Edward Jones analyst Jim Shanahan says he expected Buffett to devote more of the letter to explaining his decision to promote and name the top two candidates to eventually succeed him as Berkshire's CEO.
He also discussed some of the challenges to finding large acquisitions.
Some of those topics may come up when Buffett appears on CNBC for three hours Monday or at the annual shareholder meeting on May 5.
Still, when asked if he would have encouraged legislators to support or fight it, Buffett said he would have gone with a different bill. "Once a CEO hungers for a deal, he or she will never lack for forecasts that justify the purchase", he writes. "For that to happen, we will need to make one or more huge acquisitions".
As The Oracle is quick to point out, only $36B of that $65B gain in book value came from operations. When the wager concluded on December 31, the index fund had won easily.
Known to fans as "the Oracle of Omaha", Buffett, 87, has suggested United States stocks are probably the best bet over time, encouraging people to make easy choices and stick with them, eschewing high-fee fund managers, for instance. At times, bonds are riskier than stocks.
"Upon the enactment of the [Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017], we recorded a reduction in our deferred income tax liabilities of approximately $35.6 billion for the effect of the aforementioned change in the USA statutory income tax rate".
Kraft said it plans to nominate Alexandre Van Damme, a board member of Anheuser-Busch Inbev and Restaurant Brands International, to stand for election to Buffett's place in its 2018 annual stockholder meeting. "Buffett doesn't dwell very long on the politics", Smead said.
Buffett, in his investor-friendly writing style, also addressed topics like the overpriced market for mergers and acquisitions and his disdain for Wall Street's high investment fees. That kept Berkshire from making the kinds of big deals Buffett prefers.
For all of 2017, Berkshire's net income rose 87 percent to $44.94 billion.
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