Berkshire Hathaway outruns index puts it sold pre-GFC

Options that netted Warren Buffett’s company hefty premiums would be worthless at end-2021 market levels

Berkshire Hathaway’s point-in-time liability from a series of equity puts it sold before the global financial crisis dropped to zero in the fourth quarter of 2021, bringing the company one step closer to winning its decade-and-a-half long bet.

Between 2004 and 2008, Warren Buffett’s company sold European-style puts, which can only be exercised on expiry, on four major equity indexes – the S&P 500, the FTSE 100, the Euro Stoxx 50 and the Nikkei 225 – for $4.9 billion in upfront premiums.


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