Billionaire investor Warren Buffett reportedly engaged in talks with senior members of the Biden administration as turmoil engulfed the US banking system.
The Berkshire Hathaway chief has had “multiple conversations” with President Biden’s team over the past week, Bloomberg reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the matter.
During the calls, Buffett and management officials discussed the possibility of helping the billionaire stabilize the situation through potential investment in the regional banking system.
Regional banks faced an flight of anxious depositors after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in New York.
Buffett – who is worth an estimated $102 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index – has 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 propping up US banks with timely investments during periods of economic stress – most notably with the $5 billion injection of Goldman Sachs as it struggled during the 2008 financial crisis.
The talks came as turmoil at regional bank First Republic and Zurich-based giant Credit Suisse raised concerns about global economic contagion.
First Republic stock remained under severe pressure despite last week’s move by the largest US bank to bail out the troubled lender, worth $30 billion. Shares fell as much as 37% in pre-market trading Monday, resuming their slide from late last week.
First Republic’s latest downturn occurred after S&P downgraded its credit rating to B+ from BB+ on Sunday.
Elsewhere, investors sounded skeptical of UBS’ $3.2 billion takeover of Credit Suisse, which had been in danger of collapse for days as revelations of “material weaknesses” in its financial reporting led to a crisis of confidence. Shares of both banks fell in trading on Monday.
Bank stocks suffered despite a Biden-backed move by federal regulators to guarantee all deposits at Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank after their collapse. Critics argued that the move was a bailout that would eventually lead to higher costs for bank customers.
Biden and other senior administration officials have insisted that American taxpayers will not be on the hook for federal intervention.
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