BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC.
波克夏海瑟崴股份有限公司

To the Shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.:
致Berkshire公司全體股東:

Berkshire’s loss in net worth during 2001 was $3.77 billion, which
decreased the per-share book value of both our Class A and Class B
stock by 6.2%. Over the last 37 years (that is, since present management
took over) per-share book value has grown from $19 to $37,920, a rate
of 22.6% compounded annually.*

本公司2001年的淨值減少了37.7億美元,每股A股或B股的帳面淨值減少了
6.2%,累計過去37年以來,也就是自從現有經營階層接手之後,每股淨值由當
初的19元成長到現在的37,920美元,年複合成長率約為22.6%*。

 

*All figures used in this report apply to Berkshire's A shares, the successor to the only stock that
the company had outstanding before 1996. The B shares have an economic interest equal to
1/30th that of the A.
*1在年報中所謂的每股數字係以A級普通股約當數為基礎,這是本公司在1996年以前流通在
外唯一的一種股份,B級普通股則擁有A級普通股三十分之一的權利。

 

Per-share intrinsic grew somewhat faster than book value during these
37 years, and in 2001 it probably decreased a bit less. We explain
intrinsic value in our Owner’s Manual, which begins on page 62. I urge
new shareholders to read this manual to become familiar with
Berkshire’s key economic principles.

過去37年以來,每股實質價值成長的速度一直高於帳面淨值增加的幅度,不過
時至2001年情況可能有所改變,有關實質價值的說明請參見62頁的股東手
冊,我建議新加入的股東多看看這本手冊,如此方能對Berkshire的一些主要經
營原則有所了解。

Two years ago, reporting on 1999, I said that we had experienced both
the worst absolute and relative performance in our history. I added that
"relative results are what concern us," a viewpoint I’ve had since forming
my first investment partnership on May 5, 1956. Meeting with my seven
founding limited partners that evening, I gave them a short paper titled
"The Ground Rules" that included this sentence: "Whether we do a good
job or a poor job is to be measured against the general experience in
securities." We initially used the Dow Jones Industrials as our
benchmark, but shifted to the S&P 500 when that index became widely
used. Our comparative record since 1965 is chronicled on the facing
page; last year Berkshire’s advantage was 5.7 percentage points.

兩年前,在1999年的報告中,我曾提到當時「我們經歷了有史以來最慘烈的表
現,不論是從絕對或相對的角度來看」,我還說「我們比較重視相對的結果」,
這個觀念從我在1956年5/5成立第一個投資合夥事業時就已成形,猶記得當
天晚上,我與7位有限合夥人開會時,我給了在場的每個人一張便條紙,上面
羅列了一些「基本原則」,其中有一條是這樣寫的:「我們的成績到底好不好,
要看整體股市表現而定」,一開始我們是以道瓊工業指數為標竿,後來則改用接
受度較高的S&P 500指數,兩者從1965年迄今的比較記錄列示在年報的首頁
上,去年Berkshire以5.7%的差距勝出。

Some people disagree with our focus on relative figures, arguing that
"you can’t eat relative performance." But if you expect - as Charlie
Munger, Berkshire’s Vice Chairman, and I do - that owning the S&P 500
will produce reasonably satisfactory results over time, it follows that, for
long-term investors, gaining small advantages annually over that index
must prove rewarding. Just as you can eat well throughout the year if
you own a profitable, but highly seasonal, business such as See’s (which
loses considerable money during the summer months) so, too, can you
regularly feast on investment returns that beat the averages, however
variable the absolute numbers may be.


有些人並不認同我們將重點擺在相對數字的做法,認為"相對績效並不保證就能
獲利",但如果你抱持與查理跟我本人一樣的觀念,預期S&P 500指數長期的績
效應該會相當不錯的話,則就長期而言,只要投資人的績效每年都能比它好一
點,其結果自然而然也頗為可觀,就如同喜斯糖果那般,雖然一年四季營運波動
很大(基本上每年夏天它都是在虧錢),但每年結算都獲利的公司,擁有它保證可
以讓你躺著收錢。

Though our corporate performance last year was satisfactory, my
performance was anything but. I manage most of Berkshire’s equity
portfolio, and my results were poor, just as they have been for several
years. Of even more importance, I allowed General Re to take on
business without a safeguard I knew was important, and on September
11th, this error caught up with us. I’ll tell you more about my mistake
later and what we are doing to correct it.

雖然去年我們企業的整體表現還算令人滿意,但我個人的表現卻剛好相反,我本
身管理Berkshire大部分的股票投資,但其成績卻乏善可陳,而且這情況已經維
持好幾年了,更要命的是,我竟允許通用再保在沒有安全保障的情況下做生意,
而911事件的發生正好把我們逮個正著,後面我還會向大家報告我所犯的錯
誤,以及我們要如何來改正它。

Another of my 1956 Ground Rules remains applicable: "I cannot promise
results to partners." But Charlie and I can promise that your economic
result from Berkshire will parallel ours during the period of your
ownership: We will not take cash compensation, restricted stock or
option grants that would make our results superior to yours.

另外還有一條1956年的基本原則,現在看來倒還適用,那就是「我個人不敢保
證績效」,不過查理跟我可以向各位保證,在持有Berkshire股票期間所得到的
效益,絕對會與我們本身的相同,我們不會靠領取獎金或股票選擇權等方式,使
得我們所得到的利益優於各位。

Additionally, I will keep well over 99% of my net worth in Berkshire. My
wife and I have never sold a share nor do we intend to. Charlie and I are
disgusted by the situation, so common in the last few years, in which
shareholders have suffered billions in losses while the CEOs, promoters,
and other higher-ups who fathered these disasters have walked away
with extraordinary wealth. Indeed, many of these people were urging
investors to buy shares while concurrently dumping their own,
sometimes using methods that hid their actions. To their shame, these
business leaders view shareholders as patsies, not partners.

此外,我也將繼續將個人99%以上的身家財產擺在Berkshire上面,我和我內
人過去從來就沒有賣過任何Berkshire的股份,而且以後也沒有打算要賣,查理
跟我對於近年來,許多讓公司虧損累累的經理人與公司高層,竟然能夠帶著豐厚
的利潤棄股東們揚長而去感到相當不恥,這些人在公開場合鼓勵投資人高價買進
公司股份的同時,自己卻暗中將股票倒到市場上,這些可恥的企業領導人簡直把
股東當作是自己的禁臠而非夥伴。

Though Enron has become the symbol for shareholder abuse, there is
no shortage of egregious conduct elsewhere in corporate America. One
story I’ve heard illustrates the all-too-common attitude of managers
toward owners: A gorgeous woman slinks up to a CEO at a party and
through moist lips purrs, "I’ll do anything - anything - you want. Just tell
me what you would like." With no hesitation, he replies, "Reprice my
options."

雖然恩隆公司已經成為企業弊案的典型案例,但這種貪婪的行為在美國企業當中
卻絕非特例,就像我個人就曾聽過一個故事,顯示經理人心中普遍存在對待股東
的一種心態,在一場宴會上,有位美麗媱嬌的女士溜到一位總裁的面前,用那性
感的嘴唇說到,「只要你想要,我願意為你做任何事!」,只見這位總裁立刻毫
不猶豫地回答說:「那好,請給我更多的股票選擇權!」

One final thought about Berkshire: In the future we won’t come close to
replicating our past record. To be sure, Charlie and I will strive for
above-average performance and will not be satisfied with less. But two
conditions at Berkshire are far different from what they once were:
Then, we could often buy businesses and securities at much lower
valuations than now prevail; and more important, we were then working
with far less money than we now have. Some years back, a good $10
million idea could do wonders for us (witness our investment in
Washington Post in 1973 or GEICO in 1976). Today, the combination of
ten such ideas and a triple in the value of each would increase the net
worth of Berkshire by only ? of 1%. We need "elephants" to make
significant gains now - and they are hard to find.

最後再補充一點看法,那就是往後Berkshire將很難再維持以往的盛況,雖然查
理跟我仍然會盡力維持水準以上的表現,且永遠不會感到自滿,無奈現今有兩個
環境條件已與過去截然不同,在以前我們可以很容易的就買到許多價廉物美的公
司及股票,同時我們當時運用的資金規模也比現在少得多,許多年以前,一個
1,000萬美金的好案子就可以讓我們雀躍不已,比如說像1973年的華盛頓郵
報或1976年的GEICO保險等投資,然而時至今日,就算是30個這樣的案子,
也僅僅能讓Berkshire的淨值增加0.25%而已,我們需要像大象般的大案子才
有可能使得淨值大幅成長,只不過這樣的個案實在是少之又少。

On the positive side, we have as fine an array of operating managers as
exists at any company. (You can read about many of them in a new book
by Robert P. Miles: The Warren Buffett CEO.) In large part, moreover,
they are running businesses with economic characteristics ranging from
good to superb. The ability, energy and loyalty of these managers is
simply extraordinary. We now have completed 37 Berkshire years
without having a CEO of an operating business elect to leave us to work
elsewhere.

從好的方面來看,我們擁有一群堅強的經理人陣容,(大家可以在Robert Miles
剛出版的新書-華倫巴菲特的經理人-中,讀到更多有關他們的事蹟),而且大部
分由他們所經營的事業,其競爭力在各自的產業中,可以說都是數一數二的,他
們的能力、精力與忠誠度都屬最優等,個人經營Berkshire 37年以來,旗下還
沒有任何一位經理人離開我們跳槽到別家公司的。

Our star-studded group grew in 2001. First, we completed the
purchases of two businesses that we had agreed to buy in 2000 - Shaw
and Johns Manville. Then we acquired two others, MiTek and XTRA, and
contracted to buy two more: Larson-Juhl, an acquisition that has just
closed, and Fruit of the Loom, which will close shortly if creditors
approve our offer. All of these businesses are led by smart, seasoned
and trustworthy CEOs.


我們星光滿佈的經營團隊在2001年又增添了一群生力軍,首先我們完成了二件
從2000年就開始談的案子,Shaw地毯及Johns Manville,此外又買下了另外
兩家公司-MiTek及XTRA,同時手上還有其他兩件個案-Larson-Juhl最近才剛
結案以及Fruit of the Loom紡織,後者只等債權人會議通過我們的提案,以上
這些企業皆由兼具智慧、理性以及值得信賴的CEO所領導。


Additionally, all of our purchases last year were for cash, which means
our shareholders became owners of these additional businesses without
relinquishing any interest in the fine companies they already owned. We
will continue to follow our familiar formula, striving to increase the
value of the excellent businesses we have, adding new businesses of
similar quality, and issuing shares only grudgingly.

此外,去年所有的購併案全部皆以現金買斷,這代表我們的股東可以不必犧牲原
先就擁有優秀企業的任何權益,同時還能成為這些新加入公司的幕後老闆,往後
我們仍將繼續維持這個策略,在想盡辦法增加現有優秀企業的價值,以及尋找新
的優秀企業加入的同時,還能不輕易的增加流通在外的股份。

Acquisitions of 2001
2001年的購併案

A few days before last year’s annual meeting, I received a heavy package
from St. Louis, containing an unprepossessing chunk of metal whose
function I couldn’t imagine. There was a letter in the package, though,
from Gene Toombs, CEO of a company called MiTek. He explained that
MiTek is the world’s leading producer of this thing I’d received, a
"connector plate," which is used in making roofing trusses. Gene also
said that the U.K. parent of MiTek wished to sell the company and that
Berkshire seemed to him the ideal buyer. Liking the sound of his letter, I
gave Gene a call. It took me only a minute to realize that he was our kind
of manager and MiTek our kind of business. We made a cash offer to the
U.K. owner and before long had a deal.

就在去年股東會的前幾天,我收到從聖路易寄來的一個大包裹,裡面裝了一塊看
不出做何用途的金屬,包裹裏還有一封信,署名Gene Toombs-他是一家叫做
MiTek公司的總裁,他解釋說MiTek是專門製造這玩意兒的世界級領導廠商,
也就是用來做屋樑的連接板,他進一步表示MiTek的英國母公司有意出售這家
公司,他認為Berkshire應該是最合適的買家,我相當欣賞他寫這封信的語氣,
所以當下打電話給他,幾分鐘的談話,我就發覺他是屬於我們類型的經理人,而
MiTek也是我們想要的公司類型,於是我們報了一個價給其英國母公司,沒多
久後就正式成交。

Gene’s managerial crew is exceptionally enthusiastic about the
company and wanted to participate in the purchase. Therefore, we
arranged for 55 members of the MiTek team to buy 10% of the company,
with each putting up a minimum of $100,000 in cash. Many borrowed
money so they could participate.

Gene所帶領的經營團隊對於公司相當有信心,願意參與這次的購併交易,所以
最後我們安排由55位經營成員取得10%的股權,每人最低的投資金額為10萬
美元,其中很多人都是靠借錢參與投資。

As they would not be if they had options, all of these managers are true
owners. They face the downside of decisions as well as the upside. They
incur a cost of capital. And they can’t "reprice" their stakes: What they
paid is what they live with.

這些沒有認股選擇權的經理人真的稱得上是公司的擁有者,完全站在股東的立場
設想,他們真正願意與公司同甘共苦,自己承擔資金成本,也沒有辦法讓自己的
認股價格重新修正,要怎麼收穫先怎麼栽。


Charlie and I love the high-grade, truly entrepreneurial attitude that
exists at MiTek, and we predict it will be a winner for all involved.


查理跟我欣賞存在MiTek的這種高格調、真正的企業家精神,我們相信這絕對
可以創造出多贏的局面。

* * * * * * * * * * * *

In early 2000, my friend, Julian Robertson, announced that he would
terminate his investment partnership, Tiger Fund, and that he would
liquidate it entirely except for four large holdings. One of these was
XTRA, a leading lessor of truck trailers. I then called Julian, asking
whether he might consider selling his XTRA block or whether, for that
matter, the company’s management might entertain an offer for the
entire company. Julian referred me to Lew Rubin, XTRA’s CEO. He and I
had a nice conversation, but it was apparent that no deal was to be
done.

2000年初,我的好朋友Julian Robertson宣佈將結束其投資合夥事業-老虎基
金,除了四項主要的持股投資之外,其餘的投資將全部予以結算,其中包含了
XTRA公司-貨櫃拖車租賃的領導業者,於是我打電話給Julian問到他及公司的
經營團隊是否有意將整家公司出售,Julian建議我直接連絡XTRA的總裁-Lew
Rubin,後來我們兩個人相談甚歡,可惜的是雙方似乎很難達成交易。

Then in June 2001, Julian called to say that he had decided to sell his
XTRA shares, and I resumed conversations with Lew. The XTRA board
accepted a proposal we made, which was to be effectuated through a
tender offer expiring on September 11th. The tender conditions included
the usual "out," allowing us to withdraw if the stock market were to
close before the offer’s expiration. Throughout much of the 11th, Lew
went through a particularly wrenching experience: First, he had a son-
in-law working in the World Trade Center who couldn’t be located; and
second, he knew we had the option of backing away from our purchase.
The story ended happily: Lew’s son-in-law escaped serious harm, and
Berkshire completed the transaction.

