Count Warren Buffett in the camp of folks who think the SEC’s fraud charge against Goldman Sachs is undeserved (at least based on the evidence presented so far).
The Oracle strongly defended the firm at the Berkshire shareholder meeting yesterday. And, in what was presumably an awkward moment, his defence was greeted with silence by Berkshire’s 40,000 shareholders.
Here are a few takes on the exchange:
Buffett To SEC: “You Have No Case!”
the show-stopper came early on, “at the top,” as they say in show business…when Buffett defended Goldman Sachs…and forcefully.
No, Buffett didn’t actually say to the SEC, “You have no case,” but neither did Gerald Ford actually say to New York, “Drop Dead!”
And yet both men might as well.
Carol Loomis asked the Goldman question right out of the gate, without mincing words—reminding Buffett of his famous, and often-repeated “lose a shred of reputation and I will be ruthless” video from the Salomon Brothers days—and Buffett responded without mincing words.
The billionaire investor said he fully supported Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein. Asked if he could choose a successor for Mr. Blankfein, Mr. Buffett said: “If Lloyd had a twin brother I’d go for him.”…
The audience’s reaction to Mr. Buffett’s comments on Goldman was tepid. While a number of comments by the Berkshire chairman in the morning were greeted with strong applause by the crowd—almost entirely made up of Berkshire investors—his comments on Goldman were largely met with silence.
“I was surprised by how strong he stood by [Goldman] out of the gate and that he wasn’t more critical of the Wall Street culture,” said Justin Fuller, partner at Midway Capital Research & Management, which closely tracks Berkshire.
- buffett doesn’t think gs needed to disclose wells notice re: abacus
- munger says he wants a new version of glass steagall
- munger on the need for stronger reform: “i’d like to make paul volker look like a sissy”
- buffett: gs doesn’t have to tell berkshire if they are trading against them
- buffett: GS “helped build berkshire hathaway” by selling them businesses
- munger: investment banks took on “scuzzy” customers
- buffett: ACA made a “dumb insurance decision”
- buffett: there was a “negotiation” about what was included in abacus
- buffett: if i have to care who is on the other side of the trade, i shouldn’t be insuring bonds
- buffett on goldman’s counterparty in abacus: it’s hard for me to be sympathetic
- q&a beigins…buffett answers first q’s….defends goldman sachs