Buffett Testifies Before FCIC

July 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, The Ratings System 

Warren Buffett recently testified before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) alongside Raymond McDaniel, the CEO of Moody’s Corporation.

Apropos of the report that 91% of AAA-rated, residential mortgage-backed securities issued in 2007 and 96% of similar securities issued in 2006 have now been downgraded below investment grade to junk status, the Commission asked Buffett what he thought of the provision in the bank reform bill that would regulate rating agencies.

Buffett responded that while he “hated” the current system, he wouldn’t go so far as to outright support the measure. “I don’t know the answer to that,” he said. “The wisdom of somebody picking out raters, is that going to be perfect? I don’t know.”

He added that, “When rating agencies come to Berkshire, they have me by the throat. I have no leverage whatsoever. If there were 10 agencies and I took the cheapest one, people would say ‘You took the cheapest, but they didn’t do the work,’ so it’s not an easy answer.”

Buffet’s testimony can be seen at: http://www.cspan.org/Watch/Media/2010/06/02/HP/A/33689/Financial+Crisis+Inquiry+Commission.aspx

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