之後到了2001年六月,Julian打電話給我表示他決定出售XTRA的股份,於是
我恢復與Lew的談判,終於XTRA的董事會接受了我們的提案,由我們對外提
出公開收購,截止日訂為9/11,這項公開收購案訂有一項例行條款,約定買方
有退出的權利,如果在收購截止日前,股市有重大異常的變化,誰也沒想到9/11
當天,Lew竟經歷了上上下下煎熬的難忘經驗,一開始,他有一位在紐約世貿
中心上班的女婿下落不明,其次,他很清楚我們有權取消整個收購案,所幸最後
故事有個圓滿的結局,Lew的女婿僥倖逃過一劫,而Berkshire則如原先預期
完成了收購案。

Trailer leasing is a cyclical business but one in which we should earn
decent returns over time. Lew brings a new talent to Berkshire, and we
hope to expand in leasing.

貨櫃車租賃業的景氣循環相當明顯,不過它仍是一個我們預期能夠得到長期合理
報酬的行業,Lew為Berkshire帶來一項我們欠缺的Know-how,我們期望將
來能夠擴張在租賃業的佈局。

* * * * * * * * * * * *

On December 3rd, I received a call from Craig Ponzio, owner of Larson-
Juhl, the U.S. leader in custom-made picture frames. Craig had bought
the company in 1981 (after first working at its manufacturing plant
while attending college) and thereafter increased its sales from $3
million to $300 million. Though I had never heard of Larson-Juhl before
Craig’s call, a few minutes talk with him made me think we would strike
a deal. He was straightforward in describing the business, cared about
who bought it, and was realistic as to price. Two days later, Craig and
Steve McKenzie, his CEO, came to Omaha and in ninety minutes we
reached an agreement. In ten days we had signed a contract.

12/3我收到Larson-Juhl老闆Craig Ponzio的一通電話,該公司是美國訂製
相框的領導廠商,Craig是在1981年買下這家公司的(這也是他大學時代打工
的第一家公司),自此公司的營業額從300萬美元成長到3億美元,雖然在Craig
打電話給我之前,我完全不知道有這家公司的存在,不過幾分鐘的談話令我感到
我們很有可能達成交易,他對於企業現況坦率直言,同時也在乎買方的來歷背
景,至於所提價格也相當合理,兩天之後,Craig跟公司總裁Steve McKenzie
來到奧瑪哈,前後只花了90分鐘雙方就達成共識,並於十天後正式簽訂合約。

Larson-Juhl serves about 18,000 framing shops in the U.S. and is also
the industry leader in Canada and much of Europe. We expect to see
opportunities for making complementary acquisitions in the future.

Larson-Juhl提供服務給全美18,000家相館,同時也是加拿大及歐洲大部分地
區的領導廠商,我們期望在不久的未來還有類似的購併機會。

* * * * * * * * * * *

As I write this letter, creditors are considering an offer we have made for
Fruit of the Loom. The company entered bankruptcy a few years back, a
victim both of too much debt and poor management. And, a good many
years before that, I had some Fruit of the Loom experience of my own.

在我寫這封信的同時,Fruit of the Loom的債權人正在考慮接受我們的提案,
這家公司由於負債過於沈重加上管理不當,在幾年前宣佈破產,而事實上,在許
多年以前,我個人也曾與Fruit of the Loom有過接觸的經驗。

In August 1955, I was one of five employees, including two secretaries,
working for the three managers of Graham-Newman Corporation, a
New York investment company. Graham-Newman controlled
Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron ("P&R"), an anthracite producer
that had excess cash, a tax loss carryforward, and a declining business.
At the time, I had a significant portion of my limited net worth invested
in P&R shares, reflecting my faith in the business talents of my bosses,
Ben Graham, Jerry Newman and Howard (Micky) Newman.

1955年八月,當時我還是紐約一家投資公司,葛拉罕-紐曼公司僅有的五位員
工之一(包含三位經理加上二位秘書),當時葛拉罕-紐曼所掌控一家專門生產無
煙煤,名叫費城碳鐵的公司(P&R),該公司擁有多餘的資金、可扣抵的稅務虧損
以及日益下滑的業務,在當時我將個人有限資金的大部份投資在這家公司上頭,
此舉充分反映我對老闆們-包含班哲明葛拉罕、傑瑞紐曼以及霍華紐曼等人投資
哲學的信仰。


This faith was rewarded when P&R purchased the Union Underwear
Company from Jack Goldfarb for $15 million. Union (though it was then
only a licensee of the name) produced Fruit of the Loom underwear. The
company possessed $5 million in cash - $2.5 million of which P&R used
for the purchase - and was earning about $3 million pre-tax, earnings
that could be sheltered by the tax position of P&R. And, oh yes: Fully $9
million of the remaining $12.5 million due was satisfied by non-
interest-bearing notes, payable from 50% of any earnings Union had in
excess of $1 million. (Those were the days; I get goosebumps just
thinking about such deals.)

這樣的信仰在P&R決定以1,500萬美元從Jack Goldfarb手中買下聯合內衣公
司時獲得了豐厚的回報,聯合公司(雖然它只是被授權生產的廠商)當時專門生產
Fruit of the Loom的內衣,該公司擁有500萬美元的現金-其中250萬美元被
P&R用來購併用,另外每年約300萬美元的稅前盈餘,將因P&R本身虧損部位
而得到免稅的利益,另外更棒的是在剩下的1,250萬美元尾款當中,有整整900
萬美元是開出免付利息的票據,由聯合公司日後年度盈餘超過100萬美元時提
撥半數支付,(真是令人懷念的往日時光,每當想起這類的交易就讓我雀躍不
已)。

Subsequently, Union bought the licensor of the Fruit of the Loom name
and, along with P&R, was merged into Northwest Industries. Fruit went
on to achieve annual pre-tax earnings exceeding $200 million.

後來,聯合公司進一步買下Fruit of the Loom的商標權,同時跟著P&R併入
西北工業,Fruit後來累計的稅前獲利超過2億美元。


John Holland was responsible for Fruit’s operations in its most bountiful
years. In 1996, however, John retired, and management loaded the
company with debt, in part to make a series of acquisitions that proved
disappointing. Bankruptcy followed. John was then rehired, and he
undertook a major reworking of operations. Before John’s return,
deliveries were chaotic, costs soared and relations with key customers
deteriorated. While correcting these problems, John also reduced
employment from a bloated 40,000 to 23,000. In short, he’s been
restoring the old Fruit of the Loom, albeit in a much more competitive
environment.

John Holland是Fruit營運最輝煌時期的經營者,然而John卻於1996年宣佈
退休,之後的管理當局竟大幅舉債,其中部份的資金被用來購併一堆沒有效益的
公司,公司最後終於宣佈破產,John後來又回鍋走馬上任,並對於營運進行大
幅改造,在John回來之前,交貨總是一團混亂、成本激增、與主要客戶之間的
關係日益惡化,而John在陸續解決這些問題之後,也開始裁減公司不當的冗員,
將員工人數由40,000人減為23,000人,簡言之,他又讓Fruit of the Loom
回復到原來的模樣,只是外在的產業環境競爭卻日益激烈。

Stepping into Fruit’s bankruptcy proceedings, we made a proposal to
creditors to which we attached no financing conditions, even though our
offer had to remain outstanding for many months. We did, however,
insist on a very unusual proviso: John had to be available to continue
serving as CEO after we took over. To us, John and the brand are Fruit’s
key assets.

在Fruit進入破產程序之後,我們提出了一項提案,其中並無任何融資計畫,且
有效期間長達數個月,不過在此同時我們也堅持幾項特殊的條款,首先我們要求
在接手之後,John必須繼續擔任公司的總裁,因為在我們看來,John跟Fruit
的商標是該公司最主要的資產。

I was helped in this transaction by my friend and former boss, Micky
Newman, now 81. What goes around truly does come around.

在這項合併交易中,我得到昔日老闆兼好友,現年61歲的麥克紐曼相當多的幫
助,我們的友情常在。

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Our operating companies made several "bolt-on" acquisitions during
the year, and I can’t resist telling you about one. In December, Frank
Rooney called to tell me H.H. Brown was buying the inventory and
trademarks of Acme Boot for $700,000.

我們旗下的子公司在去年也進行了幾項購併案,其中有一件我一定要提,去年十
二月,Frank Rooney 打電話給我表示H.H. Brown正打算以70萬美元買下
Acme 靴子的存貨及商標權。

That sounds like small potatoes. But - would you believe it? - Acme was
the second purchase of P&R, an acquisition that took place just before I
left Graham-Newman in the spring of 1956. The price was $3.2 million,
part of it again paid with non-interest bearing notes, for a business with
sales of $7 million.

這聽起來好像沒什麼大不了, 但你知道嗎? Acme是繼P&R之後的第二件購併
案,時間大約是我在1956年春天離開葛拉罕-紐曼公司之前不久,當時的交易
價格是320萬美元,其中也包含無息分期支票,買下年營業額700萬美元的公
司。

After P&R merged with Northwest, Acme grew to be the world’s largest
bootmaker, delivering annual profits many multiples of what the
company had cost P&R. But the business eventually hit the skids and
never recovered, and that resulted in our purchasing Acme’s remnants.

而在P&R與西北公司合併後,Acme持續成長躍居全世界規模最大的靴子製造
商,每年的獲利是當初P&R投資成本的好幾倍,不過後來該公司的營運還是不
免逐漸走下坡,乃至於剩下最後殘存的資產被我們所收買。


In the frontispiece to Security Analysis, Ben Graham and Dave Dodd
quoted Horace: "Many shall be restored that now are fallen and many
shall fall that are now in honor." Fifty-two years after I first read those
lines, my appreciation for what they say about business and
investments continues to grow.

在葛拉罕與陶德所著的證券分析一書中,開頭引用Horace的一句名言,「十年
河東,十年河西。」在我頭一次聽到這句話的52年後,我個人對於這句話描寫
企業與投資真理的體認日益加深。

* * * * * * * * * * * *

In addition to bolt-on acquisitions, our managers continually look for
ways to grow internally. In that regard, here’s a postscript to a story I
told you two years ago about R.C. Willey’s move to Boise. As you may
remember, Bill Child, R.C. Willey’s chairman, wanted to extend his
home-furnishings operation beyond Utah, a state in which his company
does more than $300 million of business (up, it should be noted, from
$250,000 when Bill took over 48 years ago). The company achieved this
dominant position, moreover, with a "closed on Sunday" policy that
defied conventional retailing wisdom. I was skeptical that this policy
could succeed in Boise or, for that matter, anyplace outside of Utah.
After all, Sunday is the day many consumers most like to shop.

除了這些附帶的購併案,我們的經理人仍然不斷的尋找內部自我成長的方法,關
於這一點,這裡有一則兩年前我告訴各位R.C.Willey進軍Boise的後話,大家
應該還記得,R.C.Willey的董事長Bill Child想將業務拓展到猶他州以外的地
區,他的公司在當地的年營業額超過3億美元,(Bill在48年前接手時的營業額
只有25萬美元),這家公司是在違反商業法則,堅持星期天不營業的情形下達成
獨霸的地位,然而我還是很懷疑這項原則是否也能在Boise地區或是任何猶他州
以外的地方成功推行,畢竟星期天是許多消費者出外血拼的日子。


Bill then insisted on something extraordinary: He would invest $11
million of his own money to build the Boise store and would sell it to
Berkshire at cost (without interest!) if the venture succeeded. If it failed,
Bill would keep the store and eat the loss on its disposal. As I told you in
the 1999 annual report, the store immediately became a huge success -
and it has since grown.

Bill 當時很堅持一件特別的事,那就是他希望先用自己的錢投資1,100萬美元
成立Boise的分店,然後等分店經營順遂後,再以成本賣回給Berkshire(而且
不算利息),而萬一如果失敗,Bill將自行負擔開店的損失,而正如我在1999年
年報中提過的,該店事後證明相當成功而且業績持續成長。


Shortly after the Boise opening, Bill suggested we try Las Vegas, and this
time I was even more skeptical. How could we do business in a
metropolis of that size and be closed on Sundays, a day that all of our
competitors would be exploiting? Buoyed by the Boise experience,
however, we proceeded to locate in Henderson, a mushrooming city
adjacent to Las Vegas.

在Boise分店開張後不久,Bill又建議可以到Las Vegas試試看,這次我則抱持
更懷疑的態度,我們怎麼可能在這個規模如此大的城市開店,同時還在同業大發
利市的星期天打烊,不過受到Boise經驗的鼓舞,我們還是決定進軍Hendersn-
一個鄰近Las Vegas的新興城市。

The result: This store outsells all others in the R.C. Willey chain, doing a
volume of business that far exceeds the volume of any competitor and
that is twice what I had anticipated. I cut the ribbon at the grand
opening in October - this was after a "soft" opening and a few weeks of
exceptional sales - and, just as I did at Boise, I suggested to the crowd
that the new store was my idea.

結果是:這家店的營業額打破R.C.Willey其他連鎖店的記錄,業績比當地所有
的競爭對手都還要好,業績達到我原先預估的兩倍,在進行幾個禮拜的試賣會
後,我受邀在10月的正式開幕儀式蒞臨剪綵,而如同我在Boise時一樣,向在
場來賓暗示這是我個人的構想。

It didn’t work. Today, when I pontificate about retailing, Berkshire
people just say, "What does Bill think?" (I’m going to draw the line,
however, if he suggests that we also close on Saturdays.)

不過此舉顯然無效,現在每當我對於零售業侃侃而談時,公司的人一定會說,喔!
那Bill又是怎麼想呢? (不過我必須先說明我最後的底線,如果他敢提議星期六也
休息就給我走著瞧)。

The Economics of Property/Casualty Insurance

產物意外險的經營


Our main business - though we have others of great importance - is
insurance. To understand Berkshire, therefore, it is necessary that you
understand how to evaluate an insurance company. The key
determinants are: (1) the amount of float that the business generates;
(2) its cost; and (3) most critical of all, the long-term outlook for both of
these factors.

我們最主要的本業就是保險,當然其他事業也相當重要,想要了解Berkshire,
你就必須知道如何去評估一家保險公司,其中主要的關鍵因素有(1)這個行業所
能產生的浮存金數量(2)以及它的成本(3)最重要的是這些因素長期的展望。

To begin with, float is money we hold but don't own. In an insurance
operation, float arises because premiums are received before losses are
paid, an interval that sometimes extends over many years. During that
time, the insurer invests the money. This pleasant activity typically
carries with it a downside: The premiums that an insurer takes in usually
do not cover the losses and expenses it eventually must pay. That leaves
it running an "underwriting loss," which is the cost of float. An insurance
business has value if its cost of float over time is less than the cost the
company would otherwise incur to obtain funds. But the business is a
lemon if its cost of float is higher than market rates for money.

