Noah Buhayar, writing for Bloomberg Businessweek, and their video colleagues are going out on a limb, and making their projection of who will succeed Warren Buffett once he steps down, or passes away.
There’s been speculation for years on the issue.
The Berkshire Hathaway board of directors reportedly already knows the answer.
Kevin Clayton’s name was not included in this video interview, or Buhayar’s column.
But Clayton’s name has been among those floated for consideration for the mega-role of succeeding Warren Buffett. Don’t count that possibility out just yet.
But the Bloomberg report and video comes down to two huge takeaways for the manufactured housing industry professional. Per their report, quoting verbatim, here are those takeaways.
- “After Decades of Hints, Buffett’s Heir May Now Be More Apparent”
- “The pressure to dismantle Berkshire will mount. The bulwark against that impulse is his successor, whose identity is one of the business world’s best-kept secrets.”
Rephrasing, and then the Details
Quoting Berkshire Hathaway’s chairman, Buhayar said, “There’d be speculation about breakups,” Buffett went on at the meeting, and the shares would trade higher because some investors would assume that the parts are worth more than the whole. Finally, the guy standing in the way would be gone, he said, adding dryly, “It would be a good Wall Street story.”
For those in manufactured housing, that may be the single most important takeaway. Anti-trust, anti-monopoly, or even an internal decision to break up Berkshire Hathaway are all theoretical possibilities.
As the Daily Business News has been reporting, there is increasing pressure from members of both political parties to take a stronger stance on anti-trust – think, anti-monopoly – issues.
The Trump Administration has been signaling that they’re interested in the anti-trust problem.
Monopolies and the U.S. Economy
Some economists and free-enterprise purists argue that monopolies – mega corporations and conglomerates – are an economic drag. They put too much pressure on smaller, independent operations. It’s those smaller companies that have historically created the most jobs.
So, the pressure to break up Berkshire Hathaway, per their own chairman’s thinking, is going to escalate in the days ahead.
Given Democratic pressure in Congress – led recently by Maxine Waters, but joined by others as previously reported – about Berkshire Hathaway’s ‘near monopoly’ over manufactured housing, expect that to become a battle royal.
Given Buffett’s well known support for Hillary Clinton, Dodd-Frank, ObamaCare and other positions that are at odds with the Trump administration’s agenda, are they approaching the beginning of the end?
Per Bloomberg, some of the many quotes on the topic:
- “But the pressure to dismantle his creation will mount—eventually.”
- The article closes on these words, “Perhaps most important, he’ll have to keep outsiders from tearing it all apart.”
The battle over Berkshire Hathaway, and by implication, its manufactured housing industry holdings such as:
- Clayton Homes,
- Vanderbilt Mortgage, and
- 21st Mortgage
as well as other suppliers, retail and other manufactured/modular/tiny/conventional housing related units is already underway. But its not only Berkshire, as the top ten noted below are ones to keep an eye out for as well.
“Keeping the successor’s identity a secret also gives the board more flexibility. Circumstances can change, after all, and probably have during the long period Berkshire’s board has been weighing its options. These days, however, most arrows are pointing toward one man,” said left-of-center Bloomberg.
Ajit Jain, runs the company’s namesake reinsurance operation.
Greg Abel, has expanded a utility holding company in Iowa into a colossus in the energy industry.
Jain and Abel are considered the top two, and the video will tell you who they believe is the guy.
But the last line from Bloomberg is the one we’ll close on today. That successor to Warren Buffett will “have to keep outsiders from tearing it all apart.” “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)
Last night’s report on some of the anti-trust signals and anti-monopoly movies by the Trump Administration, is linked in the report above.
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Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.