Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chairman Warren Buffett admitted some investment mistakes in 2008 and painted a grim picture for the economy in 2009.

The company reported net earnings of $4.99 billion in 2008, down from $13.21 billion in 2008. Additionally, Berkshire saw a 9.6 percent drop in per-share book value for 2008, compared to an 11 percent gain in 2007. In a letter to shareholders, Mr. Buffett cited 2008 as the worst year for Berkshire’s book value in the 44 years since present management took over.

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