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Spotlight

Charles Munger

Warren Buffett was in the limelight at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting this week, but Charles Munger, his longtime business partner, deserves some recognition, too, said Scott Patterson in The Wall Street Journal. Chairman and CEO Buffett, 78, and Vice Chairman Munger, 85, “speak frequently and confer about most deals,” but they don’t always see eye-to-eye. Munger is willing to “pay hefty price tags for businesses,” while the frugal Buffett is always seeking dirt-cheap deals.

It was Munger who in 1972 convinced Buffett to pay a premium for one of Berkshire’s most lucrative investments, chocolate maker See’s Candies. At the time, analysts complained about the deal’s “steep” $25 million price tag, but since then See’s has returned more than $1 billion in pretax earnings. “Charlie understands the essence of a lot of businesses probably better than people in those industries do,” Buffett says.

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