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The Russians burn down a Ukrainian art museum. Warren is pleased with his Apple. Me too with mine.

Maria Prymachenko (1909-1997) was a famous Ukrainian Artist.

This piece of hers is called A Dove Has Spread Her Wings And Asks for Peace, 1982. 

25 of her works were in a museum in Ivankiv, a city northwest of the capital Kyiv. On Sunday the invading Russian military burnt The Ivankiv Historical and Local History Museum to the ground. It contained 25 works by Prymachenko. Some works were saved.

This one of hers was called Our Army, Our Protectors (1978).

This one is called Tiger Laughs (1982)

It’s hard to believe that anyone would burn down a museum containing such priceless works.

By Googling you can find more of her art. Click here.

Amazingly how fast sanctions are working. “The war in Ukraine has made Russian assets toxic,” said one headline I loved.

Russia’s central bank has raised its key rate to 20% from 9.5% and has forbidden Russians from shorting the Ruble, which is tumbling and tumbling.

Putin’s modest $1.4 billion country home on the Black Sea

A video uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday purports to show the secret $1.4 billion palace on Russia’s Black Sea that allegedly belongs to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Alexei Navalny, the Russian politician and Putin critic behind the video, alleges Putin and his billionaire friends secretly built the mansion using illicit funds. The Kremlin denies Putin has any connection the property. (Yup, and pigs will fly.)

The video, which has had more than 54 million views,  shows drone footage of a lavish mansion and expansive grounds with two helipads, an underground hockey rink, a sculpture garden, and more.

The video has closed captioning in English.

An observer once quipped that Putin was a 5 foot six man trying to act like a five foot seven man.

First fall-out

EPAM Systems, a leading software engineering company, today said it is withdrawing its first quarter and 2022 financial outlook due to heightened uncertainties and regional impacts resulting from military actions in Ukraine. (Many of its engineers work in Ukraine and Belarus.)

Here’s the last month of EPAM’s stock:

I dumped my 200 shares of EPAM today at a small loss.

The best nonpareils in the world

I have studied chocolate nonpareils for over 50 years. These are the best I’ve ever tasted:

They come from CW Fudge Factory in Matlacha, Florida. A half pound will cost you $12.98 plus $9.20 shipping, for a total of $23.02.

To buy, you must call them on 239-283-9911.

Berkshire’s 2021 annual report is out

Here are key words:

The insurance business is made to order for Berkshire. The product will never be obsolete, and sales volume will generally increase along with both economic growth and inflation. Also, integrity and capital will forever be important. Our company can and will behave well.

There are, of course, other insurers with excellent business models and prospects. Replication of Berkshire’s operation, however, would be almost impossible.

Apple – our runner-up Giant as measured by its yearend market value – is a different sort of holding. Here, our ownership is a mere 5.55%, up from 5.39% a year earlier. That increase sounds like small potatoes. But consider that each 0.1% of Apple’s 2021 earnings amounted to $100 million. We spent no Berkshire funds to gain our accretion. Apple’s repurchases did the job.

It’s important to understand that only dividends from Apple are counted in the GAAP earnings Berkshire reports – and last year, Apple paid us $785 million of those. Yet our “share” of Apple’s earnings amounted to a staggering $5.6 billion. Much of what the company retained was used to repurchase Apple shares, an act we applaud. Tim Cook, Apple’s brilliant CEO, quite properly regards users of Apple products as his first love, but all of his other constituencies benefit from Tim’s managerial touch as well.

You can read the entire report here.

To my brain, Apple remains a great buy. It’s down a little today. Here’s Apple for the last year:

Putin has lost his mind

The Times newspaper in England headlined:

And here the Borowitz Report wrote:

Totally wonderful

An Arab Sheik was admitted to the Hospital for heart surgery, but prior to the surgery, the doctors needed to have some of his blood type stored in case the need arose.
As the gentleman had an extremely rare type of blood that couldn’t be found locally, the call went out around the world.

Finally, a Scotsman was located who had the same rare blood type. After some coaxing, the Scot donated his blood for the Arab.

After the successful surgery, the Arab sent the Scotsman a BMW, a diamond necklace for his wife, and $100,000 US dollars in appreciation for the blood donation.

A few months later, the Arab had to undergo a further corrective surgery procedure. Once again, his doctor telephoned the Scotsman who was more than happy to donate his blood.

After the second surgery the Arab sent the Scotsman a thank-you card and a box of Quality Street chocolates.

The Scotsman was shocked that the Arab did not reciprocate his kind gesture as he had anticipated.  He phoned the Arab and asked him;  “I thought you would be more generous than that.  Last time you sent me a BMW, diamonds and money, but this time you only sent me a thank-you card and a box of chocolates?”

To this the Arab replied:  “Aye laddie, but I now have Scottish blood in me veins.”

We are so lucky

Our children are not walking to the Polish border in below freezing temperatures. Our children are with us. This is Eleanor,8, and Papi (

I’m pleased that our stock losses today have not been as large as last night’s futures suggested.

I don’t know what it takes to kick Putin out. But I’m praying.

My sources tell me he’s worth $250 billion+ — making him the richest person in the world.

Don’t forget to tell your friends they can subscribe to my blog or visit the web site. Click here.

See you tomorrow. — Harry Newton