Sunday, March 27, 2016
Mr. Bondi: You mentioned transparency earlier as well. These CDO instruments were largely opaque in terms of compositions and the like to the investors, who were investing in them. They were structured and created, though, around the ratings, and in connection with the ratings and the rating agencies.
Do you think, though, that because of the opaqueness of these instruments, ratings became, in the minds of the investors, more important than perhaps maybe they should have been?
Mr. Buffett: Well, I would say that, you know, anybody that's investing in something they consider opaque should just walk away, I mean, whether it's a common stock or - you know, or a new invention or whatever it may be. ... You would think bankers, however, would - would have learned by the time they get to run a bank.
-Excerpted from Warren Buffett's testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission