Depending upon where your local elections are held, it looks like we are the half-way mark for most voting poll times today. What has been a 19- or 20- month ordeal is about to come to an end. If you trust the exit polls, it looks like Barack Obama is winning handily. The popular vote is much closer than the electoral vote count, but the electoral vote count is looking like a blowout victory in favor of Obama.
Investors have been making bets which stocks would win and lose under aMcCain or Obama administration. The election can impact issuesfor investors in just about every sector including health care, energy and financials. Of course, much will depend upon how manyseats are won by parties in the Senate and the House ofRepresentatives.
There is one likely winner if the current predictions for an Obamaadministration come true: Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway Inc.(NYSE: BRK-A, BRK-B). Mr. Buffett has been a key endorser of Obama(and Hillary Clinton) and he has been anointed by the media as a potential (and hopeful) candidate for Treasury Secretary.What is more likely is that he will be on a key advisory team. Eitherway, Berkshire Hathaway would be considered a winner. Even if McCainshows that the preliminary results were just wrong and pulls out asurprise victory, he has said that he’d tap Buffettfor advice. If McCain would get it, is another issue, but that has beenthrown out there.
Many have said that Hank Paulson leaving Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS)and becoming Treasury Secretary helped keep Goldman Sachs’s interestsalive and thriving. Who thinks the pendulum only swings one way?
If you believe in the "if you help me, we’ll help your team" theory,then about the only thing Mr, Buffett and his friends at BerkshireHathaway will really have to properly forecast is the rates that theyneed to charge for homes and businesses that are in the way of futurehurricanes each summer.
Now, for the other big question under this theory: Will Buffett’s own holdings hold up well in harder times during the coming soft economy?
- He recently added to his position in Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. (NYSE: BNI).
- Here is our list of predictions we think Buffett added to.
- He has even personally endorsed Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) with his own money.
- Buffett is also back to about even on his General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) investment.
- And don’t forget about his investment made into Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS).
- Here is a link list to his full public company holdings as of last quarter.
Berkshire shares are actually lagging the DJIA and S&P 500performance today as shares are up only 0.35% at $117,900.00. Its 52week trading range is $102,010.00 to $151,650.00. Buffett and friendsare set to report earnings after the close on this Friday.
Too bad that "The Blue Fund" recently liquidated.
You can keep up with the latest Buffett news, hear about other mergers,private equity, IPO’s, and previews to our subscriber newsletters via our open email distribution list we send emails to once or twice per week.
Jon C. Ogg
November 4, 2008