The Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio

The Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio

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  • These are the largest companies in each U.S. state
    Yahoo Finance

    These are the largest companies in each U.S. state

    Do you know what the largest company is in your state?

  • Bloomberg

    Trump’s Dinner Guest on Friday Will Be Apple’s CEO Tim Cook

    (Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly lashed out at technology giants and their leaders, announced on Friday evening that he would be dining with Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook.“Having dinner tonight with Tim Cook of Apple,” Trump, who is staying at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, wrote on Twitter. “They will be spending vast sums of money in the U.S. Great!”He did not elaborate, and Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the meeting.Heads of other major technology companies, including Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. have not fared as well in the president’s tweets and public remarks.He and his political allies have made unsupported claims that social media companies muzzle conservative views. Trump has assailed Amazon for edging out brick-and-mortar retailers and criticized its founder Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post.Pressure on tech companies is increasing in Washington as congressional Republicans examine accusations of bias against conservatives; Democrats in the House conduct an antitrust inquiry and officials at the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission divvy up oversight of Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon.Earlier this week, FTC Chairman Joe Simons said in an interview that he wouldn’t let Trump’s complaints about the size and political inclinations of large technology platforms affect his agency’s decisions.Cook visited the White House in June to discuss the Trump administration’s efforts to develop job training programs that meet the changing demands of U.S. employers. The meeting was part of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, a working group that includes many corporate leaders. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump unveiled the initiative earlier this year.\--With assistance from Alistair Barr.To contact the reporter on this story: John Harney in Washington at jharney2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Kevin Whitelaw at kwhitelaw@bloomberg.net, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    How Asia Can Protect Its Crazy Riches

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- With support for globalization and free trade declining in much of the world, Asia has a historic chance to break out of its traditional role as a capital exporter to the West and to instead redirect flows to improve its own economies and financial industries.According to some estimates, the region’s pool of wealth at $110 trillion exceeds those of North America and Europe and  is growing faster.  Japan and China were at or near the top of foreign portfolio investment in the United States, including stocks and short- and long-term bonds, in 2017 with $2 trillion and $1.5 trillion respectively, a U.S. Treasury survey showed.   Yet Asia has a poor record of protecting its assets stranded overseas when the cycle turns. In the 1990s, Japanese investors incurred significant losses, primarily on property. During the 2008 crisis, a range of Asian sovereign wealth funds and high net-worth individuals lost heavily on advanced economy shares, real estate, and mortgage-backed and structured securities.The desire to invest overseas partly reflects concern about political risk and governance at home. But leaving familiar territory brings other risks.Distance, language and cultural differences can put Asian investors at a disadvantage when it comes to information. As a result, investors often rely too heavily on intermediaries whose interests don’t align with their own.Their main failing, though, is a bias toward certain assets. In an echo of the ill-fated Japanese purchases of Rockefeller Center and the Pebble Beach golf course in the 1980s, Asian investors are buying prime office buildings in New York and London. Swanky apartments are quickly snapped up in world cities, especially by Chinese buyers.Lacking cozy domestic informational networks, Asian investors are particularly susceptible to chasing name asset managers or fashionable businesses. That restricts their options since the best funds are frequently closed to new arrivals. Managers often can’t repeat past results. Inadequate expertise frequently leads to unwise choices. In the run-up to 2008, Asian banks and investors suffered losses on purchases of structured products and collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs. High net-worth and retail segments are buying again. Japanese banks have purchased up to 75% of AAA tranches of collateralized loan obligations, and perhaps one-third of all CLOs, which have common features with CDOs.Where investments are leveraged, they must be financed by borrowing dollars and euros in wholesale markets. Losses may create difficulties in rolling over funding. As in 2008, forced sales and the lack of trading liquidity will accelerate declines in prices.Why look abroad at all? There is a mismatch between Asian savings and the size of domestic capital markets, which are marked by low returns, a smaller range of investment products and limited local expertise. The regional rivalries between Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mumbai and Tokyo and a bias toward real industry have hampered the development of financial services.Asia lacks quality indigenous banks such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. or The Goldman Sachs Group Inc., or asset managers such as BlackRock Inc. or Pacific Investment Management Co. Most financial institutions are domestically focused. In 2018, assets under management at Asian hedge funds fell 10% to just over $100 billion, a mere 3% of the global total. Private wealth management remains the preserve of Western firms.Asia’s high savings are a global anomaly, driven by rising incomes, a culture of thrift and minimal social safety nets. Governments need to move with greater determination to enable more savings to be absorbed locally. The timing may be right as the world is tilting more toward national interests and self-sufficiency.The first step must be to accelerate development of capital markets to boost size, depth, liquidity and investment choices. Revised listing and issuance rules, harmonized pan-Asian regulations, breakups of family dominated conglomerates, and partial or full privatization of key state-owned firms would improve market depth. Changes in rules and tax incentives should encourage local pension funds or insurance companies to adopt stable, long-term investment practices.Second, the creation of world-class financial institutions and skilled asset managers needs to be a priority. To attract the best and brightest, limited career choices and pay that lags behind international levels need to be addressed. State-sponsored financial skills training and accreditation systems should be improved. A system of mutual recognition of qualifications would increase labor mobility.Finally, retaining capital within Asia requires improving confidence in the security of savings. Key steps include creating independent institutions free from political interference, as well as bolstering the rule of law and transparent and consistent regulations. Singapore and Hong Kong, despite its recent protests, are examples to emulate.Without change, the familiar cycle of exuberant foreign investment and the loss of Asian wealth is likely to be repeated in the next downturn. To contact the author of this story: Satyajit Das at sdassydney@gmail.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McDowell at pmcdowell10@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Satyajit Das is a former banker and the author, most recently, of "A Banquet of Consequences."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Argentina Slammed by Double Downgrade at End of Traumatic Week

