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Warren Buffett phoned Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson with a stimulus idea when the financial crisis erupted. It may have saved the US economy

Warren Buffett phoned Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson with a stimulus idea when the financial crisis erupted. It may have saved the US economy

warren buffett hank paulson
U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (L) shares a laugh with financier Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, at the Conference on U.S. Capital Market Competitiveness in Washington March 13, 2007.

  • Warren Buffett phoned Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson at the height of the 2008 financial crisis with a suggestion that likely saved the US economy from an even deeper recession.
  • The famed investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO proposed the government plow capital directly into banks instead of only buying their distressed assets.
  • Paulson quickly gathered the bosses of the nation’s biggest banks and convinced them to accept billions of dollars in investment.
  • The Treasury demanded preferred stock paying chunky dividends, as well as stock warrants in return, emulating Buffett’s bailout of Goldman Sachs in September 2008.
  • Former President George W. Bush called it “probably the greatest financial bailout ever” and said it “probably saved a depression.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Warren Buffett made a late-night call on Saturday, 11 October 2008 that likely spared the US from an even more devastating financial crisis.

The billionaire investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO dialed then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, the pair said in “Panic: The Untold Story of the 2008 Financial Crisis,” a documentary released in 2018.

“Hank, this is Warren,” Buffett said. A tired and groggy Paulson’s first thought was, “My mom has a handyman named Warren, why is he calling me?”

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Buffett was calling about the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which authorized the Treasury to spend $700 billion purchasing distressed assets from banks. Lawmakers passed it in a desperate effort to

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Warren Buffett bought Microsoft stock after meeting Bill Gates and made a $37 billion acquisition thanks to a chance encounter. Here are his 10 best quotes from an interview in a new book.

Warren Buffett bought Microsoft stock after meeting Bill Gates and made a $37 billion acquisition thanks to a chance encounter. Here are his 10 best quotes from an interview in a new book.



Warren Buffett wearing a suit and tie: Warren Buffett, co-chair of the 10,000 Small Businesses Advisory Council, takes part in a panel discussion following a news conference announcing a $20 million partnership to bring Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses initiative to the city of Detroit, Michigan, November 26, 2013. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook


© REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
Warren Buffett, co-chair of the 10,000 Small Businesses Advisory Council, takes part in a panel discussion following a news conference announcing a $20 million partnership to bring Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses initiative to the city of Detroit, Michigan, November 26, 2013. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

  • Warren Buffett gave investing advice to Bob Woodward, purchased Microsoft stock after meeting Bill Gates, and struck a $37 billion deal thanks to a chance meeting, he told David Rubenstein in “How to Lead: Wisdom from the World’s Greatest CEOs, Founders, and Game Changers.”
  • The famed investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO also touched on railroads, his annual shareholder letters, his retirement plans, and his company’s future in the interview with the co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group.
  • Scroll down to read Buffett’s 10 best quotes from the discussion.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Warren Buffett gave investing advice to investigative journalist Bob Woodward, bought 100 Microsoft shares after meeting Bill Gates, and made a $37 billion acquisition because of a chance encounter, he told David Rubenstein in an interview for “How to Lead: Wisdom from the World’s Greatest CEOs, Founders, and Game Changers.”

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Rubenstein, the cofounder and co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group, published the book in September. He spoke to Buffett, a billionaire investor and the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, in 2016.

Here are Buffett’s 10 best quotes from the interview:

1. “The railroad business had a bad century. They’re kind of like the Chicago Cubs. Everybody has a bad century now and then” — on Berkshire’s purchase of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad in 2009.

2. “I bought 100 shares just to keep track of what this young kid was doing” — on his early relationship with Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates. Buffett likely spent less than

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