Warren Buffett just unleashed $US195 million worth of 'financial weapons of mass destruction'

Nuclear bombPublic domainA test bomb.

Warren Buffett has dumped a whole lot of derivatives.

Buffett, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, paid $195 million to end its contracts on derivatives protecting against the default of some bonds, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Buffett’s use of derivatives has always been begrudgingly, the famed investor has repeatedly called the products “financial weapons of mass destruction” and a “time bomb” in the markets.

According to a filing from Berkshire, the contracts were covering losses for investors on municipal bonds. Essentially, Berkshire was acting as an insurer for investors in certain municipal bonds if they were to lose money on the trade.

In July, Buffett paid $195 million to an unnamed counterparty in order to get off the hook for these policies.

“In July 2016, the credit default contract was terminated by mutual agreement with the counterparty,” said the filing. “We paid $195 million upon termination and, thereafter, we have no exposure to losses under the contract.”

While Buffett has decried these sorts of deals, he has defended his use of the derivatives as a way to get capital quickly which he can then use to invest elsewhere. During the financial crisis, Buffett sold options on various stock indices, and many of those still remain on the books.

Berkshire reported quarterly earnings Friday, posting earnings per share of $2,803, which was $108 short of per share estimates.

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