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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.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 312969

Reported Deaths: 3637
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin661641115
Ramsey27766505
Anoka22149228
Dakota22015190
Washington13999115
Stearns13733116
St. Louis8747112
Scott846255
Wright775843
Olmsted665634
Sherburne587641
Clay498457
Carver474213
Blue Earth414116
Rice412836
Kandiyohi408122
Crow Wing359634
Otter Tail314322
Chisago311611
Nobles308730
Benton299451
Winona276930
Mower261623
Douglas260337
Polk256324
Morrison231629
Lyon218711
Beltrami217117
McLeod212812
Becker205415
Goodhue203228
Steele19497
Isanti190617
Itasca190423
Carlton185816
Todd181214
Nicollet162525
Mille Lacs153631
Freeborn15336
Le Sueur147011
Cass143710
Brown141315
Waseca139211
Pine13658
Meeker12879
Roseau11964
Hubbard114925
Martin113320
Wabasha10561
Redwood94619
Chippewa8877
Cottonwood8664
Renville86527
Dodge8600
Watonwan8544
Wadena8016
Sibley7934
Rock7779
Aitkin76730
Pipestone72518
Fillmore6990
Houston6984
Yellow Medicine64812
Pennington6478
Kanabec61913
Murray5873
Swift5838
Faribault5612
Pope5391
Clearwater5248
Stevens5103
Marshall4979
Unassigned49359
Jackson4881
Lake4226
Koochiching3926
Wilkin3895
Lac qui Parle3773
Lincoln3591
Norman3497
Big Stone3182
Mahnomen2964
Grant2796
Kittson2248
Red Lake2133
Traverse1481
Lake of the Woods1001
Cook720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 227398

Reported Deaths: 2368
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk33642336
Linn14352165
Scott1124986
Black Hawk10893135
Woodbury10372126
Johnson955336
Dubuque923291
Story678822
Dallas637257
Pottawattamie631970
Sioux370325
Webster358535
Cerro Gordo357144
Marshall348546
Clinton331344
Buena Vista305414
Des Moines291520
Muscatine289268
Warren281914
Plymouth276042
Wapello255772
Jones232313
Jasper217944
Marion205320
Lee203917
Carroll198422
Bremer195212
Henry18307
Crawford174616
Benton170619
Tama154340
Jackson144613
Delaware144221
Washington141314
Dickinson139210
Boone137011
Mahaska126827
Wright12456
Clay11784
Buchanan117010
Hardin115810
Page11374
Hamilton11199
Clayton11175
Cedar108413
Harrison107729
Kossuth10667
Calhoun10617
Floyd105016
Mills10487
Fayette103910
Lyon10338
Butler10216
Poweshiek99313
Winneshiek97613
Iowa95812
Winnebago93023
Hancock8677
Grundy86311
Louisa86216
Sac8608
Chickasaw8574
Cherokee8484
Allamakee81811
Cass81623
Mitchell7984
Appanoose79312
Humboldt7715
Union7706
Shelby76511
Emmet76424
Guthrie75415
Franklin73921
Jefferson7142
Madison6864
Unassigned6690
Palo Alto6554
Keokuk5997
Howard5599
Pocahontas5584
Greene5250
Osceola5241
Ida48913
Clarke4874
Davis4709
Taylor4653
Montgomery46311
Monroe44412
Adair4418
Monona4352
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Fremont3583
Van Buren3585
Lucas3256
Decatur3170
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