Berkshire Hathaway prepares for life after Warren Buffett

It's always good to be Warren Buffett. But now is an especially rosy time to be the Oracle of Omaha.His Berksh...

Posted: Jan 10, 2018 3:33 PM
Updated: Jan 10, 2018 3:33 PM

It's always good to be Warren Buffett. But now is an especially rosy time to be the Oracle of Omaha.

His Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate is trading near a record high and is worth about a half a trillion dollars.

Analysts at Barclays Capital said in a report earlier this week that Berkshire Hathaway's book value could grow by nearly $40 billion thanks to lower corporate taxes.

And Buffett himself is now worth more than $87 billion, according to estimates by Forbes and Bloomberg.

But Buffett is 87-years old. He won't be CEO of Berkshire Hathaway forever. That may be the reason why the company decided to name two top Berkshire Hathaway lieutenants to the company's board Wednesday: Greg Abel, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company, and Ajit Jain, executive vice president of Berkshire Hathaway's National Indemnity Company insurance subsidiary.

But Berkshire Hathaway didn't really clear up questions about succession plans that much.

Related: Warren Buffett gets into the truck stop business

Jain and Abel have been considered frontrunners since David Sokol, the head of Berkshire Hathaway-owned NetJets, left in 2011. Sokol exited after disclosing that he bought shares of lubricant maker Lubrizol just before Berkshire Hathaway acquired the company.

And Buffett has been somewhat coy about who his replacement will be.

He wrote in Berkshire Hatahway's 2015 annual shareholder letter that "we now have the right person to succeed me as CEO -- a successor ready to assume the job the day after I die or step down."

He added that the person was relatively young but didn't elaborate further though. Abel is 55 and Jain is 66.

But Berkshire's other vice chairman and long-time Buffett friend Charlie Munger was more forthcoming. Munger said in his own remarks in the 2015 letter that Jain and Abel are "proven performers who would probably be under-described as 'world-class."

Buffett didn't provide any more hints about the succession plan in an interview with CNBC on Wednesday either. He continued to stress that he's in good health despite his love of Cherry Coke and junk food like Dairy Queen -- which Berkshire owns outright.

Related: Apple is now one of Warren Buffett's top stocks

In fact, Buffett didn't really make any significant news.

He reiterated that he still loves the market and said tax reform will help boost earnings. Berkshire Hathaway is a big investor in many U.S, blue chip stocks -- its top five holdings are Wells Fargo, Kraft Heinz, Apple, Coca-Cola and Bank of America.

Buffett also said he's not betting on cryptocurrencies because he fears they'll have a bad ending. But he's been bearish on bitcoin since 2014 even as the price has surged to even more stratospheric heights.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 515504

Reported Deaths: 10296
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34999558
DeSoto33360432
Hinds32743643
Jackson24906392
Rankin22565405
Lee16455245
Madison14954283
Jones14158248
Forrest13834260
Lauderdale12311323
Lowndes11357193
Lamar10693140
Pearl River9748244
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Hancock7849132
Washington7559169
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Monroe7068179
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Warren6885178
Panola6791135
Neshoba6744210
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Union643598
Pike5942157
Alcorn5921107
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George510680
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Scott478999
Tate4777117
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Copiah458195
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Simpson4566117
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Marion4295112
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Jasper341266
Attala340490
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Winston318392
Clay312978
Clarke301695
Calhoun286850
Holmes272889
Smith270552
Yalobusha244947
Tallahatchie232353
Greene225149
Walthall222166
Lawrence220242
Perry214556
Amite210357
Webster206548
Noxubee188843
Montgomery182157
Carroll175441
Jefferson Davis174343
Tunica163539
Benton153139
Kemper145441
Choctaw137027
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Humphreys132239
Franklin126530
Quitman107828
Wilkinson106139
Jefferson97134
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 847659

Reported Deaths: 16172
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1163752005
Mobile743371381
Madison53434738
Shelby38413371
Baldwin38171589
Tuscaloosa36131643
Montgomery34571782
Lee25664264
Calhoun22622519
Morgan22527408
Etowah20059520
Marshall18821318
Houston17769426
St. Clair16946359
Limestone16192220
Cullman16140305
Elmore15948295
Lauderdale15055307
Talladega14244302
DeKalb13061271
Walker12138380
Blount10765193
Autauga10545157
Jackson10204195
Coffee9435192
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Dale9038192
Tallapoosa7283202
Russell710165
Chilton7078170
Covington6967197
Escambia6962144
Franklin6364108
Chambers5795142
Marion5435130
Dallas5302210
Pike5128109
Clarke485686
Lawrence4845130
Winston4785110
Geneva4650136
Bibb435495
Barbour370180
Butler3444101
Marengo342793
Monroe338366
Randolph337767
Pickens334790
Fayette331485
Henry321066
Cherokee319964
Hale318889
Crenshaw261678
Washington256852
Cleburne255460
Lamar253555
Clay252069
Macon245767
Conecuh193562
Coosa185847
Wilcox178338
Lowndes178268
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Perry141840
Sumter139741
Greene130345
Choctaw94328
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