Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. named Donald R. Keough and Thomas S. Murphy to its board of directors to comply with proposed corporate governance rules that the billionaire investor has criticized. … Mr. Buffett has resisted changes to his board–which includes his wife, son, investing partner for the last four decades, and two executives with business ties to the company–and argued outside directors aren’t a requirement for good corporate governance, a cause he’s led since 1993. By naming two friends, he may not have hanged that view, some governance experts said.

“It’s Berkshire’s take on independence,” said the senior vice president of Institutional Shareholder Services, Patrick McGurn, which advises investors on board decisions. “They may meet the letter of the law, but they don’t meet the spirit of the law.” [New York Sun, 5/9/03]

That is because the spirit of that law is statist. (Hat Tip: Paul Blair)

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