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Investing Warren Buffett Watch

  Saturday, 11 Jun 2011 | 9:22 AM ET

Buffett Charity Lunch Goes for Record $2.6 Million

Posted ByAlex Crippen
An anonymous bidder topped his or her own winning offer to set a new record in this year's Warren Buffett charity lunch auction. »Read more
  Friday, 10 Jun 2011 | 11:21 AM ET

Poll: Power Lunch with Warren Buffett or Steve Jobs?

Posted By CNBC.com
Bidders on eBay are offering as much as $2 million for lunch with Warren Buffett. But, would you rather have a Power Lunch with Steve Jobs? Take our poll and share your opinion. »Read more
  Thursday, 9 Jun 2011 | 10:06 PM ET

Five Things to Watch: Snapping the Streak

Posted By CNBC.com|Edited by Matthew Levine
Sorting through Toyota's forecast, Lululemon's earnings and Sarah Palin's emails. Here's what we're watching… »Read more
  Monday, 6 Jun 2011 | 8:34 PM ET

Warren Buffett Lunch Bids Quickly Approaching Last Year's Record $2.6 Million

Posted ByAlex Crippen
After less than 24 hours, bids for lunch with Warren Buffett are already approaching the record $2.6 million paid last year by an anonymous winner. »Read more
  Thursday, 2 Jun 2011 | 9:34 PM ET

Bidding Starts Sunday for Seven-Digit Steak with Warren Buffett

Posted ByAlex Crippen
The annual charity bidding for lunch with Warren Buffett begins this coming Sunday, June 5 at 10:30p ET.  Five days later, someone will probably be paying over a million dollars to dine with Buffett. »Read more
  Monday, 16 May 2011 | 6:46 PM ET

Five Things to Watch: DSK Aftermath and More

Posted By CNBC.com|Edited by Matthew Levine
TKTKTKTKTK »Read more
  Monday, 16 May 2011 | 5:11 PM ET

New MasterCard Stake and Secret Holdings for Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway

Posted ByAlex Crippen
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is reporting a new, but relatively small, stake in MasterCard.  It's not, however, publicly reporting some "confidential information" on its just-released 13-F filing with the SEC. »Read more
  Wednesday, 11 May 2011 | 9:46 AM ET

How to Survive and Thrive From Information Overload

Posted By Andy Boynton, Bill Fischer, and William Bole |Authors, The Idea Hunter

Guest Author Blog: Know Your Gig by Andy Boynton and Bill Fischer, with William Bole authors of, THE IDEA HUNTER: How to Find the Best Ideas and Make them Happen

»Read more
  Friday, 6 May 2011 | 7:00 PM ET

Buffett's Berkshire Reluctantly Writes Down $506 Million in Stock 'Losses'

Posted ByAlex Crippen
Warren Buffett
Getty Images
Warren Buffett

The basic headlines from tonight's quarterly earnings report by Berkshire Hathaway weren't a surprise. Warren Buffett previewed the numbers at last weekend's annual meeting.

There is, however, an interesting revelation we didn't know.

After discussions with the SEC on the subject, Berkshire Hathaway is recording $506 million in "other-than-temporary impairment losses" on two stock holdings: $169 million for Kraft Foods and $337 million for a portion of its Wells Fargo stake .

That's not because Berkshire sold the shares at a loss. It's due to accounting rules that require write-downs for unrealized losses when they've been around for awhile. The rules, however, do not include a clear, unambiguous definition of "temporary."

In its 10-Q report , Berkshire acknowledges that most of the unrealized losses were more than two years old.

Berkshire, however, notes it has the "ability and intent" to keep those stock positions until they become profitable, or longer. And the company "strongly believes" that will indeed happen eventually. "The recognition of such losses ... does not necessarily indicate that sales are imminent or planned and sales ultimately may not occur for numerous years or even decades."

The 10-Q also notes that Berkshire is writing down a third of a billion dollars in unrealized losses for 104 million shares of Wells Fargo, even though it holds another 255 million shares with an unrealized gain of $3.7 billion. That "gain" is not included in Berkshire's quarterly report.

"This odd result occurs because existing accounting rules require that impairments be evaluated as to whether or not they are other than temporary on an individual purchase lot basis since that is how we determine realized investment gains/losses on sales of investments."

Changes in market value for stocks and other holdings are included in Berkshire's shareholders' equity, a metric Buffett values much more than net earnings.

As of March 31, shareholders' equity totaled $160 billion , an increase of 8.8 percent from $147 billion three months earlier.

Current Berkshire stock prices:

Class B:

Class A:

For more Buffett Watch updates follow alexcrippen on Twitter .

Email comments to buffettwatch@cnbc.com

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  Monday, 2 May 2011 | 2:08 PM ET

Was the Financial Crisis Caused by Ignorance?

Posted ByJohn Carney
capitol_building_wallstreet_200.jpg

Famed economist Hernando de Soto argues in the most recent issue of Business Week that the financial crisis was brought about by a reversal of a long trend to record and classify economic knowledge.

In reaction to earlier economic crises, reformers assembled what de Soto describes as "the first massive 'public memory systems.'"

» Read More

About Buffett Watch

  • Warren Buffett is arguably America’s most-admired and most-followed investor. Buffett is the largest shareholder and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and one of the world’s most famous and most generous philanthropists. Legions of investors - from all walks of life - follow Buffett's homespun investment philosophy: invest in what you know, invest in value. Here on CNBC.com's Warren Buffett Watch, we’ll keep you up to date on what the “Oracle of Omaha” is doing by following Buffett's trades, words and deeds.