CNBC's Schacknow: Buffett's New M.O.

Warren’s World

Here at the breaking news desk, we have a pretty good handle on what’s news, but sometimes the fact that news is going to happen becomes the news itself.

Usually, when I start off the daily blog with a statement like that, the reaction is a universal “What? Speak English!”. But stay with me here, because this one involves the forthcoming investment proclamations of one Warren Buffett, the world’s second richest man.

Each year, Buffett releases his annual letter to shareholders. Investors eagerly await the yearly outlook from the man known as the Oracle of Omaha -- containing, as it does, a broad overview of what’s worked, what hasn’t, and what’s likely to in the coming year.

It’s traditionally released on a Saturday, and as such, becomes a lead, or close to it, for Monday morning.

Not so this time. We saw a seemingly innocuous press release stating that the letter would be posted on the Berkshire Hathaway Web site at 3 p.m. CT (4 p.m. ET) on Thursday, March 1.

The break with tradition is occurring because of various factors associated with new SEC filing regulations. So now we’ll have a lead story on just as the market closes on Thursday. And the change gave us an interesting advance take on it today. I’ll write Mr. Buffett and the SEC a thank-you note later.

Paint Me A Picture
Here’s a cautionary tale of how easy it can be to miss a story.

A Rhode Island court issued a ruling refusing to grant a new trial to former makers of lead paint, saying he would appoint a so-called “special master,” to help decide what those companies should do to clean up lead paint in the state.

We saw the story and noted it for possible inclusion as a “reader” in later shows. It stayed in the “possible” category -- until we noticed that Sherwin-Williams (SHW) and NL Industries (NL) were dropping sharply -- a fall that could only be explained by their involvement in this suit. Scott Wapner at the New York Stock Exchange jumped right on it at that point, and stocks editor Bob O’Brien also covered it.

Better late than never, but better never to be late.