首先浮存金是一項我們持有但卻不屬於我們的資金,在保險公司的營運中,浮存
金產生的原因在於保險公司在真正支付損失理賠之前,一般會先向保戶收取保
費,在這期間保險公司會將資金運用在其他投資之上,當然這樣的好處也必須要
付出代價,通常保險業者收取的保費並不足以支應最後支付出去的相關損失與費
用,於是保險公司便會發生承保損失,這就是浮存金的成本,而當一家公司取得
浮存金成本,就長期而言低於從其它管道取得資金的成本時,它就有存在的價
值,否則一旦保險事業取得浮存金的成本遠高於貨幣市場利率時,它就像是一顆
極酸的檸檬。

Historically, Berkshire has obtained its float at a very low cost. Indeed,
our cost has been less than zero in about half of the years in which we've
operated; that is, we've actually been paid for holding other people's
money. Over the last few years, however, our cost has been too high,
and in 2001 it was terrible.

根據過去的記錄顯示,Berkshire 一向能夠以很低的成本取得浮存金,確實在
Berkshire經營的這些年來,有半數以上的年頭,浮存金的成本甚至低於零,也
就是說這實際上等於是別人要付費請我們幫他們保管資金,然而最近這幾年,我
們的成本大幅飆漲,而2001年尤其恐怖。

The table that follows shows (at intervals) the float generated by the
various segments of Berkshire's insurance operations since we entered
the business 35 years ago upon acquiring National Indemnity Company
(whose traditional lines are included in the segment "Other Primary").
For the table we have calculated our float - which we generate in large
amounts relative to our premium volume - by adding net loss reserves,
loss adjustment reserves, funds held under reinsurance assumed and
unearned premium reserves, and then subtracting insurance-related
receivables, prepaid acquisition costs, prepaid taxes and deferred
charges applicable to assumed reinsurance. (Got that?)

下表中所顯示的數字是,Berkshire自取得國家產險公司經營權,進入保險事業
35年以來所貢獻的浮存金,(其中傳統業務包含在其他主險項下),在這張計算
浮存金的表中,(相對於收到的保費收入,我們持有的浮存金部位算是相當大的)
我們將所有的損失準備、損失費用調整準備、再保預先收取的資金與未賺取保費
加總後,再扣除應付佣金、預付購併成本、預付稅負以及取得再保業務的相關遞
延費用,得出浮存金的數額,弄清楚了嗎??

Last year I told you that, barring a mega-catastrophe, our cost of float
would probably drop from its 2000 level of 6%. I had in mind natural
catastrophes when I said that, but instead we were hit by a man-made
catastrophe on September 11th - an event that delivered the insurance
industry its largest loss in history. Our float cost therefore came in at a
staggering 12.8%. It was our worst year in float cost since 1984, and a
result that to a significant degree, as I will explain in the next section,
we brought upon ourselves.

去年我曾告訴各位,除非發生什麼重大的災難,否則我們浮存金的成本將可由
2000年6%的高檔往下降,當時我心裡想到的是自然天災之類的意外,但任誰
也想不到發生的竟是911恐怖份子攻擊事件這樣的人禍,它造成保險業有史以
來最重大的損失,也讓我們的浮存金成本大舉飆高到12.8%,這是自1984年
以來最慘的記錄,而且大部分的責任,在後段我還會再詳加解釋,要歸咎於我們
自己。

If no mega-catastrophe occurs, I - once again - expect the cost of our
float to be low in the coming year. We will indeed need a low cost, as will
all insurers. Some years back, float costing, say, 4% was tolerable
because government bonds yielded twice as much, and stocks
prospectively offered still loftier returns. Today, fat returns are nowhere
to be found (at least we can't find them) and short-term funds earn less
than 2%. Under these conditions, each of our insurance operations, save
one, must deliver an underwriting profit if it is to be judged a good
business. The exception is our retroactive reinsurance operation (a
business we explained in last year's annual report), which has desirable
economics even though it currently hits us with an annual underwriting
loss of about $425 million.

如果沒有發生重大的災害,我個人再度預期,明年度我們的浮存金成本將會大幅
降低,我們確實極需要降低成本,我想其他業者也是一樣,幾年前,4%的浮存
金成本還算可以忍受,因為當時政府的公債利率是其兩倍以上,而股市預期也能
提供相當不錯的報酬,然而時至今日,豐厚的投資報酬已不復見(至少我們無法
找到),短期資金的報酬低於2%,在這種情況下,我們旗下所有的保險事業,除
了追溯再保險業務(去年的年報曾詳加介紹過,雖然目前一年讓我們必須額外承
擔4.25億美元的承保損失,但就長期而言卻有相當的經濟價值),都必須能夠創
造出承保獲利才能稱得上是好公司。

Principles of Insurance Underwriting

保險業承保的幾項原則

When property/casualty companies are judged by their cost of float,
very few stack up as satisfactory businesses. And interestingly - unlike
the situation prevailing in many other industries - neither size nor
brand name determines an insurer's profitability. Indeed, many of the
biggest and best-known companies regularly deliver mediocre results.
What counts in this business is underwriting discipline. The winners are
those that unfailingly stick to three key principles:

當產物意外險公司以浮存金成本來判定公司的好壞時,很少有公司的成績可以令
人感到滿意,而有趣的是,不像一些產業普遍存在的現象,規模或品牌並非保險
公司獲利的關鍵,事實上許多最大最有名的保險公司其成績表現大多平平,這個
行業最要緊的是承保的紀律原則,真正成功的公司必須堅守以下三項重要原則:

They accept only those risks that they are able to properly
evaluate (staying within their circle of competence) and that, after
they have evaluated all relevant factors including remote loss
scenarios, carry the expectancy of profit. These insurers ignore
market-share considerations and are sanguine about losing
business to competitors that are offering foolish prices or policy
conditions.
1.他們只接受能夠妥善衡量的風險,(也就是謹守自己的能力範圍),在謹慎評
估所有相關因素,包含最微小的損失可能在內,然後得出獲利的期望值,這
些公司從來不以市場佔有率為意,同時在看到同業為搶奪客戶而殺價競爭或
提供不合理的理賠條件時,也不會躍躍欲試。

They limit the business they accept in a manner that guarantees
they will suffer no aggregation of losses from a single event or
from related events that will threaten their solvency. They
ceaselessly search for possible correlation among seemingly-
unrelated risks.
2.要嚴格限制承接的業務內容,以確保公司不會因為單一意外及其連帶事件
而累積理賠損失,導致公司的清償能力發生疑慮,同時不遺餘力地尋找任何
看似不相關的風險間,彼此可能的潛在關聯。

They avoid business involving moral risk: No matter what the rate,
trying to write good contracts with bad people doesn't work.
While most policyholders and clients are honorable and ethical,
doing business with the few exceptions is usually expensive,
sometimes extraordinarily so.
3.他們避免涉入可能引發道德風險的業務,不管其費率多麼誘人,不要妄想
在壞人身上佔到任何便宜,大部分的客戶其誠信都值得信賴,所以不必要與
有道德疑慮的人打交道,事後證明通常其成本遠比想像中的高。

The events of September 11th made it clear that our implementation of
rules 1 and 2 at General Re had been dangerously weak. In setting prices
and also in evaluating aggregation risk, we had either overlooked or
dismissed the possibility of large-scale terrorism losses. That was a
relevant underwriting factor, and we ignored it.

911事件的發生證明在通用再保,我們對於第一條與第二條的執行力相當的差,
在設定費率及評估累計的可能風險,我們不是忽略就是低估了大規模恐怖事件發
生的可能性,那是一項相當要緊的承保因素,偏偏我們竟把它給忽略了。

In pricing property coverages, for example, we had looked to the past
and taken into account only costs we might expect to incur from
windstorm, fire, explosion and earthquake. But what will be the largest
insured property loss in history (after adding related business-
interruption claims) originated from none of these forces. In short, all of
us in the industry made a fundamental underwriting mistake by
focusing on experience, rather than exposure, thereby assuming a huge
terrorism risk for which we received no premium.


舉例來說,產險在訂定價格時,我們通常都會參酌過去的經驗,只預期可能會遇
到過去發生諸如颶風、火災、爆炸及地震等災害,不過誰也沒有想到產險史上最
大的理賠損失(在加上其他相關的業務中斷理賠)與上述原因都沒有任何關係,簡
言之,產險業的所有從業人員都犯下了最基本的承保錯誤,那就是過於注重過去
的經驗,而未顧及真正暴露的風險,其結果導致我們在承擔龐大的恐怖份子活動
風險的同時,卻沒有為此收取任何一分的保費。


Experience, of course, is a highly useful starting point in underwriting
most coverages. For example, it's important for insurers writing
California earthquake policies to know how many quakes in the state
during the past century have registered 6.0 or greater on the Richter
scale. This information will not tell you the exact probability of a big
quake next year, or where in the state it might happen. But the statistic
has utility, particularly if you are writing a huge statewide policy, as
National Indemnity has done in recent years.

經驗,當然是承保大部分風險最有用的出發點,舉例來說,保險公司在承保加州
地震險時,絕對必須瞭解過去一百年來,當地地震規模在芮氏六級以上發生的次
數,雖然這類資訊無法明確地告訴你明年發生地震的確實機率,或者是可能發生
的地點,但統計數字還是有其效用,尤其當你像國家產險最近幾年那樣,承受整
個州的地震險時更是如此。


At certain times, however, using experience as a guide to pricing is not
only useless, but actually dangerous. Late in a bull market, for example,
large losses from directors and officers liability insurance ("D&O") are
likely to be relatively rare. When stocks are rising, there are a scarcity of
targets to sue, and both questionable accounting and management
chicanery often go undetected. At that juncture, experience on high-
limit D&O may look great.


不過在某些時候,運用過去的經驗當作依據來訂定保費價格,不但沒有用,有時
反而相當的危險,舉例來說,前幾年股市正旺時,董事及經理人的責任險(D&O)
實際上發生重大損失的機率少之又少,當股票價格上漲,很難找到適合的目標可
以告,而此時作假帳及管理舞弊通常不會引起太多的注意,在此種情勢下,業者
在高上限D&O的經驗肯定相當不錯。

But that's just when exposure is likely to be exploding, by way of
ridiculous public offerings, earnings manipulation, chain-letter-like
stock promotions and a potpourri of other unsavory activities. When
stocks fall, these sins surface, hammering investors with losses that can
run into the hundreds of billions. Juries deciding whether those losses
should be borne by small investors or big insurance companies can be
expected to hit insurers with verdicts that bear little relation to those
delivered in bull-market days. Even one jumbo judgment, moreover,
can cause settlement costs in later cases to mushroom. Consequently,
the correct rate for D&O "excess" (meaning the insurer or reinsurer will
pay losses above a high threshold) might well, if based on exposure, be
five or more times the premium dictated by experience.

不過這正是風險暴露可能爆炸的時候,離譜的公開釋股、盈餘操控、連環信式的
股票拉抬以及一些無聊的舉動等行為大舉出籠,然而等到股價暴跌時,所有的罪
惡都一一浮現,總計超過數千億美元的損失使得投資人一敗塗地,而決定這些損
失到底該由小額投資人或是大型保險公司來承擔的陪審團,其打擊保險公司所採
用的證詞是過去股票市場當紅時所聽不到的,只要出現一個大案子,就有可能導
致以後的理賠損失大幅增加,因此D&O超額保險的正確費率(意思是保險業者及
再保業者賠償超過上限)若真要考量暴露的風險,極有可能是現行依照經驗所訂
保費的五倍以上。


Insurers have always found it costly to ignore new exposures. Doing
that in the case of terrorism, however, could literally bankrupt the
industry. No one knows the probability of a nuclear detonation in a
major metropolis this year (or even multiple detonations, given that a
terrorist organization able to construct one bomb might not stop there).
Nor can anyone, with assurance, assess the probability in this year, or
another, of deadly biological or chemical agents being introduced
simultaneously (say, through ventilation systems) into multiple office
buildings and manufacturing plants. An attack like that would produce
astronomical workers' compensation claims.

保險業者往往會發現沒有注意到新暴露風險的代價相當的高,而若是遇到恐怖活
動這種情況,更可能造成保險公司實質上的破產,沒有人知道今年在主要大都會
發生核子爆炸的可能性(或甚至是連環爆炸,假若恐怖份子組織一旦有能力製造
的話,鐵定不會只有一顆),而也沒有人能百分之百確定,今年或明年,致命的
生化武器被大量運用(比如說透過空調系統)進入辦公大樓及工廠的機率有多
高,諸如此類的攻擊事件有可能造成天文數字的勞保理賠金額。


Here's what we do know:
在這裡我們確信:

The probability of such mind-boggling disasters, though likely
very low at present, is not zero.
a.這類震懾人心災難的可能性,現在雖然很低,但絕非沒有可能。

The probabilities are increasing, in an irregular and immeasurable
manner, as knowledge and materials become available to those
who wish us ill. Fear may recede with time, but the danger won't -
the war against terrorism can never be won. The best the nation
can achieve is a long succession of stalemates. There can be no
checkmate against hydra-headed foes.
b.這種可能性,正以一種不規則且難以衡量的速度逐漸增加當中,隨時仇視
我們的敵人漸漸掌握傷害我們的資訊及資源,恐懼的心理或許會隨著時間慢
慢淡化,但危險卻依然存在,對抗恐怖活動的戰爭永遠不會結束,我們能夠
得到最好的結果是讓問題控制在一定程度之下,對於剷除仇視我們的狂熱份
子絕無根治之道。

Until now, insurers and reinsurers have blithely assumed the
financial consequences from the incalculable risks I have
described.
c.直到目前為止,保險及再保業者仍然不自知地承擔以上我提到的這種無法
預估風險的財務後果。

 

Under a "close-to-worst-case" scenario, which could conceivably
involve $1 trillion of damage, the insurance industry would be
destroyed unless it manages in some manner to dramatically limit
its assumption of terrorism risks. Only the U.S. Government has
the resources to absorb such a blow. If it is unwilling to do so on a
prospective basis, the general citizenry must bear its own risks
and count on the Government to come to its rescue after a
disaster occurs.
d.在最壞的狀況下,有可能產生1兆美元的經濟損失,整個保險產業將因此
崩潰,除非經營者能夠將恐怖攻擊風險承擔的上限大幅壓低在一定的水準以
下,我想只有美國政府本身有能力承受如此大的重擊,如果政府不願意積極
地擔下此重責大任,任由人民負擔所有的風險,則只有等災難真的發生之後,
再由政府出面來收拾殘局。


Why, you might ask, didn't I recognize the above facts before
September 11th? The answer, sadly, is that I did - but I didn't convert
thought into action. I violated the Noah rule: Predicting rain doesn't
count; building arks does. I consequently let Berkshire operate with a
dangerous level of risk - at General Re in particular. I'm sorry to say
that much risk for which we haven't been compensated remains on
our books, but it is running off by the day.

