At a time when the newspapers are full of stories about predatory lenders, irresponsible homeowners, and the terrible impact of foreclosures on the national economy, it is refreshing to read about a home builder that largely avoided the housing meltdown. The qualities of Clayton Homes and its customers can serve as a case study demonstrating the positive outcomes that occur when all parties to a transaction attempt to operate with a sense of accountability and ethical standards.
The steep market declines over the past year have left many state and local governments struggling with severely underfunded pension plans. The Wall Street Journal reported today that several states and municipalities are considering extreme measures to address pension shortfalls. This also has implications for municipal bond insurance, including the business Berkshire Hathaway entered in early 2008.
This post provides an alternate valuation for Berkshire Hathaway based on what is known as the “two column” method. Read this post for more information.