Author Ben Berkowitz
(Reuters) - Warren Buffett's conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc reported a smaller third-quarter profit on Friday after losing more than $2 billion on derivatives related to stock market performance.
That was nearly three times what Berkshire lost on the same instruments a year ago. Buffett has sharply criticized derivatives in general, but has said these particular contracts were safe and would ultimately be lucrative.
But Berkshire was hurt, like many other insurance companies in particular, by sharp declines in a broad range of market values. In a quarterly report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Berkshire said the indexes covered by the contracts fell anywhere from 11 percent to 23 percent in the quarter.