Obama Proposes (Forbes) As if the situation with estate and gift taxes wasn’t confusing enough, another hat has been tossed in the ring. It comes from a group called United For A Fair Economy. For someone who dies before the end of the year the unified credit will cover the estate tax on $5,120,000 with a top marginal rate of 35%. Based on law in place now, that goes to $1,000,000 and a top marginal rate of 55% on January 1, 2013. I have written several posts urging people to consider large gifts before the deadline. The Obama administration has proposed that the unified credit cover $3,500,000 with a top marginal rate of 35%. I have heard a rumor that there was a pre-election deal that we would stick with $5,120,000 regardless of how the election turned out. I have not seen much about the estate tax being mentioned in the various fiscal cliff drama reports of nonprogress. So maybe there is something to the rumor.