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Groucho Marx and Annual Reports

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By loverpickle
August 26, 2004

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This is a letter sent by Groucho Marx in response to a glossy annual report from the Franklin Corporation in 1961. It seems there was a little uneasiness with corporate boards back in the '60s as today, and possibly a strong suspicion of glossy annual reports in general ................

Dear Mr. Goodman:
I received the first annual report of the Franklin Corporation and though I am not an expert at reading balance sheets, my financial advisor (who, I assure you, knows nothing) nodded his head in satisfaction.

You wrote that you hope I am not one of those borscht circuit stockholders who get a few points profit and hastily scram for the hills. For your information, I bought Allegheny Preferred eleven years ago and am just now disposing of it.

As a brand new member of your family, strategically you make a ghastly mistake in sending me individual pictures of the board of Directors. Mr. Roth, Chairman of the Board, merely looks sinister. You, the President, look like a hard worker with not too much on the ball. No one named Prosswimmer can possibly be a success. As for Samuel A. Goldblith, PhD., head of Food Technology at MIT, he looks as though he had eaten too much of the wrong kind of fodder.

At this point I would like to stop and ask you a question about Marion Harper, Jr.. To begin with, I immediately distrust any man who has the same name as his mother. But the thing that disturbs me about Junior is that I don't know what the hell he's laughing at. Is it because he sucked me into this Corporation? This is no the kind of face that inspires confidence in a nervous and jittery stockholder.

George S. Sperti, I dismiss instantly. Any man who is the President of an outfit called Institutum Dive Thomae will certainly bear watching......James Sullivan, I am convinced, is Paul E. Prosswimmer photographed from a different angle.

Offhand, I would say that I have summed up your group fairly accurately. I hope, for my sake, that I am mistaken.

In closing, I ask you, go easy with my money. I am in an extremely precarious profession whose livelihood depends upon a fickle public.

Sincerely yours,
Groucho Marx
(temporarily at liberty)


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