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.