Warren Buffett Explains the 2008 Financial Crisis

Warren Buffett Explains the 2008 Financial Crisis

The financial crisis of 2008 was a defining moment for the global economy. As the housing market collapsed and major financial institutions teetered on the brink of failure, the world was left wondering how such a disaster could have happened. Amid the chaos, one man emerged as a beacon of wisdom and stability: Warren Buffett, the legendary investor, and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. As the crisis unfolded, Buffett’s thoughts and actions garnered widespread attention and many looked to him for guidance on how to navigate the turbulent waters. In this blog post, we’ll explore what Warren Buffett thought of the financial crisis of 2008, what he bought during the crisis, and how he helped to shape the course of the economy during this difficult time.

Warren Buffett’s thoughts on the financial crisis of 2008

Warren Buffett is known for his long-term investing approach and his ability to see through market fluctuations. In the years leading up to the financial crisis of 2008, he had expressed caution about the housing market and the risks associated with subprime mortgages. In a 2003 interview with CNBC, he famously said, “I can say almost with certainty that there will be a crisis, and I don’t know whether it will be next week or next month or next year, but it’s coming.”

As the crisis unfolded, Buffett took a measured approach, carefully evaluating opportunities for investment as they arose. He famously announced a $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs at the height of the crisis, a move that was seen as a vote of confidence in the troubled financial institution.

Despite the challenges of the crisis, Buffett remained optimistic about the long-term prospects of the economy. In an interview with Charlie Rose in 2008, he said, “We will not have a depression. We will have a recession. But the American public and the American businesses are strong, and they will come back.”

Looking back on the crisis, Buffett has emphasized the importance of having a long-term perspective and not getting caught up in market hysteria. He has also stressed the need for financial institutions to have strong capital buffers to weather future crises. In a 2013 interview with CNBC, he said, “If you’re in a business where you don’t have any substantial fixed assets, you have to have a lot of surplus capital. And if you don’t have it, you’re not going to be around.”

What did Warren Buffett buy during the financial crisis of 2008?

During the financial crisis of 2008, Warren Buffett made a number of investments that were seen as bold moves at the time. One of the most notable was his $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs, which he made in September 2008 at the height of the crisis. In announcing the investment, Buffett said, “I have been a fan of Goldman Sachs since I first bought stock in the company in the early 1990s. I believe it to be one of the premier investment banking firms in the world.”

Buffett also made investments in other companies that were struggling during the crisis. He invested $3 billion in General Electric in October 2008, and later added to his position in the company. In 2011, he also made a $10 billion investment in IBM, which had been hit hard by the crisis.

Several factors motivated Buffett to make these investments. One was his belief in the long-term prospects of the companies in question. He has always been a value investor, looking for undervalued companies with strong growth potential. Another factor was the opportunity presented by the market turmoil of the crisis. With many investors panicked and selling off assets, prices for some companies plummeted, providing opportunities for value investors like Buffett to buy at a discount.

Overall, these investments have performed well for Buffett. Goldman Sachs and General Electric have recovered from the crisis and are now trading at higher levels than they were at the time of his investments. His investment in IBM has also been successful, with the company’s stock price more than doubling since he invested. These investments have contributed to Berkshire Hathaway’s strong performance in the years since the crisis.

Who did Warren Buffett bailout in 2008?

During the financial crisis of 2008, Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway made several investments in financial institutions that were struggling as the crisis unfolded. One of the most notable was the $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs, which was announced in September 2008. This investment, which was made in the form of preferred stock, provided Goldman Sachs with much-needed capital when the company faced significant financial challenges.

Buffett’s investment in Goldman Sachs was seen as a vote of confidence in the troubled financial institution, and it helped to stabilize the company’s stock price and improve investor sentiment. The investment also came with an attractive dividend yield of 10%, providing a steady income stream for Berkshire Hathaway.

In addition to the investment in Goldman Sachs, Berkshire Hathaway also invested in other financial institutions during the crisis, including General Electric and Bank of America. These investments, like the one in Goldman Sachs, were made in the form of preferred stock and provided the institutions with capital and a source of income for Berkshire Hathaway.

Overall, the purpose of these investments was to provide capital and stability to financial institutions struggling during the crisis. By investing in these companies, Buffett was able to take advantage of attractive valuations and provide much-needed support to the broader economy. These investments have generally been successful for Berkshire Hathaway, with the companies in question recovering from the crisis and performing well in the years since.


Warren Buffett proved himself the greatest investor and CEO of all time again as he safely navigated his company Berkshire Hathaway through the dangerous economic crises of 2008 and profited from the situation. His large cash position in the Berkshire Hathaway portfolio allowed him to make all new investments in financial firms in preferred stocks that paid huge dividends as he was a preferred investor, and they needed his capital to weather the financial storm. His primary skill set is his risk management and ability to create great risk/reward ratios with stock entries. He knew the 2007 stock market was extremely overvalued and waited with plenty of capital on the sideline to put out buckets when it rained gold with value prices on the companies he wanted to own.

Warren Buffett Explains the 2008 Financial Crisis