(May 1, 2004) Buffett strongly defends himself from an accusation by CalPERS that it's a conflict of interest for him to be on Coca-Cola's board. He also reveals why many CEOs are paid too much, admits to a mistake that cost the company $10 billion, explains why temperament is more important for investing than intelligence, and discusses his views on immigration in the U.S.
Berkshire ended a three-year winning streak in 2003. Its per-share book value increased 21 percent, but the S&P 500 did even better, with a 28.7 percent gain. In his annual letter, Buffett wrote about the "unusual genesis" of Berkshire's purchase of Clayton Homes in 2003. His interest was sparked by a book given to him by a group of college students from the University of Tennessee. It was the autobiography of Jim Clayton, founder of the manufactured home company that's just a half-hour drive from campus.READ 2003 LETTER (DATED FEB. 27, 2004)