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IRS data reportedly shows Buffett traded Berkshire stocks in personal account, according to ProPublica

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Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, attends the 2019 annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, May 3, 2019.

Johannes EISELE | Getty

Warren Buffett reportedly traded stocks in his personal account that his conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway was buying and selling, a practice that he himself in the past deemed a conflict of interest, according to ProPublica Thursday.

The nonprofit news outlet, citing a leak of confidential IRS data, alleged the “Oracle of Omaha” traded shares in his private account in the same quarter or the quarter before Berkshire bought or sold the same stocks, including shares of Wells Fargo, Johnson & Johnson and Walmart. The examples given were from 2009 and 2012.

Berkshire has not responded to CNBC’s request for comment outside of normal business hours.

The 93-year-old investor has been open about the fact that he has a personal account, separate from his company’s $300 billion equity portfolio. Berkshire is required to disclose its holdings quarterly to the Securities and Exchange Commission, but the holdings in Buffett’s account and size of it are largely a mystery.

Buffett has said publicly that he tries to steer clear of the investments Berkshire is involved in when it comes to his personal account.

“I try to stay away from anything that could conflict with Berkshire,” Buffett said during Berkshire’s annual meeting in 2016.

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Berkshire Hathaway A shares

Berkshire Hathaway just reported a 40% jump in third-quarter operating earnings with Buffett still at the helm. The conglomerate has amassed a record cash pile of $157 billion and has been overall selling down shares that it owns. The shares hit a record in September.

— Click here to read the ProPublica story.

2023-11-09 09:50:00

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