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Derivatives

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  • Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway reports $1.532 billion in derivatives gains during its second quarter, contributing to an overall net profit of $3.295 billion dollars for the quarter, or $2,123 per class A share.  It's a return to profitability for Berkshire, after reporting a $1.5 billion net loss in this year's first quarter.

  • Stock market gains in April, May, and June, will energize second quarter net earnings from Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway when the numbers are released after the stock market closes today.  That will be a sharp contrast from recent quarters when market losses depressed Berkshire's net numbers and its stock price.

  • Soros: Separate Trading from Commercial Banking Wednesday, 17 Jun 2009 | 4:09 AM ET
    George Soros

    The financial reform should include some way of separating banks' proprietary trading from commercial banking, although a return to regulation similar to the Glass-Steagall Act would be impractical, legendary investor George Soros wrote in the Financial Times.

  • Warren Buffett's S&P Bet: Lower Target, Less Time Monday, 18 May 2009 | 1:02 PM ET

    Warren Buffett confirms to CNBC's Becky Quick that Berkshire Hathaway has made changes to some of its controversial bets on the long-term health of stocks.  Buffett told Becky last night by telephone that roughly $2 billion of put options on the benchmark S&P 500 stock index have been altered. Changes have also been made to a derivative on a foreign stock index, but he's not saying which one.  The new contracts have a lower strike price but cover a shorter time period.

  • Berkshire Hathaway 2009 Shareholder Meeting

    Warren Buffett tells our Becky Quick, with a chuckle, that maybe he has "lost his touch" as some critics have suggested, after a 30 percent decline in Berkshire Hathaway stock over the past 12 months.  But, the way he sees it, Berkshire beat the stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 index, making it not such a bad year after all.  Here's Becky's report from this morning's Squawk Box, including an extensive excerpt of her on-camera conversation with Buffett over the weekend.

  • Berkshire Hathaway 2009 Shareholder Meeting

    Warren Buffett made news at this weekend's Berkshire Hathaway meeting by giving shareholders a preview of the company's first quarter earnings results.  He also discussed expected losses in some of the credit default swaps the company has written.  Berkshire has just filed a transcript of those comments with the SEC.  Here's exactly what he said.

  • Berkshire Hathaway 2009 Shareholder Meeting

    A record crowd of 35,000 Berkshire Hathaway shareholders hear Warren Buffett reveal that first quarter profits will be down almost 11 percent this year.  But he remains very bullish on banks in Berkshire's portfolio, especially Wells Fargo.

  • Berkshire Hathaway 2009 Shareholder Meeting

    Warren Buffett told shareholders the four candidates selected to possibly succeed him as Berkshire Hathaway's chief investment officer "did not cover themselves in glory."

  • Berkshire Hathaway 2009 Shareholder Meeting

    Warren Buffett tells shareholders today that some of Berkshire Hathaway's derivatives contracts, those tied to the credit quality of junk bonds, will wind up losing money.  He's still optimistic on those contracts tied to stock market indexes.

  • Berkshire Hathaway 2009 Shareholder Meeting

    As part of CNBC's coverage of tomorrow's Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting, two of the afternoon programs discussed a question we've been hearing in recent months: Has Warren Buffett lost his way? And does he get a "free pass" from the media?  Take a look at the video clips.

  • Berkshire Hathaway 2009 Shareholder Meeting

    Value investor and fund manager Mario Gabelli tells CNBC's Becky Quick he often gets good ideas from some of the thousands of like-minded investors who attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting each year.  Here's the video clip of their conversation, which also touched on Warren Buffett's controversial derivatives positions.

  • AIG Recalls Exec to Fend Off Default: Report Wednesday, 29 Apr 2009 | 5:34 AM ET

    American International Group persuaded a senior executive at its troubled financial products group to rescind his resignation to help avoid default on $234 billion in derivatives, the Financial Times reported Wednesday.

  • Berkshire Hathaway has lost its AAA credit rating from Fitch, but it doesn't look like the change is due to any recent 'mistakes' by Warren Buffett and his holding company.   Almost at the top of its news release on the one-notch downgrade and negative outlook, Fitch says the move is part of a "broader review of insurance and financial services company ratings" due to the "current stressful economic environment."

  • Warren Buffett in an interview with Bloomberg Television, taped March 5, 2009 in Omaha.

    Warren Buffett says it's more likely Berkshire Hathaway will make a domestic acquisition before it buys a foreign company, because there are more opportunities opening up in the U.S. and fewer competing buyers bidding up prices.  Buffett tells Bloomberg Television, "The way things are going, there's a lot of things that may be happening in the United States."

  • Warren Buffett fans, clear your calendars. Berkshire Hathaway confirms to me that Buffett's eagerly-awaited annual letter to shareholders will be released this coming Saturday, February 28.

  • As Bank Crisis Deepens, Obama Has No Quick Fix Wednesday, 21 Jan 2009 | 5:12 AM ET

    Even before they have settled into their new jobs, President Obama’s economic team faces an acute crisis in the nation’s banking system that has no easy answers and that they are not yet prepared to address, the New York Times reported.

  • Warren Buffett tells Bloomberg today that more information about Berkshire Hathaway's derivative positions will be included in the company's annual report early next year.   In an email sent by his assistant, Buffett says investors will be told about "all aspects of valuation" for the contracts. In addition, the report will discuss "deficiencies in the formula" for pricing the derivatives, "which we nevertheless use."

  • Barron's predicted last December that Berkshire Hathaway shares would take a tumble.  They did.  Now the magazine says Wall Street's worries about Warren Buffett's big derivatives contracts appear "overblown" and the stock is ready to rebound.

  • Berkshire Hathaway's third quarter operating earnings fell 19.3 percent to $1,335 a share from $1,655 a share in the same period the year before.  That's below the average forecast of $1429 from the two analysts following the stock, as tracked by Thomson One Analytics.

  • Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is expected to report a decline in quarterly operating earnings for the third quarter, its fifth consecutive year-over-year quarterly drop. Berkshire's results will be released after tomorrow's (Friday) stock market close.