Dems Tell Buffett to Stuff It

Berkshire provision killed in financial reform legislation
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2010 10:49 AM CDT
Dems Tell Buffett to Stuff It
Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett is interviewed before lunch with officials from Salida Capital, a Canadian Investment firm, in New York, in this Feb. 22, 2010 file photo.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, file)

Democrats today agreed to torpedo the sweetheart derivatives provision Warren Buffett was lobbying to insert into their financial reform legislation, the Wall Street Journal reports. The decision comes scant hours after the Journal 's original front-page report that Ben Nelson had managed to jam the provision into the Agriculture Committee's version of the bill. Buffett had wanted to exempt existing derivatives contracts—of which his Berkshire Hathaway has $63 billion—from new collateral rules.

Berkshire had never managed to get the provision into the Banking Committee's version of the bill, and it was dropped today as Democrats combined the two bills, thanks in part to strident opposition from the White House and Treasury. In a few hours, there will be a test vote to determine if they can begin debating the bill on the Senate floor. (More Warren Buffett stories.)

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