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Argentina was downgraded deeper into junk territory by two of the three biggest ratings companies as markets brace for a possible default after the populist opposition won a landslide victory in Sunday’s primary election.Fitch Ratings cut Argentina’s long-term issuer rating by three notches to CCC from B, putting the South American nation on par with Zambia and the Republic of Congo. S&P lowered the country’s sovereign rating to B- from B and slapped a negative outlook on it.The move caps a traumatic week for Argentina that saw the peso fall to a record, the benchmark equity gauge suffer one of the worst daily routs in 70 years and the yield on the nation’s century bonds spike to an all-time high. S&P cited Argentina’s “vulnerable financial profile” and the slump in asset prices following the primary.“Uncertainty continues on the private sector’s predisposition to roll over government debt and hold pesos while depreciation stresses the government’s high financing needs,” S&P analyst Lisa Schineller wrote in a statement accompanying the downgrade.As of March 31, Argentina had $33.7 billion in foreign-currency debt payments due by year-end, the vast majority in short-term Treasury bills, or Letes, according to the latest debt report by the Finance Ministry.Fitch’s said the deterioration in the macroeconomic environment “increases the likelihood of a sovereign default or restructuring of some kind.”Argentine bonds had started to recover from the worst of this week’s rout. The average spread on sovereign bonds tightened 80 basis points today, after earlier narrowing 128 bps, according to a JPMorgan index.Past PopulismOpposition candidate Alberto Fernandez trounced President Mauricio Macri in the primary, giving him a seemingly unassailable lead ahead of October’s presidential election. Investors fear that victory for Fernandez will mark a return to the populist policies of the past and a likely default.Moody’s Investors Service already rates the nation’s notes at five levels below investment grade.Fearful Argentines Pull Dollars From Banks After Election ShockThis week’s slump in assets resulted in large losses for some of the world’s biggest money managers, who piled into Argentine assets in a search for yield.It may already be too late for Argentina to avoid a default, according to Siobhan Morden, a New York-based strategist at Amherst Pierpont Securities. She said the weakening peso will push debt ratios even higher.Rising DebtFitch said it expects Argentina’s federal government debt to climb to around 95% of gross domestic product this year, without even factoring in the risk of a further slide in the currency. Meantime, South America’s second-largest economy will probably contract 2.5% by year-end, Martinez said.Financing pressures could intensify in 2020 when the sovereign will need to turn to the market to finance a fiscal deficit and some $20 billion in debt maturities as the nation’s disbursements from the International Monetary Fund run dry, according to Fitch.“Both roll-over and fresh financing could be difficult if local and external borrowing conditions do not improve markedly from current stressed levels,” Martinez said.(Updates with downgrade by S&P Global.)\--With assistance from Aline Oyamada and Justin Villamil.To contact the reporters on this story: Ben Bartenstein in New York at bbartenstei3@bloomberg.net;Sydney Maki in New York at smaki8@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Julia Leite at jleite3@bloomberg.net, Philip Sanders, Alec D.B. McCabeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Delta Air Lines (DAL) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

    Delta Air Lines (DAL) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

    In the latest trading session, Delta Air Lines (DAL) closed at $58.04, marking a +1.63% move from the previous day.

  • Motley Fool

    Tapestry Tanks 20%

    It’s hard to be a fashion retail conglomerate, but Tapestry could stand to put up some better numbers than this.

  • Walmart Raises Its Outlook on U.S. Strength
    Motley Fool

    Walmart Raises Its Outlook on U.S. Strength

    The retailer's home market saved the day in the fiscal second quarter.

  • Retail Earnings in Focus

    Retail Earnings in Focus

    Retail Earnings in Focus

  • Nvidia Impresses Investors With A Bright Future Ahead

    Nvidia Impresses Investors With A Bright Future Ahead

    As both Nvidia and AMD compete to create the next best AI and cloud computing GPUs, the tech is only going to proliferate in performance and both companies stand to gain.

