Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has emerged from the global financial crisis as the nation's most admired company, thanks to its CEO's "humility and sense of accountability."
Reuters reports this afternoon (Sunday) that a Harris Interactive survey of almost 30,000 people puts Berkshire at the top of its "most admired" list, beating out a field of 60 of the nation's best-known companies.
It's an improvement from last year, when Berkshire came in at number 11. It's also much better than corporate America's overall reputation. The Harris survey has 81 percent of Americans calling business's reputation "not good" or "terrible."
Harris executive Robert Fronk is quoted as saying people see Buffett and Berkshire as a sharp contrast to overpaid and reckless CEOs who mismanaged their companies and would up needing government bailouts: "It's his humility and sense of accountability. You don't read about his excesses. Instead you read the opposite. He still has the same office. He's going to make his kids comfortable, but they're not going to be billionaires."
Also in the top five: Johnson & Johnson , Google , 3M , and SC Johnson.
The five least admired companies are very familiar from their roles in the financial crisis: Freddie Mac , AIG , Fannie Mae , Citigroup , and Goldman Sachs .
Berkshire stock prices: