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Buffets årliga brev - 07

kategori: Berkshire Hathaway, Större bolag, Marknadskommentar

Så var det då dags igen för årets höjdpunkt… Warren Buffets årliga brev till sina aktieägare. Det är i vanlig ordning fyllt med förutom förstås en genomgång hur Berkshires investeringar har utvecklats under året, diverse investeringsrelaterade tänkvärdheter, lite tillbakablickor, en hel del ironi och ett antal dåliga, men roliga(?), skämt.

Det fina med Buffets brev, det gäller alla hans texter för övrigt, är att även om det handlar om ekonomiska detaljer som kanske inte alltid är helt enkla, så förklaras de alltid på ett sätt som “vem som helst” kan förstå.

I årets brev konstateras angående den tidigare vansinniga utlåningen till bostäder, med negativa amorteringar och låga introduktionsräntor (teaser rates):

It is interesting that the industry has invented new ways to loose money when the old ways seemed to work fine.

Det här är inte bara någonting som sägs i efterhand, i förra årets brev så gick det att läsa:

But payments not made add to principal, and borrowers who can’t afford normal monthly payments early on are hit later with above-normal monthly obligations. This is the Scarlett O’Hara scenario: “I’ll think about that tomorrow.” For many home owners, “tomorrow” has now arrived.

Att tomorrow nu verkligen has arrived för den amerikanska bolånetagaren har väl inte undgått någon. Den bolåneportföljen som Berkshire, via dotterbolaget Clayton Homes, sitter på uppges dock inte uppvisa större kreditförluster under 2007 än tidigare.*

Gör han då i årets brev några liknande observationer av intresse om vad som komma skall i 2008?

Nej, inte direkt vad jag kan se efter en snabb genomläsning. Han fortsätter förklara varför dollarn är svag (handelsbalansen) och varför pressen på den kommer att fortsätta. Dock verkar han inte själv längre spekulera direkt i en fallande dollar. De stora direkta positionerna i utländsk valuta som Berkshire initierade 2001-2002, är nu avvecklade (med en vinst om 2,3 miljarder USD), förutom en position i brasilianska real, en valuta som han konstaterar har blivit värdelös fem gånger under det senaste århundradet, men som han uppenbarligen nu ser som mer attraktiv än dollarn ;-)

Han berättar också varför han ser en tickande bomb i amerikanska bolagens pensionsåtaganden (och en ännu större bomb i den amerikanska statens pensionsåtaganden).

Men, för den intresserade så är det förstås bara att läsa brevet själv, och för den som inte tidigare har gjort det så finns det lite catching up att göra, brev från 1977 finns publicerade på sidan.

* En möjlig anledningen till detta som jag läst någonstans är att till skillnad mot hur många andra har agerat med en bolånemäklare som får provision på varje lån som görs (oavsett om låntagaren sedan inte kan betala), så får Claytons bolånemäklare en del av framtida ränteinbetalningar, och har därför en god anledning att inte förmedla lån till de som kanske inte kommer kunna betala. För en lättsmält beskrivning av den amerikanska bolånemarknaden, se A Subprime Primer

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