The party has begun in Omaha. The first official event of the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders meeting is a "Cocktail Reception" at Borsheims, a fancy jewelry store owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire.
It's a few miles west of downtown, one of the anchors in an upscale shopping mall. I got there a little bit late, but there were a lot of people both in the store and in a tent set up in the parking lot. Even though it's a cold, windy night, the place was jammed with people, listening to a band, drinking Coca-Cola (among other things) and, of course, buying jewelry.
It's a big business opportunity for Borsheim's, which has even set up a web site to provide its own minute by minute coverage of the selling spree. Buffett tells our Becky Quick that last year, Borsheims "wrote a ticket every nine seconds" for three days. Shareholders do get a discount, but there are no freebies.
Tomorrow morning, the party gets a little more serious, as it moves to the Qwest Center in downtown Omaha. The highlight will be a question-and-answer session with Buffett and Charlie Munger in front of tens of thousands of shareholders. It's scheduled to run for about five hours.
Warren Buffett Watch plans to bring you live minute-by-minute live blog coverage of that event.
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See Warren Buffett Watch on CNBC's The Call, most weekday mornings at 11:50a ET
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