Among the questions Shields would have asked had he been invited:
"Aren't the repeated comparisons of Berkshire's insurance underwriting results to mutually owned State Farm's misleading?"
Shields argues that State Farm isn't out to "produce a profit in the first place," so its record of annual underwriting losses shouldn't be compared to Berkshire's string of gains.
"Does Berkshire's approach to analysts and shareholders depend on what the meaning of the word 'do' is?"
Shields notes that Buffett's 2013 annual letter says the company doesn't "talk one-on-one to large institutional investors or analysts." Shields concedes that may be true now but points out that "Mr. Buffett's biographer (Alice Schroeder) has explicitly noted that because of his respect for her work as an equity analyst, he did talk extensively and exclusively with her" in the past.
"How is Mr. Buffett's abstention from voting on Coca-Cola's compensation plan not a disservice to Berkshire shareholders?"
Shields suggests Buffett didn't vote no because "his personal feelings for the proposed recipients outweighed his sense of obligation to his shareholders."
"Did Mr. Buffett move the goalposts in terms of evaluating his relative performance?"
Shields points out that for years, Buffett's annual letter compared the company to the S&P 500 over five-year periods. After its first loss to the S&P in the period ending in 2013, this year's letter highlighted Berkshire's outperformance vs. the S&P for the 6-year stock market cycle of 2008 through 2013.