MarketWatch: Warren Buffett had a “Central Role” in the Economic Crisis
From: “Two Warren Buffetts,” MarketWatch, June 2, 2010:
… On the one hand, Buffett has played everyman and angel. He’s lifted up troubled firms including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!gs/quotes/nls/gs (GS 136.92, +1.94, +1.44%) and General Electric /quotes/comstock/13*!ge/quotes/nls/ge (GE 15.15, +0.07, +0.46%) with tens of billions in investments. He’s been the one who’s called derivatives “financial weapons of mass destruction.”
But at the same time, Buffett has had a central role in the crisis. Moody’s along with Standard & Poor’s /quotes/comstock/13*!mhp/quotes/nls/mhp (MHP 30.25, -0.20, -0.66%) overlooked obvious problems with mortgage-backed securities and other securities to assign top ratings to them. Those mis-rated securities blew holes in the balance sheets of firms Buffett later bailed out.
Buffett also has his conflicts. As noted in the Wall Street Journal’s Marketbeat blog, Berkshire was stripped of some of its triple-A ratings in 2009 by, you guessed it, Moody’s. Read WSJ Marketbeat post on Buffett. …