(New York) For businessman Warren Buffett, the American authorities mismanaged their communication around the banking crisis, which explains why confidence has not returned among American consumers.
Four banks have been closed since the beginning of March in the United States, and three of them subsequently taken over by another establishment with the help of the authorities.
In the case of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank, the Deposit Guarantee Agency, the FDIC, insured all deposits placed in these two institutions, beyond the legal limit theoretically set at $250,000. US per customer.
“We see the FDIC guaranteeing all deposits […] and there are always people who are very worried,” Warren Buffett commented on Saturday during the general meeting of his conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway.
“Communication has been poor,” according to the billionaire who continues to lead his group, at 92.
“It has been mediocre among politicians, who sometimes have an interest in it. It has been bad among government agencies responsible for banking supervision, including the FDIC. “And she’s been just as mediocre in the media. »
“We had a demonstration with Silicon Valley Bank” of a takeover by the authorities, with an extended deposit guarantee, “but people are still confused. »
While the emergency takeover of the regional establishment First Republic by the giant JPMorgan Chase on Monday seemed likely to calm the anxiety around the banks, the week was eventful.
Several medium-sized banks were targeted on Wall Street, in particular California’s PacWest, which fell 68% before recovering 82% in Friday’s session alone.
On Saturday, Berkshire Hathaway reported a monster profit of $35.5 billion in the first quarter alone, largely attributable to strong financial markets.
During the first three months of 2023, the group sold $13.2 billion worth of shares, but only bought $2.8 billion, thus drastically reducing its exposure.
Warren Buffett managed to transform Berkshire Hathaway, a textile SME acquired in the mid-1960s, into a gigantic conglomerate, today valued at more than 700 billion dollars.