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Buffett to Testify on Ratings Agencies

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett will appear next week before a congressional commission looking into failures in the credit ratings business during the financial crisis.



) --

Berkshire Hathaway


CEO Warren Buffett will be among those testifying before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) at its next hearing, scheduled for next Wednesday, June 2, at 8:30 a.m.

The hearing is titled: "Credibility of Credit Ratings, the Investment Decisions Made Based on those Ratings, and the Financial Crisis."

Given Warren Buffett's heavy recent selling of his big stake in

Moody's Investor Service


, the testimony from Buffett on the credit agencies should be interesting. Additionally, Warren Buffett has staunchly defended

Goldman Sachs


and its Abacus series of subprime investments, and has said that the investors who bought these deals and lost $1 billion just didn't do their homework.

The rating agencies have testified before Congress that they were pressured by Wall Street firms to provide healthy ratings to dubious subprime investments.

Given Buffett's turn against Moody's as a portfolio holding, it is notable that the lineup for next Wednesday's FCIC hearing is all current and former Moody's officials in the derivatives business, alongside Buffett.

The full lineup is:

Session 1: The Ratings Process

Eric Kolchinsky, former team managing director, U.S. Derivatives,Moody's Investors Service

Nicolas S. Weill, group managing director,Moody's Investors Service

Gary Witt, former team managing director, U.S. Derivatives,Moody's Investors Service

Session 2: Credit Ratings and the Financial Crisis

Warren E. Buffett, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,Berkshire Hathaway

Raymond W. McDaniel, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,Moody's

Session 3: The Credit Rating Agency Business Model

Brian M. Clarkson, former president and Chief Operating OfficerMoody's Investors Service

Mark Froeba, former Senior Vice President, U.S. Derivatives,Moody's Investors Service

-Reported by Eric Rosenbaum in New York.

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