The international invasion of Omaha

Posted at 5:25 PM, Apr 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-28 20:07:24-04

The international invasion of Omaha is underway as the city prepares for the annual Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting.

"So we have our Warren and Charlie ducks,” said Sam Taylor. 

For the last few years the Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger rubber ducks have been hot items at the annual shareholders meeting. 

“So we have Warren here and he has the Dairy Queen cone, the Justin boot, a Benjamin Moore paint can,” said Taylor. 

Just a few of the companies Berkshire Hathaway owns are represented on this year’s duck.  Of course the ducks are manufactured by a Berkshire Hathaway company. 

“Becoming part of Berkshire Hathaway, we've gone from one extreme to another,” said Taylor. 

In 2012, Berkshire Hathaway bought Omaha based Oriental Trading Company.  CEO Sam Taylor says before Buffett, their company had a lot of debt and an uncertain future.

“First of all we have a permanent home with Berkshire Hathaway.  Warren came out and talked to our employees and said I bought Oriental Trading, I'm going to own it forever,” said Taylor.

Today Oriental Trading is doing better than ever.  There is no doubt Buffett knows how to run a business. 

“Well he made a lot of money and he made a lot of money for a lot of people,” said Steve Jordan.

Steve Jordan has been covering all things Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway for the Omaha World Herald for years. 

Jordan says each year thousands searching for the secret to financial success come to the annual shareholders meeting hoping to gain a little bit of wisdom from the Oracle himself.  But, for those who can’t make the trip, this year they can catch it online

“He said he likes to see the people who run his businesses every once and a while, why can’t they see him and Charlie,” said Jordan. 

For the first time the shareholder meeting will be streamed online by Yahoo Finance. 

Jordan says not only is Buffett virtually inviting people to Omaha by live streaming; he’s trying to reach an international audience. 

“He needs large companies to acquire to make a difference in Berkshire’s finances, so he has broadened the scope of what he is looking for,” said Jordan. 

Jordan says recently Buffett has been trying to buy globally, but what company he’s going after is anyone’s guess.  Maybe he’ll drop a hint at this year’s meeting.

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