Is Buffett Getting Margin Calls?

February 24, 2009 3:00 pm

Perhaps it is nothing more than wild speculation at this point, but rumors are popping up on the street that Warren Buffett may have received margin calls related to derivative/option investments. Yes, these are the same type of investment that Mr. Buffett has termed, “financial weapons of mass destruction.” As crazy as this may sound, there is obviously something going badly wrong as Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) is down over 20% in 2009 and many of the individual positions within the portfolio have been outright devastated.

To add insult to injury, Mr. Buffett has recently made many ill-timed investments that are wreaking havoc within his portfolio, which is down a whopping 45% over the past 12 months. If you recall, back in May 2008, Mr. Buffett was convinced that the credit crisis was coming to an end when he proclaimed to the world on Bloomberg Television, “`The worst of the crisis in Wall Street is over.” Unfortunately, he put his money where his mouth was and decided to add positions to the portfolio and several have dropped more than 50% since. That is not the only problem though.

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