On CNBC Tuesday morning Warren Buffett announced that he has
offered to help out three bond insurers by offering a second level of insurance
on as much as $800 billion in municipal bonds.
The three companies, Ambac Financial Group, Inc., MBIA Inc.,
and Financial Guaranty Insurance Company have gotten into deep financial trouble
following their entry into the business of insuring mortgage-backed securities
and Wall Street has been consumed for weeks by fears that one or more of the
companies might fail.
Buffet is not offering to do anything about the complicated derivatives that
are behind the financial worries but his offer to back-up municipal bonds with
insurance issued by his AAA rated Berkshire Hathaway may take some of the pressure
off of the bond insurers although one has already rejected Buffet's offer.
Buffet said he was not acting out of altruism but rather saw the need for the
second insurance as a "way to make money."