Buffett Bank Shot
In a nod to Salomon Brothers Inc., the House has added a special "Warren Buffett" loophole to its version of the Glass-Steagall bank-reform bill. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. holds a 21% stake in the investment bank. That could be a problem if Solly tries to enter the banking business under the new legislation. Why? Because Berkshire also is a major investor in the insurance business, and the reforms would still bar affiliations between banks and insurers. The new language would allow Buffett to keep his stake in Salomon without barring the investment firm from moving into commercial banking. Salomon Inc. Chairman Robert E. Denham says the House move is only fair. "Salomon would not be prohibited from doing what any other investment bank can do simply because of Berkshire Hathaway's holding," he explains.