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The Buffett Essays Symposium

A 20th Anniversary Annotated Transcript

By Lawrence A. Cunningham

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eBook £18.00 / $20.00
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The Buffett Essays Symposium

A 20th Anniversary Annotated Transcript

By Lawrence A. Cunningham

Jacket text

Among the landmark occasions in the legendary history of Berkshire Hathaway and its iconic co-leaders, Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, was a 1996 symposium held in New York at Cardozo Law School. The focus of the symposium was Warren’s letters to Berkshire shareholders. The format was a series of panels with two dozen different experts dissecting all the ideas in the letters, about corporate governance, takeovers, investing, and accounting. Intellectual sparks illuminated the two-day affair, which drew unusual press interest for an academic convocation.

While the principal tangible result of the conference was the publication of the international best-seller, The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, the transcript of the symposium is now being made available with annotations and updated commentary that show just how timeless the topics are and how venerable the principles Buffett laid out remain. I had the honor of hosting the event, editing The Essays, and now publishing this archival treasure, with current assessments by such luminaries as Robert Hagstrom as well as several participants from the original symposium.

About the author

Lawrence Cunningham's two dozen books include The Essays of Warren Buffett, which Cunningham self-published into an international best-seller that he has arranged for translation into a dozen languages.

An influential thought leader in both value investing and corporate governance, Cunningham's other notable books include Quality Investing (long time best seller with AKO Capital), The AIG Story (with Hank Greenberg) and Margin of Trust (which Warren Buffett singled out for special mention in his 2020 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders).

Cunningham advises companies, boards and shareholders, currently as the founder of Quality Shareholders Group and special counsel at Mayer Brown LLP. He has served on numerous corporate boards, of both private and public companies, including Constellation Software Inc., where is currently vice chairman, and Kelly Partners Group.

Media coverage

From ShareSoc:

“The words of the master investor”

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From The Rational Walk (blog):

“I would say that more dumb acquisitions are made in the name of strategic plans than any other. I would be very wary if a board went through some elaborate process where a strategic plan was reviewed in great detail and then they endorse it and then the management went on to make acquisitions and… Read more »

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From The Motley Fool:

Twenty years ago, a small circle of investors and academics gathered in New York to listen to Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger. Here are 12 of the best Warren Buffett quotes (plus two from Charlie!) from the transcript. Harriman House has just done Buffettologists everywhere a service, publishing an annotated transcript of a… Read more »

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From Yahoo Finance News:

Twenty years ago, a young investor named Bill Ackman made an astute observation about indexation to investing legend Charlie Munger. “We’ve heard a lot of discussion about how institutions and individuals use index funds,” Ackman, then 30, said to Munger at The Buffett Essays Symposium, a conference that took place in October 1996. “But to… Read more »

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From MarketWatch:

Warren Buffett distills investment success into three words — “margin of safety” — and tells investors to take one of two approaches: either focus on value or buy an index fund. Buffett, the “Oracle of Omaha,” has been steadfastly giving such advice for decades, through calm and choppy markets alike. In fact, 20 years ago… Read more »

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From Harvard Law School Forum:

Warren Buffett spoke from the front row about director stewardship: “As a stockholder, I’m really only interested in the board accomplishing two ends. One is to get a first class manager and the second is to intervene in some way when even that first class manager will have interests that are contrary to the interests… Read more »

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Production Note
Greetings from Dean David Rudenstine
Corporate Governance
Finance and Investing
Mergers and Acquisitions
Accounting and Taxation
Subsequent Steps

Published: 08/05/2016
Edition: 1st
Pages: 150
Formats: paperback - ISBN 9780857195388
ebook - ISBN 9780857195395
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