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:


Our gain in net worth during 2002 was $6.1 billion, which increased the
per-share book value of both our Class A and Class B stock by 10.0%. Over
the last 38 years (that is, since present management took over) per-share
book value has grown from $19 to $41,727, a rate of 22.2% compounded
annually.*

本公司2002年的淨值增加了61億美元,每股A股或B股的帳面淨值增加了
10.0%,累計過去38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41,727美元,年複合成長率約為22.2%*。

--------------------------------

*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。


In all respects 2002 was a banner year. I’ll provide details later, but here’s a
summary:
從任何角度來看,2002年無異是豐收的一年,後面我會再詳加說明,以下是幾點
總結:
‧Our various non-insurance operations performed exceptionally well,
despite a sluggish economy. A decade ago Berkshire’s annual pre-tax
earnings from our non-insurance businesses was $272 million. Now, from
our ever-expanding collection of manufacturing, retailing, service and
finance businesses, we earn that sum monthly.
‧儘管外界景氣低迷,但Berkshire旗下所有非保險事業的表現都異常優異,十年
前,我們非保險事業的稅前盈餘為2.72億美元,但時至今日,在持續大舉擴張零售、
製造、服務以及金融事業版圖之後,這數字約當我們一個月的獲利。

‧Our insurance group increased its float to $41.2 billion, a hefty gain of
$5.7 billion. Better yet, the use of these funds in 2002 cost us only 1%.
Getting back to low-cost float feels good, particularly after our poor
results during the three previous years. Berkshire’s reinsurance division
and GEICO shot the lights out in 2002, and underwriting discipline was
restored at General Re.
‧2002年我們旗下保險事業的浮存金大幅增加了57億美元,累積達到412億美
元,更棒的是,運用這些資金的成本僅為1%,能夠回到以往低成本浮存金的感覺真
好,特別是經歷過慘澹的前三年,Berkshire的再保險部門以及GEICO車險在2002
年都大放異彩,而General RE的承保紀律也已恢復。
‧Berkshire acquired some important new businesses – with economic
characteristics ranging from good to great, run by managers ranging from
great to great. Those attributes are two legs of our “entrance” strategy,
the third being a sensible purchase price. Unlike LBO operators and private
equity firms, we have no “exit” strategy – we buy to keep. That’s one reason
why Berkshire is usually the first – and sometimes the only – choice for
sellers and their managers.

‧Berkshire購併了幾項重要的新事業,其產業競爭力在各自的業界均堪稱數一數
二,並由優秀的經理人所管理,這些特點是我們"進入"策略決定關鍵的兩隻腳,至
於合理的價格則是第三隻腳,不過不同於一般融資購併者LBO及私人投資銀行,我
們並沒有所謂的"退出"策略,在買進以後,我們就把它們好好地放著,這也是為何
Berkshire往往成為許多賣方以及其經理人,心目中的首選,有時甚至是唯一的選
擇。

‧Our marketable securities outperformed most indices. For Lou Simpson,
who manages equities at GEICO, this was old stuff. But, for me, it was a
welcome change from the last few years, during which my investment
record was dismal.
‧我們的股票投資組合表現超越市場上大多數的指數,對於負責管理GEICO保險資
金的Lou Simpson來說,這是司空見慣的事,但就我個人而言,卻是在經歷過好幾
個悲慘的年頭後,終於獲得翻身。

The confluence of these favorable factors in 2002 caused our book-value
gain to outstrip the performance of the S&P 500 by 32.1 percentage points.
This result is aberrational: Charlie Munger, Berkshire’s vice chairman and
my partner, and I hope to achieve – at most – an average annual advantage
f a few points. In the future, there will be years in which the S&P soundly
trounces us. That will in fact almost certainly happen during a strong bull
market, because the portion of our assets committed to common stocks
has significantly declined. This change, of course, helps our relative
performance in down markets such as we had in 2002.

綜合以上這些有利的因素,造就我們的帳面淨值大幅超越S&P 500指數達到32.1個
百分點,這樣的成績有點反常,Berkshire的副董事長兼主要合夥人-查理曼格跟我
本人最希望的是Berkshire每年都能穩定的超越指數幾個百分點就好,我想在以後
的某些年度,極有可能會看到S&P指數大幅超越我們的表現,尤其是當股市大幅上
漲的年頭,主要的原因在於目前我們在股市投資佔總資產的比例已大幅下降,當然
也由於是這樣的轉變,讓我們在2002年股市大幅回檔之際,仍能維持不錯的績效。
I have another caveat to mention about last year’s results. If you’ve been a
reader of financial reports in recent years, you’ve seen a flood of “pro-
forma” earnings statements – tabulations in which managers invariably
show “earnings” far in excess of those allowed by their auditors. In these
presentations, the CEO tells his owners “don’t count this, don’t count that –
just count what makes earnings fat.” Often, a forget-all-this-bad-stuff
message is delivered year after year without management so much as
blushing.
關於去年的結果,我還有一點要補充,如果你經常閱讀最近幾年上市公司的財務報
表,你會發現滿是所謂"擬制性盈餘"這類的報表-這種報表所顯示的盈餘數字往往都
遠高於經過會計師簽證的查核數,而公司高階經理人會告訴股東們,"不要理這個,
不要管那個,只要算那些會讓盈餘數字好看一點的就好了",而管理當局對於這類"
過去種種,譬如昨日死"的現象年復一年地出現,早就習以為常,一點都不會感到臉
紅。
We’ve yet to see a pro-forma presentation disclosing that audited earnings
were somewhat high. So let’s make a little history: Last year, on a pro-
forma basis, Berkshire had lower earnings than those we actually reported.

我們還沒有看過有那家公司的擬制報表,其盈餘是低於會計師查核數字的,現在就
讓我們來編一個故事,故事的大綱是:去年就擬制基礎而言,Berkshire的盈餘數
字遠低於會計師的查核數字。
That is true because two favorable factors aided our reported figures. First,
in 2002 there was no megacatastrophe, which means that Berkshire (and
other insurers as well) earned more from insurance than if losses had been
normal. In years when the reverse is true – because of a blockbuster
hurricane, earthquake or man-made disaster – many insurers like to
report that they would have earned X “except for” the unusual event. The
implication is that since such megacats are infrequent, they shouldn’t be
counted when “true” earnings are calculated. That is deceptive nonsense.
“Except for” losses will forever be part of the insurance business, and they
will forever be paid with shareholders’ money.

我之所以會如此說,也並非全然憑空捏造,去年有兩項有利的因素,讓我們的財報
數字特別好看,第一,由於2002年沒有發生什麼重大的災難,所以Berkshire(也包
括其他所有保險業者)賺取的盈餘比一般正常的年度要多得多,反之亦然。然而奇怪
的是要是遇到颶風、地震與其他人為災害頻傳的歹年冬時,許多保險同業往往會聲
明"要是"沒有發生XX災難,本公司的盈餘應可達到預計目標,意思是說,由於這類
災難的發生相當特殊,所以不應該列入"正常"的盈餘科目計算,這根本就是一派胡
言,要知道"特殊災難"損失本來就是保險業司空見慣的事,而且絕對必須要由公司
背後的股東來買單。
Nonetheless, for the purposes of this exercise, we’ll take a page from the
industry’s book. For last year, when we didn’t have any truly major
disasters, a downward adjustment is appropriate if you wish to “normalize”
our underwriting result.

不論如何,我們還是繼續完成這次的練習,由於去年我們沒有遇到什麼重大的災難,
所以實有必要將帳面盈餘向下調整,以算出正常合理的承保績效。
Secondly, the bond market in 2002 favored certain strategies we employed
in our finance and financial products business. Gains from those strategies
will certainly diminish within a year or two – and may well disappear.

其次,2002年的債券市場特別有利於我們金融產品部門的策略運作,這類的利得
在未來一兩年內很可能會逐漸縮減,甚至完全消失。
Soooo . . . “except for” a couple of favorable breaks, our pre-tax earnings
last year would have been about $500 million less than we actually
reported. We’re happy, nevertheless, to bank the excess. As Jack Benny
once said upon receiving an award: “I don’t deserve this honor – but, then,
I have arthritis, and I don’t deserve that either.”

所以呢. . . 在"扣除"這幾項有利的短暫因素後,我們去年實際的稅前獲利將比帳面
減少約5億美元,當然沒有人會嫌盈餘太多,就像是Jack Benny在得獎後所發表的
感言:「我實在是不配得到這個獎項,但這就像是我不應該得到關節炎一樣」。


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

We continue to be blessed with an extraordinary group of managers, many
of whom haven’t the slightest financial need to work. They stick around,
though: In 38 years, we’ve never had a single CEO of a subsidiary elect to
leave Berkshire to work elsewhere. Counting Charlie, we now have six
managers over 75, and I hope that in four years that number increases by
at least two (Bob Shaw and I are both 72). Our rationale: “It’s hard to teach
a new dog old tricks.” Berkshire’s operating CEOs are masters of their
crafts and run their businesses as if they were their own. My job is to stay
out of their way and allocate whatever excess capital their businesses
generate. It’s easy work.

Berkshire旗下一直有一大群傑出的經理人為我們打拼著,且其中絕大部分都已經
可以不必再為這份薪水工作,但他們依然堅守崗位,38年來還沒有任何一位經理人
離開Berkshire跳槽到他處上班,包含查理在內,目前我們共有6位經理人的年齡超
過75歲,預期4年後還會再增加2名(那就是Bob Shaw跟我本人,我們現年都是72
歲),我們的觀念是,「實在是很難教新狗老把戲!」Berkshire的所有經理人都是各
自行業的佼佼者,並把公司當作是自己的事業一樣在經營,至於我的任務其實相當
簡單,那就是站在旁邊默默鼓勵,盡量不要礙著他們,並好好地運用他們所賺來的
大筆資金。

My managerial model is Eddie Bennett, who was a batboy. In 1919, at age
19, Eddie began his work with the Chicago White Sox, who that year went
to the World Series. The next year, Eddie switched to the Brooklyn Dodgers,
and they, too, won their league title. Our hero, however, smelled trouble.
Changing boroughs, he joined the Yankees in 1921, and they promptly
won their first pennant in history.

提到管理模式,我個人的偶像是一個叫做Eddie Bennett的球僮,1919年,年僅19
歲的Eddie開始他在芝加哥白襪隊的職業生涯,當年度白襪隊立刻就打進世界大
賽,隔年Eddie跳槽到布魯克林道奇隊,果不其然,又讓道奇隊贏得世界大賽,之
後不久,這位傳奇性的人物發現苗頭不對,接著轉換跑道到紐約洋基隊,此舉更使
得洋基隊在1921年贏得隊史上的第一座世界大賽冠軍。
Now Eddie settled in, shrewdly seeing what was coming. In the next seven
years, the Yankees won five American League titles. What does this have to
do with management? It’s simple – to be a winner, work with winners. In
1927, for example, Eddie received $700 for the 1/8th World Series share
voted him by the legendary Yankee team of Ruth and Gehrig. This sum,
which Eddie earned by working only four days (because New York swept
the Series) was roughly equal to the full-year pay then earned by batboys
who worked with ordinary associates. Eddie understood that how he
lugged bats was unimportant; what counted instead was hooking up with
the cream of those on the playing field. I’ve learned from Eddie. At
Berkshire, I regularly hand bats to many of the heaviest hitters in American
business.

自此Eddie彷彿預知接下來會發生什麼事,決定安頓下來,果不其然,洋基隊在往
後的七年間,五度贏得美聯的冠軍,或許有人會問,這跟管理模式有什麼相干?? 很
簡單-那就是想要成為一個贏家,就是與其他贏家一起共事,舉例來說,1927年,
Eddie因為洋基贏得世界大賽(當年棒球界傳奇人物貝比魯斯也在陣中)而分到700美
元的獎金,這筆錢大約相當於其他球僮一整年的收入,結果Eddie總共只工作4天就拿到
手(因為當年度洋基隊四連勝橫掃對手),Eddie很清楚地知道他如何拎球棒並不重
要,重要的是他能為球場上最當紅的明星拎球棒才是關鍵,我從Eddie身上學到很
多,所以在Berkshire,我就經常為美國商業大聯盟的超級強打者拎球棒。


Acquisitions

購併活動
We added some sluggers to our lineup last year. Two acquisitions pending
at yearend 2001 were completed: Albecca (which operates under the name
Larson-Juhl), the U.S. leader in custom-made picture frames; and Fruit of
the Loom, the producer of about 33.3% of the men’s and boy’s underwear
sold in the U.S. and of other apparel as well. Both companies came with
outstanding CEOs: Steve McKenzie at Albecca and John Holland at Fruit.
John, who had retired from Fruit in 1996, rejoined it three years ago and
rescued the company from the disastrous path it had gone down after he’d
left. He’s now 70, and I am trying to convince him to make his next
retirement coincident with mine (presently scheduled for five years after
my death – a date subject, however, to extension).

去年我們的打擊陣容又增添了好幾位強打者,兩件從2001年就開始談的案子在去
年結案,全美相框訂做業的領導廠商Albecca(以Larson-Jhul品牌經營)以及Fruit
of the Loom紡織公司,全美約有1/3的男士及兒童內衣係由該公司製造,當然該
公司還有銷售其他服裝,兩家公司都由相當優秀的經理人領軍,Albecca有Steve
MaKenzie,而Fruit of the Loom則有John Holland,後者在1996年自該公司退
休,三年前又回鍋挽救該公司免於毀滅的命運,他今年70歲,現在我正努力說服他
跟我同進退(目前我個人預定在死後5年再辦理退休,並且有可能會視狀況予以延
長)。
We initiated and completed two other acquisitions last year that were
somewhat below our normal size threshold. In aggregate, however, these
businesses earn more than $60 million pre-tax annually. Both operate in
industries characterized by tough economics, but both also have important
competitive strengths that enable them to earn decent returns on capital.

此外,去年我們另外又完成的其他兩件規模較小的購併案,不過兩家公司加起來的
年度稅前獲利超過6,000萬美元,雖然兩者所處的產業競爭都相當激烈,但卻同樣
擁有相當的競爭優勢,使得我們的投資依然能夠維持不錯的報酬率。
The newcomers are:
這兩位新成員分別是

(a) CTB, a worldwide leader in equipment for the poultry, hog, egg
production and grain industries; and

(a)CTB-全世界雞、豬等農畜養殖設備的領導廠商
(b) Garan, a manufacturer of children’s apparel, whose largest and best-
known line is GaranimalsR.
(b)Garan-童裝生產廠商,以Garanimals等著名品牌對外行銷。
These two companies came with the managers responsible for their
impressive records: Vic Mancinelli at CTB and Seymour Lichtenstein at
Garan. The largest acquisition we initiated in 2002 was The Pampered
Chef, a company with a fascinating history dating back to 1980. Doris
Christopher was then a 34-year-old suburban Chicago home economics
teacher with a husband, two little girls, and absolutely no business
background. Wanting, however, to supplement her family’s modest
income, she turned to thinking about what she knew best – food
preparation. Why not, she wondered, make a business out of marketing
kitchenware, focusing on the items she herself had found most useful?
兩家公司的經理人過去都擁有令人印象深刻的成績,CTB的Vic Mancinelli以及
Garan的Seymour Lichtenstein,至於在2002年開始進行的購併案中,規模最大
的就屬The Pampered Chef(TPC)-這也是一家擁有輝煌歷史的傳奇公司,時間回
溯到1980年,當時34歲的Doris Christopher還是一位芝加哥郊區家庭經濟學的教
師,與先生育有2個小女兒的她,完全就沒有任何商業經驗,為了要補貼家庭微薄
的收入,她想到運用本身最拿手的絕活-準備食物,她在想想是不是可以利用家裡
的餐具來做點生意,這是她自己認為身邊最派得上用場的東西。

To get started, Doris borrowed $3,000 against her life insurance policy – all
the money ever injected into the company – and went to the Merchandise
Mart on a buying expedition. There, she picked up a dozen each of this and
that, and then went home to set up operations in her basement.
為了要創業,Doris利用壽險保單質借了3,000美元,這也是她僅有的一次資金投
入,然後到大賣場進行一趟採購之旅,買了一大堆烹飪餐具,然後回到家裡的地下
室展開事業。
Her plan was to conduct in-home presentations to small groups of women,
gathered at the homes of their friends. While driving to her first
presentation, though, Doris almost talked herself into returning home,
convinced she was doomed to fail.
她的計畫是集合一群女性友人到其朋友家裡進行展示,記得在第一次出發公開展示
的路上,Doris幾乎要說服自己放棄打道回府。
But the women she faced that evening loved her and her products,
purchased $175 of goods, and TPC was underway. Working with her
husband, Jay, Doris did $50,000 of business in the first year. Today – only
22 years later – TPC does more than $700 million of business annually,
working through 67,000 kitchen consultants. I’ve been to a TPC party,
and it’s easy to see why the business is a success. The company’s
products, in large part proprietary, are well-styled and highly useful, and
the consultants are knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Everyone has a good
time. Hurry to pamperedchef.com on the Internet to find where to attend a
party near you.
所幸當晚她所遇到的女性朋友們相當喜愛她及她的產品,總共買了175美元的東
西,TPC於焉誕生,在她的先生Jay的幫忙之下,Doris頭一年總共做了50,000美元
的生意,22年後的今天,TPC的年營業額高達7億美元,共有67,000名餐飲顧問,
我自己也曾經參加過TPC的宴會,很輕易地就能發現這個行業成功的原因,公司的
產品大部分都是獨家專用、造型設計優美且深具實用性,而餐飲顧問的經驗豐富且
非常熱心,這使得與會的每一位客人都盡興而歸,趕快上pamperedchef.com網站
看看如何才能就近參加她們所舉辦的派對。
Two years ago, Doris brought in Sheila O’Connell Cooper, now CEO, to
share the management load, and in August they met with me in Omaha. It
took me about ten seconds to decide that these were two managers with
whom I wished to partner, and we promptly made a deal. Berkshire
shareholders couldn’t be luckier than to be associated with Doris and
Sheila.

