I don’t know what compelled David Sokol to appear on CNBC this morning without an attorney at his side, to discuss his resignation from Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA). Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled he did, because it made for a much better interview. But it also could make for better background, if the SEC ultimately chooses to pursue an investigation (WSJ says they’re considering it).
First, it kind of strains credibility to think that he quit for reasons unrelated to his personal trades in Lubrizol (LZ), the Ohio-based specialty chemicals company that Berkshire Hathaway recently agreed to acquire for around $9 billion.
But even if we give him the benefit of that doubt — I don’t know the man — the interview also raises some timeline questions (did he get interest in Lubrizol from the 10-K, or from Citi?) and if he really understands at least the appearance of impropriety (he seems oblivious as to how his advocacy for a deal at Berkshire could ultimately affect that company’s stock price).
Here’s the full interview: