by Conor Coughlin
Inquiring minds might want to ask why the Oracle Of Omaha was so triggered by a question from Peter Flaherty, that he had this investor arrested at a Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting. I’m sure that sorted affair, had nothing whatsoever to due with the conglomerate seeking to expand its monopoly control over America’s infrastructure. That would be silly, given that Warren Buffett is a philanthropist. Who is most recognized by fellow members of the Inclusive Capitalist society, for providing free train rides to the hordes of migrants in Mexico that the UN claims are fleeing the impacts of global climate change.
According to the complaint filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission against Berkshire Hathaway, Peter Flaherty, the chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center had been arrested for criminal trespass. Which occurred after he brought up Buffett’s financial support for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is considered a serious crime in certain financial circles. Any dialog on the late Jeffery Epstein, could lead to questions about the governance models utilized by other business associates at the Clinton Global Initiative, UNOPS and China’s Road and Belt Initiative.
That may have brought into question the ancient governance model utilized by one of largest multi-national corporations on the planet. Which is the same business model first developed by Buffett over fifty years ago, and was allegedly guided by his long-time business mentor Charlie Munger. This duo made the big-bucks for many decades. Unfortunately, Charlie Munger recently passed away in December, just prior to his 100th birthday in January of 2024.
Leaving Buffett as the big brain, behind one of the most progressive business brands in the marketplace. The ninety-three year old Buffett wasn’t interested in adopting any new manageability ideas, unless they were being provided by young financial wizards like Jeffery Epstein. Who is also no longer advising corporate leaders, since his untimely death in a federal prison back in 2019.
That only raises more concerns about the sudden arrest for criminal trespass of Peter Flaherty, at a Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting from seven months earlier. Peter Flaherty had come to that meeting to speak in support of a resolution, in which he was the sponsor for Proposal #8 . The proposal would have required Berkshire Hathaway, to have two different people hold the jobs of CEO, and the chairman of the board. Warren Buffett has held both of those key positions, for well over five decades.
Whereas, Flaherty has reportedly been involved in shareholder activism for 19 years, this was the only time he had been arrested for attempting to make a perfectly reasonable pitch for a proposal within a three minute time-frame. Apparently, it was also his first time having his microphone cut off, when making his case to fellow shareholders.
While the essence of the Proposal #8, involved the separation of those duties in order to protect the value of shareholders investments. The risk to “Reputational Value” can not be dismissed, without proper consideration. We are talking about having an known expert in his chosen field, arrested for simply doing his job. That activity was designed to place a chilling effect on the concept of corporate oversight, and its important to understand this large multi-national corporation is a major player in insurance industry. If government agencies, and fellow large industrialist are your main customers in a marketplace, investors have a right to consider the past financial relationships of top managers, and board members. When those issues involve conflict of interest laws, insider trading and NGO’s, the laws can get a little fuzzy if billions of dollars are at stake.
When an entirely new genre of industry is growing up around Reputational Insurance, you probably wouldn’t want new investors thinking your corporation was receiving its business advice from Jeffery Epstein, or Bill Gates either. By now, you’ve probably noticed that political insiders are rarely concerned about being sued for their actions, while a legal double-standard can be enforced against all outsiders for any minor offensive. These elites make up their own marketplaces, that can create the appearance of success by simply accessing our tax dollars.
That fiasco in Omaha, goes directly to the heart of arguments on issues concerning insurance protections, not just governance models. That police action certainly wasn’t about protecting the rights of Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, it was about openly suppressing the rule of law to advance an agenda. Investors weren’t supposed to be concerned with the actual products being sold, they were being instructed to believe that business managers would continue to deliver the green. Just don’t ask any questions, about the how the money is being made through various partnerships with governments around the world.
When Peter Flaherty had his microphone cut-off during his presentation, and was arrested in front of thousands of Berkshire shareholders, it was to make a clear statement. The spectacle of being hauled away by the police, is a classic case of abuse under “color of law” that was conducted to humiliation a citizen engaged in normal business activities. The goal was to silence a critic, from speaking about the governance model of a very powerful local multinational corporation.
“The almost instantaneous silencing of Mr. Flaherty at the very mention of Epstein obviously struck a nerve with the public that transcends political ideology, underscoring the widely held belief that the rich and powerful play by a different set of rules than ordinary citizens,” says the SEC complaint filed by NLPC counsel Paul Kamenar. Peter Flaherty paid a bond of $2,500, and was released after about three hours. Prosecutors dropped the criminal charge, but the actual damages from that corrupt action will be felt for many years to come.
The reputational damage here, is owned exclusively by the City of Omaha. The actions of the Omaha Police Dept, placed the burden of shame on their public employees that will take many years to forget. As the average citizen will always wonder, who do those cops actually serve and protect? Other business organizations may want to think twice about holding an event in a city, where participants can be arrested for violating laws that are arbitrarily being enforce by police at the behest of local political leaders. That is known as a lose, lose, lose business scenario, in which only lawyers benefit.
Some city, and regional leaders will always find a way to justify these types of actions, and it may be because they can use tax-payer revenues to purchase a Crisis Management insurance policy. Or simply increase the amount of coverage on their Reputational Insurance policy, and have highly-paid insurance lawyers help them to mitigate their total loss of public esteem. It never really repairs the negative image created, but it does shifts the cost for addressing an easily preventable problem that should never occurred in the first place.
If taxpayers are forced to pay for these types Reputational policies for bureaucrats, we can expect public officials to operate in permanent crisis-mode until the end of time. Which to most government officials playing the part of savvy entrepreneurs, is when they run out of other peoples money to spend on their opulent lifestyles.
To have critics arrested for questioning a governance model, isn’t really an effective strategy for building private investor confidence. Its would however, add a real boost of confidence for the bureaucratic leaders at civil organizations like the Global Covenant of Mayors For Climate and Energy. Which every independent voter should recognize as the true champs of the global Green New Deal!