或許有人會問,為何我不在911事件發生之前,就提出這項警訊?? 我的回
答是,我確實有想到這點,但可惜的是我並未將想法化為舉體的行動,關於
這點我嚴重違反了諾亞的原則,「能夠準確預測下雨不厲害,重要的是要去
建方舟」,我等於是讓Berkshire在相當危險的情況下經營,尤其是通用再
保,而且我必須承認,截至目前我們還在免費為大家承擔無可預測的風險,
所幸這種情況已隨著時間慢慢減少。


At Berkshire, it should be noted, we have for some years been willing to
assume more risk than any other insurer has knowingly taken on. That's
still the case. We are perfectly willing to lose $2 billion to $2? billion in
a single event (as we did on September 11th) if we have been paid
properly for assuming the risk that caused the loss (which on that
occasion we weren't).

在Berkshire,有一點必須說明的是,多年以來我們一直有強烈的意願承擔比其
他業者更多的風險,即便是現在也是如此,前提是保費要合理,對於單一事件我
們願意承擔最多20億到25億美元的可能損失(就像是911那樣的損失規模,
只可惜那時我們沒有收到一毛錢的保費)。


Indeed, we have a major competitive advantage because of our
tolerance for huge losses. Berkshire has massive liquid resources,
substantial non-insurance earnings, a favorable tax position and a
knowledgeable shareholder constituency willing to accept volatility in
earnings. This unique combination enables us to assume risks that far
exceed the appetite of even our largest competitors. Over time, insuring
these jumbo risks should be profitable, though periodically they will
bring on a terrible year.

確實我們勇於承擔鉅額損失的意願,使得我們的競爭優勢大幅提高,Berkshire
擁有大量的流動資產、極高的非保險事業盈餘、有利的租稅架構以及願意容忍盈
餘上下變動的優秀股東陣容,這種獨特的組合,讓我們可以承擔遠比其他競爭對
手更高的潛在風險,長期而言,接受這類鉅型風險肯定有利可圖,雖然在某些年
度的成績可能慘不忍睹。


The bottom-line today is that we will write some coverage for
terrorist-related losses, including a few non-correlated policies with
very large limits. But we will not knowingly expose Berkshire to losses
beyond what we can comfortably handle. We will control our total
exposure, no matter what the competition does.


目前我們的底限是願意承接恐怖份子攻擊事件的保單,包含一些非相關事件極高
的風險上限,但我們絕不願意讓Berkshire在不知情的情況下,曝露於我們無法
妥善處理的損失,我們會將整體的風險部位控制在一定程度之內,不論外在的市
場競爭狀況如何都一樣。

Insurance Operations in 2001

2001年保險事業營運狀況

Over the years, our insurance business has provided ever-growing,
low-cost funds that have fueled much of Berkshire's growth. Charlie and
I believe this will continue to be the case. But we stumbled in a big way
in 2001, largely because of underwriting losses at General Re.

多年以來,我們旗下的保險事業提供了Berkshire大量低成本,成長所需的資
金,查理跟我都認為這樣的態勢仍將繼續維持下去,誰知道我們竟在2001年跌
了一大跤,主要的原因就在於通用再保大幅的承保虧損。


In the past I have assured you that General Re was underwriting with
discipline - and I have been proven wrong. Though its managers'
intentions were good, the company broke each of the three
underwriting rules I set forth in the last section and has paid a huge
price for doing so. One obvious cause for its failure is that it did not
reserve correctly - more about this in the next section - and therefore
severely miscalculated the cost of the product it was selling. Not
knowing your costs will cause problems in any business. In long-tail
reinsurance, where years of unawareness will promote and prolong
severe underpricing, ignorance of true costs is dynamite.

過去我一再保證,通用再保的承保一向相當有原則,事實證明我的看法有誤,雖
然管理階層的出發點甚佳,但公司還是違反了前面我提到的三項原則,更為此付
出極大的代價,其中一個失敗的主要原因就在於損失準備提列不當,在後段我還
會再詳細說明,從而因此嚴重低估了某些尚在銷售的保單成本,對許多企業來
說,搞不清楚自己的成本是相當嚴重的問題,在長天期的再保險業,多年的無知
將導致保費訂價過低的影響加重,不了解成本結構就像是一顆不定時的炸彈。


Additionally, General Re was overly-competitive in going after, and
retaining, business. While all concerned may intend to underwrite with
care, it is nonetheless difficult for able, hard-driving professionals to
curb their urge to prevail over competitors. If "winning," however, is
equated with market share rather than profits, trouble awaits. "No" must
be an important part of any underwriter's vocabulary.

此外,通用再保過於熱衷追求或保有客戶,即便所有人都知道要小心謹慎地承接
業務,但還是很難讓有才幹又肯努力的傑出經理人克制壓倒競爭對手的慾望,但
如果勝利的定義是爭取市場佔有率而非獲利率的話,那麼麻煩就隨時準備上門,
勇敢地說"不"字,是任何保險從業人員字典裏應該必備的一個字。


At the risk of sounding Pollyannaish, I now assure you that underwriting
discipline is being restored at General Re (and its Cologne Re subsidiary)
with appropriate urgency. Joe Brandon was appointed General Re's CEO
in September and, along with Tad Montross, its new president, is
committed to producing underwriting profits. Last fall, Charlie and I
read Jack Welch's terrific book, Jack, Straight from the Gut (get a copy!).
In discussing it, we agreed that Joe has many of Jack's characteristics:
He is smart, energetic, hands-on, and expects much of both himself
and his organization.

雖然聽起來有點過度樂觀,不過我還是向各位保證通用再保(以及其子公司科隆
再保)的承保紀律目前正在恢復當中,Joe Brandon已在九月被任命為通用再保
的新任總裁,再加上新任總經理Tad Montross皆致力於轉虧為盈,去年秋天,
查理跟我在讀了奇異總裁-傑克威爾許的新書-直言無諱(趕快去買一本來看),在
經過討論後,我們都認為Joe擁有許多傑克談到的特點,他相當聰明、有活力、
經驗也夠,同時對本身及組織都有深切的自我期許。


When it was an independent company, General Re often shone, and now
it also has the considerable strengths Berkshire brings to the table. With
that added advantage and with underwriting discipline restored,
General Re should be a huge asset for Berkshire. I predict that Joe and
Tad will make it so.

當她還是一家獨立的公司時,通用再保就相當出色,如今她又有Berkshire在背
後提供許多奧援,在增添助力以及承保紀律逐漸恢復的情況下,我們想通用再保
應該可以成為Berkshire最重要的資產之一,我預期Joe跟Tad一定辦得到。


* * * * * * * * * * * *

At the National Indemnity reinsurance operation, Ajit Jain continues to
add enormous value to Berkshire. Working with only 18 associates, Ajit
manages one of the world's largest reinsurance operations measured by
assets, and the largest, based upon the size of individual risks assumed.

I have known the details of almost every policy that Ajit has written since
he came with us in 1986, and never on even a single occasion have I
seen him break any of our three underwriting rules. His extraordinary
discipline, of course, does not eliminate losses; it does, however,
prevent foolish losses. And that's the key: Just as is the case in
investing, insurers produce outstanding long-term results primarily by
avoiding dumb decisions, rather than by making brilliant ones.

在國家產險的再保業務方面,Ajit Jain繼續為Berkshire增添了許多價值,只靠
著18位同仁的協助,Ajit管理全世界前幾大(以資產計)的再保險業務,而若以
承擔的整體風險來算,更是全世界第一,自從他1986年加入以來,對於他承接
的所有保單,我知之甚詳,但我從來沒有發現他違背前述三項原則,雖然他嚴格
的紀律無法保證絕不會發生損失,但他確實可以避免不必要的錯誤,這就是關
鍵,就像是我們在投資時一樣,保險業者想要有優異的長期績效,靠的不是少數
的成功個案,而是如何持續避免做出愚蠢的決定。


Since September 11th, Ajit has been particularly busy. Among the
policies we have written and retained entirely for our own account are
(1) $578 million of property coverage for a South American refinery
once a loss there exceeds $1 billion; (2) $1 billion of non-cancelable
third-party liability coverage for losses arising from acts of terrorism at
several large international airlines; (3) £500 million of property
coverage on a large North Sea oil platform, covering losses from
terrorism and sabotage, above £600 million that the insured retained or
reinsured elsewhere; and (4) significant coverage on the Sears Tower,
including losses caused by terrorism, above a $500 million threshold.
We have written many other jumbo risks as well, such as protection for
the World Cup Soccer Tournament and the 2002 Winter Olympics. In all
cases, however, we have attempted to avoid writing groups of policies
from which losses might seriously aggregate. We will not, for example,
write coverages on a large number of office and apartment towers in a
single metropolis without excluding losses from both a nuclear
explosion and the fires that would follow it.

自從911事件發生之後,Ajit就變得異常忙碌,在我們承接且全部自留在公司
帳上的保單,主要有(1)南美洲煉油廠損失超過10億美元以上的5.78億美元意
外險(2)數家國際航空公司10億美元恐怖份子攻擊事件不得撤銷第三責任險(3)
北海原油平台5億英鎊恐怖份子攻擊及惡意破壞的產物意外險,以及超過6億
英鎊以上業者自留或再保損失(4)芝加哥Sears大樓恐怖份子攻擊事件超過5億
美元以上的損失等;此外我們也接了許多項超大型的意外險,例如世界盃足球賽
以及2002年冬季奧運等,但不論是那一件個案,我們都盡量避免會發生連鎖反
應大量累積損失的保單,比如說,我們不會一口氣接下位於同一個大都會的辦公
及住宅大樓大量的意外險,除非排除核子爆炸及後續可能引發的火災損失。

No one can match the speed with which Ajit can offer huge policies.
After September 11th, his quickness to respond, always important, has
become a major competitive advantage. So, too, has our unsurpassed
financial strength. Some reinsurers - particularly those who, in turn, are
accustomed to laying off much of their business on a second layer of
reinsurers known as retrocessionaires - are in a weakened condition
and would have difficulty surviving a second mega-cat. When a daisy
chain of retrocessionaires exists, a single weak link can pose trouble for
all. In assessing the soundness of their reinsurance protection, insurers
must therefore apply a stress test to all participants in the chain, and
must contemplate a catastrophe loss occurring during a very
unfavorable economic environment. After all, you only find out who is
swimming naked when the tide goes out. At Berkshire, we retain our
risks and depend on no one. And whatever the world's problems, our
checks will clear.

提到承接鉅額保單的速度,沒有人可以比得上Ajit,在911事件發生之後,他
的快速反應,就變成一個相當重要的競爭優勢,當然還有我們引以為傲的財務實
力,某些再保同業,尤其是那些習慣將大部分的風險轉嫁給其他再保業者俗稱倒
退派的保險公司的情況都相當淒慘,而且很有可能無法在承受第二次大災難的發
生,當致命的連鎖關係產生時,一個微妙的關連可能導致全面的崩潰,當保險業
者在衡量自身再保安排的健全性時,必須謹慎地試探整個連環所有參與者的抗壓
性,並深切地思考當一件大災難萬一在非常困難的經濟狀況下發生時該如何自
處,畢竟只有在退潮時,你才能夠發現到底是誰在裸泳,在Berkshire,我們將
所有的風險自留,獨立承擔絕不依賴他人,而不論世上發生什麼問題,我們的支
票保證永遠都能夠兌現。


Ajit's business will ebb and flow - but his underwriting principles won't
waver. It's impossible to overstate his value to Berkshire.


Ajit的業務量或許會有潮起潮落,但他的承保原則絕不改變,他在Berkshire的
價值永遠不可限量。

* * * * * * * * * * * *

GEICO, by far our largest primary insurer, made major progress in 2001,
thanks to Tony Nicely, its CEO, and his associates. Quite simply, Tony is
an owner's dream.

GEICO我們目前最大的初級保險公司,在該公司總裁Tony Nicely及所有同仁
的努力下,於2001年有重大進展,毫無疑問,Tony是老闆心目中的明星經理
人。


GEICO's premium volume grew 6.6% last year, its float grew $308
million, and it achieved an underwriting profit of $221 million. This
means we were actually paid that amount last year to hold the $4.25
billion in float, which of course doesn't belong to Berkshire but can be
used by us for investment.

GEICO去年的保費收入成長了6.6%,浮存金淨增加3.08億美元,並貢獻了2.21
億美元的承保利益,這代表去年我們在幫別人保管42.5億資金的同時,還有一
筆額外的收入,雖然這筆浮存金不屬於Berkshire所有,但卻可以為我們運用,
進行各項投資。


The only disappointment at GEICO in 2001 - and it's an important one -
was our inability to add policyholders. Our preferred customers (81% of
our total) grew by 1.6% but our standard and non-standard policies fell
by 10.1%. Overall, policies in force fell .8%.

在2001年,GEICO唯一讓人感到失望的是我們無法進一步增加保戶數量,我
們的指定保戶(約佔總保戶的81%)成長了1.6%,但標準型與非標準型的保單則
下滑了10.1%,總的來說,有效保單數量減少了0.8%。


New business has improved in recent months. Our closure rate from
telephone inquiries has climbed, and our Internet business continues its
steady growth. We, therefore, expect at least a modest gain in policy
count during 2002. Tony and I are eager to commit much more to
marketing than the $219 million we spent last year, but at the moment
we cannot see how to do so effectively. In the meantime, our operating
costs are low and far below those of our major competitors; our prices
are attractive; and our float is cost-free and growing.

最近幾個月,新保單業務有復甦現象,我們的電話行銷成交率正在攀升之中,至
於網路行銷業務則穩定成長,因此我們預期2002年的保單數量至少將可維持些
許的成長,Tony跟我都急於想要投入比去年2.19億美元還要多的行銷預算,
但直到目前為止,我們仍然找不到如何有效運用的方法,在此同時,我們的營運
成本依舊遠低於其他主要的競爭對手,我們的價格相當具吸引力,而我們的浮存
金依舊不須成本且持續成長當中。


* * * * * * * * * * * *

Our other primary insurers delivered their usual fine results last year.
These operations, run by Rod Eldred, John Kizer, Tom Nerney, Michael
Stearns, Don Towle and Don Wurster had combined premium volume of
$579 million, up 40% over 2000. Their float increased 14.5% to $685
million, and they recorded an underwriting profit of $30 million. In
aggregate, these companies are one of the finest insurance operations
in the country, and their 2002 prospects look excellent.

