Buffett to meet regulators on Monday

By Steve Gelsi
April 8, 2005

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) - Berkshire Hathaway said Warren Buffett will appear before regulators on Monday as part of a probe into accounting of non-traditional products in insurance.

Berkshire said in a filing on Friday that its General Re unit has been the subject of questions from regulators at the Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York Attorney General's Office and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Regulators "have jointly interviewed a number of current and former officers and employees of General Re and General Reinsurance, and have indicated they plan to interview additional such individuals," Berkshire said.

General Reinsurance and General Re are indirect, wholly owned subsidiaries of Berkshire.

News of the interview came amid a report in The Wall Street Journal that Buffett gave a tip to regulators that led to the fall of ousted American International Group CEO Maurice "Hank" Greenberg.

Greenberg will also land in front of regulators next week, according to Friday's Wall Street Journal, which reported that Buffett took previously undisclosed steps to provide documents describing a suspected transaction between Berkshire and AIG. The Journal cited people familiar with the matter in its report.

At stake is whether AIG altered its books to mislead investors. AIG said last week that it accounted improperly a reinsurance deal struck with Berkshire's General Re unit.

In the latest development in the AIG saga, the SEC said it obtained a court order to prevent Greenberg and others from destroying or hiding documents connected with its investigation.
Copyright 2005 by Marketwatch.

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