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Senate Dems to Deny Buffett's Derivatives Exception

Though Warren Buffett has long argued about the danger of derivatives, he has pushed to exempt existing deals from proposed new regulations on such contracts. But his efforts to win such an exemption are reported to have failed.

Earlier today, we wrote about efforts by Warren Buffett's investment group, Berkshire Hathaway, to push for a provision in the derivatives bill that would've spared the company a financial hit

Well, the latest reports suggest those efforts didn't succeed.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Senate Democrats are killing the provision lobbied for by Berkshire Hathaway, dealing a financial blow to the company and its $63 billion in existing derivatives contracts. Chairman Warren Buffett has long warned against the dangers of derivatives (complex financial instruments that essentially bet on the future price of a good), but when faced with a bill that would require companies to set aside significant capital when creating such contracts, he argued that the new rule should not apply to existing deals.

The Berkshire provision met resistance from the White House and the Treasury Department, both of which are hoping tighter restrictions will prevent future bailouts of derivatives dealers such as AIG, which struck many deals while lacking the capital to pay in case the bets went bad.

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