  • Motley Fool

    Why You Should Invest In International Stocks

    Especially if you're an American investor, chances are good that you'd benefit from more international diversification.

  • Motley Fool

    Jumia's Definitely One to Watch

    Frequently called the MercadoLibre of Africa, Jumia has some huge opportunities ahead of it.

  • Trump Held Call With Dimon, Moynihan, Corbat as Markets Plunged

    Trump Held Call With Dimon, Moynihan, Corbat as Markets Plunged

    (Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump held a conference call Wednesday amid a plunge in the stock market with three of Wall Street’s top executives -- JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Jamie Dimon, Bank of America Corp.’s Brian Moynihan and Citigroup Inc.’s Michael Corbat.The three chief executives were in Washington for a previously scheduled meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on banking secrecy and money laundering, according to people familiar with the matter. On a conference call, they briefed the president, who was at his resort in Bedminster, New Jersey.The talks came during a tumultuous day in markets as Trump’s trade war with China continued to cast a cloud over the global economy. Stocks plummeted as signs appeared in the bond market a recession could be on the horizon.Moynihan, speaking in a Bloomberg Television interview on Friday, said the turmoil has been driven by issues outside the U.S., and that recession risks are low.“We have nothing to fear about a recession right now except for the fear of recession,” Moynihan said.Back-and-forth posturing by Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping has kept investors on edge amid volatility that’s gripped markets for most of August. China called looming U.S. tariffs a violation of accords, while Trump said Thursday that any deal with Beijing must be “on our terms.”Spokespeople for JPMorgan, Citigroup and Bank of America declined to comment, as did the Treasury Department.\--With assistance from Katherine Chiglinsky and Michelle F. Davis.To contact the reporters on this story: Jennifer Jacobs in Washington at jjacobs68@bloomberg.net;Jenny Surane in New York at jsurane4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, Joshua Gallu, Justin BlumFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • What's Behind Walmart's Strong E-Commerce Growth
    Motley Fool

    What's Behind Walmart's Strong E-Commerce Growth

    Walmart's online sales continue to grow, but it'll need to keep investing to stay ahead.

  • U.S. Oil Supplies Up for 2nd Week, Adds to Bearish Sentiment

    U.S. Oil Supplies Up for 2nd Week, Adds to Bearish Sentiment

    A U.S. government report reveals that crude inventories rose by 1.6 million barrels for the week ending Aug 9, very different to the 2.7 million barrels drawdown that energy analysts had expected.

  • Walmart’s US and Mexico Growth Engines Stay Strong
    Market Realist

    Walmart’s US and Mexico Growth Engines Stay Strong

    Walmart released impressive Q2 results yesterday. Its performance was driven primarily by its growth engines, the US and Walmex (mainly Mexico) regions.

  • 5 ETFs to Gain From Walmart Strength Post Q2 Results

    5 ETFs to Gain From Walmart Strength Post Q2 Results

    Walmart spread optimism in the retail space by reporting robust second-quarter fiscal 2020 results and lifting its full-year forecast.

  • Accenture to Acquire Analytics8 to Boost Digital Capabilities

    Accenture to Acquire Analytics8 to Boost Digital Capabilities

    The acquisition is expected to enhance Accenture's (ACN) innovation and digital capabilities and boost its growing applied intelligence business.

  • Here's Why You Should Retain FLEETCOR (FLT) in Your Portfolio

    Here's Why You Should Retain FLEETCOR (FLT) in Your Portfolio

    FLEETCOR (FLT) continues to benefit from organic revenue growth and strategic acquisitions. Higher interest expenses are a major concern.

  • 4 Stocks to Tap the Organic Foods Trend

    4 Stocks to Tap the Organic Foods Trend

    A new generation of health-conscious consumers is driving demand for environment-friendly food. Here's how to benefit.

  • Fly Leasing (FLY) to Report Q2 Earnings: What's in Store?

    Fly Leasing (FLY) to Report Q2 Earnings: What's in Store?

    Efforts to control selling, general and administrative costs may aid Fly Leasing's (FLY) second-quarter 2019 results.

  • Walmart (WMT) Catches Eye: Stock Jumps 6.1%

    Walmart (WMT) Catches Eye: Stock Jumps 6.1%

    Walmart (WMT) saw a big move last session, as its shares jumped more than 6% on the day, amid huge volumes.

  • What To Know Before Buying M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE:MTB) For Its Dividend
    Simply Wall St.

    What To Know Before Buying M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE:MTB) For Its Dividend

    Is M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE:MTB) a good dividend stock? How can we tell? Dividend paying companies with growing...

  • Disney (DIS) & Charter Ink Multi-Year Distribution Agreement

    Disney (DIS) & Charter Ink Multi-Year Distribution Agreement

    Disney (DIS) and Charter Communications extend a multi-year distribution agreement to feature TV content of the former on the latter's Spectrum network.