Daily Archives: May 5, 2009

John Gapper

I reflected the other day on whether the job of the golf caddie could be split into two separate tasks. In the same vein, I was intrigued to read this morning about how James Patterson, the best-selling author, has a factory of writers who pump out fiction under his name.

This seems similar to Damien Hirst, the British artist who copied Andy Warhol’s notion of the art factory and employs a team of assistants to manufacture works of art under his name. Read more

John Gapper

Warren Buffett provided a notably honest explanation this weekend for why Berkshire Hathaway remains a conglomerate, which is an unpopular form of corporate structure.

On paper, Berkshire makes virtually no sense as an operating entity – it combines everything from insurance and reinsurance to steak houses and confectionery manufacture. Probably a better way to regard it is as an insurance company that invests its cash in portfolio companies as well as securities. Read more