In between opining on how to fix the US tax system, Warren Buffett still runs Berkshire Hathaway. as James McRitchie points out, however, Saint Warren's corporate governance practices leave something to be desired:
Francine McKenna isn’t afraid to take on the big four auditing firms or the rich and powerful. Look for her column, Accounting Watchdog at Forbes.com. The following is an extended excerpt from a recent post, The Berkshire Hathaway Corporate Governance Performance. “Buffett judges the investments he makes ruthlessly, but allows his operating companies to run on autopilot.” That decentralized structure allows plausible deniability when anything goes wrong.
I encourage reading the entire article and getting familiar with McKenna’s work. It is good to see such an expert willing to speak truth to power. As a Berkshire Hathaway shareowner, her analysis certainly makes me nervous and it is hard to imagine shareowners taking on such an iconic figure through governance initiatives successfully.
In particular, she identifies how Berkshire satisfies the "eight characteristics of decentralized companies that promote lack of accountability and, potentially, the existence of financial fraud." Go read the whole thing.