兩年前,Doris找到現任總裁-Sheila O'Connell Cooper加入,以分擔管理重責,
兩人在八月聯袂來到奧瑪哈與我會面,我前後只花了10秒鐘的時間就確定我想要這
兩個人加入我們的團隊,當下雙方就簽訂合約,能夠與Doris與Sheila在一起共事,
Berkshire的股東實在是再幸運也不過了。


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

Berkshire also made some important acquisitions last year through
MidAmerican Energy Holdings (MEHC), a company in which our equity
interest is 80.2%. Because the Public Utility Holding Company Act (PUHCA)
limits us to 9.9% voting control, however, we are unable to fully consolidate
MEHC’s financial statements.

去年透過持股80.2%的中美能源MEHC,Berkshire也進行了幾項重要的購併案,由
於公用事業控股公司法(PUHCA)限制我們只能擁有該公司9.9%的投票權,所以我們
無法將MEHC的財務數字,完全併到母公司的財務報表之中。
Despite the voting-control limitation – and the somewhat strange capital
structure at MEHC it has engendered – the company is a key part of
Berkshire. Already it has $18 billion of assets and delivers our largest
stream of non-insurance earnings. It could well grow to be huge. Last
year MEHC acquired two important gas pipelines. The first, Kern River,
extends from Southwest Wyoming to Southern California. This line moves
about 900 million cubic feet of gas a day and is undergoing a $1.2 billion
expansion that will double throughput by this fall. At that point, the line
will carry enough gas to generate electricity for ten million homes. The
second acquisition, Northern Natural Gas, is a 16,600 mile line extending
from the Southwest to a wide range of Midwestern locations. This purchase
completes a corporate odyssey of particular interest to Omahans.

儘管受限於投票控制權的限制,使得MEHC現在的資本結構有點奇怪,但該公司仍
然Berkshire非常重要的一部份,目前它的資產總額達到180億美元,並成為
Berkshire非保險事業盈餘的主要來源,展望未來,其成長依然可期,去年MEHC買
下了兩條重要的天然氣管線,第一條是從懷俄明州到南加州,名為肯特河的管線,
每天運送9億立方英呎的天然氣,且目前我們又另外投資12億美元進行擴充,預計
在今年秋天完工後,運輸能量可增加一倍,屆時將可滿足1,000萬個家庭用戶所需,
第二條路線則是從美國西南部一路延伸到中西部,全長16,600英哩,名為「北方天
然」的管線,這項購併案更是引起奧瑪哈地區居民的注意,傳為企業美談。

From its beginnings in the 1930s, Northern Natural was one of Omaha’s
premier businesses, run by CEOs who regularly distinguished themselves
as community leaders. Then, in July, 1985, the company – which in 1980
had been renamed InterNorth – merged with Houston Natural Gas, a
business less than half its size. The companies announced that the
enlarged operation would be headquartered in Omaha, with InterNorth’s
CEO continuing in that job. Within a year, those promises were broken. By
then, the former CEO of Houston Natural had taken over the top job at
InterNorth, the company had been renamed, and the headquarters had
been moved to Houston. These switches were orchestrated by the new
CEO – Ken Lay – and the name he chose was Enron.

自從1930年代初期,「北方天然」一直是奧瑪哈地區著名的企業之一,由地方上流
社會的領導人士所經營,不過該公司在1985年(1980年改名為InterNorth)被規模
不到它一半的休士頓天然氣所購併,該公司當時曾宣佈將讓總部繼續設在奧瑪哈,
並讓原CEO繼續留任,只是不滿一年,這些承諾就被打破,休士頓天然氣的原任總
裁接掌總裁職位,總部也搬到休士頓,更有甚者,連公司名稱都被後來新繼任的總
裁-Ken Lay改名為. . . .「安隆」!!。

Fast forward 15 years to late 2001. Enron ran into the troubles we’ve heard
so much about and borrowed money from Dynegy, putting up the Northern
Natural pipeline operation as collateral. The two companies quickly had a
falling out, and the pipeline’s ownership moved to Dynegy. That company,
in turn, soon encountered severe financial problems of its own. MEHC
received a call on Friday, July 26, from Dynegy, which was looking for a
quick and certain cash sale of the pipeline. Dynegy phoned the right party:
On July 29, we signed a contract, and shortly thereafter Northern Natural
returned home. When 2001 began, Charlie and I had no idea that
Berkshire would be moving into the pipeline business. But upon
completion of the Kern River expansion, MEHC will transport about 8% of
all gas used in the U.S. We continue to look for large energy-related assets,
though in the electric utility field PUHCA constrains what we can do.

時光飛逝,話說到了15年之後的2001年,安隆營運發生重大困難,被迫向另一家
能源公司Dynegy借錢,並以「北方天然」這條管線作為質押擔保品,結果不久之
後,這條管線的所有權就移轉到Dynegy的名下,只是沒想到Dynegy過不了多久也
發生嚴重的財務問題, MEHC在7/26星期五接到Dynegy公司打來的電話,對方希
望將這條管線立即變現以取得現金,我想他們算是找對人了,緊接著在7/29,我們
就簽訂了一項合約,就這樣「北方天然」終於回到家鄉的懷抱,早在2001年初,
查理跟我壓根就沒想到,我們會介入能源管線業的經營,不過在完成肯特河管線擴
充案之後,MEHC所運送的天然氣,將佔全美使用量的8%,而在這之後,我們仍將
繼續尋求大型的能源事業投資案,雖然在能源產業,PUHCA依然對我們還有諸多限
制。


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

A few years ago, and somewhat by accident, MEHC found itself in the
residential real estate brokerage business. It is no accident, however, that
we have dramatically expanded the operation. Moreover, we are likely to
keep on expanding in the future. We call this business HomeServices of
America. In the various communities it serves, though, it operates under
the names of the businesses it has acquired, such as CBS in Omaha, Edina
Realty in Minneapolis and Iowa Realty in Des Moines. In most metropolitan
areas in which we operate, we are the clear market leader.

幾年前,MEHC在無意中,發現自己介入不動產仲介業的經營,只是後來我們大幅
擴張這方面的業務卻絕非意外,更有甚者,我們有意在未來繼續拓展營運規模,我
們將之稱呼為"美國人的居家服務",雖然依照地區的不同,我們以取得當地據點時
的原名稱對外經營,比如說奧瑪哈的CBS、明尼拿波里市的Edina不動產或Des
Moines的艾荷華不動產等,在多數我們有營運的大都會中,我們都是市場的領導
者。
HomeServices is now the second largest residential brokerage business in
the country. On one side or the other (or both), we participated in $37
billion of transactions last year, up 100% from 2001. Most of our growth
came from three acquisitions we made during 2002, the largest of which
was Prudential California Realty. Last year, this company, the leading
realtor in a territory consisting of Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego
Counties, participated in $16 billion of closings. In a very short period,
Ron Peltier, the company’s CEO, has increased HomeServices’ revenues –
and profits – dramatically. Though this business will always be cyclical, it’s
one we like and in which we continue to have an appetite for sensible
acquisitions.

居家服務現在是全美第二大的住宅不動產仲介商,我們去年參與了總值370億美元
的不動產交易案,(包含單邊或雙邊),較2001年增加了一倍,大部分的成長動力來
自於我們在2002年進行的三項購併案,其中最大的一件是保德信加州不動產,該
公司是洛杉磯、橘郡及聖地牙哥等地最大的業者,去年促成的不動產成交總額高達
160億美元,該公司的CEO-Ron Peltier在相當短的時間之內,就讓居家服務的營
收及獲利大幅成長,雖然這個行業的產業循環波動性相當的大,但仍然不失為我們
想要繼續進行購併擴張的行業。


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

Dave Sokol, MEHC’s CEO, and Greg Abel, his key associate, are huge assets
for Berkshire. They are dealmakers, and they are managers. Berkshire
stands ready to inject massive amounts of money into MEHC – and it will be
fun to watch how far Dave and Greg can take the business.

Dave Sokol-MEHC的CEO及其主要夥伴Greg Abel,現在已成為Berkshire珍貴的
資產,他們是夢想創造者,更是優秀的經理人,Berkshire已準備好要挹注大量的
資金到MEHC,相當期待Dave與Greg會如何運用這些資金開疆闢土。


The Economics of Property/Casualty Insurance

產物意外險的經營

Our core 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)這家公司所能產生
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. Moreover,
the downward trend of interest rates in recent years has transformed
underwriting losses that formerly were tolerable into burdens that move
insurance businesses deeply into the lemon category.

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 many years; that is, we’ve actually been
paid for holding other people’s money. In 2001, however, our cost was
terrible, coming in at 12.8%, about half of which was attributable to World
Trade Center losses. Back in 1983-84, we had years that were even worse.
There’s nothing automatic about cheap float.

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,2001年尤其恐怖,資金成本大幅飆漲至12.8%,其中半數歸因於世
界貿易大樓損失,回顧過去,我們在1983到1984年間,也曾有過更悲慘的記錄,
便宜的浮存金絕非憑空而降。
The table that follows shows (at intervals) the float generated by the
various segments of Berkshire’s insurance operations since we entered the
business 36 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
36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??

Yearend Float (in $ millions)

Other Other

Year GEICO General Re Reinsurance Primary Total

------ ------- --------- ---------- ------- ------
1967 20 20

1977 40 131 171

1987 701 807 1,508

1997 2,917 4,014 455 7,386

1998 3,125 14,909 4,305 415 22,754

1999 3,444 15,166 6,285 403 25,298

2000 3,943 15,525 7,805 598 27,871

2001 4,251 19,310 11,262 685 35,508

2002 4,678 22,207 13,396 943 41,224

Last year our cost of float was 1%. As I mentioned earlier, you should
temper your enthusiasm about this favorable result given that no
megacatastrophe occurred in 2002. We’re certain to get one of these
disasters periodically, and when we do our float-cost will spike.
去年我們的浮存金成本約為1%,不過從前我就曾說過,大家千萬不要被這樣的結果
沖昏了頭,那完全是因為2002年沒有發生什麼重大的天災人禍所致,總有一天,
我們會讓碰到某些大災難,屆時我們的浮存金成本將激增。

Our 2002 results were hurt by 1) a painful charge at General Re for losses
that should have been recorded as costs in earlier years, and 2) a
“desirable” charge we incur annually for retroactive insurance (see the
next section for more about these items). These costs totaled $1.75 billion,
or about 4.6% of float. Fortunately, our overall underwriting experience
on 2002 business was excellent, which allowed us, even after the charges
noted, to approach a no-cost result.
此外2002年我們的績效受到 1)補提通用再保先前年度未認列的損失 2)追溯再保
險業務每年固定必須提列的損失成本(在後面還會有詳細的說明),這些成本金額總
計17.5億美元,約為浮存金的4.6%,可喜的是,除此之外,2002年我們整體的承
保經驗相當不錯,這使得我們即便在提列以上損失之後,仍然接近損益兩平。

Absent a megacatastrophe, I expect our cost of float in 2003 to again be
very low – perhaps even less than zero. In the rundown of our insurance
operations that follows, you will see why I’m optimistic that, over time, our
underwriting results will both surpass those achieved by the industry and
deliver us investable funds at minimal cost.

除非再發生什麼重大的天災人禍,否則我預期2003年的浮存金成本將可以壓得非
常低,甚至有可能在零以下,在以下保險子公司的營運概述中,各位將可以明瞭為
何我會那麼有信心,就長期而言,我相信我們的承保績效一定可以超越同業的平均
水準,從而讓我們以相當低的成本取得投資所需的資金。

Insurance Operations

保險事業營運狀況
If our insurance operations are to generate low-cost float over time, they
must: (a) underwrite with unwavering discipline; (b) reserve conservatively;
and (c) avoid an aggregation of exposures that would allow a supposedly
“impossible” incident to threaten their solvency. All of our major
insurance businesses, with one exception, have regularly met those tests.

如果我們的保險事業長期以來想要產生低成本的浮存金,必須要做到以下幾點,(a)
必須有毫不妥協的承保紀律(b)穩健保守地提列準備(c)避免那些看起來"不可能發生
"意外所累積的風險部位影響到公司的償債能力,除了一家公司以外,我們其他所有
主要的保險事業大致都能謹守這些原則。

The exception is General Re, and there was much to do at that company
last year to get it up to snuff. I’m delighted to report that under Joe
Brandon’s leadership, and with yeoman assistance by Tad Montross,
enormous progress has been made on each of the fronts described.
這個例外正是通用再保,所幸去年該公司進行了許多的改進動作,現在我很高興地
向各位報告,那就是在Joe Brandon的領導,以及Tad Montross盡心盡力的輔佐
下,該公司在以上提到的這幾點皆有重大的進展。
When I agreed in 1998 to merge Berkshire with Gen Re, I thought that
company stuck to the three rules I’ve enumerated. I had studied the
operation for decades and had observed underwriting discipline that was
consistent and reserving that was conservative. At merger time, I detected
no slippage in Gen Re’s standards.
當我在1998年同意由Berkshire購併通用再保時,我以為該公司早已謹守以上我所
揭示的三項原則,因為我已追蹤該公司營運達數十年,也發現到其承保紀律相當一
致,同時損失準備提列也相當保守,可以說在購併的當頭,我並未發現到通用再保
的標準有任何漏洞。
I was dead wrong. Gen Re’s culture and practices had substantially
changed and unbeknownst to management – and to me – the company was
grossly mispricing its current business. In addition, Gen Re had
accumulated an aggregation of risks that would have been fatal had, say,
terrorists detonated several largescale nuclear bombs in an attack on the
U.S. A disaster of that scope was highly improbable, of course, but it is up
to insurers to limit their risks in a manner that leaves their finances rock-
solid if the “impossible” happens. Indeed, had Gen Re remained
independent, the World Trade Center attack alone would have threatened
the company’s existence.
不過事後證明我的看法大錯特錯,通用再保的文化以及作風在近年來已徹底的變
質,而管理當局,包含我本人在內卻不自知,這家公司的業務很明顯地訂價不當,
此外通用再保在更不知不覺地累積了致命的風險,例如,恐怖份子就有可能連續引
爆大規模的核子炸彈來攻擊美國,雖然發生這樣災難的機率微乎其微,但保險公司
卻絕對必須謹慎地將風險限制在讓公司的財務穩若磐石的境地,以防萬一這種不可
能的事情果真發生,事實上,我們可以說當初通用再保要是沒有併進Berkshire的
話,單單世界貿易大樓攻擊事件的損失就足以危及公司的經營。
When the WTC disaster occurred, it exposed weaknesses in Gen Re’s
operations that I should have detected earlier. But I was lucky: Joe and Tad
were on hand, freshly endowed with increased authority and eager to
rapidly correct the errors of the past. They knew what to do – and they did
it.
世貿大樓攻擊事件的發生,嚴重地凸顯了通用再保營運上的缺失,這是我早該注意
卻偏偏沒有注意到的一點,所幸我的運氣還算不錯,有Joe跟Tad在身邊,隨時準備
好被賦予重任,並充滿改變過去陋規的企圖心,他們很清楚該怎麼做,而且也確實
做到了。
It takes time for insurance policies to run off, however, and 2002 was well
along before we managed to reduce our aggregation of nuclear, chemical
and biological risk (NCB) to a tolerable level. That problem is now behind
us.
雖然保險契約有時間遞延性,不過2002年整體的結果還算令人滿意,雖然我們仍
未將核子生化等事故(簡稱NCB)累積的風險降到可以忍受的限度之內,但目前這個
問題已成過去式。
On another front, Gen Re’s underwriting attitude has been dramatically
altered: The entire organization now understands that we wish to write
only properly-priced business, whatever the effect on volume. Joe and Tad
judge themselves only by Gen Re’s underwriting profitability. Size simply
doesn’t count.
在另外一方面,通用再保的承保心態也已做了徹底的轉變,目前整個團隊相當明瞭
我們只願意接受價格合理業務的態度,至於金額則沒有上限,Joe跟Tad只惟通用再
保的獲利結果是問,至於規模問題則完全不用顧慮。
Finally, we are making every effort to get our reserving right. If we fail at
that, we can’t know our true costs. And any insurer that has no idea what
its costs are is heading for big trouble.

最後,我們正儘可能地提列適當的損失準備,如果我們做不到這一點,那麼我們可
能根本就不知道我們真實的成本,任何一家不了解自家公司成本的保險業者,將來
肯定會發生大紕漏。
At yearend 2001, General Re attempted to reserve adequately for all losses
that had occurred prior to that date and were not yet paid – but we failed
badly. Therefore the company’s 2002 underwriting results were penalized
by an additional $1.31 billion that we recorded to correct the estimation
mistakes of earlier years. When I review the reserving errors that have been
uncovered at General Re, a line from a country song seems apt: “I wish I
didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.”
記得在2001年底,通用再保試圖將以前年度提列已發生但未支付的損失準備補
足,但事後證明我們做的還差得很遠,這使得該公司必須在2002年再補提13.1億
美元的損失,以修正以前年度所發生的估計錯誤,當我在檢視通用再保後來才被發
現的準備提列疏失時,我突然想到有一首鄉村歌曲的歌詞形容的相當貼切,「真希望
現在的我沒有發現以前我不知情的那段往事」。
I can promise you that our top priority going forward is to avoid inadequate
reserving. But I can’t guarantee success. The natural tendency of most
casualty-insurance managers is to underreserve, and they must have a
particular mindset – which, it may surprise you, has nothing to do with
actuarial expertise – if they are to overcome this devastating bias.
Additionally, a reinsurer faces far more difficulties in reserving properly
than does a primary insurer. Nevertheless, at Berkshire, we have generally
been successful in our reserving, and we are determined to be at General
Re as well.
我可以向各位保證,未來我們的首要目標就是避免損失準備提列的不當,當然我無
法保證一定做得到,保險公司經理人大多傾向少提列一些準備,而想要克服這種糟
糕的偏差,他們必須將其特殊的心態做個調整,說起來或許你會訝異,這完全與精
算專業無關,同時,相對於初級保險業者,再保業者適當提列準備的難度更高,不
過即便如此,在Berkshire,我們在損失準備提列這點做得還算不錯,而我們也將
努力讓通用再保比照辦理。
In summary, I believe General Re is now well positioned to deliver huge
amounts of no-cost float to Berkshire and that its sink-the-ship
catastrophe risk has been eliminated. The company still possesses the
important competitive strengths that I’ve outlined in the past. And it
gained another highly significant advantage last year when each of its
three largest worldwide competitors, previously rated AAA, was demoted
by at least one rating agency. Among the giants, General Re, rated AAA
across-the-board, is now in a class by itself in respect to financial
strength.
總的來說,我相信通用再保現在已準備好要為Berkshire貢獻大量無成本的浮存
金,整家公司倒閉的風險可說已被排除,該公司仍然擁有過去我一再提到的競爭優
勢,同時在去年它又獲得另外一項重要的競爭優勢,那就是其他三家原本同列三A
最高信用評等的世界級主要競爭同業,在去年至少都被調降一個評等等級,在這些
保險巨擘當中,唯有通用再保一路維持三A評等,在象徵財務實力的領域中取得獨
佔鼇頭的地位。
No attribute is more important. Recently, in contrast, one of the world’s
largest reinsurers – a company regularly recommended to primary insurers
by leading brokers – has all but ceased paying claims, including those
both valid and due. This company owes many billions of dollars to
hundreds of primary insurers who now face massive write-offs. “Cheap”
reinsurance is a fool’s bargain: When an insurer lays out money today in
exchange for a reinsurer’s promise to pay a decade or two later, it’s
dangerous – and possibly life-threatening – for the insurer to deal with any
but the strongest reinsurer around.
再沒有其他特點比這個更重要了,相較之下,最近某家世界級的大型再保公司-該
公司通常名列保險經紀人推薦給客戶的首選,目前已暫停支付損失理賠金,包含那
些有效且到期的部份,該公司積欠高達數十億美元的理賠金,這迫使其數百家保險
客戶必須面臨大幅沖銷應收款的命運,"便宜"對再保業來說,絕對是愚蠢的交易,
當保險業者今天將資金付給再保業者以換取一、二十年後的保障承諾時,唯有跟實
力最強的再保業者打交道,才有可能避免無謂且有時甚至危及企業生存的風險。
Berkshire shareholders owe Joe and Tad a huge thank you for their
accomplishments in 2002. They worked harder during the year than I
would wish for anyone – and it is paying off.
Berkshire的全體股東應該深深感謝,Joe跟Tad在2002年為我們所做的一切,他們
去年一整年尤其特別的辛苦,當然這一切的努力現在已獲得回報。


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

At GEICO, everything went so well in 2002 that we should pinch ourselves.
Growth was substantial, profits were outstanding, policyholder retention
was up and sales productivity jumped significantly. These trends continue
in early 2003.
在GEICO,2002年所有的事都再順利也不過了,好到甚至讓我們無法置信,成長
的幅度相當可觀,獲利也相當突出,保戶續約率持續提升,同時業務生產力也大幅
躍升,而且這些現象在2003年依然繼續維持。
Thank Tony Nicely for all of this. As anyone who knows him will attest,
Tony has been in love with GEICO for 41 years – ever since he went to work
for the company at 18 – and his results reflect this passion. He is proud of
the money we save policyholders – about $1 billion annually versus what
other insurers, on average, would have charged them. He is proud of the
service we provide these policyholders: In a key industry survey, GEICO was
recently ranked above all major competitors. He is proud of his 19,162
associates, who last year were awarded profit-sharing payments equal to
19% of their base salary because of the splendid results they achieved. And
he is proud of the growing profits he delivers to Berkshire shareholders.

感謝Tony Nicely為我們所做的一切,認識他的人都知道,他跟GEICO結緣已達41
個年頭,當時他的年齡只有18歲,而他的成績有目共睹,他一向對於能為客戶節省
保費感到相當自傲,相較於其他保險業者,GEICO平均每年可為保戶省下10億美元
的保費,同時他也對GEICO提供的服務相當有信心,根據業界的一項調查,GEICO
目前名列消費者滿意度第一名,同時他更對旗下19,162位同仁引以為傲,去年這些
同仁因為優異的表現,總共為自己賺取了相當於19%底薪的獎金,最後他也對持續
為Berkshire貢獻穩定成長的獲利感到自豪。
GEICO took in $2.9 billion in premiums when Berkshire acquired full
ownership in 1996. Last year, its volume was $6.9 billion, with plenty of
growth to come. Particularly promising is the company’s Internet
operation, whose new business grew by 75% last year. Check us out at
GEICO.com (or call 800-847-7536). In most states, shareholders get a
special 8% discount.
1996年在我們完全買下GEICO時,它的年度保費收入約為29億美元,去年這個數
字增加到69億美元,而後續成長依然可期,其中尤以網路行銷最具潛力,去年這個
部門成長率高達75%,記得到GEICO.com看看(或電800-847-7536),在大部分的
州,股東都可以得到8%的特別折扣。
Here’s one footnote to GEICO’s 2002 earnings that underscores the need
for insurers to do business with only the strongest of reinsurers. In
1981-1983, the managers then running GEICO decided to try their hand at
writing commercial umbrella and product liability insurance. The risks
seemed modest: the company took in only $3,051,000 from this line and
used almost all of it – $2,979,000 – to buy reinsurance in order to limit its
losses. GEICO was left with a paltry $72,000 as compensation for the minor
portion of the risk that it retained. But this small bite of the apple was more
than enough to make the experience memorable. GEICO’s losses from
this venture now total a breathtaking $94.1 million or about 130,000% of
the net premium it received. Of the total loss, uncollectable receivables
from deadbeat reinsurers account for no less than $90.3 million (including
$19 million charged in 2002). So much for “cheap” reinsurance.
關於GEICO 2002年的盈餘有一件事要附帶報告,這件事突顯了保險公司絕對只能
與最好的再保公司往來的重要性,話說1981年到1983年間,當時負責經營GEICO
的經理人決定要在商業防護及產品責任險上試試身手,這類風險看起來似乎不大,
事實上,公司在當年也不過收取了約305萬美元的保費,但卻耗費了其中298萬美
元投保了再保險,打算將風險限制在一定範圍內,總結GEICO僅留下區區7萬美元
而已,以作為承擔自留風險的對價,誰知這樣的安排,竟讓公司留下了難以抹滅的
慘痛經驗,總計GEICO後來為此承受的損失高達9,410萬美元,約當所收取淨保費
的1,300倍,在這筆損失中,再保公司應收賠款不算太多,只不過是9,030萬美元
而已!!(其中包含2002年認列的1,900萬損失),便宜實在是沒好貨!


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

Ajit Jain’s reinsurance division was the major reason our float cost us so
little last year. If we ever put a photo in a Berkshire annual report, it will be
of Ajit. In color!
Ajit Jain領導的再保險部門是我們去年浮存金成本之所以能夠壓得這麼低的主要原
因,如果Berkshire的年報必須要擺年度風雲人物照片,那肯定會是Ajit,而且一定
要用彩色的!
Ajit’s operation has amassed $13.4 billion of float, more than all but a
handful of insurers have ever built up. He accomplished this from a
standing start in 1986, and even now has a workforce numbering only 20.
And, most important, he has produced underwriting profits.
從1986年開始,Ajit的部門,截至目前已經為我們累積了134億美元的浮存金,這
是其他業者前所未有的成績,而雇用員工人數不過20人,更重要的是,他還享有承
保利益。
His profits are particularly remarkable if you factor in some accounting
arcana that I am about to lay on you. So prepare to eat your spinach (or,
alternatively, if debits and credits aren’t your thing, skip the next two
paragraphs).
如果各位再將我之前提到過的幾項會計因素,這樣的成果就更顯得難能可貴,所以
各位卜派請準備好你們的大力丸,(如果你對會計借貸事項沒興趣,可以跳過後面兩
段不看)。
Ajit’s 2002 underwriting profit of $534 million came after his operation
recognized a charge of $428 million attributable to “retroactive” insurance
he has written over the years. In this line of business, we assume from
another insurer the obligation to pay up to a specified amount for losses
they have already incurred – often for events that took place decades
earlier – but that are yet to be paid (for example, because a worker hurt in
1980 will receive monthly payments for life). In these arrangements, an
insurer pays us a large upfront premium, but one that is less than the
losses we expect to pay. We willingly accept this differential because a) our
payments are capped, and b) we get to use the money until loss payments
are actually made, with these often stretching out over a decade or more.
About 80% of the $6.6 billion in asbestos and environmental loss reserves
that we carry arises from capped contracts, whose costs consequently
can’t skyrocket.
Ajit 2002年的承保利益達5.34億美元,其中包括所承擔4.28億美元的追溯再保險
損失,經由這類的業務,我們承受其他保險業者已經發生損失但尚未履行完畢的義
務,這類損失通常早在許多年前就已經發生,但理賠金到現在卻還沒有付完,(舉例
來說一件1980年發生的職業災害,但現在可能還持續按月支付終生的理賠金),在
這類協議中,由保險業者一次支付一大筆保險費給我們,但金額仍遠低於我們將來
預期要付出的總數,而我們之所以願意這樣做,原因在於a)我們支付的金額仍有其
上限,b)在理賠金真正付出之前的空檔,期間往往長達數十年以上,我們得以運用
這筆資金),在我們受理的66億美元的石綿及環境傷害損失準備中,有80%是有上
限的合約,因此其損失成本不至於無限制飆升。

When we write a retroactive policy, we immediately record both the
premium and a reserve for the expected losses. The difference between the
two is entered as an asset entitled “deferred charges –reinsurance
assumed.” This is no small item: at yearend, for all retroactive policies, it
was $3.4 billion. We then amortize this asset downward by charges to
income over the expected life of each policy. These charges – $440 million
in 2002, including charges at Gen Re – create an underwriting loss, but one
that is intentional and desirable. And even after this drag on reported
results, Ajit achieved a large underwriting gain last year.
當我們簽下一張追溯再保險保單時,我們立即將保費收入入帳,並把預期會發生的
損失提列準備,至於兩者的差額則以一項資產科目"遞延費用-承受再保險"入帳,這
金額通常都不小,截至年底,帳列資產負債表的這個科目金額就高達34億美元,之
後我們會按這筆資產的預計年限分年攤銷,並列為損益減項,2002年的攤銷金額
高達4.4億美元(含通用再保部份),這些承保損失是我們事先就預期到的必然科目,
但即便帳列盈餘因此受到拖累,Ajit去年依然締造了可觀的承保利益。
We want to emphasize, however, that we assume risks in Ajit’s operation
that are huge – far larger than those retained by any other insurer in the
world. Therefore, a single event could cause a major swing in Ajit’s results
in any given quarter or year. That bothers us not at all: As long as we are
paid appropriately, we love taking on short-term volatility that others wish
to shed. At Berkshire, we would rather earn a lumpy 15% over time than a
smooth 12%. If you see Ajit at our annual meeting, bow deeply.
不過我們想要強調的是,我們早就預期到Ajit營運所承擔的風險相當的高,甚至遠
高於世界上其他任何保險業者所自留的風險,因此只要任何一季或任何一個年頭有
任何單一重大災害發生,都可能讓Ajit的績效大打折扣,不過這一點一點也不會讓
我們感到困擾,只要我們收到的保費合理,我們樂於承擔那些別人避之唯恐不及的
短期損益變動,在Berkshire,我們寧願賺取變動不拘但達平均15%的投資報酬,也
不要穩定的12%報酬,各位如果在股東會上遇到Ajit,記得獻上深深的一鞠躬。


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

Berkshire’s smaller insurers had an outstanding year. Their aggregate float
grew by 38%, and they realized an underwriting profit of $32 million, or
4.5% of premiums. Collectively, these operations would make one of the
finest insurance companies in the country.
Berkshire其他規模較小的保險公司其表現同樣突出,合計浮存金增加了38%,並貢
獻了3,200萬美元的承保利益,約當保費收入的4.5%,如果這些公司加起來,可以
堪稱為全美最好的保險公司之一。
Included in these figures, however, were terrible results in our California
workers’ compensation operation. There, we have work to do. There, too,
our reserving severely missed the mark. Until we figure out how to get this
business right, we will keep it small.
不過除了這些好消息外,我們在加州退休基金的經營績效卻慘不忍睹,關於那邊的
業務我們還有許多工作要做,同時提列準備也嚴重失真,直到我們確信找到把它們
搞定的方法,否則我們寧願維持目前較小的規模。
For the fabulous year they had in 2002, we thank Rod Eldred, John Kizer,
Tom Nerney, Don Towle and Don Wurster. They added a lot of value to your
Berkshire investment.

感謝Rod Eldred、John Kizer、Tom Nerney、Don Towle及Don Wurster,讓2003
年成為美好的一年,是他們讓各位在Berkshire的投資平添許多價值。


Sources of Reported Earnings

帳列盈餘的來源

The table that follows shows the main sources of Berkshire’s reported
earnings. You will notice that “Purchase-Accounting Adjustments”
dropped sharply in 2002, the reason being that GAAP rules changed then,
no longer requiring the amortization of goodwill. This change increases
our reported earnings, but has no effect on our economic earnings.

下表顯示Berkshire帳列盈餘的主要來源,大家或許已經發現,2002年的購買法
會計調整數大幅減少,其原因在於一般公認會計原則已經過修正,不再要求商譽必
須攤銷,此舉將使得我們的帳面盈餘增加,只是這對實質的經濟盈餘一點影響也沒
有。

(in millions)

Berkshire’s Share

of Net Earnings

(after taxes and

Pre-Tax Earnings Minority interests)

2002 2001 2002 2001

Operating Earnings:

Insurance Group:

Underwriting – General Re................................... $(1,393) $(3,671) $(930) $(2,391)

Underwriting – Berkshire Group ........................... 534 (647) 347 (433)

Underwriting – GEICO.......................................... 416 221 271 144

Underwriting – Other Primary ............................... 32 30 20 18

Net Investment Income.......................................... 3,050 2,824 2,096 1,968

Apparel(1) ................................................................. 229 (33) 156 (28)

Building Products(2) ................................................. 516 461 313 287

Finance and Financial Products Business................. 1,016 519 659 336

Flight Services .......................................................... 225 186 133 105

MidAmerican Energy (80% owned)......................... 613 565 359 230

Retail Operations ...................................................... 166 175 97 101

Scott Fetzer (excluding finance operation) ............... 129 129 83 83

Shaw Industries(3)...................................................... 424 292 258 156

Other Businesses....................................................... 256 212 160 131

Purchase-Accounting Adjustments........................... (119) (726) (65) (699)

Corporate Interest Expense....................................... (86) (92) (55) (60)

Shareholder-Designated Contributions..................... (17) (17) (11) (11)

Other ......................................................................... 19 25 12 16

Operating Earnings...................................................... 6,010 453 3,903 (47)

Capital Gains from Investments .................................. 603 1,320 383 842

Total Earnings – All Entities ....................................... $6,613 $1,773 $4,286 $ 795


(1) Includes Fruit of the Loom from April 30, 2002 and Garan from September 4, 2002.

(2) Includes Johns Manville from February 27, 2001 and MiTek from July 31, 2001.

(3) From date of acquisition, January 8, 2001.

Here’s a summary of major developments at our non-insurance
businesses:
以下是2002年我們非保險事業相關的重點摘要:


‧MidAmerican Energy’s earnings grew in 2002 and will likely do so again
this year. Most of the increase, both present and expected, results from the
acquisitions described earlier. To fund these, Berkshire purchased
$1,273 million of MidAmerican junior debt (bringing our total holdings of
these 11% obligations to $1,728 million) and also invested $402 million in
a “common-equivalent” stock. We now own (on a fully-diluted basis)
80.2% of MidAmerican’s equity. MidAmerican’s financial statements are
presented in detail on page 37.

