Monday, May 4, 2009

Near Transcipt of Berkshire Meeting

Read a near-transcipt of the most recent Berkshire Hathaway meeting at

Here, for your enjoyment, are two excerpts on BYD, the Chinese auto company we mentioned Warren Buffett investing in earlier:

BYD Chinese company is not early stage venture capital company, Munger says. It is a big maker of batteries, for example. Then finally, not satisfied with a couple of miracles it is now in automobile business. With zero start point and very little capital he built best selling model in China. That was against joint ventures in China. Munger says it is a damned miracle, not a speculative activity.

Munger says engineering graduates are being hired at BYD who were at top of their classes. He says it is a remarkable compilation of talent. Munger says lithium batteries are needed in every utility company in America and using power of the sun will need batteries.

Berkshire has invested in BYD and Munger says it is not a crazy venture. Munger says that car to be seen in the Qwest Center Omaha, the company makes almost every part in that car.

Munger says it is a privilege to have Berkshire associated with a company that is trying to do so much. Munger says it is a small company but its ambitions are big. Munger says he will be amazed if great things don't happen.


Berkshire is asked about Chinese companies. Buffett says he didn't know he'd be invested in BYD some years back, nor did he know he would have invested in Petro China.

Buffett says in some ways Berkshire will be restricted by ownership limitations, such as in insurance. But Buffett says it is hard to imagine not doing more in China in coming years because it is a huge market.

Buffett says a Chinese officially recently was upset with the Treasury bonds they hold because the value is dropping. Buffett says he believes the Chinese official is right. Buffett says it is a problem, though not the biggest problem in the world.

Munger says he would exactly what China is doing. Munger says China has one of the best financial managing systems in the world. He says China will be very hard to compete with all over the world, and that is exactly the right policy for China. Munger says that is exactly the right policy and he greatly admires the Chinese.
Asking yourself where you can buy some BYD? You're not the only one. Since news of Buffett's investment, the H shares--which are sold on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange--have gone from around 8 per share to around 20.

The stock symbol for BYD on the exchange is 1211. Here is a quote from Google Finance.

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