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Go do something useful, Warren Buffett tells bank CEOs

Jamie Cameron
17. 4. 2023
3 min read

The banking crisis seems to have been averted. And unless the banks report extremely negative results, most experts probably agree that it is definite. And so it is time to deal with the consequences. Specifically, the legendary billionaire wants to address them quite forcefully!

A legendary investor has come down hard on bank directors

One of the most famous investors and one of the biggest names in the investment world thinks that the people responsible for the collapse of the banks should be punished significantly more for their mistakes. Especially the CEOs of those institutions.

His call comes after a series of problems in the sector in recent months, with the collapse of Silicon Valley bank $SIVB and later the closure of Signature Bank. Buffett wants the CEOs of failed banks to be held accountable in the future - specifically, to be forced to return the pensions they earned while in office. In his words, he believes that CEOs should be forced to return five years of their lucrative salaries if they bring a bank to ruin.


"Banks have caused all sorts of trouble. But bank CEOs continue to live in peace. They may have lost their jobs, but no more," Buffett said on CNBC. "People who make decisions have to take some consequences." The Omaha soothsayer thinks CEOs deserve to be thrust into the real world and to start doing - in his words - something useful. They don't deserve anything extra.


Buffett added that he thinks it's unlikely his idea for punishing CEOs will ever come to fruition. Although such a move could hit his popularity in the world of finance, Buffett believes such a measure is necessary to prevent similar behavior in the future.

"I believe that if a person (responsible for something as important as the management of a bank and the fate of people) is afraid of having to pay for his actions, he will behave very differently. Seriously... Believe me, it will change the behavior of the people causing the problem."

Buffett acknowledged that the bankers involved in the recent turmoil did not make the same mistakes as those who triggered the 2008 financial crisis - and added that the individuals who orchestrated the chaos nearly 15 years ago got off relatively easy.

"I don't know anybody who went back to flipping burgers at McDonald's or anything like that after they screwed up people's fates in a big way in 2008 and 2009," he said. "There is no punishment associated with bad behavior. And it really, really affects the system when people lose confidence in banks. I just don't think the system is set up quite right in terms of linking punishment to the culprits of something that is incredibly important - to make your country's banking system work well."

Disclaimer: This is in no way an investment recommendation. This is purely my summary and analysis based on data from the internet and other sources. Investing in the financial markets is risky and everyone should invest based on their own decisions. I am just an amateur sharing my opinions.

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