中美能源2002年的盈餘穩定成長,展望明年仍將維持此一態勢,至於盈餘成長的
來源,不論是目前或將來,主要皆來自於先前提過的購併案,中美能源為了取得購
併的資金,已由Berkshire買進該公司發行12.73億美元的次順位公司債(此舉使得
我們累計持有這種年息11%的債權達到17.28億美元),另外我們還投資了4.02億美
元的約當普通股,總計Berkshire現在持有(在完全稀釋基礎下)中美能源80.2%的股
權,該公司詳細的財務報表請參閱37頁。

‧Last year I told you of the problems at Dexter that led to a huge loss in our
shoe business. Thanks to Frank Rooney and Jim Issler of H.H. Brown, the
Dexter operation has been turned around. Despite the cost of unwinding
our problems there, we earned $24 million in shoes last year, an upward
swing of $70 million from 2001.

去年我曾向各位報告,Dexter是造成我們鞋業大幅虧損的元兇,現在在H.H.Brown
的Frank及Jim的努力下,該公司的營運已回歸正軌,儘管解決問題耗費了不少成
本,但去年鞋業仍然賺了2,400萬美元的利潤,較2001年的虧損,大幅改善了7,000
萬美元。

Randy Watson at Justin also contributed to this improvement, increasing
margins significantly while trimming invested capital. Shoes are a tough
business, but we have terrific managers and believe that in the future we
will earn reasonable returns on the capital we employ in this operation.

主管Justin的Randy Watson對於這樣的轉變也貢獻良多,在縮減投資規模的同時
還能大幅提高毛利率,鞋業是一項艱困產業,但所幸我們擁有最優秀的經理人,而
且我也相信在未來我們一定能夠賺取合理的投資報酬。

‧In a so-so year for home-furnishing and jewelry retailers, our operations
did well. Among our eight retailing operations, the best performer was
Homemaker’s in Des Moines. There, the talented Merschman family
achieved outstanding gains in both sales and profits.

去年對於傢具及珠寶零售業來說,算是平平的一年,但我們旗下事業的表現卻相當
不錯,在我們旗下八家公司當中,表現最好的當屬位於Des Moins的家庭服務公司,
才華洋溢的Merschman家族締造了優異的營業額與獲利記錄。

Nebraska Furniture Mart will open a new blockbuster store in metropolitan
Kansas City in August. With 450,000 square feet of retail space, it could
well produce the second largest volume of any furniture store in the
country – the Omaha operation being the national champion. I hope
Berkshire shareholders in the Kansas City area will come out for the
opening (and keep coming).

內布拉斯加傢具店NFM將於今年八月在堪薩斯市開立一家全新的大型購物中心,總
樓地板面積高達45萬平方英呎,它將成為全美單店營業額第二位的傢具店,僅次於
其位於奧瑪哈的本店,我希望住在堪薩斯地區的Berkshire股東能夠一起蒞臨開幕
剪綵(當然以後更要繼續惠顧)。

‧Our home and construction-related businesses – Acme Brick, Benjamin
Moore Paint, Johns-Manville, MiTek and Shaw – delivered $941 million of
pre-tax earnings last year. Of particular significance was Shaw’s gain from
$292 million in 2001 to $424 million. Bob Shaw and Julian Saul are terrific
operators. Carpet prices increased only 1% last year, but Shaw’s
productivity gains and excellent expense control delivered significantly
improved margins.

至於我們住宅建築相關行業-包含Acme磚塊、Benjamin油漆、Johns-Manville防
火材料、MiTek材料及Shaw地毯等事業,去年總計貢獻了9.41億美元的稅前獲利,
其中要特別提到的是Shaw地毯的表現,其稅前獲利從2001年的2.92億美元大幅提
高到20002年的4.24億美元,Bob Shaw及Julian Saul堪稱經營高手,去年地毯的
價格漲幅平均不過1%,但Shaw本身的生產力提升以及絕佳的成本控管使得該公司
的毛利率依然大幅提高。
We cherish cost-consciousness at Berkshire. Our model is the widow who
went to the local newspaper to place an obituary notice. Told there was a
25-cents-a-word charge, she requested “Fred Brown died.” She was then
informed there was a seven-word minimum. “Okay” the bereaved woman
replied, “make it ‘Fred Brown died, golf clubs for sale’.”

在Berkshire我們特別強調成本意識,我們的模範是一位準備刊登丈夫訃文的寡
婦,報社告訴她每登一個字要二毛五,於是她要求刊登「Fred死了」,但報社又表
示每則至少要七個字,於是這位哀傷的婦人回覆到,那就改為「Fred死了,售高球
證」。
‧Earnings from flight services increased last year – but only because we
realized a special pre-tax gain of $60 million from the sale of our 50%
interest in FlightSafety Boeing. Without this gain, earnings from our
training business would have fallen slightly in concert with the slowdown in
business-aviation activity. FlightSafety training continues to be the gold
standard for the industry, and we expect growth in the years to come.

航空服務去年的盈餘略微成長,但那純粹是因為我們出售持股50%的飛安波音股權
所獲得6,000萬美元特別利益的關係,扣除這項利益,我們訓練業務的盈餘略微下
滑,主要反應商務飛行業務的下滑,飛安公司的訓練業務依舊是這個產業的最高標
準,而我們預期未來幾年將會持續成長。
At NetJets, our fractional-ownership operation, we are the runaway leader
of the four-company field. FAA records indicate that our industry share in
2002 was 75%, meaning that clients purchased or leased planes from us
that were valued at triple those recorded by our three competitors
combined. Last year, our fleet flew 132.7 million nautical miles, taking
clients to 130 countries.

至於專機部份所有權NetJets的營運,我們在這行大幅領先市場上其他三家同業,
FAA的記錄顯示我們2002年的市場佔有率高達75%,這代表客戶購買或租賃我們飛
機的總金額是其他三家同業的三倍,去年我們的機隊發行哩程數高達1.327億海
哩,搭載客戶到全世界130個國家。
Our preeminence is directly attributable to Rich Santulli, NetJets’ CEO. He
invented the business in 1986 and ever since has exhibited an unbending
devotion to the highest levels of service, safety and security. Rich, Charlie
and I insist on planes (and personnel) worthy of carrying our own families –
because they regularly do.
我們的優勢完全要歸功於Netjets的CEO-Rich Santulli,他在1986年開創這個行
業,至此之後,他便展現不折不撓的決心提供最頂級、最安全的服務,Rich、查理
跟我本人一向堅持必須培養足堪信賴的機隊與機組人員,因為我們自己本身的家人
就經常使用搭乘。
Though NetJets revenues set a record in 2002, the company again lost
money. A small profit in the U.S. was more than offset by losses in Europe.
Overall, the fractional-ownership industry lost significant sums last year,
and that is almost certain to be the outcome in 2003 as well. The bald fact
is that airplanes are costly to operate.
雖然NetJets的營業額在2002年創下新高,但該公司仍然處於虧損狀態,美國地區
確有小賺但仍抵不過歐洲地區的虧損,總的來說,專機所有權這行業在去年虧了不
少錢,而可以肯定的是2003年約莫也是這樣的光景,養機隊實在是一項很沈重的
負擔。

Over time, this economic reality should work to our advantage, given that
for a great many companies, private aircraft are an essential business tool.
And for most of these companies, NetJets makes compelling sense as
either a primary or supplementary supplier of the aircraft they need.
就長期而言,經濟現實終將站在我們這一邊,主要係考量私人專機仍是許多大企業
必備的商務工具,而對於這些公司來說,NetJets無疑是他們最主要或次要的飛機供
應廠商。
Many businesses could save millions of dollars annually by flying with us.
Indeed, the yearly savings at some large companies could exceed $10
million. Equally important, these companies would actually increase their
operational capabilities by using us. A fractional ownership of a single
NetJets plane allows a client to have several planes in the air
simultaneously. Additionally, through the interchange arrangement we
make available, an owner of an interest in one plane can fly any of 12 other
models, using whatever plane makes most sense for a mission. (One of my
sisters owns a fraction of a Falcon 2000, which she uses for trips to Hawaii,
but – exhibiting the Buffett gene – she interchanges to a more economical
Citation Excel for short trips in the U.S.)
利用我們的飛機,很多公司每年都可以輕易省下數百萬美元的開支,有些大公司節
省的金額甚至可以數千萬美元,更重要的是,搭配我們的飛機,這些公司可以大幅
增加自己的飛機調度彈性,只要持有一小部份的飛機所有權,客戶甚至可以同時使
用好幾架飛機,此外,經由我們提供的機隊組合,一位客戶可以視狀況自由選擇12
種不同機型,(我有一個姐姐擁有一架Falcon 2000部份所有權,她經常利用它往來
夏威夷與美國本土之間,但由於血液裡同樣擁有巴菲特家族的基因,她也經常轉換
選用比較經濟的Citation Excel 進行美國境內短程的旅行)。
The roster of NetJets users confirms the advantages we offer major
businesses. Take General Electric, for example. It has a large fleet of its
own but also has an unsurpassed knowledge of how to utilize aircraft
effectively and economically. And it is our largest customer.

NetJets的愛用者名單證明了我們能夠提供給大企業的種種好處,以奇異電氣為例,
由於其公司本身就擁有大批的機隊,因此相當了解應該如何有效率地運用其飛機,
事實上,它正是我們的最大客戶。
‧Our finance and financial products line covers a variety of operations,
among them certain activities in high-grade fixed-income securities that
proved highly profitable in 2002. Earnings in this arena will probably
continue for a while, but are certain to decrease – and perhaps disappear –
in time.
我們的財務及金融產品部門涵蓋了各式各樣的營運,其中包含一些信用評等高的固
定收益債券,這類交易在2002年的獲利特別高,我們預期這方面的高盈餘還會持
續一陣子,但就長期而言,這部份的盈餘終究會日漸下滑,甚至消失殆盡。
This category also includes a highly satisfactory – but rapidly diminishing –
income stream from our Berkadia investment in Finova (described in last
year’s report). Our partner, Leucadia National Corp., has managed this
operation with great skill, willingly doing far more than its share of the
heavy lifting. I like this division of labor and hope to join with Leucadia in
future transactions.
這其中包含特別令人感到滿意,但同時也以極快速度消失的Berkadia來自Finova
投資的收益(這項交易在去年的年報就詳述過),我們的合資夥伴-Leucadia公司以相
當高超的技巧來管理Berkadia,並極願分擔遠超過其份的重擔,我個人也很願意將
這重擔分給它們,並期望在將來可以與Leucadia共同參與更多的交易。
On the minus side, the Finance line also includes the operations of General
Re Securities, a derivatives and trading business. This entity lost $173
million pre-tax last year, a result that, in part, is a belated
acknowledgment of faulty, albeit standard, accounting it used in earlier
periods. Derivatives, in fact, deserve an extensive look, both in respect to
the accounting their users employ and to the problems they may pose for
both individual companies and our economy.

從負面的角度來看,財務金融部門的業務也包含了通用再保證券-這是衍生性金融
商品的買賣業務,這個單位去年稅前虧損了1.73億美元,這個成績其中也包含了一
部份遲遲未認列的錯誤損失,雖然當時依照一般公認會計原則,那樣的做法相當正
常,事實上對於衍生性金融商品,人們必須施以特別的關照,不管是其所運用的會
計原則或者它對個別公司或整個經濟社會可能造成的潛在問題。


