Written by David Neubert
My notes from the floor of the 2007 Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting, as they happen:
Is Private Equity a bubble? Munge & Buffett: Private equity funds need to buy in a hurry. That will continue push up valuations.
When it comes to investing outside the US, why does Berkshire Hathaway have so few international investments? We don't have anything against it but we just like to look anyway. The 3% reporting threshold in the U.K. and Germany does create a problem for us because it moves prices up once we have to tell everyone we have an investment.
Munger speaks to unfairness of executive pay to investors whenever he can. Yes, it's a problem. Buffett: There are more problems with having the wrong manager rather than with compensation. That said, "because the bargaining process is weak, compensation has been ratched up. When have you heard of a compensation committee saying up all night negotiating a CEO salary? They are looking for cocker spaniels with their tails wagging for compensation committees."
Envy drives the ratcheting up process of executive compensation. Envy is the silliest of the sins. You suffer and the other guy isn't affected.
The process of CEO overcompensation is contributed to by compensation consultants: The mother asks the child, "Why did you tell the census taker your father was in prison for embezzlement?" The child replied, "because I am ashamed to tell them he's a CEO compensation expert."