Warren Buffett News: Buffett’s Billions Can’t Buy Him Exemption From His Tax-Averse Past

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAYBerkshire to Pay CaixaBank $780 Million in Reinsurer Bet (Bloomberg)
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. agreed to pay 600 million euros ($780 million) to reinsure a book of individual life policies at CaixaBank SA (CABK), Spain’s third-biggest lender. CaixaBank will book a one-time 524 million-euro pretax gain from the deal with Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A), the Barcelona-based lender said in a filing to regulators in Madrid today. Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire will get future profits from the portfolio, which generated premium revenue of 231 million euros last year, according to a spokesman for the bank who asked not to be identified in line with company policy.

Buffett’s Billions Can’t Buy Him Exemption From His Tax-Averse Past (Forbes)
Having a net worth over $40 billion may command some authority and attention for one’s views on economics and taxation. But it should not buy one an exemption from basic logic, intellectual integrity, or consistency. Such seems to be case with Warren Buffett, who yet again took to the op/ed pages of the New York Times this week to call for higher taxes on citizens earning more than $500,000. The idea that higher income people should pay more in taxes, whether born of a desire for greater progressivity and/or a desire to raise more revenue, is certainly a legitimate viewpoint. However, any serious person espousing such an argument should be expected to address several basic questions: What will the standard of fairness be? How is it to be determined that any particular income group is paying its “fair share?” And if taxes are to increase, whether to address the deficit or for “fairness,” what degree of negative impact on economic growth and investment is one willing to tolerate? Regrettably, the recent presidential campaign featured much demagoguery but few answers. Mr. Buffett is no more illuminating.

MidAmerican’s Iowa Utility Unit Names Fehrman President (BusinessWeek)
MidAmerican Funding LLC, the unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (A) that owns an Iowa utility, named William Fehrman president, following the resignation of Greg Abel from that role. Fehrman has been chief executive officer and a board member of MidAmerican Energy Co., the Iowa utility, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today. Abel remains president, chairman and CEO of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Inc., the unit that contains Berkshire’s energy businesses including MidAmerican Funding, spokeswoman Ann Thelen said today in a telephone interview.

Warren Buffet to visit Cleveland today (WKYC)
Billionaire CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and third-richest man in the world Warren Buffett will be in Cleveland Friday afternoon. Buffett, whose net work is an estimated $44 billion, will join Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson, Cuyahoga Community College President Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton, and several others at a business program on the Tri-C metro campus. The group will hear presentations from two members of the first class of Cleveland business owners participating in the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) 10,000 Small Businesses program. The program, launched in 2011, is designed to help create jobs and spur economic growth through business education, support services and access to capital.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Subsidiary Boosts US Shale Revolution (EnergyTribune)
Warren Buffett’s investment in BNSF Railway Company, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A), has given a massive boost to the US shale oil industry. Oil production in North Dakota, the region at the epicentre of the shale revolution, has risen this year to a record high of 700,000 barrels a day from 90,000 b/d in 2005 as drillers tap the prolific Bakken formation. The surge has overwhelmed local pipelines. The lack of off-take capacity to transport the jump in production forced regional oil prices to fall sharply lower earlier this year. In February, the cost of oil from the Bakken at the pricing hub of Clearbrook, Minnesota, fell to a record discount of $27.5 a barrel under the West Texas Intermediate, the main US benchmark.

NetJets beginning fleet makeover (BizJournals)
One down, up to 669 more planes to go for NetJets Inc. The Columbus-based fractional jet ownership company, a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., took delivery this week of its first Bombardier, Inc. (TSE:BBD.B) Global 6000 aircraft, which will be part of NetJets’ new Signature Series. The airplane, which can hold up to 13 passengers, is the largest in NetJets’ fleet but is quieter than the rest. NetJets is in the midst of what it calls a “jet renewal” that will replace aircraft that have reached the end of their useful lives and leave room for the company to expand…

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