Derivatives

衍生性金融商品
Charlie and I are of one mind in how we feel about derivatives and the
trading activities that go with them: We view them as time bombs, both for
the parties that deal in them and the economic system.
對於衍生性金融商品以及其他附帶的交易,查理跟我的看法完全一致,我們認為不
論是對參與交易的雙方或者是整個經濟體系而言,它們就像是一顆顆定時炸彈!
Having delivered that thought, which I’ll get back to, let me retreat to
explaining derivatives, though the explanation must be general because
the word covers an extraordinarily wide range of financial contracts.
Essentially, these instruments call for money to change hands at some
future date, with the amount to be determined by one or more reference
items, such as interest rates, stock prices or currency values. If, for
example, you are either long or short an S&P 500 futures contract, you are
a party to a very simple derivatives transaction – with your gain or loss
derived from movements in the index. Derivatives contracts are of varying
duration (running sometimes to 20 or more years) and their value is often
tied to several variables.
在丟出這個爆炸性的看法後,請容我稍後我再詳加說明,現在讓我先稍微解釋一下
衍生性金融商品,雖然這類的解釋相當空泛,因為這個名詞代表著相當廣泛的金融
交易,基本上,這類交易工具會使得財富在未來的一段時間內進行易手,其金額決
定於某個或數個關鍵指標,包含利率、股價或匯率等,舉例來說,假設你做多或放
空 S&P500指數期權,那麼你等於已經參與一項非常簡單的衍生性金融商品交易,
你的賺賠取決於指數的變動,衍生性金融商品的期間長短不一而足(有時甚至可能超
過20年以上),其價值的變化則繫於許多變數。
Unless derivatives contracts are collateralized or guaranteed, their ultimate
value also depends on the creditworthiness of the counterparties to them.
In the meantime, though, before a contract is settled, the counterparties
record profits and losses – often huge in amount – in their current earnings
statements without so much as a penny changing hands.
除非衍生性金融商品交易有質押擔保或是附帶保證,否則其最終的價值還必須取決
於交易雙方的履約能力,雖然在交易正式結算之前,交易雙方都會隨時在各自的損
益表上記錄盈虧-且其金額通常都相當龐大-即便實際上還沒有任何一塊錢進行移
轉。
The range of derivatives contracts is limited only by the imagination of man
(or sometimes, so it seems, madmen). At Enron, for example, newsprint
and broadband derivatives, due to be settled many years in the future,
were put on the books. Or say you want to write a contract speculating on
the number of twins to be born in Nebraska in 2020. No problem – at a
price, you will easily find an obliging counterparty.
只要是人想得到的(或者有時應該說是瘋狂的人),都可以被列為衍生性金融商品交
易的標的,舉例來說,當初在安隆,就有新聞及寬頻衍生性金融商品,雖然要在許
多年後才會結算,但此類交易還是可以入到公司的帳上;或比如說你想要簽一個契
約,賭內布拉斯加州2020年雙胞胎出生的數目,沒有問題,只要你肯出價,保證
你一定找得到有人肯跟你對賭。
When we purchased Gen Re, it came with General Re Securities, a
derivatives dealer that Charlie and I didn’t want, judging it to be
dangerous. We failed in our attempts to sell the operation, however, and
are now terminating it.
當初我們在買下通用再保時,該公司有一家附屬的通用再保證券,這是一家衍生性
金融商品經紀商,查理跟我認為它具有相當的危險性,所以並不想保留這個部門,
於是我們試圖將這個部門出售,但並沒有成功,最後只好將它慢慢清算。
But closing down a derivatives business is easier said than done. It will be a
great many years before we are totally out of this operation (though we
reduce our exposure daily). In fact, the reinsurance and derivatives
businesses are similar: Like Hell, both are easy to enter and almost
impossible to exit. In either industry, once you write a contract – which may
require a large payment decades later – you are usually stuck with it. True,
there are methods by which the risk can be laid off with others. But most
strategies of that kind leave you with residual liability.
但想要關閉一個衍生性金融商品部門,談何容易,想要擺脫它的糾纏可能要耗費許
多個年頭,(雖然我們正逐日降低所曝露的風險),事實上,再保險業與衍生性金融
商品交易有點類似,兩者都像是地獄一樣,並沒有多大的進入障礙,但想要退出卻
難如登天,一旦簽了約,你就擺脫不了它,有時甚至要等到幾十年後,才突然冒出
來要你支付一大筆錢,確實也有些法子可以讓你將風險轉嫁給別人,但大多數的做
法還是無法讓你免除連帶的責任。
Another commonality of reinsurance and derivatives is that both generate
reported earnings that are often wildly overstated. That’s true because
today’s earnings are in a significant way based on estimates whose
inaccuracy may not be exposed for many years.
再保險業與衍生性金融商品交易另一個共同特點就是兩者的帳面盈餘通常都有過度
高估的情況,這是由於目前的盈餘大多繫於許多未來的變數,而其正確性卻需要很
多年後才能揭曉。
Errors will usually be honest, reflecting only the human tendency to take an
optimistic view of one’s commitments. But the parties to derivatives also
have enormous incentives to cheat in accounting for them. Those who
trade derivatives are usually paid (in whole or part) on “earnings” calculated
by mark-to-market accounting. But often there is no real market (think
about our contract involving twins) and “mark-to-model” is utilized. This
substitution can bring on large-scale mischief. As a general rule, contracts
involving multiple reference items and distant settlement dates increase
the opportunities for counterparties to use fanciful assumptions. In the
twins scenario, for example, the two parties to the contract might well use
differing models allowing both to show substantial profits for many years.
In extreme cases, mark-to-model degenerates into what I would call
mark-to-myth.
但錯誤瞞的了人,卻騙不了自己,其所反應的,不過是人們對於他人的承諾,總是
傾向採取樂觀看法的現象,而且交易的雙方有極大的動機在會計帳務上作手腳,因
為這些負責買賣衍生性金融商品的人士,其報酬(全部或部份)往往取決於依市價結
算的帳面盈餘,但現實的狀況是(想想我們剛剛提到的雙胞胎合約)那個市場根本就
不存在,所以取而代之的是"依公式結算",這種替代性的做法有極大的漏洞,在通
常的狀況下,由於合約牽涉多個變數在加上結算日期的遙遠,使得交易雙方無形中
增加許多引用不實假設的機會,以我們剛剛提到的雙胞胎案例來說,訂立合約的雙
方可能使用截然不同的公式使得交易雙方連續好幾年同時享受鉅額的帳面獲利,在
最誇張的狀況下,所謂的"依公式結算"極可能墮落淪為"依鬼話結算"。
Of course, both internal and outside auditors review the numbers, but
that’s no easy job. For example, General Re Securities at yearend (after ten
months of winding down its operation) had 14,384 contracts outstanding,
involving 672 counterparties around the world. Each contract had a plus or
minus value derived from one or more reference items, including some of
mind-boggling complexity. Valuing a portfolio like that, expert auditors
could easily and honestly have widely varying opinions.
當然,不論是內部的稽核人員或者是外部的會計師,也都看過這些數字,但要弄懂
可不是一件容易的事,舉例來說,通用再保證券截至2002年年底(在決定徹底關閉
它的10個月後)仍有14,384件有效合約流落在外,交易對象遍佈全世界672個對
手,每一項合約的價值都會隨著一個或好幾個變數的變化而隨時上下變動,其中有
一些變數光是看了就令人覺得頭發昏,想要對於這些交易組合進行評價,就算是專
業的會計師,也往往會有不同的意見與看法。
The valuation problem is far from academic: In recent years, some huge-
scale frauds and near-frauds have been facilitated by derivatives trades. In
the energy and electric utility sectors, for example, companies used
derivatives and trading activities to report great “earnings” – until the roof
fell in when they actually tried to convert the derivatives-related
receivables on their balance sheets into cash. “Mark-to-market” then
turned out to be truly “mark-to-myth.”
評價難度本身早已超越學術性論證,近幾年來,有好幾件大規模的舞弊案及疑似舞
弊案都是緣自於衍生性金融商品交易,以公用能源事業來說,許多公司利用衍生性
金融商品交易來創造帳面鉅額的獲利,直到東窗事發之際,他們還試圖將衍生性金
融商品交易相關的應收款項,轉換成為現金科目,至此"依市價結算"真正淪為"依鬼
話結算"。
I can assure you that the marking errors in the derivatives business have
not been symmetrical. Almost invariably, they have favored either the
trader who was eyeing a multi-million dollar bonus or the CEO who wanted
to report impressive “earnings” (or both). The bonuses were paid, and the
CEO profited from his options. Only much later did shareholders learn that
the reported earnings were a sham.
我可以向各位保證,在衍生性金融商品交易所發生的錯誤,絕對無法讓交易雙方的
帳對得平,幾乎不例外的,他們都會偏坦有機會得到百萬獎金的營業員或特別希望
帳面擁有亮麗的報表數字的一方(或甚至是雙方),而最後往往要等到獎金支付給營
業員,而CEO因為認股權大發利市後,股東們才會發現所謂亮麗的財報數字根本就
是一場騙局。
Another problem about derivatives is that they can exacerbate trouble that
a corporation has run into for completely unrelated reasons. This pile-on
effect occurs because many derivatives contracts require that a company
suffering a credit downgrade immediately supply collateral to
counterparties. Imagine, then, that a company is downgraded because of
general adversity and that its derivatives instantly kick in with their
requirement, imposing an unexpected and enormous demand for cash
collateral on the company. The need to meet this demand can then throw
the company into a liquidity crisis that may, in some cases, trigger still
more downgrades. It all becomes a spiral that can lead to a corporate
meltdown.
衍生性金融商品交易的另一項問題是它可能因為一些毫不相關的原因,讓一家公司
的問題更為加重,這種滾雪球效應之所以會發生主要在於許多衍生性金融商品交易
的合約都要求對方一旦其信用評等遭到調降時,必須立刻提供質押擔保給交易對
方,大家可以想像到當一家公司面臨困境而被調降信用評等的同時,衍生性金融交
易卻又立即登門要求提供事先完全沒有設想到且金額龐大的現金時的情景,此舉可
能讓公司進一步陷入流動性的危機,而通常這又會讓公司的信用評等再度向下調
降,惡性循環的結果可能導致一家原本好好的公司因此垮台。
Derivatives also create a daisy-chain risk that is akin to the risk run by
insurers or reinsurers that lay off much of their business with others. In
both cases, huge receivables from many counterparties tend to build up
over time. (At Gen Re Securities, we still have $6.5 billion of receivables,
though we’ve been in a liquidation mode for nearly a year.) A participant
may see himself as prudent, believing his large credit exposures to be
diversified and therefore not dangerous. Under certain circumstances,
though, an exogenous event that causes the receivable from Company A to
go bad will also affect those from Companies B through Z. History teaches
us that a crisis often causes problems to correlate in a manner undreamed
of in more tranquil times.
衍生性金融商品交易也有可能造成骨牌效應的風險,這是因為許多保險業及再保業
者習慣將風險分散給其他保險公司,在這類的情況下,鉅額的應收款項將隨著交易
對象的日趨複雜而持續累積,(以通用再保證券來說,雖然已經經過將近一年的清算
期,目前仍有高達65億美元的應收款項流通在外),交易的一方或許對於自己相當
有信心,認為其鉅額的信用風險已經經過適度的分散,因此不會發生任何危險,只
有等到某種特殊狀況下,一個外部事件導致A公司的應收帳款發生問題,從而影響B
公司,乃至於一路到Z公司,歷史教訓告訴我們危機的發生往往是我們在太平盛世
時所夢想不到一連串問題串連所導致的。
In banking, the recognition of a “linkage” problem was one of the reasons
for the formation of the Federal Reserve System. Before the Fed was
established, the failure of weak banks would sometimes put sudden and
unanticipated liquidity demands on previously-strong banks, causing
them to fail in turn. The Fed now insulates the strong from the troubles of
the weak. But there is no central bank assigned to the job of preventing the
dominoes toppling in insurance or derivatives. In these industries, firms
that are fundamentally solid can become troubled simply because of the
travails of other firms further down the chain. When a “chain reaction”
threat exists within an industry, it pays to minimize links of any kind.
That’s how we conduct our reinsurance business, and it’s one reason we
are exiting derivatives.
在金融體系中,早期發現到連鎖反應的問題嚴重性是聯邦準備理事會成立的主要原
因之一,在聯準會成立以前,體質不佳的銀行倒閉有時可能會對一些原本體質還不
錯的銀行造成突然沒有預期到的流動性壓力,導致它們跟著出現問題,聯準會於是
建立一道防火牆將有問題的金融機構隔絕開,但是在保險業或是衍生性金融商品交
易,卻沒有類似中央銀行的控管機制來防止骨牌效應的發生,在這些產業,一家原
本體質不錯的公司很有可能因為其他公司發生問題而受到拖累,當這種連鎖反應的
威脅存在在產業中時,就絕對有必要盡量降低彼此間的牽連,這正是我們目前在再
保業採取的做法,同樣這也是我們選擇退出衍生性金融商品交易的原因之一。
Many people argue that derivatives reduce systemic problems, in that
participants who can’t bear certain risks are able to transfer them to
stronger hands. These people believe that derivatives act to stabilize the
economy, facilitate trade, and eliminate bumps for individual participants.
And, on a micro level, what they say is often true. Indeed, at Berkshire, I
sometimes engage in large-scale derivatives transactions in order to
facilitate certain investment strategies.
許多人聲稱衍生性金融商品交易可以有效降低系統風險,透過這類交易讓原本無法
承擔特定風險的人可以將風險移轉到他人身上,這些人相信衍生性金融商品成為穩
定經濟的力量、讓商業交易得以遂行同時降低個別參與者的變數,就個體層面而言,
他們的說法或許確是事實,就像是在Berkshire,我有時也會搭配一些大規模的衍
生性金融商品交易好讓某些投資策略得以遂行。
Charlie and I believe, however, that the macro picture is dangerous and
getting more so. Large amounts of risk, particularly credit risk, have
become concentrated in the hands of relatively few derivatives dealers,
who in addition trade extensively with one other. The troubles of one could
quickly infect the others. On top of that, these dealers are owed huge
amounts by non-dealer counterparties. Some of these counterparties, as
I’ve mentioned, are linked in ways that could cause them to
contemporaneously run into a problem because of a single event (such as
the implosion of the telecom industry or the precipitous decline in the
value of merchant power projects). Linkage, when it suddenly surfaces, can
trigger serious systemic problems.

然而查理跟我本人認為,以總體經濟的角度來看,這卻是相當危險,而且風險更有
日益加重的趨勢,大量的風險,尤其是信用風險,目前已逐漸累積在少數幾家衍生
性金融商品交易商身上,而且彼此的交易更是相當頻繁,這使得一家公司在發生問
題後,將很快地傳染給其他公司,到最後這些交易商將積欠非交易商的交易對方鉅
額欠款,而這些交易對方,如我剛剛提到的,由於彼此關係過於緊密,將導致一個
單一事件讓他們同時出現問題,(比如說電信產業的崩潰或者民間電力事業的價值大
幅減損等),關聯度過高-在問題浮現時,便有可能引發系統性的風險。
Indeed, in 1998, the leveraged and derivatives-heavy activities of a single
hedge fund, Long-Term Capital Management, caused the Federal Reserve
anxieties so severe that it hastily orchestrated a rescue effort. In later
Congressional testimony, Fed officials acknowledged that, had they not
intervened, the outstanding trades of LTCM – a firm unknown to the
general public and employing only a few hundred people – could well have
posed a serious threat to the stability of American markets. In other words,
the Fed acted because its leaders were fearful of what might have
happened to other financial institutions had the LTCM domino toppled.
And this affair, though it paralyzed many parts of the fixed-income market
for weeks, was far from a worst-case scenario.
就像是1998年大量從事高槓桿操作衍生性金融商品的避險基金-長期資本管理公
司LTCM就搞得大家焦頭爛額,最後使得聯準會不得不火速施出緊急援助,在後來
的國會聽證會中,聯準會官員坦承當初若非他們介入,這家名聲響亮但僅有數百名
員工的神祕公司LTCM,很有可能對於美國資本社會的穩定造成極嚴重的威脅,換
句話說,聯準會之所以甘冒大不諱打破慣例介入干預,完全是因為主事者害怕類似
的事件會發生在其他金融機構的身上進而引發骨牌效應,而這次的事件雖然導致大
部份固定收益市場一度癱瘓達數個星期之久,但個人認為,這還不是最壞的狀況。
One of the derivatives instruments that LTCM used was total-return swaps,
contracts that facilitate 100% leverage in various markets, including
stocks. For example, Party A to a contract, usually a bank, puts up all of the
money for the purchase of a stock while Party B, without putting up any
capital, agrees that at a future date it will receive any gain or pay any loss
that the bank realizes.
在所有衍生性金融商品中,全收益交換是LTCM經常使用的工具之一,這類的合約
使得該公司可以運用100%的槓桿在各種市場進行套利,也包含股票市場,舉例來
說,合約的一方A,通常是一家銀行,必須投入百分之百的資金買進股票,而在此
同時,合約的另一方B,卻可以不必投入任何資金,B公司就可以約定在未來的某個
日子時,取得或負擔A銀行所實現的利益或損失。
Total-return swaps of this type make a joke of margin requirements.
Beyond that, other types of derivatives severely curtail the ability of
regulators to curb leverage and generally get their arms around the risk
profiles of banks, insurers and other financial institutions. Similarly, even
experienced investors and analysts encounter major problems in analyzing
the financial condition of firms that are heavily involved with derivatives
contracts. When Charlie and I finish reading the long footnotes detailing
the derivatives activities of major banks, the only thing we understand is
that we don’t understand how much risk the institution is running.
這類全收益交換合約竟然連保證金都可以不需要,除此之外,其他種類的衍生性金
融商品也嚴重危害到主管機關抑制銀行、保險公司及其他金融單位採取高槓桿及風
險控管的強力鐵腕,同時,即便是經驗老道的投資者及分析師在看到這類佈滿衍生
性金融商品交易公司的財務狀況時,也束手無策,記得當查理跟我自己在看完幾家
大型銀行有關衍生性金融商品交易冗長的財務報表附註時,我們唯一可以確定的是
我們根本就不曉得這些金融機構到底承擔了多少的風險。

The derivatives genie is now well out of the bottle, and these instruments
will almost certainly multiply in variety and number until some event
makes their toxicity clear. Knowledge of how dangerous they are has
already permeated the electricity and gas businesses, in which the eruption
of major troubles caused the use of derivatives to diminish dramatically.
Elsewhere, however, the derivatives business continues to expand
unchecked. Central banks and governments have so far found no effective
way to control, or even monitor, the risks posed by these contracts.
衍生性金融商品交易鬼怪現在已從仙朵拉瓶子中竄出,而這類交易還會繼續以各種
不同形式自我複製,直至這個禍害所造成的危害為眾人所知時為止,它們的危險程
度從近年來瀰漫在電力能源產業的幾件個案可以略窺一二,在事件發生之後,衍生
性金融商品交易急速減少,然而在其他產業,衍生性金融商品交易卻照樣毫無節制
的急速擴張中,中央銀行及美國政府到目前為止依然找不到有效克制的辦法,甚至
連監控這些合約所構成風險的機制都沒有。
Charlie and I believe Berkshire should be a fortress of financial strength –
for the sake of our owners, creditors, policyholders and employees. We try
to be alert to any sort of megacatastrophe risk, and that posture may make
us unduly apprehensive about the burgeoning quantities of long-term
derivatives contracts and the massive amount of uncollateralized
receivables that are growing alongside. In our view, however, derivatives
are financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that, while
now latent, are potentially lethal.

查理跟我相信Berkshire依然是所有股東、債權人、保戶及員工最堅強的財務堡壘,
我們對於任何可能的潛在重大意外都戒慎恐懼,或許對於長期性衍生性金融商品的
大量交易及鉅額膨脹的無擔保應收款項的保留態度,讓我們看起有點過慮了,但我
們還是認為衍生性金融商品是財務金融的毀滅性武器,其所帶來的危險,雖然是潛
在不可知,但絕對是致命的可能。


Investments

股票投資

Below we show our common stock investments. Those that had a market
value of more than $500 million at the end of 2002 are itemized.

下表是Berkshire 2002年市價超過5億美元以上的股票投資。

12/31/02

Shares Company Cost Market

------- -------

(dollars in millions)

151,610,700 American Express Company ............. $ 1,470 $ 5,359

200,000,000 The Coca-Cola Company ..................... 1,299 8,768

96,000,000 The Gillette Company.................. 600 2,915

15,999,200 H&R Block, Inc................................... 255 643

6,708,760 M&T Bank......................................... 103 532

24,000,000 Moody’s Corporation...................... 499 991

1,727,765 The Washington Post Company .................... 11 1,275

53,265,080 Wells Fargo & Company ......................... 306 2,497

Others ............................................. 4,621 5,383
------- -------

Total Common Stocks ................... $9,164 $28,363

We continue to do little in equities. Charlie and I are increasingly
comfortable with our holdings in Berkshire’s major investees because most
of them have increased their earnings while their valuations have
decreased. But we are not inclined to add to them. Though these
enterprises have good prospects, we don’t yet believe their shares are
undervalued.
在股票投資方面,我們依舊沒有什麼動作,查理跟我對於Berkshire目前主要的持
股部位越來越感到滿意,一方面由於被投資公司的盈餘逐漸增加,同時間其股價反
而下滑,不過現在我們還是無意增加持股部位,雖然這些公司的前景都相當不錯,
但截至目前為止,我們還是不認為他們的股價有受到低估的可能。
In our view, the same conclusion fits stocks generally. Despite three years
of falling prices, which have significantly improved the attractiveness of
common stocks, we still find very few that even mildly interest us. That
dismal fact is testimony to the insanity of valuations reached during The
Great Bubble. Unfortunately, the hangover may prove to be proportional
to the binge.
我們認為,這種看法也適用於一般的股市,儘管股市連續三年下跌,相對大大增加
了投資股票的吸引力,但我們還是很難找到真正能夠引起我們興趣的投資標的,這
可謂是先前網路泡沫所遺留下來的後遺症,而很不幸的,狂歡之後所帶來的宿醉截
至目前而止仍然尚未完全消退。
The aversion to equities that Charlie and I exhibit today is far from
congenital. We love owning common stocks – if they can be purchased at
attractive prices. In my 61 years of investing, 50 or so years have offered
that kind of opportunity. There will be years like that again. Unless,
however, we see a very high probability of at least 10% pre-tax returns
(which translate to 6?-7% after corporate tax), we will sit on the sidelines.
With short-term money returning less than 1% after-tax, sitting it out is no
fun. But occasionally successful investing requires inactivity.
查理跟我現在對於股票退避三宿的態度,並非天生如此,事實上,我們非常喜歡投
資股票,我是說如果可以以合理的價格進行的話,在我個人61年的投資生涯中,大
約有50個年頭以上,都有這樣的機會出現,我想以後也還會有相當多類似的機會,
只不過,除非是我們發現至少可以獲得稅前10%報酬的機率相當高時,(在扣除企業
所得稅後,淨得6.5%到7%的報酬),否則我們寧可在旁觀望,雖然必須忍受短期閒
置資金不到1%的稅後報酬,但成功的投資本來就必須要有耐性。
Last year we were, however, able to make sensible investments in a few
“junk” bonds and loans. Overall, our commitments in this sector
sextupled, reaching $8.3 billion by yearend.
所幸,去年我們得以將部份資金運用在一些不錯的垃圾債券及債權投資之上,至去
年底我們在這方面的累計投資金額增加了6倍,達到83億美元之譜。
Investing in junk bonds and investing in stocks are alike in certain ways:
Both activities require us to make a price-value calculation and also to scan
hundreds of securities to find the very few that have attractive reward/risk
ratios. But there are important differences between the two disciplines as
well. In stocks, we expect every commitment to work out well because we
concentrate on conservatively financed businesses with strong competitive
strengths, run by able and honest people. If we buy into these companies
at sensible prices, losses should be rare. Indeed, during the 38 years we
have run the company’s affairs, gains from the equities we manage at
Berkshire (that is, excluding those managed at General Re and GEICO) have
exceeded losses by a ratio of about 100 to one.
投資垃圾債券跟投資股票在許多方面相當雷同,兩者都需要評估價格與價值比,並
在成千上萬個標的中挑選出少數風險/報酬比率最佳者,當然兩者在原則上也有許
多明顯的不同,在投資股票時,我們預期每一筆投資都會成功,因為我們已將資金
鎖定在少數幾家財務穩健、具備競爭優勢並由才幹誠信兼具的經理人所經營的公司
身上,如果我們以合理的價格買進這類公司時,損失發生的機率通常非常小,確實
在我們經營Berkshire 的38年當中(扣除通用再保與GEICO的投資),投資獲利的個
案比起投資虧損的比例約為100比1。
Purchasing junk bonds, we are dealing with enterprises that are far more
marginal. These businesses are usually overloaded with debt and often
operate in industries characterized by low returns on capital.
Additionally, the quality of management is sometimes questionable.
Management may even have interests that are directly counter to those of
debtholders. Therefore, we expect that we will have occasional large losses
in junk issues. So far, however, we have done reasonably well in this field.

