"If Berkshire ever gets in trouble, it will be my fault."

Today I finally made my way through Berkshire Hathaway's 2009 annual report, which was released last week.

I'm kind of biased, because I weirdly enjoy reading SEC filings, but I really think anyone could have a good time leafing through Berkshire's annual earnings report. Warren Buffett writes it himself in a conversational tone, sprinkling in his investment philosophies and personal anecdotes with the required facts and figures. I wish more public companies would follow Buffett's lead in making shareholder updates as interesting as they are informative.

I particularly liked his assertion that a CEO should man up and accept full responsibility for the performance of his (or her) company.

"I believe that a CEO must not delegate risk control. It’s simply too important. ...If Berkshire ever gets in trouble, it will be my fault. It will not be because of misjudgments made by a Risk Committee or Chief Risk Officer.

In my view a board of directors of a huge financial institution is derelict if it does not insist that its CEO bear full responsibility for risk control. If he’s incapable of handling that job, he should look for other employment."
New comment