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Monthly Archives: April 2016

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Shareholders attending the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting often get to the CenturyLink Center arena well before doors open to grab prime seats. They also want to sit through a bunch of commercials.

This year’s pre-show footage ran ads for Berkshire companies like Duracell and Coca-Cola and this adorable ad for Heinz. The Berkshire Hathaway Energy ad touted its efforts to produce cleaner energy.

The pre-show also recapped previous celebrity skits, including those featuring Susan Lucci, Jamie Lee Curtis, the cast of “Desperate Housewives” and the stars of “Breaking Bad.”

And there is always the sobering replay of Mr. Buffett’s testimony before Congress about the scandals besetting Salomon Brothers, which the billionaire then chaired. It features the now-famous line, “Lose money for the firm, and I will be understanding; lose a shred of reputation for the firm, and I will be ruthless.”

Newer elements included an animated take on “Trading Places,” the classic finance-minded comedy, starring Mr. Buffett, Mr. Munger, the reinsurance chief Ajit Jain in the Dan Aykroyd role and the Geico gecko in the Eddie Murphy role. Instead of fixing the orange juice futures market, however, the Berkshire duo conspire to fix the market for cocoa beans to affect See’s Candy (another Berkshire company).

The highlight, of course, is the annual celebrity skit. This year’s edition features Arnold Schwarzenegger, the new host of “Celebrity Apprentice,” who’s trying to fill the final spot on the show. Rejected candidates include: Kenneth I. Chenault of American Express (“Credit card chief, denied.”), Virginia M. Rometty of IBM (Mr. Schwarzenegger says he types on an iPad) and Muhtar Kent of Coca-Cola. The first three lead companies in which Berkshire has invested, of course. He also rejected Danny DeVito (“Twin”).

Mr. Buffett calls, begging for a spot. His bona fides include appearing in “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” to which Mr. Schwarzenegger responds, “Sequels are for girly men.”

Nearly despondent, Mr. Schwarzenegger takes a call from “The Terminator” — who happens to be Mr. Munger. The host celebrates, calling the nonagenarian “someone with balls.”

The camera then cuts to Mr. Buffett, sitting in his office, amusing himself by playing with Snapchat filters. Admittedly, he’s better at it than this reporter.

The audience was highly amused.

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