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Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway sells majority of stake in Goldman Sachs

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Posted: May 16, 2020 8:50 PM
Updated: May 16, 2020 8:50 PM

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway sold off 84% of its stake in Goldman Sachs during the first quarter, according to a regulatory filing.

The conglomerate slashed its holdings in the investment bank to 1.9 million shares from 12 million shares, according to SEC filings released Friday. Goldman Sachs's share price plunged by almost a third during the first quarter as the novel coronavirus swept the nation.

Berkshire Hathaway initially invested in $5 billion of preferred stock in the Wall Street firm in 2008, as a vote of confidence in Goldman Sachs at the height of the 2008 financial crisis. It redeemed those shares in 2011, with Berkshire making a profit of $3.7 billion.

A representative of Berkshire Hathaway didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The company remains a majority shareholder in other financial firms, including American Express, Bank of America, PNC Financial and Wells Fargo.

At the company's annual meeting on May 2, Buffett said that "I think overall the banking system is not going to be the problem" during the pandemic, although he added that if economic difficulties become severe enough "even strong banks can be under a lot of stress, and we'll be very glad we've got the Federal Reserve system, standing behind them."

This is not the only major change that Berkshire has made to its portfolio recently.

Buffett disclosed at the annual meeting that the firm had sold its entire stake in airline carriers American, United, Delta and Southwest Airlines, which account for more than 80% of US air travel. Berkshire was among the three largest shareholders in the four airline carriers.

"It turned out I was wrong about that business, because of something that was not in any way the fault of four excellent CEOs," Buffett said.

In its first quarter results, Berkshire also disclosed that the conglomerate had a record $137.3 billion in cash on its balance sheet at the end of the March quarter.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 453808

Reported Deaths: 6131
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin941381495
Ramsey40509748
Dakota33463350
Anoka31283368
Washington20471234
Stearns18051190
St. Louis13916247
Scott1213098
Wright11756107
Olmsted1073975
Sherburne827868
Carver703139
Clay657684
Rice621170
Kandiyohi556772
Blue Earth546833
Crow Wing489178
Otter Tail463167
Chisago458138
Benton423288
Winona394248
Douglas378466
Nobles374447
Mower372129
Goodhue355362
Polk330660
McLeod327947
Beltrami315048
Morrison314145
Lyon304738
Becker288839
Itasca287143
Isanti284842
Carlton283543
Steele278510
Pine269614
Freeborn253623
Todd233130
Nicollet227938
Brown217434
Mille Lacs215045
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Cass210524
Meeker201233
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Lake of the Woods1961
Cook1150

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 310915

Reported Deaths: 4432
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk46760465
Linn18037279
Scott15838172
Black Hawk14076243
Woodbury13111181
Johnson1228552
Dubuque11615159
Pottawattamie9146115
Dallas907772
Story879438
Cerro Gordo472572
Webster472077
Sioux459657
Warren458039
Clinton457768
Marshall430762
Buena Vista396230
Muscatine395878
Des Moines394943
Plymouth352870
Wapello349898
Jasper331659
Lee324132
Marion308953
Jones274650
Henry267331
Carroll258234
Bremer249848
Crawford234324
Washington222933
Boone222717
Benton213050
Mahaska197637
Jackson194932
Tama190159
Dickinson188329
Kossuth178544
Delaware176036
Clay172021
Wright166624
Fayette165924
Hamilton162230
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Winneshiek160820
Harrison158162
Hardin156931
Cedar155519
Clayton153849
Butler150924
Page146415
Floyd141436
Cherokee140027
Mills138517
Lyon137533
Poweshiek134924
Hancock131524
Allamakee130930
Iowa127722
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Grundy122528
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Guthrie104224
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Unassigned10110
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Clarke8108
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Lucas66610
Osceola64711
Worth6184
Taylor5999
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Van Buren50215
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