If Buffett had his way, these former bank leaders would suffer a harsh reality check.
The first quarter of 2023 sent shockwaves through the banking industry after a bank run led to Silicon Valley Bank’s demise. Signature Bank soon followed, and Credit Suisse narrowly avoided collapse that cost the Swiss government billions of dollars. The ensuing chaos illustrated the dangers of banks over-leveraging assets.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett might be one of the richest people on the planet, but it doesn’t mean he’s sympathizing with the bank CEOs responsible for these collapses. During a conversation with “Squawk Box,” Buffett said that at the least, CEOs should be forced to turn over their retirement savings.
“All kinds of trouble [was] caused by the banks. But bank executives[…] all continue to live fine. They may have lost their job, but they got their pensions,” Buffett says. “There have got to be consequences [for] the people who make the decisions. Penalizing the shareholders later on by billions of dollars worth of fines…that doesn’t deter the bad action.”
Buffett said these very same CEOs should “go back to living like a person that works on the production line of Ford or something like that. They don’t deserve anything special.”
Buffett also said that he doesn’t believe we’ve come through the banking crisis, but American depositors won’t be losing any more money.