我們其他初級的保險公司去年的表現依舊出色,由Rod、John、Don、Tom、
Michael等人帶領的各家保險事業,總計貢獻了5.79億美元的保費收入,較
2000年成長了四成,浮存金則增加14.5%成為6.85億美元,外加3,000萬美
元的承保利益,總的來說,這些公司堪稱全美最好的保險公司之一,展望2002
年他們的前景依然可期。


"Loss Development" and Insurance Accounting
損失調整及保險業會計。


Bad terminology is the enemy of good thinking. When companies or
investment professionals use terms such as "EBITDA" and "pro forma,"
they want you to unthinkingly accept concepts that are dangerously
flawed. (In golf, my score is frequently below par on a pro forma basis: I
have firm plans to "restructure" my putting stroke and therefore only
count the swings I take before reaching the green.)

不當的名詞是正確思考的敵人,當一家公司或基金經理人使用諸如"EBITDA"(扣
除利息稅負及折舊攤銷前的盈餘)及"pro forma"(擬制)等名詞時,通常代表他們
意圖引導你錯誤地接受某些嚴重偏差的概念,(在高爾夫球場上,我的成績通常
擬制性地低於par標準桿:關鍵在於推桿,由於我正在進行一套改造計畫,因此
我只將到達果嶺以前的桿數列入計算)。


In insurance reporting, "loss development" is a widely used term - and
one that is seriously misleading. First, a definition: Loss reserves at an
insurer are not funds tucked away for a rainy day, but rather a liability
account. If properly calculated, the liability states the amount that an
insurer will have to pay for all losses (including associated costs) that
have occurred prior to the reporting date but have not yet been paid.
When calculating the reserve, the insurer will have been notified of many
of the losses it is destined to pay, but others will not yet have been
reported to it. These losses are called IBNR, for incurred but not
reported. Indeed, in some cases (involving, say, product liability or
embezzlement) the insured itself will not yet be aware that a loss has
occurred.

在保險業的會計制度中,"損失調整"是被廣泛運用的工具,但同時也是被嚴重誤
導的名詞,首先,關於是它的定義:保險業者提列的損失準備並非業者提撥以備
雨天不時之需的資金,實際上它應該是一個負債科目,如果能經由合理地估算,
這項負債代表業者在財務報表截止日已經發生所有損失但尚未支付的可能金額
(包含所有相關成本),在計算損失時,保險業者除了已經被正式告知必須支付的
損失外,還必須包含那些尚未被告知的潛在損失,後者通稱為IBNR(意即已經發
生但尚未告知)的損失,事實上,在某些情況下(比如說產品責任險或員工忠誠
險),被保人本身甚至還不知道損失已經發生了。


It's clearly difficult for an insurer to put a figure on the ultimate cost of
all such reported and unreported events. But the ability to do so with
reasonable accuracy is vital. Otherwise the insurer's managers won't
know what its actual loss costs are and how these compare to the
premiums being charged. GEICO got into huge trouble in the early
1970s because for several years it severely underreserved, and
therefore believed its product (insurance protection) was costing
considerably less than was truly the case. Consequently, the company
sailed blissfully along, underpricing its product and selling more and
more policies at ever-larger losses.

對於保險公司來說,實在是很難事先去準確地算出這些已告知及未告知意外事件
的最終成本,但具備合理估計的能力卻相當重要,否則保險業的經理人將無從得
知本身真實的經營成本,從而訂定合理的保費,GEICO在1970年代發生經營
危機,就是因為它連續好幾年嚴重低估了損失準備,因而大大低估了其產品的成
本,導致公司在不知情的狀況下,以不當的價格出售其保單,賣得越多,虧得就
越多。


When it becomes evident that reserves at past reporting dates
understated the liability that truly existed at the time, companies speak
of "loss development." In the year discovered, these shortfalls penalize
reported earnings because the "catch-up" costs from prior years must
be added to current-year costs when results are calculated. This is what
happened at General Re in 2001: a staggering $800 million of loss costs
that actually occurred in earlier years, but that were not then recorded,
were belatedly recognized last year and charged against current
earnings. The mistake was an honest one, I can assure you of that.
Nevertheless, for several years, this underreserving caused us to believe
that our costs were much lower than they truly were, an error that
contributed to woefully inadequate pricing. Additionally, the overstated
profit figures led us to pay substantial incentive compensation that we
should not have and to incur income taxes far earlier than was
necessary.

當保險公司在期後發現,損失準備明顯地與現實的潛在負債不一致時,公司便將
"損失調整"這個科目搬出來,這些以前年度遺留下來的補提成本,卻必須在實際
發現的年度報表上認列,這正是2001年通用再保身上所發生的案例,以前年度
總計8億美元的累積損失,一口氣在去年的財務報表上顯現出來,我可以向各
位保證,這個數字應該是相當中肯的了,儘管如此,多年來的準備提列不當,讓
我們誤以為我們的成本遠低於實際數字,這又導致我們不當的訂價,除此之外,
過度高估的盈餘數字,也讓我們為此支付額外的獎金以及所得稅。


We recommend scrapping the term "loss development" and its equally
ugly twin, "reserve strengthening." (Can you imagine an insurer, upon
finding its reserves excessive, describing the reduction that follows as
"reserve weakening"?) "Loss development" suggests to investors that
some natural, uncontrollable event has occurred in the current year, and
"reserve strengthening" implies that adequate amounts have been
further buttressed. The truth, however, is that management made an
error in estimation that in turn produced an error in the earnings
previously reported. The losses didn't "develop" - they were there all
along. What developed was management's understanding of the losses
(or, in the instances of chicanery, management's willingness to finally
fess up).

因此我們強烈建議廢除"損失調整"這個會計科目,以及另外一個類似的醜陋字眼
"強化損失準備"(那麼要是有保險公司因為發現其先前提列的準備過高,而在沖回
損失準備時,是不是該用"削減損失準備"的字眼呢?)。表面上,"損失調整"告訴
投資人,某些自然,不可控制的事件在最近年度發生,至於"損失準備強化"則暗
示損失準備已被適當地補提增強。然而事實卻是,管理當局在先前的估計發生錯
誤,導致以前年度的盈餘不實,損失本身並沒有任何改變,它一直都在哪裡,改
變的是管理當局對於損失的認知(或是在管理當局明知故犯的情況下,最後終於
承認其所犯的錯誤)。


A more forthright label for the phenomenon at issue would be "loss
costs we failed to recognize when they occurred" (or maybe just "oops").
Underreserving, it should be noted, is a common - and serious -
problem throughout the property/casualty insurance industry. At
Berkshire we told you of our own problems with underestimation in
1984 and 1986. Generally, however, our reserving has been
conservative.

我認為關於這種現象更貼切的名詞應該是"未能及時發現的損失成本"或者可以
簡稱為"哦!哦!",必須說明的是損失提列不足是產險業界普遍存在的嚴重問題,
在Berkshire,我們就曾在1984年及1986年告訴大家,我們發生過的估計不
足問題,不過通常來說,我們的損失提列政策算是相當的穩健保守。


Major underreserving is common in cases of companies struggling for
survival. In effect, insurance accounting is a self-graded exam, in that
the insurer gives some figures to its auditing firm and generally doesn't
get an argument. (What the auditor gets, however, is a letter from
management that is designed to take his firm off the hook if the
numbers later look silly.) A company experiencing financial difficulties -
of a kind that, if truly faced, could put it out of business - seldom proves
to be a tough grader. Who, after all, wants to prepare his own execution
papers?

損失嚴重提列不足的現象在經營狀況不佳的保險公司尤其常見,事實上,保險業
的會計可以說是一項自己評分的考試,對於保險業者自結的財務報表數字,查核
的會計師通常都不會有太大的意見,(會計師要的通常是一封,萬一數字發生重
大偏差,可以用來撇清關係的客戶聲明書),一家面臨財務困難的公司,通常對
於自我評分的要求都不會太高,以免真得經營不下去,畢竟沒有人會想要替自己
簽下處以死刑的判決書。


Even when companies have the best of intentions, it's not easy to
reserve properly. I've told the story in the past about the fellow traveling
abroad whose sister called to tell him that their dad had died. The
brother replied that it was impossible for him to get home for the
funeral; he volunteered, however, to shoulder its cost. Upon returning,
the brother received a bill from the mortuary for $4,500, which he
promptly paid. A month later, and a month after that also, he paid $10
pursuant to an add-on invoice. When a third $10 invoice came, he called
his sister for an explanation. "Oh," she replied, "I forgot to tell you. We
buried dad in a rented suit."

而且就算公司有足夠的誠意,還是很難保證能夠適當地提列損失,我曾經說過一
個關於一位旅居海外人士的故事,話說有天這位仁兄接到姐姐告知父親過世的消
息,他回覆表示可能無法回到家鄉參加父親的葬禮,不過倒是願意負擔所有的喪
葬費用,後來他果然收到一張4,500元美金的帳單,二話不說他立即付清,可
是誰知不久之後,他又收到一張10美元的收據,月覆一月,皆是如此,他不解
的詢問姐姐到底是怎麼一回事,他姐姐回覆道:「哦!我忘了告訴你,爸的壽衣
是用租的。」


There are a lot of "rented suits" buried in the past operations of
insurance companies. Sometimes the problems they signify lie dormant
for decades, as was the case with asbestos liability, before virulently
manifesting themselves. Difficult as the job may be, it's management's
responsibility to adequately account for all possibilities. Conservatism is
essential. When a claims manager walks into the CEO's office and says
"Guess what just happened," his boss, if a veteran, does not expect to
hear it's good news. Surprises in the insurance world have been far from
symmetrical in their effect on earnings.

在保險業經營中,有許多這類租來的壽衣,有時候這類的問題甚至會隱藏數十年
不被發現,就像是石綿賠償問題,但一發就不可收拾,雖然這項工作有點棘手,
但管理當局有責任適當的將所有可能性列入考量,保守穩健絕對有其必要,當損
失理賠部門的經理走進總經理的辦公室說到:「猜猜發生了什麼事?」他的老闆,
如果是老鳥,應該知道肯定不會是什麼好消息,保險世界的意外,對於盈餘的影
響通常不會非常一致。


Because of this one-sided experience, it is folly to suggest, as some are
doing, that all property/casualty insurance reserves be discounted, an
approach reflecting the fact that they will be paid in the future and that
therefore their present value is less than the stated liability for them.
Discounting might be acceptable if reserves could be precisely
established. They can't, however, because a myriad of forces - judicial
broadening of policy language and medical inflation, to name just two
chronic problems - are constantly working to make reserves
inadequate. Discounting would exacerbate this already-serious
situation and, additionally, would provide a new tool for the companies
that are inclined to fudge.

也由於存在著這種偏差的經驗,所以當有人盲目地認為產物意外險的損失準備由
於反應的是未來必須支付的款項,所以在經過現值折算後,應該會小於實際上的
負債,我個人認為這種想法有點可笑,當然損失準備若係經過準確估算,按現值
加以折現或許可以接受,但由於幾項不可抗力的因素-舉兩個存在已久的問題,
保單條款的任意延伸以及醫療通膨,使得損失準備長期以來處於提列不當的景
況,折現只會讓原來存在的問題變得更加嚴重,並且讓某些不肖公司平添迴旋的
空間。

I'd say that the effects from telling a profit-challenged insurance CEO to
lower reserves through discounting would be comparable to those that
would ensue if a father told his 16-year-old son to have a normal sex
life. Neither party needs that kind of push.

我必須說,告訴一家在獲利邊緣掙扎的保險公司總經理可以透過折現將損失準備
降低,其結果就好像是一位父親告訴自己16歲的兒子可以自由地享受正常的性
生活一般,我想兩者都不需要這種揠苗式的助長。


Sources of Reported Earnings

帳列盈餘的來源

Here are some highlights (and lowlights) from 2001 relating to our
non-insurance activities:
以下是2001年我們非保險事業相關的重點摘要:

Our shoe operations (included in "other businesses") lost $46.2
million pre-tax, with profits at H.H. Brown and Justin swamped by
losses at Dexter.
我們的製鞋事業營運(包含在其他事業當中)稅前損失為4,620萬美元,其
中H.H.Brown有獲利,但Justin仍深陷在損失泥沼當中。

I've made three decisions relating to Dexter that have hurt you in
a major way: (1) buying it in the first place; (2) paying for it with
stock and (3) procrastinating when the need for changes in its
operations was obvious. I would like to lay these mistakes on
Charlie (or anyone else, for that matter) but they were mine.
Dexter, prior to our purchase - and indeed for a few years after -
prospered despite low-cost foreign competition that was brutal. I
concluded that Dexter could continue to cope with that problem,
and I was wrong.


至於在Dexter方面,我當初的三項決定,讓大家損失慘重:(1)是把她買
下來(2)是用Berkshire股票做交換(3)是在明顯需要做改變的時刻卻猶豫
遲疑,我實在很想將這些過錯推到曼格身上(或者其他任何一個人都可
以),但無奈這確實是我的錯,Dexter在我們正式買下的前後幾年,確曾
享受過幾年的好光景,一直到面臨海外低成本產品的激烈競爭,當時我認
為Dexter應該有能力解決這樣的問題,沒想到我的判斷錯誤。

We have now placed the Dexter operation - which is still
substantial in size - under the management of Frank Rooney and
Jim Issler at H.H. Brown. These men have performed
outstandingly for Berkshire, skillfully contending with the
extraordinary changes that have bedeviled the footwear industry.
During part of 2002, Dexter will be hurt by unprofitable sales
commitments it made last year. After that, we believe our shoe
business will be reasonably profitable.

現在我們將Dexter的營運重任交付給H.H.Brown的Frank及Jim,這
些人在Berkshire表現優異,即便在鞋業劇烈的產業波動下,仍能運用各
項技巧生存下來,在2002年的前半段,Dexter仍將受到先前所簽訂不
賺錢的合約所影響,但在那之後,我們的鞋業可望回到合理的獲利水準。

MidAmerican Energy, of which we own 76% on a fully-diluted
basis, had a good year in 2001. Its reported earnings should also
increase considerably in 2002 given that the company has been
shouldering a large charge for the amortization of goodwill and
that this "cost" will disappear under the new GAAP rules.
我們持股76%的中美能源公司,在2001年的表現相當不俗,雖然必須
承擔大筆的商譽攤銷費用,但預期2002年獲利仍將大幅成長,而依照一
般公認會計原則,以後這類帳面成本將不再出現。

Last year MidAmerican swapped some properties in England,
adding Yorkshire Electric, with its 2.1 million customers. We are
now serving 3.6 million customers in the U.K. and are its 2nd
largest electric utility. We have an equally important operation in
Iowa as well as major generating facilities in California and the
Philippines.

