OMAHA, Neb.— Warren Buffett offered a vigorous defense of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Saturday, saying the embattled firm hadn’t engaged in improper activity and shouldn’t be blamed for the losses of its clients.
Mr. Buffett’s comments—which came early in the day at Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s annual shareholders meeting—offer a powerful vote of confidence in Goldman, which has seen its shares slide since the SEC announced the investigation on April 16. Goldman’s stock fell 9.4% on Friday alone after it emerged that the Manhattan district attorney’s office was conducting a preliminary criminal probe into its mortgage-trading activities.
The billionaire investor said he fully supported Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein. Asked if he could choose a successor for Mr. Blankfein, Mr. Buffett said: “If Lloyd had a twin brother I’d go for him.”