但在投資垃圾債券時,我們面對的企業體質就比較差了,這些公司通常都背負大筆
的負債,同時所處產業的投資報酬率都相當低,此外管理當局的素質有時也有問題,
其利益有時甚至與債權人相衝突,因此我們預期這類投資難免會出現虧損,所幸到
目前為止,我們在這部份的投資績效還算相當不錯。


Corporate Governance

公司治理
Both the ability and fidelity of managers have long needed monitoring.
Indeed, nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ addressed this subject,
speaking (Luke 16:2) approvingly of “a certain rich man” who told his
manager, “Give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest no longer
be steward.”
長久以來,管理當局的能力與誠信本就必須受到嚴密的檢視,事實上,在2000多
年以前,耶穌基督就曾對這個議題發表過看法,祂在路加福音16:2提到:「一位財
主叫管家來,請你把所管的事情交代清楚,因為你不再是我的管家」。

Accountability and stewardship withered in the last decade, becoming
qualities deemed of little importance by those caught up in the Great
Bubble. As stock prices went up, the behavioral norms of managers went
down. By the late ’90s, as a result, CEOs who traveled the high road did not
encounter heavy traffic.
過去10多年來,企業誠信度與領導風範日漸式微,在網路泡沫巔峰時期,這些特質
不再受到人們的重視,當公司股價上漲的同時,經理人的行為舉止卻向下沈淪,這
使得90年代末期,那些高格調的CEO幾乎遇不到同路人。
Most CEOs, it should be noted, are men and women you would be happy to
have as trustees for your children’s assets or as next-door neighbors. Too
many of these people, however, have in recent years behaved badly at the
office, fudging numbers and drawing obscene pay for mediocre business
achievements. These otherwise decent people simply followed the career
path of Mae West: “I was Snow White but I drifted.”
不過必須注意的是,大部分的CEO私底下就像是你會想要把子女的資產付託或就像
是鄰居般親切的好好先生女士,不過這裡面有很多人,近年來在職場上的表現卻每
下愈況,不但表現平庸,還假造數字,藉以搾取高額不當的利益,這群美中不足的
人士,遵循的不過是Mae West生涯規劃:「曾經我是位白雪公主,但如今我已不再
清白。」
In theory, corporate boards should have prevented this deterioration of
conduct. I last wrote about the responsibilities of directors in the 1993
annual report. (We will send you a copy of this discussion on request, or
you may read it on the Internet in the Corporate Governance section of the
1993 letter.) There, I said that directors “should behave as if there was a
single absentee owner, whose long-term interest they should try to further
in all proper ways.” This means that directors must get rid of a manager
who is mediocre or worse, no matter how likable he may be. Directors must
react as did the chorus-girl bride of an 85-yearold multimillionaire when
he asked whether she would love him if he lost his money. “Of course,” the
young beauty replied, “I would miss you, but I would still love you.”
理論上,公司董事會應該要能夠預防這類惡質行為的發生,最近一次我在1993年
的年報上曾提到過董事們應盡的責任,(若有需要,可向我們索取這篇文章,或者大
家可以透過網路直接下載1993年有關企業治理的篇章),當時我曾表示「我認為董
事會的行為舉止,應該要像是公司背後有一個因事未出席的大股東一樣,在各種情
況下,都要能夠確保這位虛擬大股東的長期利益不會受到損害」,這句話的意思是,
董事會絕對不能容許公司讓一個平庸或甚至是差勁的經理人存在,不管他是如何受
到所有人的愛戴皆然,董事們應該要像是一位年輕的辣妹在下嫁給85歲的億萬富翁
時,被問到:「如果我身無分文的話,你是否還會愛我?」時的反應一樣,這位年輕
女郎回答說:「雖然我愛你,但我會更想念你」。
In the 1993 annual report, I also said directors had another job: “If able but
greedy managers overreach and try to dip too deeply into the
shareholders’ pockets, directors must slap their hands.” Since I wrote that,
over-reaching has become common but few hands have been slapped.
在1993年的年報中,我也曾說過董事的另外一項責任:「要是能幹的經營階層過於
貪心,不時地想要從股東的口袋裡撈錢,那麼董事會就必須適時地出手制止並給予
警告」,只可惜自從那以後,儘管經理人掏空口袋的行為司空見慣,但卻不見有人出
面制止。
Why have intelligent and decent directors failed so miserably? The answer
lies not in inadequate laws – it’s always been clear that directors are
obligated to represent the interests of shareholders – but rather in what I’d
call “boardroom atmosphere.”
為何一向英明且睿智的董事們會如此慘敗呢?? 其實問題並不在法律層面,董事會本
來就應該以捍衛股東利益為最高職志,我認為真正的癥結在於我所謂的"董事會習性
"。
It’s almost impossible, for example, in a boardroom populated by well-
mannered people, to raise the question of whether the CEO should be
replaced. It’s equally awkward to question a proposed acquisition that has
been endorsed by the CEO, particularly when his inside staff and outside
advisors are present and unanimously support his decision. (They wouldn’t
be in the room if they didn’t.) Finally, when the compensation committee –
armed, as always, with support from a high-paid consultant – reports on a
megagrant of options to the CEO, it would be like belching at the dinner
table for a director to suggest that the committee reconsider.
舉例來說,通常在充滿和諧氣氛的董事會議上,幾乎不可能討論到是否應該撤換
CEO這類嚴肅的話題,同樣地董事也不可能笨到會去質疑已經由CEO大力背書的購
併案,尤其是當列席的內部幕僚與外部顧問皆一致地支持他英明的決策時,(他們若
不支持的話,可能早就被趕出去了),最後,當薪資報酬委員會,通常佈滿了支領高
薪的顧問,報告將給予CEO大量的認股權時,任何提出保留意見的董事,通常會被
視為像是在宴會上打嗝一樣地失禮。
These “social” difficulties argue for outside directors regularly meeting
without the CEO – a reform that is being instituted and that I
enthusiastically endorse. I doubt, however, that most of the other new
governance rules and recommendations will provide benefits
commensurate with the monetary and other costs they impose.

在這樣的溝通困難下,於是便有讓外部董事在CEO不在場的情況下,進行例行聚會
的呼聲,這項改革目前正在立法當中,個人對於這樣的建議,給予相當正面的肯定,
不過我也懷疑,增加任何的治理規定以及建議,其所必須付出的金錢與其他成本,
可能與因此所得到的利益相當。
The current cry is for “independent” directors. It is certainly true that it is
desirable to have directors who think and speak independently – but they
must also be business-savvy, interested and shareholderoriented. In my
1993 commentary, those are the three qualities I described as essential.
對於目前外界大聲疾呼的"獨立董事"制度,理論上,公司絕對必須要有思想與言論
上獨立的董事存在,但他們同時也必須具有豐富的商業經歷、積極的態度,並以股
東利益為導向,我在1993年就曾提到,這是我個人認為絕對必要的三項特質。
Over a span of 40 years, I have been on 19 public-company boards
(excluding Berkshire’s) and have interacted with perhaps 250 directors.
Most of them were “independent” as defined by today’s rules. But the great
majority of these directors lacked at least one of the three qualities I value.
As a result, their contribution to shareholder well-being was minimal at
best and, too often, negative. These people, decent and intelligent though
they were, simply did not know enough about business and/or care
enough about shareholders to question foolish acquisitions or egregious
compensation. My own behavior, I must ruefully add, frequently fell short
as well: Too often I was silent when management made proposals that I
judged to be counter to the interests of shareholders. In those cases,
collegiality trumped independence.
過去40多年來,我曾經擔任過19家公開上市公司的董事(Berkshire不算在內),同
時至少跟250位以上的董事進行過互動,他們其中多數都符合目前"獨立董事"的標
準,但這些董事大多至少缺乏我所提到的三項特質之一,這樣的結果導致他們對於
股東利益的貢獻微乎其微,甚至常常有害股東的利益,這些人雖然彬彬有禮且學識
淵博,但對於產業的了解卻極其有限,同時也不會站在股東的立場去質疑不當的購
併決策或不合理的薪資報酬,至於我個人的表現,我必須鬱卒地承認,往往做的也
不夠好:當公司管理階層在做出有違股東利益的提案時,通常我只能選擇沈默以對,
在這種狀況下,和諧感戰勝了獨立性。
So that we may further see the failings of “independence,” let’s look at a
62-year case study covering thousands of companies. Since 1940, federal
law has mandated that a large proportion of the directors of investment
companies (most of these mutual funds) be independent. The requirement
was originally 40% and now it is 50%. In any case, the typical fund has long
operated with a majority of directors who qualify as independent.
現在讓我們更進一步來探討喪失獨立性的現象,看看過去62年以來涵蓋數千家公司
的個案研究就可看出端倪,自從1940年以來,聯邦法令規定投資公司(其中絕大部
份為共同基金)一定比例的董事必須維持獨立,原本的要求是40%,目前則提高為
50%,但不論如何,共同基金的董事會組織運作一般都符合獨立性的條件。
These directors and the entire board have many perfunctory duties, but in
actuality have only two important responsibilities: obtaining the best
possible investment manager and negotiating with that manager for the
lowest possible fee. When you are seeking investment help yourself, those
two goals are the only ones that count, and directors acting for other
investors should have exactly the same priorities. Yet when it comes to
independent directors pursuing either goal, their record has been
absolutely pathetic.
這些董事及整個董事會依功能區分背負許多責任,但實務上的運作,通常只有兩項
重要的任務,一是找到最優秀的基金經理人,一是協調爭取最低的管理費,我想當
一個人在為自己尋求投資的協助時,這兩項目標應該是最要緊的,同樣地當董事們
接受其他投資人託咐時,也應該會有相同的考量,然而實證顯示,這些獨立董事在
這方面的表現卻是令人感到嘆息。
Many thousands of investment-company boards meet annually to carry out
the vital job of selecting who will manage the savings of the millions of
owners they represent. Year after year the directors of Fund A select
manager A, Fund B directors select manager B, etc. … in a zombie-like
process that makes a mockery of stewardship. Very occasionally, a board
will revolt. But for the most part, a monkey will type out a Shakespeare play
before an “independent” mutual-fund director will suggest that his fund
look at other managers, even if the incumbent manager has persistently
delivered substandard performance. When they are handling their own
money, of course, directors will look to alternative advisors – but it never
enters their minds to do so when they are acting as fiduciaries for others.
成千上萬的投資公司董事會每年都會聚會行使投資人賦予他們的重大責任-為其背
後所代表的數百萬投資人選擇適當的人選來管理其身家財產,只是我們發現,年復
一年董事會只不過是裝出掌握控制權的表面假象,A基金公司永遠選擇A經理人、B
基金公司也總是選擇B經理人,其制式程序就像殭屍般食古不化,當然偶爾也會有
董事會突鎚,但大部分的時候,就算現任的基金經理人的表現有多差勁也一樣視而
不見,我想要等這些獨立行使職務的董事願意開始建議尋找其他合適的經理人人
選,恐怕連猴子都有辦法寫出莎士比亞歌劇了,吊詭的是,當這些人在處理自己的
資產時,只要發現苗頭不對,他們肯定立刻見風轉舵,另覓賢能,實在是無法理解
當他們在受託幫他人管理資產時,為何腦筋偏偏就轉不過來呢?
The hypocrisy permeating the system is vividly exposed when a fund
management company – call it “A” – is sold for a huge sum to Manager
“B”. Now the “independent” directors experience a “counterrevelation”
and decide that Manager B is the best that can be found – even though B
was available (and ignored) in previous years. Not so incidentally, B also
could formerly have been hired at a far lower rate than is possible now that
it has bought Manager A. That’s because B has laid out a fortune to acquire
A, and B must now recoup that cost through fees paid by the A
shareholders who were “delivered” as part of the deal. (For a terrific
discussion of the mutual fund business, read John Bogle’s Common Sense
on Mutual Funds.)
當一家基金公司-我們姑且稱之為A公司,被一位經理人B以極高價位買斷時,瀰漫
在這個系統內的偽善氣氛就會被特別凸顯,這時我們立刻可以發現這些獨立董事們
終於開始"自我反省",認為B先生才是最佳的基金經理人,盡管B先生不是今天才存
在這個業界(其實是被刻意忽略),而且通常很不湊巧的,B先生在自A先生手中買下
A公司後,其薪資價碼肯定比原本的薪資水準高得許多,我想主要原因在於,為了
取得A公司,B先生已經砸下了大筆的銀子,非得從連帶移轉過來A公司的股東們支
付(這也是交易的附帶條件)的管理費中撈回來不可,(如果想要多了解基金公司的內
幕,建議各位讀一讀John Bogle的著作-共同基金的常識一書)。
A few years ago, my daughter was asked to become a director of a family of
funds managed by a major institution. The fees she would have received as
a director were very substantial, enough to have increased her annual
income by about 50% (a boost, she will tell you, she could use!). Legally,
she would have been an independent director. But did the fund manager
who approached her think there was any chance that she would think
independently as to what advisor the fund should employ? Of course not. I
am proud to say that she showed real independence by turning down the
offer. The fund, however, had no trouble filling the slot (and – surprise –
the fund has not changed managers).
幾年前,我的女兒受一家大型的基金機構的邀請擔任該公司的董事,擔任董事的報
酬非常可觀,大概可以讓她的年收入一下子增加50%以上,(關於增加的部份,她個
人保證有能力可以運用),在法律形式上,她將會是一位獨立的董事,但骨子裡基金
經理人真的會認為她能夠獨立地提供任何有用的建議嗎?? 當然不,然而我也很自傲
的跟各位報告,她果然很獨立地拒絕了這項優渥的提案,當然該基金也絕對不愁找
不到有人來替代(倒是令人驚訝的該基金並未更換基金經理人)。
Investment company directors have failed as well in negotiating
management fees (just as compensation committees of many American
companies have failed to hold the compensation of their CEOs to sensible
levels). If you or I were empowered, I can assure you that we could easily
negotiate materially lower management fees with the incumbent managers
of most mutual funds. And, believe me, if directors were promised a
portion of any fee savings they realized, the skies would be filled with
falling fees. Under the current system, though, reductions mean nothing to
“independent” directors while meaning everything to managers. So guess
who wins?

