Just minutes ago, the New York Times reported on its web site that Warren Buffett, and several other outside investors, are in "serious talks" with Bear Stearns about buying a minority stake of as much as 20% of the troubled Wall Street firm.
Our own Charlie Gasparino speaking on CNBC-TV, however, says he doesn't know anything for sure, but he doubts that Buffett would want to buy a stake in Bear Stearns.
The Times identifies the other investors "interested in buying a minority stake" as Bank of America, Wachovia and two Chinese institutions: Citic Group and China Construction Bank.
Shares of Bear Stearns jumped immediately on the report. Currently:
Bear Stearns tells CNBC it has no comment on the New York Times report.
A spokesperson tells CNBC that Berkshire Hathaway never comments on any activities beyond what the SEC requires.
The office pointed us to section 13 of their annual report which says:
"Despite our policy of candor, we will discuss our activities in marketable securities ONLY to the extent legally required. Good investment ideas are rare, valuable and subject to competitive appropriation just as good product or business acquisition ideas are. Therefore we normally will not talk about our investment ideas. This ban extends even to securities we have sold (because we may purchase them again) and to stocks we are incorrectly rumored to be buying. If we deny those reports but say 'no comment' on other occasions, the no-comments become confirmation."