去年中美能源買進了一些位於英國的產業,其中包含擁有210萬用戶的
約克夏電力,目前我們在英國擁有360萬的用戶,在全英國排名第二位,
此外我們在愛荷華州、加州及菲律賓都擁有重大的發電設施。

At MidAmerican - this may surprise you - we also own the
second-largest residential real estate brokerage business in the
country. We are market-share leaders in a number of large cities,
primarily in the Midwest, and have recently acquired important
firms in Atlanta and Southern California. Last year, operating
under various names that are locally familiar, we handled about
106,000 transactions involving properties worth nearly $20
billion. Ron Peltier has built this business for us, and it's likely he
will make more acquisitions in 2002 and the years to come.

在中美能源公司底下,說來各位可能會相當驚奇,我們還擁有全美第二大
的房屋仲介公司,我們在許多大都市的排名都居首位,尤其是中西部的城
市,最近還買下了亞特蘭大及南加州幾家相當大的仲介公司,去年以當地
知名的品牌經營,我們總共處理了10萬6,000多件的房屋交易,總成交
值高達200億美元,負責為我們建立這項事業的是Ron Peltier,而且我
們在2002年以後的幾年內,還有可能再繼續買下更多的仲介公司。

Considering the recessionary environment plaguing them, our
retailing operations did well in 2001. In jewelry, same-store sales
fell 7.6% and pre-tax margins were 8.9% versus 10.7% in 2000.
Return on invested capital remains high.

即便在景氣衰退的大環境底下,我們的零售業在2001年的表現仍可圈可
點,其中珠寶業的單店平均營業額雖然下滑了7.6%,稅前獲利由2000
年的10.7%降為8.9%,不過股東投資報酬率仍然相當的高。

Same-store sales at our home-furnishings retailers were
unchanged and so was the margin - 9.1% pre-tax - these
operations earned. Here, too, return on invested capital is
excellent.

至於傢具的單店營業額則維持不變,稅前營利依然保持在9.1%的高檔,
整體的股東投資報酬依舊相當出色。

We continue to expand in both jewelry and home-furnishings. Of
particular note, Nebraska Furniture Mart is constructing a
mammoth 450,000 square foot store that will serve the greater
Kansas City area beginning in the fall of 2003. Despite Bill Child's
counter-successes, we will keep this store open on Sundays.

不論是在珠寶或是傢具業,我們仍然持續擴張,其中要特別提到的是內布
拉斯加傢具店NFM目前正在興建一座45萬平方公尺超大的旗艦店,預
計在2003年秋天落成,屆時將可服務堪薩斯市廣大的群眾,雖然有Bill
Childs成功的反面例證在前面,我們還是決定在星期天開張營業。

The large acquisitions we initiated in late 2000 - Shaw, Johns
Manville and Benjamin Moore - all came through their first year
with us in great fashion. Charlie and I knew at the time of our
purchases that we were in good hands with Bob Shaw, Jerry Henry
and Yvan Dupuy, respectively - and we admire their work even
more now. Together these businesses earned about $659 million
pre-tax.

至於我們在2000年底進行的幾項購併案-Shaw地毯、Johns Manville
耐火材料及Benjanmin油漆等公司,都順利圓滿地渡過了與我們在一起
的第一個年頭,查理跟我在買下她們的當頭,就知道Bob Shaw、Jerry
Henry及Yvan Dupuy都是個別產業的箇中好手,但現在我們更感謝他
們為我們所做的一切,這些公司去年總計為我們賺進了6.59億美元的稅
前盈餘。
Shortly after yearend we exchanged 4,740 Berkshire A shares (or
their equivalent in B shares) for the 12.7% minority interest in
Shaw, which means we now own 100% of the company. Shaw is
our largest non-insurance operation and will play a big part in
Berkshire's future.

在年度結束的不久之後,我們又以4,740股的Berkshire A股(或等值的
B股)買下Shaw地毯剩餘的12.7%股權,意思是說在此之後,我們將持
有該公司100%的股權,Shaw地毯目前是我們非保險的最大事業,在未
來也將在Berkshire扮演重要角色。

All of the income shown for Flight Services in 2001 - and a bit
more - came from FlightSafety, our pilot-training subsidiary. Its
earnings increased 2.5%, though return on invested capital fell
slightly because of the $258 million investment we made last year
in simulators and other fixed assets. My 84-year-old friend, Al
Ueltschi, continues to run FlightSafety with the same enthusiasm
and competitive spirit that he has exhibited since 1951, when he
invested $10,000 to start the company. If I line Al up with a bunch
of 60-year-olds at the annual meeting, you will not be able to
pick him out.

2001年的航空服務所有盈餘都來自我們的飛行員訓練子公司-飛安公
司,實際盈餘數字還超過此數,雖然股東投資報酬因為去年大筆投資2.58
億美元在添購飛行模擬器等設備上而略微下降,但盈餘仍成長了2.5%,
我84歲的老友Al Ueltschi繼續以當初在1951年用1萬美元創立公司
時,同樣的熱情與毅力來經營飛安公司,如果我在股東會上讓Al跟一群
60幾歲的老先生坐在一起,你可能分辨不出他來。
After September 11th, training for commercial airlines fell, and
today it remains depressed. However, training for business and
general aviation, our main activity, is at near-normal levels and
should continue to grow. In 2002, we expect to spend $162
million for 27 simulators, a sum far in excess of our annual
depreciation charge of $95 million. Those who believe that
EBITDA is in any way equivalent to true earnings are welcome to
pick up the tab.

911事件發生之後,商業飛機訓練業務受到嚴重影響,而且截至目前為
止依舊沒有改善的跡象,不過我們的業務大宗-商務及一般飛行的訓練則
維持在近乎正常的水準,並有可能繼續維持成長,展望2002年,我們預
計斥資1.62億美元添購27架飛行模擬器,這筆投資金額遠超過我們一
年的9,500萬美元的折舊金額,我們歡迎那些愛用EBITDA(扣除利息稅
負及折舊攤銷前的盈餘)的人士來為我們買單。

Our NetJetsR fractional ownership program sold a record number
of planes last year and also showed a gain of 21.9% in service
income from management fees and hourly charges. Nevertheless,
it operated at a small loss, versus a small profit in 2000. We made
a little money in the U.S., but these earnings were more than
offset by European losses. Measured by the value of our
customers' planes, NetJets accounts for about half of the industry.
We believe the other participants, in aggregate, lost significant
money.

去年我們的NetJets飛機部份所有權計畫賣出了創紀錄的飛機架數,同時
管理費收入及鐘點費也大幅成長了21.9%,但即便如此,相較於2000
年的小賺,其營運還是呈現小幅虧損,雖然我們在美國的業務有獲利,但
這些盈餘卻不足以彌補我們在歐洲發生的損失,若以我們客戶擁有的飛機
價值來看,NetJets的佔有率大概超過整個產業的半數,因此我們推斷其
他競爭對手肯定大幅虧損。

Maintaining a premier level of safety, security and service was
always expensive, and the cost of sticking to those standards was
exacerbated by September 11th. No matter how much the cost, we
will continue to be the industry leader in all three respects. An
uncompromising insistence on delivering only the best to his
customers is embedded in the DNA of Rich Santulli, CEO of the
company and the inventor of fractional ownership. I'm delighted
with his fanaticism on these matters for both the company's sake
and my family's: I believe the Buffetts fly more fractional-
ownership hours - we log in excess of 800 annually - than does
any other family. In case you're wondering, we use exactly the
same planes and crews that serve NetJet's other customers.

要維持高等級的安全服務水準,其代價肯定相當高昂,這種情況在911
事件發生之後更是如此,不過不論成本有多高,我們還是努力在這些方面
成為產業趨勢的領導者,對於服務絲毫不打折扣的堅持早已深植在該公司
總裁兼飛機部份所有權創始人Rich Santulli的基因裡頭,於公於私,我
個人對於Santulli的執著皆感到相當欣慰,我相信巴菲特家族是全世界使
用飛機部份所有權時數最頻繁的家庭-去年整個家族的飛行總時數超過
800個小時,大家不必懷疑,我們所使用的飛機與機組員與其他所有客
戶並無二致。

NetJets experienced a spurt in new orders shortly after September
11th, but its sales pace has since returned to normal. Per-
customer usage declined somewhat during the year, probably
because of the recession.

在911事件發生之後,NetJets的訂單曾經出現短暫爆增的情況,但不久
之後其銷售速度就回到正常的水準,每位客戶平均使用的時數甚至略微下
滑,我想這多少跟景氣不佳有些關聯。

Both we and our customers derive significant operational benefits
from our being the runaway leader in the fractional ownership
business. We have more than 300 planes constantly on the go in
the U.S. and can therefore be wherever a customer needs us on
very short notice. The ubiquity of our fleet also reduces our
"positioning" costs below those incurred by operators with
smaller fleets.

由於NetJets在產業的領導地位,使得我們及客戶皆受益良多,目前我們
擁有遍佈全美300架飛機,讓客戶在很短的時間內就能得到想要的服
務,這種特性讓我們可以大幅減少飛機停在地面上的成本。

These advantages of scale, and others we have, give NetJets a
significant economic edge over competition. Under the
competitive conditions likely to prevail for a few years, however,
our advantage will at best produce modest profits.

我們擁有的規模經濟等優點讓NetJets在面臨競爭時擁有強大的優勢,只
是在前幾年競爭如此激烈的情況下,這些優勢頂多只能讓我們獲得些許利
潤。

Our finance and financial products line of business now includes
XTRA, General Re Securities (which is in a run-off mode that will
continue for an extended period) and a few other relatively small
operations. The bulk of the assets and liabilities in this segment,
however, arise from a few fixed-income strategies, involving
highly-liquid AAA securities, that I manage. This activity, which
only makes sense when certain market relationships exist, has
produced good returns in the past and has reasonable prospects
for continuing to do so over the next year or two.

在財務及金融商品業務方面,我們目前包含XTRA、通用再保證券(目前
正處於逐漸結束的狀態)以及其他一些規模比較小的業務,這部份的資產
與負債的發生,包含我個人親自管理的三A超高評等的有價證券,起源
於維持固定收益的策略,這部份的業務只有在市場符合某些特定狀況存在
時才有用,過去以來一直為我們貢獻不錯的報酬,展望未來幾年內,仍將
維持這樣的態勢。

Investments
股票投資

We made few changes in our portfolio during 2001. As a group, our
larger holdings have performed poorly in the last few years, some
because of disappointing operating results. Charlie and I still like the
basic businesses of all the companies we own. But we do not believe
Berkshire's equity holdings as a group are undervalued.

我們的投資組合在2001年幾乎沒有什麼變動,總的來說,我們主要的投資部位
近幾年來的表現乏善可陳,有些本身的營運本就不儘理想,然而查理跟我還是相
當喜愛這些公司的本業經營現況,不過我們也不認為現在這些投資組合的股價有
受到任何的低估。


Our restrained enthusiasm for these securities is matched by decidedly
lukewarm feelings about the prospects for stocks in general over the
next decade or so. I expressed my views about equity returns in a
speech I gave at an Allen and Company meeting in July (which was a
follow-up to a similar presentation I had made two years earlier) and an
edited version of my comments appeared in a December 10th Fortune
article. I'm enclosing a copy of that article. You can also view the Fortune
version of my 1999 talk at our website www.berkshirehathaway.com.

Charlie and I believe that American business will do fine over time but
think that today's equity prices presage only moderate returns for
investors. The market outperformed business for a very long period,
and that phenomenon had to end. A market that no more than parallels
business progress, however, is likely to leave many investors
disappointed, particularly those relatively new to the game.

我們對於持有股票保留的態度與我們對於當前股市未來十年內的前景不表樂觀
的看法相一致,我在七月份一場Allen公司舉辦會議中的演講,表達了個人對於
投資股市的看法,(早在兩年前我就已經表達過類似的看法),同時在同年12/10
的財富雜誌中有關於個人看法的修正版,我也將之檢附在年報之後,各位也可以
在公司的網站上www.berkshirehathaway.com 看到財富雜誌1999年版文
章,查理跟我相信就長期而言,我們仍看好美國企業的發展,但目前股票的價格
註定了投資人只能得到一般的報酬,股市的表現已有好一段時間優於公司本身的
表現,而這種現象終將結束,市場不可能永遠超越企業本身的發展,我想這將讓
許多投資人大失所望,尤其是那些股市新手。


Here's one for those who enjoy an odd coincidence: The Great Bubble
ended on March 10, 2000 (though we didn't realize that fact until some
months later). On that day, the NASDAQ (recently 1,731) hit its all-time
high of 5,132. That same day, Berkshire shares traded at $40,800, their
lowest price since mid-1997.

當然也有一些人偶爾可以享受到特別的例外,就像是在2000/3/10正式結束的
大泡沫(雖然我們實際要等到好幾個月後才發現這項事實),在那天納斯達克指數
創下5,132點的歷史新高(現在約為1,731點),在同一天,Berkshire的股價則
以自1997年以來的最低價40,800美元收盤。


* * * * * * * * * * * *

During 2001, we were somewhat more active than usual in "junk"
bonds. These are not, we should emphasize, suitable investments for
the general public, because too often these securities live up to their
name. We have never purchased a newly-issued junk bond, which is the
only kind most investors are urged to buy. When losses occur in this
field, furthermore, they are often disastrous: Many issues end up at a
small fraction of their original offering price and some become entirely
worthless.

2001年我們在垃圾債券市場的活動較以往頻繁,但我們必須強調,這類投資並
不適合一般投資大眾,因為在通常的情況下,這些債券正如其名,我們從來沒有
買過一般投資人最熱衷的初次發行垃圾債券,因為一旦發生違約,其損失必定慘
重,有許多債券投資者最後僅能收回一小部份的資金,有的最後甚至變成壁紙,
使得投資人血本無歸。


Despite these dangers, we periodically find a few - a very few - junk
securities that are interesting to us. And, so far, our 50-year experience
in distressed debt has proven rewarding. In our 1984 annual report, we
described our purchases of Washington Public Power System bonds
when that issuer fell into disrepute. We've also, over the years, stepped
into other apparent calamities such as Chrysler Financial, Texaco and
RJR Nabisco - all of which returned to grace. Still, if we stay active in
junk bonds, you can expect us to have losses from time to time.

Occasionally, a purchase of distressed bonds leads us into something
bigger. Early in the Fruit of the Loom bankruptcy, we purchased the
company's public and bank debt at about 50% of face value. This was an
unusual bankruptcy in that interest payments on senior debt were
continued without interruption, which meant we earned about a 15%
current return. Our holdings grew to 10% of Fruit's senior debt, which
will probably end up returning us about 70% of face value. Through this
investment, we indirectly reduced our purchase price for the whole
company by a small amount.