投資公司的董事同樣也沒有能夠好好地為投資人協調爭取合理的管理費(就像是很
多美國大企業的薪資委員會未能將該公司總裁的薪資限制在合理的範圍內一樣),我
想如果是你我受命委託,我可以跟各位打包票,我們絕對可以輕易地跟絕大多數現
任的基金經理人談判,大幅降低其所收取的管理費,而且相信我,如果董事被告知
可以分到節省下來的部份所得,我保證管理費用一定降翻天,然而在現有制度下,
降低管理費對於獨立的董事們來說一點好處都沒有,但卻又是基金經理人最最在乎
的地方,所以很明顯的勝負立判。
Having the right money manager, of course, is far more important to a
fund than reducing the manager’s fee. Both tasks are nonetheless the job
of directors. And in stepping up to these all-important responsibilities,
tens of thousands of “independent” directors, over more than six decades,
have failed miserably. (They’ve succeeded, however, in taking care of
themselves; their fees from serving on multiple boards of a single “family”
of funds often run well into six figures.)
當然找到一位好的基金經理人要遠比一昧地刪減管理費重要的多,但不論如何,兩
者都是董事最主要的職責,只是在談到這些最最重要的責任時,數萬名獨立董事,
六十多年來的經驗顯示,他們的成績實在是慘不忍睹,(不過對於自己的權益,他們
倒是保護的不錯,即便是同時擔任同一家基金公司不同基金的董事,其酬勞往往輕
易地超過六位數)。
When the manager cares deeply and the directors don’t, what’s needed is a
powerful countervailing force – and that’s the missing element in today’s
corporate governance. Getting rid of mediocre CEOs and eliminating
overreaching by the able ones requires action by owners – big owners. The
logistics aren’t that tough: The ownership of stock has grown increasingly
concentrated in recent decades, and today it would be easy for institutional
managers to exert their will on problem situations. Twenty, or even fewer,
of the largest institutions, acting together, could effectively reform
corporate governance at a given company, simply by withholding their
votes for directors who were tolerating odious behavior. In my view, this
kind of concerted action is the only way that corporate stewardship can be
meaningfully improved.
當基金經理人非常在乎而董事卻漠不關心,這時就需要有一股強而有力的反制力量
存在,但偏偏這卻是今日公司治理最缺乏的要點,想要能夠擺脫平庸CEO的糾纏,
尋找真正的能人取而代之,股東們,尤其是大股東必須要站起來有所行動,這樣的
道理並沒有多大的學問,近年來股權的集中程度有增無減,機構投資法人在面對問
題發生時,可以很容易依照其意志提出解決方案,只要少數比如說20家大型的投資
機構聯合採取行動,就可以有效地改革任何一家公司的企業治理程度,只要不把票
投給那些容忍脫序行為發生的董事就成了,就我個人的看法,唯有採取這種的團結
一致的行動才可能讓企業治理獲得明顯的改善。
Unfortunately, certain major investing institutions have “glass house”
problems in arguing for better governance elsewhere; they would shudder,
for example, at the thought of their own performance and fees being
closely inspected by their own boards. But Jack Bogle of Vanguard fame,
Chris Davis of Davis Advisors, and Bill Miller of Legg Mason are now
offering leadership in getting CEOs to treat their owners properly. Pension
funds, as well as other fiduciaries, will reap better investment returns in
the future if they support these men.
不幸的是,某些大型的投資機構根本上存在著"玻璃屋"的問題,聲稱可以從其他地
方著手加強企業治理,比如說,它們一想到董事會要來嚴密檢視其績效及管理費時,
就感到驚懼不已,但先鋒基金的Jack Bogle、Davis投顧的Chris Davis及Legg
Mason的Bill Miller現在都站出來引導CEO朝向公平對待股東的路上邁進,而如果
退休基金以及其他信託基金也能夠一起站出來支持這群人,個人相信這些機構在未
來一定可以得到更佳的投資報酬。
The acid test for reform will be CEO compensation. Managers will
cheerfully agree to board “diversity,” attest to SEC filings and adopt
meaningless proposals relating to process. What many will fight, however,
is a hard look at their own pay and perks.
辦別改革真偽的最好方法就是看看CEO的待遇報酬,經理人一般都相當贊同董事會
的多元化,以符合證管會的法令要求,並依規範遵循一些沒有太大意義的作業程序,
然而多數經理人真正關心的,還是如何爭取對自己最有利的待遇及福利。
In recent years compensation committees too often have been tail-
wagging puppy dogs meekly following recommendations by consultants, a
breed not known for allegiance to the faceless shareholders who pay their
fees. (If you can’t tell whose side someone is on, they are not on yours.)
True, each committee is required by the SEC to state its reasoning about
pay in the proxy. But the words are usually boilerplate written by the
company’s lawyers or its human-relations department.
近年來,薪資報酬委員會往往扮演搖尾乞憐的搖擺狗,有如橡皮章一樣被動遵循顧
問們的建議,就是那群由股東們付高薪卻不懂得效忠其主之流,(如果你不清楚這群
人到底是站在那一邊,那麼它們肯定不是跟你一國的),確實每一個委員會在委託書
件中都會被證券主管機關要求說明其報酬的緣由,但其用詞遣字往往是由公司律師
或者是公關部門事先安排好的例行法律用字。
This costly charade should cease. Directors should not serve on
compensation committees unless they are themselves capable of
negotiating on behalf of owners. They should explain both how they think
about pay and how they measure performance. Dealing with shareholders’
money, moreover, they should behave as they would were it their own.
這類畫蛇添足的行為實無存在之必要,董事們不應擔任薪資委員會成員,除非他們
自認為有能力為股東們喉舌爭取權益,同時他們必須說明對於經理人報酬的看法以
及如何來評估其績效,在代投資人管理資金時,他們必須像是在處理自己的金錢一
樣用心。
In the 1890s, Samuel Gompers described the goal of organized labor as
“More!” In the 1990s, America’s CEOs adopted his battle cry. The upshot
is that CEOs have often amassed riches while their shareholders have
experienced financial disasters.
1890年代,美國勞工聯盟創盟主席 Samuel Gompers形容勞工組織的主要目標就
是"我要更多",1990年代美國企業的CEO們採取相同的口號,而最終的結果往往是
CEO們累積了大量的財富的同時,股東們卻遭受重大的財務損失。
Directors should stop such piracy. There’s nothing wrong with paying well
for truly exceptional business performance. But, for anything short of that,
it’s time for directors to shout “Less!” It would be a travesty if the bloated
pay of recent years became a baseline for future compensation.
Compensation committees should go back to the drawing boards.


董事會絕對必須要阻止這樣的劣行,雖然支付高薪給表現真正優秀的經理人本是天
經地義的事,但如果不是那麼一回事的話,董事們就有必要大膽說句"夠了",否則
要是近年來這類誇張的薪資報酬成為往後薪資報酬的底限時豈不荒唐,關於此事薪
資委員會實有必要再好好重長計議一番。

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

Rules that have been proposed and that are almost certain to go into effect
will require changes in Berkshire’s board, obliging us to add directors who
meet the codified requirements for “independence.” Doing so, we will add
a test that we believe is important, but far from determinative, in fostering
independence: We will select directors who have huge and true ownership
interests (that is, stock that they or their family have purchased, not been
given by Berkshire or received via options), expecting those interests to
influence their actions to a degree that dwarfs other considerations such as
prestige and board fees.
目前正在修正並渴望於近日通過的法令,勢必要求Berkshire的董事會進行改組,
在原本的董事外增列符合"獨立性"法令規範的獨立董事,為此我們認為還必須增加
另外一項相當重要但也不是那麼絕對的測試,以認定其獨立性,我們將選拔真正擁
有重大權益(也就是其本人或家族投資,而不是由Berkshire透過認股權給予的股
份),以確保其真正會為了自身的權益而不是名望或董事酬勞來決定其做法。
That gets to an often-overlooked point about directors’ compensation,
which at public companies averages perhaps $50,000 annually. It baffles
me how the many directors who look to these dollars for perhaps 20% or
more of their annual income can be considered independent when Ron
Olson, for example, who is on our board, may be deemed not
independent because he receives a tiny percentage of his very large income
from Berkshire legal fees. As the investment company saga suggests, a
director whose moderate income is heavily dependent on directors’ fees –
and who hopes mightily to be invited to join other boards in order to earn
more fees – is highly unlikely to offend a CEO or fellow directors, who in a
major way will determine his reputation in corporate circles. If regulators
believe that “significant” money taints independence (and it certainly can),
they have overlooked a massive class of possible offenders.
這其中又牽涉到常常被忽視的董事報酬問題,上市公司董事的年平均收入達到5萬
美元以上,這讓我感到困惑,多數董事在面對這筆超過其年收入20%以上的金錢時,
是如何維持其獨立性的,相對地Berkshire的董事之一Ron Olson,就比較不會被
認為不獨立,因為他從Berkshire公司收取的法律顧問費只不過佔其龐大收入的非
常小部份,就如一位投資公司先知所說的,一位收入普通相當依賴董事酬勞,而且
亟欲受邀擔任其他公司董事以獲取更多董事報酬的人,他很有可能不敢斗膽冒犯
CEO或其他董事成員,因為後者對於前者在公司業界的名聲有相當大的影響力,而
如果管理當局相信高額金錢會影響到獨立性(事實也確是如此),那麼他們很有可能
錯過了一大群真正敢發出聲音的人。
At Berkshire, wanting our fees to be meaningless to our directors, we pay
them only a pittance. Additionally, not wanting to insulate our directors
from any corporate disaster we might have, we don’t provide them with
officers’ and directors’ liability insurance (an unorthodoxy that, not so
incidentally, has saved our shareholders many millions of dollars over the
years). Basically, we want the behavior of our directors to be driven by the
effect their decisions will have on their family’s net worth, not by their
compensation. That’s the equation for Charlie and me as managers, and
we think it’s the right one for Berkshire directors as well.
在Berkshire,為了避免董事報酬佔其個人收入的比例太高,我們僅象徵性地支付
一點報酬,此外為了不讓董事們規避公司發生重大經營意外的風險,我們也不提供
董事經理人責任保險(雖然這在一般公司並非常態,但每年卻也為公司節省了好幾百
萬美元的保險費用),基本上,我們希望董事們的行為想法跟在處理自家財務一般小
心謹慎,而不只是著眼於董事報酬,這跟查理與我本人在身為Berkshire經營者的
心態一致,我們這樣的做法同樣也適用於Berkshire的董事們。
To find new directors, we will look through our shareholders list for people
who directly, or in their family, have had large Berkshire holdings – in the
millions of dollars – for a long time. Individuals making that cut should
automatically meet two of our tests, namely that they be interested in
Berkshire and shareholder-oriented. In our third test, we will look for
business savvy, a competence that is far from commonplace.
為了尋找新任董事,我們會先從現有股東名單中著手,挑選個人及家族長期擁有大
量Berkshire股份的股東,金額絕對以百萬計,因為達到標準的這些人很自然的已
經符合前兩項測試,也就是他們關心Berkshire,同時也以股東權益為導向,至於
第三項測試,我們將挑選具有豐富商業經驗的人士,這點的困難度相對就較高。
Finally, we will continue to have members of the Buffett family on the
board. They are not there to run the business after I die, nor will they then
receive compensation of any kind. Their purpose is to ensure, for both
our shareholders and managers, that Berkshire’s special culture will be
nurtured when I’m succeeded by other CEOs.
最後,巴菲特家族成員也將繼續留在Berkshire的董事會中,但這並不代表他們在
我死後會接手經營Berkshire,也不會另外領取其他額外的報酬,他們主要的目標
是替所有公司經理人與股東,確保未來在其他CEO接替我之後,Berkshire能夠繼
續保有其特有的企業文化。
Any change we make in the composition of our board will not alter the way
Charlie and I run Berkshire. We will continue to emphasize substance over
form in our work and waste as little time as possible during board
meetings in show-and-tell and perfunctory activities. The most important
job of our board is likely to be the selection of successors to Charlie and
me, and that is a matter upon which it will focus.
當然任何董事會的變動都不會影響到查理跟我經營Berkshire的方式,我們還是會
像過去一樣重實質而不重形式,並且盡量避免董事會把時間浪費在形式上的問答
上,Berkshire董事會最主要的任務就是決定查理跟我日後的繼承人,這才是他們
將來真正應該要做的。
The board we have had up to now has overseen a shareholder-oriented
business, consistently run in accord with the economic principles set forth
on pages 68-74 (which I urge all new shareholders to read). Our goal is to
obtain new directors who are equally devoted to those principles.

截至目前為止,我們的董事會監督的是一家以股東權益為主要導向的企業,並一直
以68-74頁所揭示的經營原則(這也是我一向督促新進股東必讀的資料)持續運作
中,而我們的目標也是找到同樣關心這類原則的新任董事。


The Audit Committee

審計委員會
Audit committees can’t audit. Only a company’s outside auditor can
determine whether the earnings that a management purports to have made
are suspect. Reforms that ignore this reality and that instead focus on the
structure and charter of the audit committee will accomplish little.
審計委員會沒有能力進行稽核,唯有公司外部獨立的會計師才有能力判斷公司管理
當局提出的盈餘報告是否可疑,沒有正視這項現實而只是將焦點放在審計委員會組
織架構上的任何改革終將徒勞無功。
As we’ve discussed, far too many managers have fudged their company’s
numbers in recent years, using both accounting and operational
techniques that are typically legal but that nevertheless materially mislead
investors. Frequently, auditors knew about these deceptions. Too often,
however, they remained silent. The key job of the audit committee is
simply to get the auditors to divulge what they know.
就像是我們先前討論過的,近年來太多的經理人在公司的營運數字上動手腳,不管
是會計帳上或是營運統計皆是如此,表面上雖然完全合法,但實際上卻嚴重誤導投
資人,在通常的情況下,會計師都相當清楚這些欺騙手法,但偏偏他們選擇保持沈
默,所以審計委員會最主要的職責就是讓會計師吐露他們所知道的事實。
To do this job, the committee must make sure that the auditors worry more
about misleading its members than about offending management. In
recent years auditors have not felt that way. They have instead generally
viewed the CEO, rather than the shareholders or directors, as their client.
That has been a natural result of day-to-day working relationships and
also of the auditors’ understanding that, no matter what the book says, the
CEO and CFO pay their fees and determine whether they are retained for
both auditing and other work. The rules that have been recently instituted
won’t materially change this reality. What will break this cozy relationship
is audit committees unequivocally putting auditors on the spot, making
them understand they will become liable for major monetary penalties if
they don’t come forth with what they know or suspect.
要達成這項任務,委員會必須確定會計師勇於冒犯管理當局,免於成為同謀誤導委
員會的共犯,但很遺憾近年來會計師的想法作為卻剛好相反,他們往往把公司的
CEO,而不是股東或董事當作是客戶,這是因為平日合作的關係使然,同時會計師
也很清楚,不論公司的報表數字如何,CEO與CFO保證會支付簽證公費,並且有權
決定是否由原會計師繼續進行簽證業務及其他服務,而近來修正的法令依然無法改
變這個根本的現實,想要打破這種曖昧的關係,唯有靠審計委員會明白地告訴會計
師,讓他們清楚地了解如果不將所發現或懷疑的事實說出來,他們將必須負擔大筆
的金錢賠償。
In my opinion, audit committees can accomplish this goal by asking four
questions of auditors, the answers to which should be recorded and
reported to shareholders. These questions are:

我個人認為,審計委員會可以經由詢問會計師以下四個問題來達到這個目的,同時
必須將他們的回覆記錄下來,並向股東報告,這四個問題分別是:
1. If the auditor were solely responsible for preparation of the company’s
financial statements, would they have in any way been prepared
differently from the manner selected by management? This question
should cover both material and nonmaterial differences. If the auditor
would have done something differently, both management’s argument and
the auditor’s response should be disclosed. The audit committee should
then evaluate the facts.
1.如果今年是由 貴會計師單獨負責本公司的財務報表編製,那麼你的做法會不會與
現在管理當局準備的報表有所不同? 不論是重大或不重大的差異,都必須答覆,如
果 貴會計師的做法有任何不同,包含管理當局的論述以及會計師的回覆都必須揭
露,然後由審計委員會來評估現實的狀況。

2. If the auditor were an investor, would he have received – in plain
English – the information essential to his understanding the company’s
financial performance during the reporting period?

2.如果 貴會計師身為投資人,那麼你是否認為已經收到了-講的白一點-你認為了
解這家公司在簽證期間財務經營狀況,所需的所有必要資訊?
3. Is the company following the same internal audit procedure that would
be followed if the auditor himself were CEO? If not, what are the differences
and why?

3.如果 貴會計師是本公司的CEO,那麼你認為本公司是否已經遵循了所有必要的內
部稽核程序? 如果沒有,是哪邊有差異,以及其原因為何?
4. Is the auditor aware of any actions – either accounting or operational –
that have had the purpose and effect of moving revenues or expenses from
one reporting period to another?
4. 貴會計師是否知悉管理當局有任何可能挪移公司的收入或費用的舉動,不管是會
計帳面或者是營運統計上的數字?
If the audit committee asks these questions, its composition – the focus of
most reforms – is of minor importance. In addition, the procedure will save
time and expense. When auditors are put on the spot, they will do their
duty. If they are not put on the spot . . . well, we have seen the results of
that.
我相信如果審計委員會能確實詢問會計師以上四個問題,那麼其組織架構(這是大部
分改革計畫的重點)就一點也不重要了,此外,這樣的做法可以大大節省時間跟成
本,當會計師被推上火線,保證他們會乖乖負起職責,但如果讓他們靜靜地躲在角
落,嗯! 屆時你就知道結果如何。
The questions we have enumerated should be asked at least a week before
an earnings report is released to the public. That timing will allow
differences between the auditors and management to be aired with the
committee and resolved. If the timing is tighter – if an earnings release is
imminent when the auditors and committee interact – the committee will
feel pressure to rubberstamp the prepared figures. Haste is the enemy of
accuracy. My thinking, in fact, is that the SEC’s recent shortening of
reporting deadlines will hurt the quality of information that shareholders
receive. Charlie and I believe that rule is a mistake and should be
rescinded.
我們列舉的這些問題必須要財務報表正式對外公佈的前一個禮拜提出,這段時間應
該足夠讓委員會了解會計師與管理當局間的差異在哪裡,並把問題解決,因為如果
時間太緊,將會面臨財報發佈在即,但會計師與委員會卻還在溝通的窘境,這將使
委員會迫於壓力淪為橡皮圖章的老路,時間越趕,準確度就越差,就像是我個人認
為,證管會最近縮短財報公佈的時程的做法,將嚴重影響到股東們接收財務資訊的
品質,查理跟我認為這樣的規定根本就是個錯誤,應該要立即加以改正。
The primary advantage of our four questions is that they will act as a
prophylactic. Once the auditors know that the audit committee will require
them to affirmatively endorse, rather than merely acquiesce to,
management’s actions, they will resist misdoings early in the process, well
before specious figures become embedded in the company’s books. Fear
of the plaintiff’s bar will see to that.

