The Securities and Exchange Commission has wrapped up its investigation of David Sokol, a former executive of a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary, and concluded he did not do anything wrong, Mr. Sokol's lawyer tells Dow Jones.
This confirms the post here back when the story of Mr. Sokol's personal investment in Lubrizol, a company that was then bought by Berkshire after Mr. Sokol's suggestion, originally broke back in March 2011: "Regular readers of this site know I'm a frequent critic of Berkshire CEO Warren Buffett, but in this case, on the basis of the information that's out there so far, I think he and Mr. Sokol are getting a bit of a raw deal in the press coverage."
We'll see if Mr. Sokol gets an apology from New York Times columnist Joe Nocera, who wrote then, "How is this not, on its face, evidence of insider trading?"
Or an apology from the Wall Street Journal, which published an article by a retired lawyer, Ronald Barusch, claiming that the case has "the primary elements of a violation of the insider trading rule."
Maybe Mr. Sokol just had a good lawyer, or maybe the SEC went easy on him, but the more likely explanation is that there wasn't a particularly strong case against him to begin with, which is what I said here at the time. Alas for Mr. Sokol, it's one of those "what office do I go to to get my reputation back" sort of situations.