2011-05-10 — huffingtonpost.com
The most important fact was that while Buffett wrote on March 30 that neither he nor Sokol felt the trades were "in any way unlawful," after a month of press uproar, Buffett admitted at his Annual Meeting that on the day he wrote his release he turned over evidence to the SEC's enforcement division that was "some very damning evidence, in my view."
Now the rating agencies are reviewing weak corporate governance at Berkshire Hathaway and may downgrade the company's credit rating. That would lead to relatively higher funding costs which would create a drag on returns.
Buffett didn't think this incident would damage his reputation, but perhaps as Jonathan Weil points out, it's because the press has gone easy on him in the past. Buffett isn't being judged on appearances. He's being judged by words and actions completely under his control.
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