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Buffett’s firm loses highest investment grade rating

Having legendary billionaire investor Warren Buffett as its “key man” and exposure to derivatives has cost the legendary investor...

Written by Agencies | New York | Published: March 14, 2009 12:08:30 am

Having legendary billionaire investor Warren Buffett as its “key man” and exposure to derivatives has cost the legendary investor-led Berkshire Hathaway the highest investment grade rating assigned to it.

Fitch has downgraded the company’s rating from ‘AAA’ (highest investment grade) to a notch lower to ‘AA+’. This follows another rating agency Standard & Poor’s cutting its rating on another blue-chip American entity,General Electric,from ‘AAA’,which the world’s largest industrial conglomerate had got in 1956.

This leaves just five American corporates — ExxonMobil,Johnson & Johnson,Automated Data Processing (ADP),Microsoft and Pfizer — with the top credit rating of ‘AAA’,down from more than 60 in early 1980s.

The world’s second-richest man,Warren Buffett,wasn’t even the highest paid employee at his company last year. That distinction belonged once again to Berkshire Hathaway’s CFO Marc Hamburg.

Buffett,CEO of the Omaha-based company,received a total of $1,75,000 in compensation in 2008,the same amount he received a year earlier,according to regulatory filing made Friday. His base salary remained at $100,000,the same level it’s been for more than 25 years.

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