我們這四個問題最主要的優點在於,它們將能夠發揮防範於未然的效果,一旦會計
師了解到審計委員會將會要求他們肯定地為管理當局的行為背書,而不是默默地姑
息他們時,會計師就能夠在事情剛發生的初期就出面制止,讓有問題的數字不在會
計帳上出現,可能的牢獄威脅保證會發生效用。

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

The Chicago Tribune ran a four-part series on Arthur Andersen last
September that did a great job of illuminating how accounting standards
and audit quality have eroded in recent years. A few decades ago, an Arthur
Andersen audit opinion was the gold standard of the profession. Within the
firm, an elite Professional Standards Group (PSG) insisted on honest
reporting, no matter what pressures were applied by the client. Sticking
to these principles, the PSG took a stand in 1992 that the cost of stock
options should be recorded as the expense it clearly was. The PSG’s
position was reversed, however, by the “rainmaking” partners of Andersen
who knew what their clients wanted – higher reported earnings no matter
what the reality. Many CEOs also fought expensing because they knew that
the obscene megagrants of options they craved would be slashed if the
true costs of these had to be recorded.
芝加哥論壇報在去年九月刊登了四天連載,詳細報導近年來安達信會計師事務所是
如何讓會計準則與審計品質腐化到如此地步,十幾年前,安達信事務所出具的意見
可以說是業界的金字招牌,在事務所內部,由一群菁英組成的專業準則小組(PSG),
不管面對來自客戶多少的壓力,仍堅持財務報表必須誠實編製,為了堅持這項原則,
PSG在1992年堅持選擇權本來就應該列為費用的立場,然而曾幾何時,PSG在另一
群"呼風喚雨"的合夥人推動下,對於此立場做了180度的轉變,他們相當清楚客戶
心裡最渴望的東西-那就是亮麗的盈餘數字,不論實際的狀況如何。而許多CEO也
極力反對將選擇權成本列為費用,因為他們相當清楚,如果這些高額選擇權成本如
實反應在公司帳上的話,他們渴望已久的大筆選擇權將會馬上被取消。
Soon after the Andersen reversal, the independent accounting standards
board (FASB) voted 7-0 for expensing options. Predictably, the major
auditing firms and an army of CEOs stormed Washington to pressure the
Senate – what better institution to decide accounting questions? – into
castrating the FASB. The voices of the protesters were amplified by their
large political contributions, usually made with corporate money belonging
to the very owners about to be bamboozled. It was not a sight for a civics
class.
在安達信立場轉變後不久,獨立的會計準則委員會(FASB)以7比0的票數通過將選擇
權成本列為費用,而如預期的,大型會計師事務所以及大群的CEO蜂擁趕赴首府華
盛頓向參議院施壓企圖廢掉FASB,到底是哪一個單位最適合來處理會計問題啊! 抗
議者的聲音透過大筆的政治獻金大量傳送出去,諷刺的是他們用的是原來屬於被欺
瞞股東所擁有的公司資金,這實在不是文明社會應該有的現象。
To its shame, the Senate voted 88-9 against expensing. Several prominent
Senators even called for the demise of the FASB if it didn’t abandon its
position. (So much for independence.) Arthur Levitt, Jr., then Chairman of
the SEC – and generally a vigilant champion of shareholders – has since
described his reluctant bowing to Congressional and corporate pressures
as the act of his chairmanship that he most regrets. (The details of this
sordid affair are related in Levitt’s excellent book, Take on the Street.)
可恥的是,參議院竟以88對9票通過反對選擇權列為費用,幾位資深的參議員甚至
揚言廢掉FASB,如果它依然堅持原來的立場(真是好有獨立性啊!),當時的證管會主
席Arthur Levitt,他一向也是股東權益的捍衛先鋒,後來表示當時迫於壓力向國會
及企業低頭,是他在擔任證管會主席任內最感到遺憾的一件事,(有關這件遺憾的往
事,相關的細節可參考Levitt所寫的好書-挑戰華爾街)。
With the Senate in its pocket and the SEC outgunned, corporate America
knew that it was now boss when it came to accounting. With that, a new era
of anything-goes earnings reports – blessed and, in some cases,
encouraged by big-name auditors – was launched. The licentious behavior
that followed quickly became an air pump for The Great Bubble.
在參議院成為其囊中物,而證管會又不敵火力的情況下,美國企業了解到他們在會
計方面已經是天下無敵,就這樣"隨只我高興,有什麼不可以"盈餘報告的新時代於
焉到來,更理想的是,還有知名的大會計師在後面推波助瀾,。
After being threatened by the Senate, FASB backed off its original position
and adopted an “honor system” approach, declaring expensing to be
preferable but also allowing companies to ignore the cost if they wished.
The disheartening result: Of the 500 companies in the S&P, 498 adopted
the method deemed less desirable, which of course let them report higher
“earnings.” Compensation-hungry CEOs loved this outcome: Let FASB
have the honor; they had the system.
面臨來自參議院的威脅,FASB也從原來的立場退縮,轉而採取"自我要求"的榮譽制
度做法,聲明費用化為優先但也容許公司依個別喜好忽略此成本不計,這是多麼令
人感到傷痛的結果,在S&P 500大公司當中,共有498家選擇採取比較不理想的方
法,好讓他們的帳列盈餘好看一點,想錢想瘋了的CEO們當然很高興最後的結果,
FASB贏得了面子,而他們卻贏得了裡子。
In our 1992 annual report, discussing the unseemly and self-serving
behavior of so many CEOs, I said “the business elite risks losing its
credibility on issues of significance to society – about which it may have
much of value to say – when it advocates the incredible on issues of
significance to itself.”
在我們1992年的年報當中,我們提到了許多CEO不當的自肥行為,我將之稱為"企
業菁英冒著失去他們在社會重大議題公信力的風險-這是他們本來擁有相當發言份
量的領域-當他們在大力鼓吹讓自己奪取不合理利益的做法"。
That loss of credibility has occurred. The job of CEOs is now to regain
America’s trust – and for the country’s sake it’s important that they do so.
They will not succeed in this endeavor, however, by way of fatuous ads,
meaningless policy statements, or structural changes of boards and
committees. Instead, CEOs must embrace stewardship as a way of life and
treat their owners as partners, not patsies. It’s time for CEOs to walk the
walk.

這種公信力淪喪的現象已經發生,目前CEO們最大的任務是如何重拾美國大眾對他
們的信任,而站在國家利益的立場,他們絕對有必要這樣做,但如果我們看到的是
一再自以為是的言論、無意義的政策說明、董事會與委員會形式上的搬風改組,那
麼一切的努力終將徒勞無功,相反的,我認為CEO們應該將領導力落實到內心中,
將股東們視為真正的夥伴而不是其禁臠,現在是CEO們起而行的時候了。

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

Three suggestions for investors: First, beware of companies displaying
weak accounting. If a company still does not expense options, or if its
pension assumptions are fanciful, watch out. When managements take the
low road in aspects that are visible, it is likely they are following a similar
path behind the scenes. There is seldom just one cockroach in the kitchen.
給投資人三個衷心的建議,第一,特別注意會計帳務有問題的公司,如果一家公司
遲遲不肯將選擇權成本列為費用,或者其退休金精算的假設過於樂觀,千萬要小心。
當管理當局在人前選擇比較軟的柿子來吃,那麼在人後很有可能也是如此,廚房裡
絕對不可能只有一隻蟑螂。
Trumpeting EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and
amortization) is a particularly pernicious practice. Doing so implies that
depreciation is not truly an expense, given that it is a “non-cash” charge.
That’s nonsense. In truth, depreciation is a particularly unattractive
expense because the cash outlay it represents is paid up front, before the
asset acquired has delivered any benefits to the business. Imagine, if you
will, that at the beginning of this year a company paid all of its employees
for the next ten years of their service (in the way they would lay out cash for
a fixed asset to be useful for ten years). In the following nine years,
compensation would be a “non-cash” expense – a reduction of a prepaid
compensation asset established this year. Would anyone care to argue that
the recording of the expense in years two through ten would be simply a
bookkeeping formality?

大力鼓吹EBITDA-亦即扣除利息稅負及折舊攤銷前盈餘的觀念更是一項危險的舉
動,這意思好像說折舊根本就不是費用的一種,因為它並不影響到現金的流出,這
根本就是一派胡言,確實折舊是一項很不起眼的費用,因為它的現金支出是在取得
的資產還未發揮效益之前就預先支付的,然而現在假設你在年初就預先支付公司員
工未來十年的薪資報酬(就好像是支付現金購買一項耐用年限達十年的固定資產一
般),那麼在接下來的九年之間,所有的薪資報酬都將變成一項沒有現金支出的費
用,會計上係做為預付費用的減項。在這種狀況下,不知道還有沒有人敢說後九年
所記錄的費用只不過是會計上的形式而已呢??
Second, unintelligible footnotes usually indicate untrustworthy
management. If you can’t understand a footnote or other managerial
explanation, it’s usually because the CEO doesn’t want you to. Enron’s
descriptions of certain transactions still baffle me. Finally, be suspicious of
companies that trumpet earnings projections and growth expectations.
Businesses seldom operate in a tranquil, no-surprise environment, and
earnings simply don’t advance smoothly (except, of course, in the offering
books of investment bankers).
第二,複雜難懂的財務報表附註揭露通常暗示管理當局不值得信賴,如果你根本就
看不懂附註揭露或管理當局的說明解釋,這通常代表管理當局壓根就不想讓你搞
懂,安隆在某些交易的過程說明,到現在還讓我相當困惑。最後要特別小心那些習
慣誇大盈餘預測及成長預期的公司,企業很少能夠在一帆風順、毫無意外的環境下
經營,所以盈餘也很難按照當初預計般穩定成長(那只有券商提供的公開說明書才看
得到)。
Charlie and I not only don’t know today what our businesses will earn next
year – we don’t even know what they will earn next quarter. We are
suspicious of those CEOs who regularly claim they do know the future –
and we become downright incredulous if they consistently reach their
declared targets. Managers that always promise to “make the numbers” will
at some point be tempted to make up the numbers.

目前查理跟我不僅不清楚明年我們旗下事業到底能夠賺多少錢,我們甚至不知道下
一季的數字,所以我們相當懷疑那些常常聲稱知道未來會如何如何的人,而如果他
們真的每次都能達到盈餘目標,我們反而更懷疑這其中有鬼,那些習慣保證能夠達
到數字目標的人,總有一天會被迫去假造數字。


Shareholder-Designated Contributions
股東指定慈善捐贈
About 97.3% of all eligible shares participated in Berkshire's 2002
shareholder-designated contributions program, with contributions
totaling $16.5 million.
大約有97.3%的有效股權參與Berkshire 2002年的股東指定捐贈計劃,捐出的款項
總計約1,650萬美元。
Cumulatively, over the 22 years of the program, Berkshire has made
contributions of $197 million pursuant to the instructions of our
shareholders. The rest of Berkshire's giving is done by our subsidiaries,
which stick to the philanthropic patterns that prevailed before they were
acquired (except that their former owners themselves take on the
responsibility for their personal charities). In aggregate, our subsidiaries
made contributions of $24 million in 2002, including in-kind donations of
$4 million.
累計過去22年以來,Berkshire總計已依照股東意願捐贈出高達1.97億美元的款
項,除了之外,Berkshire還透過旗下的子公司進行捐贈,而這些慈善活動都是早
在他們被我們購併以前就行之有年的(扣除先前的老闆自行本身負責的個人捐贈計
畫),總的來說,我們旗下的關係企業在2002年總計捐出2,400萬美元,其中包含
400萬美元等值的物品。
To participate in future 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, 2003
will be ineligible for the 2003 program. When you get the contributions
form from us, return it promptly so that it does not get put aside or
forgotten. Designations received after the due date will not be honored.

想要參加這項計畫的人,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2003年8月31日之前完成登記,才有
權利參與2003年的捐贈計畫,當你收到表格後,請立即填寫後寄回,以免被丟在
一旁給忘記了,逾期恕不受理。


The Annual Meeting

年度股東大會

This year’s annual meeting will be held on Saturday, May 3, and once again
we will 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 will be available at the
Civic’s concession stands.) That interlude aside, Charlie and I will answer
questions until 3:30. Give us your best shot.
今年的股東會預計在5/3星期六舉行,地點仍將選在市立體育館,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。
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.
In our usual fashion, we will run vans from the larger hotels to the meeting.
Afterwards, the vans 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.
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,一如往來我們會安排小巴士往來會場與旅
館之間,同時在會後小巴士還會載大家回旅館或是到內布拉斯加傢具店、波仙珠寶
店及機場等地,當然即便如此你可能會覺得如果有一輛車會更方便。
Our exhibit area for Berkshire goods and services will be bigger and better
than ever this year. So be prepared to spend. I think you will particularly
enjoy visiting The Pampered Chef display, where you may run into Doris
and Sheila.
今年Berkshire各項產品及服務的展示場地將會比以往更大更好,所以請大家準備
好大大地血拼,我想大家應該會特別喜歡TPC的攤位,在那裡你很有可能會碰到
Doris及Sheila。
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全美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。
On Saturday, at the Omaha airport, 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. Furthermore, if you buy a fraction of a
plane, I’ll personally see that you get a three-pack of briefs from Fruit of
the Loom.
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,甚至如果你真的買下飛機的部份所有權,我
個人也親自確定你收到一個Fruit of Loom生產的大行李箱。
At Nebraska Furniture Mart, located on a 77-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 six years ago, and sales during the “Weekend” grew from $5.3
million in 1997 to $14.2 million in 2002.
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6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2002年的1,420萬美元。
To get the discount, you must make your purchases during the Thursday,
May 1 through Monday, May 5 period 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
Sundays. On Saturday this year, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., we are having a
special affair for shareholders only. I’ll be there, eating hot dogs and
drinking Coke.
想要享有折扣記得在5/1星期四到5/5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,在今年的星期六,我們將有一個股東會特賣
會,時間從下午6點到下午10點,我本人也將出席,順便吃點熱狗配配可樂。
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 2. The second,
the main gala, will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 4. Ask Charlie
to autograph your sales ticket.
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5/2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5/4星期天舉行,從早上9點到下午5點,記得請查
理在你的收據上簽名。
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).
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6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,(這是我的老婆跟女兒告訴我的)。
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 Hamman, Sharon Osberg, Fred Gitelman and
Sheri Winestock 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 six games simultaneously --with his blindfold securely in
place --and for the first time suffered a loss. (He won the other five games,
however.) He’s been training overtime ever since and is planning to start a
new streak this year.
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,Bob Hamman、Sharon Osberg、Fred
Gitelman及Sheri Winestock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,而且頭
一次落敗,(不過他還是贏了其他五個對手),不過事後他已加緊練習,計畫重新展
開連勝的記錄。
Additionally, 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. Finally, we will have a newcomer: Peter Morris, the winner of the
World Scrabble Championship in 1991. Peter will play on five boards
simultaneously (no blindfold for him, however) and will also allow his
challengers to consult a Scrabble dictionary.
此外,Bill Robertie-史上惟二贏得兩度世界雙陸旗冠軍的人,也會蒞臨測試各位雙
陸旗的實力,最後今年將會有一位新面孔-Peter Morris,他是1991年世界拼字大
賽的冠軍,Peter這次將一口氣挑戰五位對手(當然他無法矇眼),並允許其對手查閱
字典。
We are also going to test your vocal chords at the mall. My friend, Al Oehrle
of Philadelphia, will be at the piano to play any song in any key. Susie and I
will lead the singing. She is good.
此外在會場我們也將測試各位的歌喉,我的好朋友-來自費城的Al Oehrle將會在現
場以鋼琴做伴奏,任何歌任何Key都行,我內人蘇珊跟我本人將會為大家開唱,她
的歌聲相當不錯。
Gorat’s --my favorite steakhouse --will again be open exclusively for
Berkshire shareholders on Sunday, May 4, 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5/4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,記得老練一點地點丁骨\牛排加上雙份的牛肉丸。
There won’t be a ball game this year. After my fastball was clocked at 5
mph last year, I decided to hang up my spikes. So I’ll see you on Saturday
night at NFM instead.


很可惜今年將沒有棒球賽可以看了,在我的快速球時速降到5英哩之後,我就決定
要高掛釘鞋,所以星期六晚上大家在NFM見。

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

Next year our meeting will be held at Omaha’s new convention center. This
switch in locations will allow us to hold the event on either Saturday or
Monday, whichever the majority of you prefer. Using the enclosed special
ballot, please vote for your preference – but only if you are likely to attend
in the future.
明年我們的股東會將會移師到奧瑪哈新落成的會議中心召開,這項變更將得以使我
們自由選擇在星期六或星期一舉行,只要大多數的股東同意,利用會議通知後附的
選票,請選擇你個人的偏好,當然最好是你未來有可能參加再投。
We will make the Saturday/Monday decision based upon a count of
shareholders, not shares. That is, a Class B shareholder owning one share
will have a vote equal to that of a Class A shareholder owning many shares.
If the vote is close, we will go with the preference of out-of-towners.
我們將按股東投票的人頭數而非股數來決定在星期六或星期一開會,也就是說持有
一股B股的股東其投票權將與持有大量A股的股東一樣,如果投票數過於接近,我們
將以外縣市來的股東意願為優先考量。
Again, please vote only if there is a reasonable chance that you will be
attending some meetings in the future.

再一次提醒大家,只有在將來有可能出席股東大會時,才建議你參與投票。

Warren E. Buffett

February 21, 2003 Chairman of the Board

華倫.巴菲特

董事會主席

2003年2月21日
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市場求生手冊

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