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Berkshire Hathaway doubles stock purchases. Does Buffett see something big?

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Richard Drew/AP/File

(Read caption) Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett celebrates during opening bell ceremonies at the New York Stock Exchange. Buffett nearly doubled his stock purchases in the third quarter of 2011.

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As I've mentioned here and there, I've been buying the Berkshire B shares ($BRK-B) in size since the low 70's for client accounts.  This morning, we learn from Bloomberg's Andrew Frye that Warren Buffett himself has been a sizable buyer of late in the marketplace...

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. invested $23.9 billion in the third-quarter, the most in at least 15 years, as he accelerated stock purchases and broadened the portfolio beyond consumer and financial-company holdings.

Berkshire bought almost $7 billion of equity securities in the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with $3.62 billion in the second quarter and $834 million in the first, the Omaha, Nebraska-based company said Nov. 4 in a filing. Stockholdings labeled “commercial, industrial and other” soared 62 percent in the three months to $17.4 billion on a cost basis, surpassing equity investments in financial and consumer-product firms.

“He sees something, and it’s big,” said Thomas Russo, a partner at Berkshire investor Gardner Russo & Gardner.

The last time interest rates were exceedingly low for an exceptional period (2002-2003), Buffett bought up home-building companies, aluminum siders, house paint manufacturers and carpeting mills.  He correctly gamed a massive housing boom that would dominate the economic story of the aught's decade.

He now appears to be on yet another spree, what does the Oracle see that perhaps we do not?


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