儘管風險頗大,我們不時還是可以找到少數-非常少數能夠引起我們興趣的垃圾
債券,而截至目前為止,總計個人50多年的垃圾債投資經驗感覺還算不錯,在
1984年的年報中,我們曾提到當初投資經營發生狀況的華盛頓公用電力系統公
司債,而這些年來我們也陸續介入其他有問題的公司債,諸如克萊斯勒金融公
司、德士古石油及RJR 納貝斯可餅乾等,事後這些公司也都能重返光采,然而
如果我們一直積極投入垃圾債券市場的話,總有一天我們會發生損失,不過偶爾
買進一些問題債也有可能讓我們釣到大魚,在Fruit of the Loom宣佈破產的初
期,我們以相當於面額50%的價格買進該公司的債券與銀行債權,該公司的破
產個案相當特殊,因為公司並未停止支付有擔保債務的利息,這等於讓我們一年
得到約當15%的收益,目前我們持有Fruit of the Loom有擔保債權的比例提高
到10%,而且最後我們很有可能收回相當於面額70%的本金,經由這筆投資,
我們等於間接降低了整個購併案的投資金額。

In late 2000, we began purchasing the obligations of FINOVA Group, a
troubled finance company, and that, too, led to our making a major
transaction. FINOVA then had about $11 billion of debt outstanding, of
which we purchased 13% at about two-thirds of face value. We expected
the company to go into bankruptcy, but believed that liquidation of its
assets would produce a payoff for creditors that would be well above
our cost. As default loomed in early 2001, we joined forces with
Leucadia National Corporation to present the company with a
prepackaged plan for bankruptcy.

在2000年底,我們開始陸續買進FINOVA公司的債權,那是一家發生問題的
財務金融公司,而此舉又間接促成了另一筆投資案,FINOVA當時約有110億
美元的債務流通在外,我們以面額三分之二的價位買進了其中約13%的債權,
我們預估這家公司將難逃破產的命運,但確信在清算這家公司之後,債權人估計
可以收回的金額將超過當初投資的成本,而該公司果然在2001年初無法清償債
務,於是我們乃聯合Leucadia公司向FINOVA提出一項解決方案。


The plan as subsequently modified (and I'm simplifying here) provided
that creditors would be paid 70% of face value (along with full interest)
and that they would receive a newly-issued 7?% note for the 30% of
their claims not satisfied by cash. To fund FINOVA's 70% distribution,
Leucadia and Berkshire formed a jointly-owned entity - mellifluently
christened Berkadia - that borrowed $5.6 billion through FleetBoston
and, in turn, re-lent this sum to FINOVA, concurrently obtaining a
priority claim on its assets. Berkshire guaranteed 90% of the Berkadia
borrowing and also has a secondary guarantee on the 10% for which
Leucadia has primary responsibility. (Did I mention that I am
simplifying?).

這個提案後來經過修正(過程簡單說明如下),每位債權人可以先拿到面額70%的
本金(以及所有利息),至於剩下的30%則領取利率7.5%的分期應付票據,而為
了讓FINOVA順利支付這70%的本金,Leucadia跟Berkshire合組一家新公司
-結合兩者取了一個相當好聽的名字Berkadia,由這家新公司向FleetBoston
金融公司借了56億美元,然後再將這筆資金轉借給FINOVA,並由其取得
FINOVA資產第一順位的抵押權,Berkshire則提供Berkadia 借款金額90%的
保證,剩下的10%則由Leucadia負責擔保,Berkshire則為第二順位的保證人
(我剛剛有說要簡單說明了嗎?)。


There is a spread of about two percentage points between what
Berkadia pays on its borrowing and what it receives from FINOVA, with
this spread flowing 90% to Berkshire and 10% to Leucadia. As I write
this, each loan has been paid down to $3.9 billion.

在Berkadia付給FleetBoston的利息費用與收到FINOVA的利息收入間,有
2%的差距,這2%的利差分成90%與10%由Berkshire與Leucadia分配,而截
至我寫年報為止,這筆借款已經還到剩下39億美元。


As part of the bankruptcy plan, which was approved on August 10,
2001, Berkshire also agreed to offer 70% of face value for up to $500
million principal amount of the $3.25 billion of new 7?% bonds that
were issued by FINOVA. (Of these, we had already received $426.8
million in principal amount because of our 13% ownership of the
original debt.) Our offer, which was to run until September 26, 2001,
could be withdrawn under a variety of conditions, one of which became
operative if the New York Stock Exchange closed during the offering
period. When that indeed occurred in the week of September 11th, we
promptly terminated the offer.

在2001/8/10通過的破產計畫中,Berkshire同意以面額70%的價格買下
FINOVA預備發行總額32.5億美元7.5%的分期票券中的5億美元,(在這之前,
我們已先收到4.268億美元,這是我們先前投資13%債權所收回的本金),我們
這項報價除了幾項特殊的狀況外,在2001/9/26前都有效,其中一條就是紐約
證券交易所在報價期間不會關閉,誰知後來竟發生911事件,於是我們馬上取
消這項提案。


Many of FINOVA's loans involve aircraft assets whose values were
significantly diminished by the events of September 11th. Other
receivables held by the company also were imperiled by the economic
consequences of the attack that day. FINOVA's prospects, therefore, are
not as good as when we made our proposal to the bankruptcy court.
Nevertheless we feel that overall the transaction will prove satisfactory
for Berkshire. Leucadia has day-to-day operating responsibility for
FINOVA, and we have long been impressed with the business acumen
and managerial talent of its key executives.


FINOVA許多貸款的價值繫於飛機資產,在911事件發生後,這些資產價值大
為減損,而其他應收帳款在該事件發生後也產生相當大的質變,也因此FINOVA
的本質與前景已不若當初我們向破產法庭提案時那般,盡管如此,我們還是覺得
整個交易對Berkshire來說還算有利,Leucadia對於FINOVA每日的營運付全
責,我們一直對於其主要經理人精細的商業判斷能力與管理才能印象深刻。

* * * * * * * * * * * *


It's deja vu time again: In early 1965, when the investment partnership I
ran took control of Berkshire, that company had its main banking
relationships with First National Bank of Boston and a large New York
City bank. Previously, I had done no business with either.

Fast forward to 1969, when I wanted Berkshire to buy the Illinois
National Bank and Trust of Rockford. We needed $10 million, and I
contacted both banks. There was no response from New York. However,
two representatives of the Boston bank immediately came to Omaha.
They told me they would supply the money for our purchase and that we
would work out the details later.


又到了似曾相識的時間了,早在1965年,當投資合夥事業正式入主Berkshire
時,公司主要的往來銀行是波士頓的第一國家銀行以及紐約花旗銀行,不過在此
之前我個人與這兩家並無往來,後來到了1969年,當Berkshire有意買下伊利
諾州國家銀行以及洛克福信託公司時,我們需要1,000萬美元的資金,於是我
連絡這兩家銀行,花旗銀行方面沒有任何回應,但另一方面波士頓銀行卻立即派
了兩位代表到奧瑪哈,他們明確表示願意提供購併所需的資金,至於詳細細節可
以等稍後再談。

For the next three decades, we borrowed almost nothing from banks.
(Debt is a four-letter word around Berkshire.) Then, in February, when
we were structuring the FINOVA transaction, I again called Boston,
where First National had morphed into FleetBoston. Chad Gifford, the
company's president, responded just as Bill Brown and Ira Stepanian had
back in 1969 - "you've got the money and we'll work out the details
later."

在這之後的數十年內,我們幾乎不向銀行借錢,(債務對Berkshire來說不過是
一個普通的名詞而已),不過到了去年二月,當我們在規劃FINOVA的投資架構
時,我再度打電話給位於波士頓的這家銀行,當時的第一國家銀行已經改名為
FleetBoston,該銀行的總裁-Chad Gifford的回應與當初1969年Bill Brown
及Ira Stepanian一模一樣,"沒關係!錢你先拿去用,細節稍後再談"。


And that's just what happened. FleetBoston syndicated a loan for $6
billion (as it turned out, we didn't need $400 million of it), and it was
quickly oversubscribed by 17 banks throughout the world. Sooooo . . . if
you ever need $6 billion, just give Chad a call - assuming, that is, your
credit is AAA.

事情一如這般,由FleetBoston出面主辦的一項60億美元的聯貸案(結果實際
上也沒有用到那麼多),立刻得到全世界17家銀行的超額認購,所以如果你需要
60億美元的資金,可以打電話給Chad,…只要你的信用評等是三A最高等級。


* * * * * * * * * * * *

One more point about our investments: The media often report that
"Buffett is buying" this or that security, having picked up the "fact" from
reports that Berkshire files. These accounts are sometimes correct, but
at other times the transactions Berkshire reports are actually being
made by Lou Simpson, who runs a $2 billion portfolio for GEICO that is
quite independent of me. Normally, Lou does not tell me what he is
buying or selling, and I learn of his activities only when I look at a GEICO
portfolio summary that I receive a few days after the end of each month.
Lou's thinking, of course, is quite similar to mine, but we usually end up
in different securities. That's largely because he's working with less
money and can therefore invest in smaller companies than I. Oh, yes,
there's also another minor difference between us: In recent years, Lou's
performance has been far better than mine.


關於投資還有一點要說明,報章媒體經常報導說"巴菲特正在買進"這支或那支股
票,其中大多是媒體經由Berkshire向主管機關申報的文件中推敲出蛛絲馬跡,
這些報導有時正確,但有時Berkshire申報的交易也有可能是Lou Simpson的
傑作,他個人獨立管理GEICO 20億美元的投資部位,通常Lou不會告訴我,
他正在買進或賣出什麼股票,而通常我是在每個月結束後幾天看到投資月報表時
才知道他的進出動作,當然Lou的思考模式與我非常相近,但通常我們買進的
股票截然不同,主要的原因在於他管理的資金相較於我這邊規模小了許多,因此
他只能投資一些小型類股,哦! 當然我們之間還有一點不太相同,那就是他的投
資績效比起我來要好太多了。


Charitable Contributions
慈善捐贈


Berkshire follows a highly unusual policy in respect to charitable
contributions - but it's one that Charlie and I believe is both rational and
fair to owners.


關於慈善捐贈,Berkshire所採取的做法與其他企業有顯著的不同,但這卻是查
理跟我認為對股東們最公平且合理的做法。

First, we let our operating subsidiaries make their own charitable
decisions, requesting only that the owners/managers who once ran
these as independent companies make all donations to their personal
charities from their own funds, instead of using company money. When
our managers are using company funds, we trust them to make gifts in
a manner that delivers commensurate tangible or intangible benefits to
the operations they manage. Last year contributions from Berkshire
subsidiaries totaled $19.2 million.

首先,我們讓旗下個別的子公司依其個別狀況決定各自的捐贈,只要求先前經營
該企業的老闆與經理人在捐贈給私人的基金會時,必須改用私人的錢,而非公
款,當他們運用公司的資金進行捐贈時,我們則相信他們這麼做,可以為所經營
的事業增加有形或無形的收益,總計去年,Berkshire的子公司捐贈金額高達
1,920萬美元。


At the parent company level, we make no contributions except those
designated by shareholders. We do not match contributions made by
directors or employees, nor do we give to the favorite charities of the
Buffetts or the Mungers. However, prior to our purchasing them, a few
of our subsidiaries had employee-match programs and we feel fine
about their continuing them: It's not our style to tamper with successful
business cultures.

至於在母公司方面,除非股東指定,否則我們不進行任何其他形式的捐贈,我們
不會依照董事或任何其他員工的意願進行捐贈,同時我們也不會特別獨厚巴菲特
家族或曼格家族相關的基金會,雖然在買下公司之前,部份公司就存在有員工指
定的捐贈計畫,但我們仍支持他們繼續維持下去,干擾經營良好公司的運作,並
不是我們的作風。


To implement our owners' charitable desires, each year we notify
registered holders of A shares (A's represent 86.6% of our equity capital)
of a per-share amount that they can instruct us to contribute to as many
as three charities. Shareholders name the charity; Berkshire writes the
check. Any organization that qualifies under the Internal Revenue Code
can be designated by shareholders. Last year Berkshire made
contributions of $16.7 million at the direction of 5,700 shareholders,
who named 3,550 charities as recipients. Since we started this program,
our shareholders' gifts have totaled $181 million.

為了落實股東們的捐贈意願,每年我們都會通知A股股東的合法登記人(A股約
佔Berkshire所有資本的86.6%),他們可以指定捐贈的每股金額,至多可分給
三家指定慈善機構,由股東指名慈善機構,Berkshire則負責開支票,只要國稅
局IRS認可的慈善機構都可以捐贈,去年在5,700位股東的指示下,Berkshire
捐出了1,670萬美元給3,550家慈善機構,自從這項計畫推出之後,累計捐贈
的金額高達1.81億美元。


Most public corporations eschew gifts to religious institutions. These,
however, are favorite charities of our shareholders, who last year named
437 churches and synagogues to receive gifts. Additionally, 790 schools
were recipients. A few of our larger shareholders, including Charlie and
me, designate their personal foundations to get gifts, so that those
entities can, in turn, disburse their funds widely.

大部分的上市公司都迴避對宗教團體的捐贈,但這卻是我們股東們最偏愛的慈善
團體,總計去年有437家教會及猶太教堂名列受捐贈名單,此外還有790間學
校,至於包含查理跟我本人在內的一些大股東,則指定個人的基金會作為捐贈的
對象,從而透過各自的基金會做進一步的分配運用。


I get a few letters every week criticizing Berkshire for contributing to
Planned Parenthood. These letters are usually prompted by an
organization that wishes to see boycotts of Berkshire products. The
letters are invariably polite and sincere, but their writers are unaware of
a key point: It's not Berkshire, but rather its owners who are making
charitable decisions - and these owners are about as diverse in their
opinions as you can imagine. For example, they are probably on both
sides of the abortion issue in roughly the same proportion as the
American population. We'll follow their instructions, whether they
designate Planned Parenthood or Metro Right to Life, just as long as the
charity possesses 501(c)(3) status. It's as if we paid a dividend, which
the shareholder then donated. Our form of disbursement, however, is
more tax-efficient.

