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How Buffett Was Bailed Out -- Kinda, Sorta, But Yeah, Really

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Warren Buffett not only was in essence bailed out by the bailout but he also traded the bailout to seek "morally hazardous" profits. That's a somewhat disillusioned take from Rolfe Winkler of Reuters. (He also gets credit for the above graphic.)

Buffett, one of the most human-seeming of our oligarchs, got credit for bailing out Goldman Sachs with $5 billion last fall. The Omaha guru has wailed about government guarantees. But looky here, says Winkler in "Buffett's Betrayal": "Were it not for government bailouts, for which Buffett lobbied hard, many of his company's stock holdings would have been wiped out." He adds:

Berkshire Hathaway, in which Buffett owns 27 percent, according to a recent proxy filing, has more than $26 billion invested in eight financial companies that have received bailout money.

Winkler's piece is nice, and Joe Wiesenthal masticates it here, and Robert Wenzel here. See Buffett's February 2009 letter here.

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Ward Harkavy is currently Senior Editor at the Village Voice, for which he writes The Smart Asset.

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