THE MELTDOWN

Buffett's Company Takes a Hit

The Oracle of Omaha’s soothsaying isn’t as credible as it once was—at least according to Moody’s. The credit ratings company cut Berkshire Hathaway from its gold-plated Aaa two levels down to Aa2. (Interestingly, 20 percent of Moody’s is indirectly owned by Berkshire Hathaway, so in a way it is downgrading itself.) Warren Buffett’s company could not escape the economic turmoil, just like everyone else, apparently: “The new thinking seems to be that you can’t have any companies out there with a triple-A rating anymore,” an analyst tells Bloomberg. Nevertheless, Buffett is poised to weather the storm, as his empire of assets is about as diversified as possible—the billionaire owns insurance companies and various businesses that make carpets, homes, jewelry, and plenty more.