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Fallout: The Financial Crisis

Even Warren Buffett struggles to earn

Janet Babin Oct 31, 2008
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Fallout: The Financial Crisis

Even Warren Buffett struggles to earn

Janet Babin Oct 31, 2008
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TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: I bet a lot of people on Wall Street are anxious to see this: Warren Buffett’s company releases its latest profit numbers today. Marketplace’s Janet Babin reports from North Carolina Public Radio.


Janet Babin: Berkshire Hathaway has consistently rewarded investors with excellent returns. But some years will always be better than others. The company’s net earnings in the second quarter dropped more than 7 percent, mainly because of weak insurance profits. Third-quarter results could follow that trend.

Charles Elson at the University of Delaware says weak results at Berkshire Hathaway might please Joe the Investor. Hey, if even Warren Buffett can’t turn a profit, then:

Charles Elson: I think the rest of us shouldn’t feel so bad. And if he’s not doing well, it means that the economy’s really in tough shape, if someone who is that savvy is having a tough time making a lot of money.

Buffett has said unemployment will rise and business will falter. But he’s also said he’ll continue to buy stocks, and urged others to do the same. He probably wasn’t talking about Berkshire Hathaway — most Americans could barely afford one share.

I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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