每個星期,我都會收到一些批評Berkshire捐贈支持計畫生育的信件,這些信件
常常是由一個希望Berkshire受到抵制的單位所策劃推動,這些信件的措詞往往
相當誠摯有禮,但他們卻忘了最重要的一件事,那就是做出此項捐贈決定的並非
Berkshire本身,而是其背後的股東,而這些股東的意見可想而知本身就非常的
分歧,舉例來說,關於墮胎這個問題,股東群中支持與反對的比例與美國一般民
眾的看法比例相當,我們必須遵從他們的指示,不論他們決定捐給計畫生育或者
是生命之光,只要這些機構符合稅法501(c)(3)的規定,這就等於是我們支付股
利,然後由股東自行捐贈出去一樣,只是這樣的形式在稅負上比較有利。


In neither the purchase of goods nor the hiring of personnel, do we ever
consider the religious views, the gender, the race or the sexual
orientation of the persons we are dealing with. It would not only be
wrong to do so, it would be idiotic. We need all of the talent we can find,
and we have learned that able and trustworthy managers, employees
and suppliers come from a very wide spectrum of humanity.

不論是在採購物品或是聘用人員,我們完全不會有宗教上、性別上、種族上或性
向上的考量,那樣的想法不但錯誤,而且無聊,我們需要人才,而在我們能幹又
值得信賴的經理人、員工與供應商當中,充滿了各式各樣的人士。


* * * * * * * * * * *

To participate in our future charitable contribution programs, you must
own Class A shares that are registered in the name of the actual owner,
not the nominee name of a broker, bank or depository. Shares not so
registered on August 31, 2002 will be ineligible for the 2002 program.
When you get the contributions form from us, return it promptly.
Designations received after the due date will not be honored.


想要參加這項計畫者,必須擁有A級普通股,同時確定您的股份是登記在自己
而非股票經紀人或保管銀行的名下,同時必須在2002年8月31日之前完成登
記,才有權利參與2002年的捐贈計畫,當你收到表格後,請立即填寫後寄回,
逾期恕不受理。


The Annual Meeting
年度股東大會

This year's annual meeting will be on Saturday, May 4, and we will again
be at the Civic Auditorium. The doors will open at 7 a.m., the movie will
begin at 8:30, and the meeting itself will commence at 9:30. There will
be a short break at noon for food. (Sandwiches can be bought at the
Civic's concession stands.) Except for that interlude, Charlie and I will
answer questions until 3:30. Give us your best shot.

今年的股東會將在5/4星期六舉行,地點還是在市立體育館,大門會在當天早
上七點開放,同時電影短片照例會在八點半播放,正式會議則從九點半開始,扣
除中午短暫的休息時間, (會場外有供應三明治等各類點心),除了中午休息時
間外,查理跟我本人會在現場回答大家各類問題直到下午三點半,記得將你的問
題準備好。


For at least the next year, the Civic, located downtown, is the only site
available to us. We must therefore hold the meeting on either Saturday
or Sunday to avoid the traffic and parking nightmare sure to occur on a
weekday. Shortly, however, Omaha will have a new Convention Center
with plenty of parking facilities. Assuming that we then head for the
Center, I will poll shareholders to see whether you wish to return to the
Monday meeting that was standard until 2000. We will decide that vote
based on a count of shareholders, not shares. (This is not a system,
however, we will ever institute to decide who should be CEO.)

至少在明年以前,位於市中心的市立體育館仍將是我們唯一的選擇,而為了解決
交通與停車問題,我們只能在星期六或星期天舉行,以避開平日的交通阻塞,所
幸在不久之後,奧瑪哈將會有一個大型的新會議中心誕生,擁有寬敞的停車場,
等到這個會議中心完成之後,我會再發問券詢問大家將會議時間改回2000年以
前在星期一開會的慣例,屆時我們將以股東投票人數而非股權比例來決定。(當
然這並非一般的做法,各位休想比照此做法選出新任總裁)

An attachment to the proxy material that is enclosed with this report
explains how you can obtain the credential you will need for admission
to the meeting and other events. As for plane, hotel and car
reservations, we have again signed up American Express (800-799-
6634) to give you special help. They do a terrific job for us each year,
and I thank them for it.

後面附有股東會開會投票的相關資料,向各位解釋如何拿到股東會入場及其他活
動必須的識別證,至於有關機位、住宿、租車等預訂服務,我們很高興與美國運
通(電話800-799-6634)再次簽約為您提供相關安排,每年他們都為大家提供
非常好的服務,在此謹代表大家向他們說聲謝謝。


In our usual fashion, we will run buses from the larger hotels to the
meeting. Afterwards, the buses will make trips back to the hotels and to
Nebraska Furniture Mart, Borsheim's and the airport. Even so, you are
likely to find a car useful.


如同以往,我們會安排巴士接送大家往返各大旅館與會場之間,並在會後接送大
家到內布拉斯加傢具店與波仙珠寶店或是到飯店與機場,當然即便如此你可能會
覺得如果有一輛車會更方便。


We have added so many new companies to Berkshire this year that I'm
not going to detail all of the products that we will be selling at the
meeting. But come prepared to carry home everything from bricks to
candy. And underwear, of course. Assuming our Fruit of the Loom
purchase has closed by May 4, we will be selling Fruit's latest styles,
which will make you your neighborhood's fashion leader. Buy a lifetime
supply.

今年由於我們又新加入了許多公司,所以我就不再詳細說明在現場會提供什麼產
品供大家選購,總之從糖果到磚塊應有盡有,當然還有內衣,假設Fruit of the
Loom的購併能在5/4以前順利結案的話,我們也會在現場銷售Fruit的最新款
式,保證讓你在街坊鄰居間成為時尚領導,記得一次買個夠。


GEICO will have a booth staffed by a number of its top counselors from
around the country, all of them ready to supply you with auto insurance
quotes. In most cases, GEICO will be able to give you a special
shareholder discount (usually 8%). This special offer is permitted by 41
of the 49 jurisdictions in which we operate. Bring the details of your
existing insurance and check out whether we can save you money.

GEICO公司會再度派出各地區最優秀的業務員,在會場設立攤位,隨時提供股
東們汽車保單的報價,在大多數的情況下,GEICO都可以提供給你一個相當優
惠的股東折扣(大約8%),這個特別優惠在我們有營業據點的49州中的41州都
有效,各位記得將自己現在的投保資料帶來,看看是否能幫自己省下一筆錢。


At the Omaha airport on Saturday, we will have the usual array of aircraft
from NetJetsR available for your inspection. Just ask a representative at
the Civic about viewing any of these planes. If you buy what we consider
an appropriate number of items during the weekend, you may well need
your own plane to take them home. And, if you buy a fraction of a plane,
we might even throw in a three-pack of briefs or boxers.


星期六在奧瑪哈機場,我們仍將展示一系列的機隊供大家參觀,請到市立體育館
向EJA的業務代表洽詢參觀的事宜,如果你股東會買了一大推相關產品,我相信
你一定也需要用自己的飛機把它們帶回家,如果你真的買下飛機的部份所有權,
我們還會附贈幾個大行李箱。

At Nebraska Furniture Mart, located on a 75-acre site on 72nd Street
between Dodge and Pacific, we will again be having "Berkshire Weekend"
pricing, which means we will be offering our shareholders a discount
that is customarily given only to employees. We initiated this special
pricing at NFM five years ago, and sales during the "Weekend" grew from
$5.3 million in 1997 to $11.5 million in 2001.

位於道奇街與太平洋街的內布拉斯加傢具店NFM,再度會有Berkshire週特賣,
我們將特別提供給股東原先只有員工可以享有的優惠價,我們在五年前首次推出
這種促銷活動,營業額更一舉從1997年的530萬美元成長到2001年的1,150
萬美元。


To get the discount, you must make your purchases on Thursday, May 2
through Monday, May 6 and also present your meeting credential. The
period's special pricing will even apply to the products of several
prestigious manufacturers that normally have ironclad rules against
discounting but that, in the spirit of our shareholder weekend, have
made an exception for you. We appreciate their cooperation. NFM is
open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on
Saturdays and Sundays.

想要享有折扣記得在5/2星期四到5/6星期一間採購,並出示股東開會證明,
在這期間的特賣活動也適用於許多原本從不打折的頂級品牌,這可是為了股東會
才特別破例,我們很感謝他們的配合,NFM的營業時間平日從早上10點到下
午9點,星期六及星期日則從早上10點到下午6點。


Borsheim's - the largest jewelry store in the country except for Tiffany's
Manhattan store - will have two shareholder-only events. The first will
be a cocktail reception from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, May 3. The
second, the main gala, will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 5.
Shareholder prices will be available Thursday through Monday, so if you
wish to avoid the large crowds that will assemble on Friday evening and
Sunday, come at other times and identify yourself as a shareholder. On
Saturday, we will be open until 6 p.m. Borsheim's operates on a gross
margin that is fully twenty percentage points below that of its major
rivals, so the more you buy, the more you save (or at least that's what
my wife and daughter tell me). Come by and let us perform a
walletectomy on you.

波仙珠寶-全美單店營業額僅次於紐約曼哈頓蒂芬妮的珠寶店,在股東會期間將
會有兩場專為股東舉辦的展覽會,第一場是在5/3星期五的雞尾酒會,時間從
下午6點到晚上10點,第二場主秀則在5/5星期天舉行,從早上9點到下午6
點,從星期四到星期一的股東會期間,波仙都將提供股東特惠價,所以如果你希
望避開星期五晚上到星期天的擁擠人潮,你可以在其他的時間上門光顧,記得表
明股東的身分,星期六我們會營業到晚上7點,波仙的營業毛利要比其他主要
競爭對手要低20個百分點以上,所以買得越多省得越多,(這是我的家人告訴我
的),記得來到現場,讓我們替你的荷包減減肥。


In the mall outside of Borsheim's, we will have some of the world's top
bridge experts available to play with our shareholders on Sunday
afternoon. We expect Bob and Petra Hamman along with Sharon Osberg
to host tables. Patrick Wolff, twice U.S. chess champion, will also be in
the mall, taking on all comers - blindfolded! Last year, Patrick played as
many as six games simultaneously - with his blindfold securely in place
- and this year will try for seven. Finally, Bill Robertie, one of only two
players who have twice won the backgammon world championship, will
be on hand to test your skill at that game. Come to the mall on Sunday
for the Mensa Olympics.


星期天下午,我們照例會在波仙珠寶店外面大廳為股東們舉辦的一場橋牌大賽,
邀請多位世界級橋牌頂尖高手與大家同樂,Hamman兄弟及Sharon Osberg
預期都將出席,另外Patrick Wolff-美國棋兩度冠軍,也會再度在會場矇眼與所
有挑戰者對奕,去年他一口氣同時與六位對手下棋,今年他將同時挑戰七位對
手,最後兩度世界雙陸旗冠軍-Bill Robertie,也會蒞臨測試各位雙陸旗的實力,
記得星期天到現場參加奧林匹亞棋藝大賽。

Gorat's - my favorite steakhouse - will again be open exclusively for
Berkshire shareholders on Sunday, May 5, and will be serving from 4
p.m. until 10 p.m. Please remember that to come to Gorat's on Sunday,
you must have a reservation. To make one, call 402-551-3733 on April
1 (but not before). If Sunday is sold out, try Gorat's on one of the other
evenings you will be in town. Show your sophistication by ordering a
rare T-bone with a double order of hash browns.

我個人最愛的牛排館-Gorat's為了Berkshire股東年會破例在5/5日星期天開
門營業,從下午4點開始營業,一直到晚上10點,請記得星期天事先若沒有訂
位的人請勿前往以免向隅,要預約請在4/1以後打電話(402-551-3733),若
訂不到星期天的位子,也可以試試其他晚上,記得你點的是丁骨\牛排加上雙份
的牛肉丸,如此人家就知道你是識途老馬。


The usual baseball game will be held at Rosenblatt Stadium at 7 p.m. on
Saturday night. This year the Omaha Royals will play the Oklahoma
RedHawks. Last year, in an attempt to emulate the career switch of Babe
Ruth, I gave up pitching and tried batting. Bob Gibson, an Omaha native,
was on the mound and I was terrified, fearing Bob's famous brush-back
pitch. Instead, he delivered a fast ball in the strike zone, and with a Mark
McGwire-like swing, I managed to connect for a hard grounder, which
inexplicably died in the infield. I didn't run it out: At my age, I get
winded playing a hand of bridge.

例行的棒球賽將於星期六晚上7點在Rosenblatt體育館舉行,今年奧瑪哈皇家
隊將對上奧克拉荷瑪紅鷹隊,去年為了仿效貝比魯斯的傳奇揮擊,我棄投從打,
在奧瑪哈出身的選手-Bob Gibson站上投手丘後,我當場被嚇壞了,因為Bob
以內角上飄球著名,誰知道他最後投出的竟是正中直球,那時只見我用力使出馬
奎爾式的揮擊,擊出內野方向的軟弱滾地球,我並沒有往一壘跑,因為以我這個
年紀,只適合在橋牌桌上馳騁。


I'm not sure what will take place at the ballpark this year, but come out
and be surprised. Our proxy statement contains instructions for
obtaining tickets to the game. Those people ordering tickets to the
annual meeting will receive a booklet containing all manner of
information that should help you enjoy your visit in Omaha. There will
be plenty of action in town. So come for Woodstock Weekend and join
our Celebration of Capitalism at the Civic.

我不確定今年球場會發生什麼事,記得到現場體驗驚奇,股東會資料將告訴大家
如何取得球賽入場的門票,所有決定參加股東會的股東將會收到一大本冊子,內
含大量有關奧瑪哈的旅遊資訊,股東會期間將有許多活動,所以一定要來參加資
本家的伍斯達克嘉年華會,並到市立體育館參與資本主義的饗宴。


* * * * * * * * * * * *

Finally, I would like to thank the wonderful and incredibly productive
crew at World Headquarters (all 5,246.5 square feet of it) who make my
job so easy. Berkshire added about 40,000 employees last year,
bringing our workforce to 110,000. At headquarters we added one
employee and now have 14.8. (I've tried in vain to get JoEllen Rieck to
change her workweek from four days to five; I think she likes the
national recognition she gains by being .8.)

最後我要感謝Berkshire企業總部(佔地約5,246平方英呎)那群最棒、生產力最
高的員工,是他們讓我的工作輕鬆愉快,Berkshire去年增加了40,000名員工,
使得員工總數增加到110,000人,為此總部人員編制增加一名成為14.8人(雖
然我試圖說服JoEllen Rieck將她的每週上班天數從4天改為5天,不過我想她
還是喜歡當那個0.8)。

The smooth handling of the array of duties that come with our current
size and scope - as well as some additional activities almost unique to
Berkshire, such as our shareholder gala and designated-gifts program -
takes a very special group of people. And that we most definitely have.


以我們目前的規模,為了要順利處理好所有的日常業務,同時還要加上
Berkshire特有的一些活動-諸如股東盛會及指定捐贈計畫等,我們絕對必須有
一群特別的人,而可以肯定的是我們已經找到合適的對象。


February 28, 2002
Warren E. Buffett
Chairman of the Board


華倫.巴菲特

董事會主席

2002年2月28日
創作者介紹

市場求生手冊

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