10 Surprising Brand Winners of 2011

Buffett Revived Noblesse Oblige
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6. Warren Buffett Revived Noblesse Oblige

In the spring of 2011, Berkshire Hathaway was embroiled in a trading scandal involving Warren Buffett's former top lieutenant, David Sokol, and became the subject of an acrimonious shareholder lawsuit. All that slipped into the background, though, when Buffett publicly and graciously pointed out the obvious: that billionaires like him were getting a free ride from the tax code.

Lesson: Greed is good, but noblesse oblige builds a better brand.