Buyers’ market?

September 24, 2008

Interesting news today that Warren Buffett and his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. are interested in purchasing some American International Group Inc. units.

Mr. Buffett had reportedly expressed interest in some of the troubled insurers’ holdings the weekend of Sept. 13 and 14, as the insurer staggered under the combined weight of its exposure to mortgage market downturns through credit default swaps, mortgage backed securities investments and mortgage insurance.

Faced with having to sell off assets to repay an $85 billion emergency bailout loan from the Federal Reserve, AIG officials have indicated they expect to release an asset sale plan next week.

The insurer has indicated it plans to remain in the property/casualty insurance business, so assets like AIG’s aircraft leasing operation and its American General life insurance and annuity unit are thought by many to be among those on the for sale list.

Mr. Buffett, who offered his comments about buying AIG assets a day after buying $5 billion Goldman Sachs preferred stock will likely see something of interest on AIG’s list.