(May 4, 2013) Warren Buffett recounts how Berkshire partnered with 3G Capital's Jorge Paulo Lemann to make their $23B acquisition of Heinz. He is also challenged about why GEICO is not copying Progressive's use of technology that tracks driver behavior, defends buying newspapers after previously saying the industry was dying, and gives credit to President George W. Bush for the "ten greatest words of economic thought in history."
Berkshire's per-share book value was up 14.4 percent in 2012, with a total gain for shareholders of $24.1 billion. But it was a "subpar" year, Buffett admitted, as the S&P was up 16.0 percent. Noting that in eight of the nine years (out of 38) that Berkshire's underperformed the S&P, the index was up 15 percent or more. "We do better when the wind is in our face," he wrote in his annual letter.READ 2012 LETTER (DATED MAR. 1, 2013)