Goldman Sachs has been coughing up the equivalent of more than $1.3 million every day to Warren Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway, and now, the Wall Street Journal reports, it may want out.
The Omaha maven's $5 billion investment, announced in September 2008, during a month of financial panic, when Goldman's stock was "embattled," as the New York Times put it, was a boon for the Wall Street bank. The confidence it inspired was worth an additional $5 billion the following day, as other investors followed Buffett's lead, the WSJ notes.
But it came at a huge price for the bank and has turned out to be a huge win for Buffett, whom Forbes ranked this year as the second richest man in the nation, worth at least $45 billion.
According to the WSJ: Berkshire's "perpetual" preferred shares earn a 10 percent dividend annually. That's over $1.3 million a day, or $15 a second, the paper notes.
Even before Buffett invested in Goldman, he had a special place in his heart for the bank. His favorite banker, reportedly, is Byron Trott, a (now former) Goldman employee who, said Buffett, "earns his fee."
One unfortunate detail of Buffett's Goldman investment is that he got a much sweeter deal than taxpayers did. According to Smart Money's calculations, Buffett negotiated better terms than Treasury on dividend payments and warrants -- and his company will receive a 10 percent bonus upon the sale of its preferred shares.
While Goldman was being sued by the SEC earlier this year, Buffett defended the bank during the Berkshire shareholders meeting, according to the NYT, as he said it was the investors' own fault for being ripped off by a mortgage security that Goldman sold them -- and which Goldman was also betting against.
Goldman agreed to pay a record $550 million to settle the SEC's charges.