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Former Berkshire Hathaway Executive Has Only The Nicest Things To Say About Warren Buffett

On March 30, 2011, Warren Buffett penned an open letter expressing support for his former lieutenant, David Sokol, whose trading activities had been called into question. “Neither Dave nor I feel his Lubrizol purchases were in any way unlawful,” Buffett wrote. Then, a month later, he told shareholders and reporters gathered at the BKR annual meeting in Omaha that, actually, Sokol was a degenerate bum; a piece of garbage that needed to be taken out, lest it stink up the place. (Actual words: “inexcusable,” “inexplicable,” in violation of “the company’s insider-trading rules and code of ethics.” Buffett added that Berkshire “had turned over some very damning evidence” re: Sokol to the Securities and Exchange Commission, to boot.)

Though Sokol did not publicly respond to the comments at the time, they presumably stung quite a bit, since having your unassailable ex-boss basically call you a lowlife does not do wonders for the reputation. Now, a year later, after being informed that the SEC would not be taking action against him, is he in a Zen place about life in general and Buffett’s words specifically? Are the two men cool? Could Sokol see them being friends again one day? At the very least, is he ready to laugh about them? Yes, yes he is.

If we’re talking about laughing maniacally while smothering Buffett’s face with a pillow, as his response to a request for comment about the tiff seems to suggest.

In a sign that the rift is unlikely to heal soon, Mr. Sokol on Friday lashed out at the 82-year-old Mr. Buffett. “I will never understand why Mr. Buffett chose to hurt my family in such a way, but given that he is rapidly approaching his judgement [sic] day I will leave his verdict to a higher power,” Mr. Sokol wrote in an emailed response to The Wall Street Journal.

So, not yet bros again, got it. Only thing left open to interpretation here is if Sokol is alluding to having taken an actual hit out on WB or if he’s simply been praying nightly for a speedy comeuppance while stuffing pins in his a Buffett-shaped hair doll.

Ex-Protégé Criticizes Buffett Over Exit [WSJ]

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41 Responses to “Former Berkshire Hathaway Executive Has Only The Nicest Things To Say About Warren Buffett”

  1. Bruce Leroy says:

    I will never understand why you didn't just tell the guy rapidly approaching his judgment day you were long 100M shares, but given that you were an energy exec, I suppose it all makes sense.

    • Justin says:

      …and a shaved-head energy trader to boot.

    • Former Enronian says:

      All y'all need to remember that the primary rationale for an operational directive by an engineer executive in the energy business is as follows:

      "it is better to ask for forgiveness later than to ask for permission in advance…."

  2. sme says:

    come at me bro…

    -Becky Q

  3. Guest says:

    For a guy that looks like that, it's a pretty sweet (unexpected) burn

  4. VonSloneker says:

    Don't hold your breath on me smiting "the Oracale of Omaha" any time soon Sokol. Few things make me happier than a DQ Hunger Buster basket and a Blizzard.

    – Zeus

  5. Guest says:

    I can't think it would be much fun to have subordinates who are younger than you in the insurance business – by the time you hit 80-plus years of age, every look you would get from them would read "7.4 years to go".

  6. Guest says:

    I'm pretty sure the focus of the trial will be 50 years of adultery

  7. Im_a_Dude says:

    judgement day? what does the Terminator have to do with Berkshire Hathaway?

    UBS VP

    • UBS Research MD says:

      Uhm, pretty sure this a sign they're looking at acquiring Cyberdyne Systems, now could you please find me that ticker so I can recommend my clients go long?

    • Guest says:

      Only a VP?? That's MD-level thinking there!

  8. Guest says:

    Anybody else feel like they were just kicked in the balls?

  9. SokolSux says:

    Sokol is a douchbag (sic)

  10. Guest says:

    Did Coke change the formula, because this Cherry Coke tastes a bit different.

    –Warren Buffet's last words

  11. HighFrequencyHater says:

    I'm thinking you're probably on the wrong side of the argument if your best come back is "well you're old and will die soon."

  12. Guest says:

    The old man thought, either Sokol is going to be needing to lubrizol his butt in the jailhouse or I am going to be needing it. Best to rat him out based on what Holder advises the old man.

  13. guest says:

    Golf clap for the SEC, insider trading is a victimless crime!

    -S. Cohen

  14. James S. Cramer says:

    Look skee daddy, at my old hedge fund I would NEVER allow someone to do insider trading it's AGAINST THE LAW for heaven's sake! HOWEVER, what Sokol did wasn't technically insider trading since he made the trade FIRST, THEN tried to convince BRK to take his side of the trade… plus there are much better methods of making $$$ that are less blatant like ramping the market with bad advice or hitting the bid…. wait what? Oh yeah and you didn't hear it from me but… buy FB!!!!

    as always… BOOOOO YAAAAAA SKEEEEEEEEE DADDEEEEHHHH

    Sincerely,
    Jim 'mad dawg' Cramer

  15. guest says:

    "Neither Dave nor I *feel* his Lubrizol purchases were in any way unlawful,” Buffett wrote. "

    I felt bad after jaywalking yesterday but that didn't stop me from doing it.

  16. Dazedandconfused says:

    Sokol never addressed his initial claim that he had purchased Lubrizol as a result of independent research. Then Citi's bankers disagreed by claiming that Sokol had commissioned their research team in his capacity as a Berkshire officer. Either Citi is lying through their teeth, not an impossibility, or Sokol is sociopathically shameless. If I were in his position, this is the point that I would be attacking. If I were in his position, and innocent, I should clarify.

  17. sohbet says:

    telling these little stories, here's a good idea: Have a point. It makes it so much more interesting for the listener.