The SMH‘s
Mark Coultan reports from Omaha, Nebraska where 20,000 shareholders
gathered for this year’s Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting to
“count their money and revel” in the six-hour question-and-answer
session by Warren Buffett and his sidekick, Charlie Munger, on topics
ranging from business and economics to government and life. Buffett,
the world’s most successful investor and boss of Berkshire Hathaway,
used the annual meeting to address the controversy over sham
reinsurance contracts surrounding the company, telling investors there
will be serious repercussions for anyone who has knowingly helped
another company to do something wrong.

Also in the Herald, Ross Gittins
says it’s a tough time for Treasury secretaries – they can’t open their
mouths without the media jumping to the conclusion they’re taking a
swipe at the Reserve Bank – and that Ken Henry’s remarks to a public
policy forum last week have been badly misunderstood. He wasn’t
offering public criticism of the Reserve nor commenting on immediate
monetary policy, he was simply making general observations about how
the macro economy works and how it should be managed.

Politics can never be far from the minds of central bankers, says John Garnaut in the SMH.
A mild March-quarter inflation reading has probably denied the Reserve
Bank the ironic revenge of raising rates before the budget after being
used as the Coalition’s play thing in last year’s big-spending election
campaign. But this should not prevent the board from looking more
closely at the politics of its independence.

And while
homeowners will be spared another interest rate hike according to most
economists, part of the reason why the RBA is unlikely to act is that
higher petrol prices have acted like a rate increase, reports The Australian.

And Robert Gottliebsen says, too often Australian technology only wins if it breaks through overseas or leads to big export developments.

The Smage’sMalcolm Maiden
reports that Optus and its parent, Singapore Telecommunications, will
report results for the year to March on Wednesday that will remind
Telstra of the opportunity it missed in Asia.