Billionaire investor Warren Buffett reportedly engaged in talks with top members of the Biden administration as turmoil engulfed the US banking system.
The Berkshire Hathaway chairman has had “multiple conversations” with President Biden’s team over the last week, Bloomberg reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the matter.
During the calls, Buffett and administration officials purportedly discussed the possibility of the billionaire helping to stabilize the situation by potentially investing in the regional banking system.
Regional banks faced a run from worried depositors after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank of New York.
Buffett — who is worth an estimated $102 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index — also provided White House officials with “advice and guidance” on how to respond to the banking crisis.
The Post has reached out to Buffett’s office for comment.
Buffett has a history of bolstering US banks with timely investments during periods of economic stress — most notably with a $5 billion infusion for Goldman Sachs as it struggled through the 2008 financial crisis.
The talks occurred as trouble at regional bank First Republic and Zurich-based giant Credit Suisse fueled concern about global economic contagion.
First Republic’s stock has remained under intense pressure despite last week’s move by the largest US banks to stage a $30 billion rescue of the troubled lender. Shares were down as much as 37% in premarket trading Monday, resuming their plunge from late last week.
The latest First Republic slump occurred after S&P slashed its credit rating to B+ from BB+ on Sunday.
Elsewhere, investors appeared skeptical of UBS’s $3.2 billion deal to take over Credit Suisse, which has been in danger of collapse for days as a disclosure of “material weaknesses” in its financial reporting sparked a crisis of confidence. Shares of both banks were down in Monday trading.
Bank stocks have struggled despite a Biden-backed move by federal regulators to guarantee all deposits at Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank following their collapse. Critics have argued that move was a bailout that will eventually lead to higher costs for bank customers.
Biden and other top administration officials have insisted that US taxpayers won’t be on the hook for the federal intervention.
Leave a Reply