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This morning on CNBC's Squawk Box, Warren Buffett publicly revealed for the first time that he has offered to reinsure $800 billion in municipal bonds now covered by the troubled insurers MBIA, Ambac and FGIC. Here is a video and transcript of the second part of this morning's live phone conversation, which also includes Buffett's comment that stocks are in the "general range of fair value" right now.
This morning on CNBC's Squawk Box, Warren Buffett publicly revealed for the first time that he has offered to reinsure $800 billion in municipal bonds now covered by the troubled insurers MBIA, Ambac and FGIC. That would effectively give those bonds a AAA credit rating. So far, he says one insurer has turned him down and he hasn't heard from the other two. Here is a transcript of the first part of this morning's live phone conversation.
Warren Buffett tells Fox Business that Berkshire Hathaway won't be investing in any troubled bond insurer, including Ambac and MBIA
Warren Buffett tells CNBC this morning that he has a plan to help the troubled bond insurance situation, but so far it's not getting a very warm reception.In a live telephone call to Squawk Box just a few minutes ago, Buffett offered to reinsure $800 billion in municipal bonds now insured by Ambac, MBIA and FGIC, effectively giving them a AAA credit rating. Those insurers are in danger of losing their AAA credit ratings due to problems with subprime mortgages and other loans.Buffett tells us he sent that offer to the bond insurers last week, and that he's giving them 30 days to find a better deal. Buffett says one bond insurer turned him down, and he hasn't yet heard from the other two.
Warren Buffett will be calling into CNBC's Squawk Box tomorrow (Tuesday, February 12) morning during the 8am ET hour for a First on CNBC live telephone interview with Becky Quick and the rest of the Squawk team. Buffett will be discussing the bond insurance situation.
Warren Buffett answered questions for almost 90 minutes yesterday during his appearance in Toronto to promote Business Wire's expansion into Canada. We focused on his credit, dollar and economy comments, but he made a lot of other news as well, including a revelation to Canada's National Post newspaper that he made "several hundred million dollars" owning the Canadian dollar, then sold, and now wishes he had kept his holdings in the Loonie.
Warren Buffett appears today (Wednesday, February 6) at 4p ET at an event in Toronto for "investor relations and corporate communications professionals" designed to draw attention to Business Wire's expansion into Canada. While the event is not open to the general public, with the assistance of Business Wire, CNBC.com's Warren Buffett Watch plans to carry live audio of Buffett's appearance.
Standard and Poor's has just released the results of its twice-a-year stock screen, designed to find Warren Buffett-style stocks. The new list features several tech stocks, including Apple, as well as a number of names from Europe and Asia. But some key Buffett criteria aren't taken into account by the screen.
Shares of Burlington Northern Santa Fe have soared by more than 15 percent since Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway completed a string of almost daily stock purchases in mid-January.
A group of state insurance regulators says it's working with Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway on a single "streamlined" application for licenses to sell bond insurance in all 50 states. But even if Berkshire does get all those licenses, and it probably will, that doesn't necessarily mean Warren Buffett & Co. will be actually writing bond insurance policies in every state right away.
Warren Buffett's daily Burlington buys continue. Berkshire Hathaway has bought Burlington Northern Santa Fe shares on 11 of the 12 trading days through last Tuesday, January 22. The latest purchase is the smallest in the recent series and was made at the lowest price.
Berkshire Hathaway is getting a big piece of Swiss Re's insurance action as the world's largest reinsurer hooks up with Warren Buffett in what one analyst calls "an odd coupling." The deal appears to show Buffett is confident of better times to come for reinsurers.
Stocks snapped a five-day losing streak, with the Dow surging nearly 300 points on optimism that a government plan to rescue ailing bond insurers is taking shape and could prevent billions more in credit losses.
A downgrade of bond insurer Ambac Financial Group is likely to have far-reaching effects, making it more difficult for cities to issue new bonds and forcing further write-downs at financial services companies, analysts said Friday.
Warren Buffett's stake in Burlington Northern Santa Fe has topped 18 percent after his Berkshire Hathaway holding company bought an additional 1.25 million shares for $96 million over the past three days. That brings its total holdings to 63,775,118 shares, or 18.2% of the freight railroad's total outstanding shares.
While I promise not to get into the business of writing about the daily ups and downs of Berkshire Hathaway's stock, I do think it's worth briefly noting that shares of Warren Buffett's holding company had a great day, in stark contrast to Wall Street's great gloom.
Just weeks after closing at an all-time high in mid-December, shares of Warren Buffett's holding company Berkshire Hathaway are falling deeper into 'correction' territory. Berkshire ended today's trading at $126,400 each. That's down more than 15 percent from the December 10 record closing high of $149,200. Is Berkshire now a bargain?
Warren Buffett's stake in Burlington Northern Santa Fe is approaching 18 percent after Berkshire Hathaway paid close to $74 million for nearly a million shares on Monday and Tuesday of this week.
After ending 2007 with a gain of almost 29%, their best year since 1998, shares of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway have been showing some weakness in the New Year. Today's "Ahead of the Tape" column in The Wall Street Journal has an idea about what's pulling down BRK.
The man who oversees the insurance operations for Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway tells CNBC that Berkshire is talking with troubled bond insurers like MBIA and Ambac about a possible partnership or purchase, although it doesn't sound like anything major is imminent. Ajit Jain's comment came in response to a question from Erin Burnett in a live interview on CNBC's Street Signs about why Berkshire chose to "build" its own bond insurer rather than buy an existing company like Ambac or MBIA.