Over the past few days, I’ve been rereading Roger Lowenstein’s “Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist”. I’ve read the book before, though it has been years since I’ve last picked it up; in the meantime, I’ve somehow managed to forget that Lowenstein is a truly fantastic writer. My personal opinion is that his book is the best written about Warren and Berkshire to date.
One thing that’s important to remember is when this book was written: Mr. Lowenstein started working on the book in 1991 during the rescue of Salomon Brothers, with the first edition being published on January 1st, 1995. At the time, Berkshire Hathaway “A” shares (BRK.A, BRK.B) were trading around $20,000 – compared to more than $190,000 as of Friday’s close. The 49% of GEICO that Berkshire didn’t already own would be acquired eight months later, for $2.3 billion. At the time, GEICO was the nation’s sixth largest private passenger auto insurer; today, they’re second. Continue Reading »