Warren Buffett: Top bankers - and their wives - should have gone “broke”

7 October 2010

Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the US, has criticised the system of bailouts during the financial crisis claiming that top bankers - and their wives - should have been allowed to “go broke”.

Mr Buffett, who is the chief executive officer of investment firm Berkshire Hathaway, made the comments during Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington.

He told attendees that individuals within the financial sector are willing to take risks and is a side to their characters encouraged by the banking bonus culture.

"Wall Street does a lot of good things and then it has this casino. It's like a church that's running raffles on the weekend," Mr Buffett explained.

The business man called for banking chiefs to be more accountable for their actions - particularly when mistakes they make can have a damaging impact upon the economy and the interests of shareholders.

Talking of any CEO whose firms relied on fiscal stimulus to survive the credit crisis, Mr Buffett said: “You should go broke ... and I think your wife should go broke, too.”

During an interview with CNN at the same event, the the businessman also called for tax cuts for the members of all social classes except the rich.

By Jim Ottewill

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