Buffett says the unquestionably "inexcusable" part is that Sokol violated Berkshire Hathaway's Code of Ethics and insider trading rules.
A report three days ago from the company's Audit Committee accuses Sokol of misleading Buffett with "incomplete disclosures"about his purchases of Lubrizol shares. Just weeks after buying the stock, Sokol recommended to Buffett that Berkshire acquire the company.
Sokol's Lubrizol holdings increased by $3 million when Berkshire did buy Lubrizolat a 28 percent premium in mid-March.
As for "inexplicable," Buffett says he'll never understand why Sokol did what he did. He can't explain why Sokol didn't disguise his Lubrizol trades if he thought he was doing something wrong. "He was leaving a total record as to his purchases."
He also can't reconcile the fact that Sokol's reputation has been ruined by a scandal involving a $3 million stock profit, when Sokol once volunteered to give up $12.5 million in compensation. At Sokol's suggestion, the money went to his MidAmerican colleague Greg Abel.