Apparently Warren Buffett missed a crucial phone message involving Lehman at the height of the crisis last year:
He confessed to a Fortune conference that he asked for additional details [about Barclay’s possible Lehman deal] to be faxed to him, but didn’t hear anything, until 10 months later, when he realised that a Barclays executive, understood to be Bob Diamond, had left him a follow-up voice message on his mobile phone at the time.
Barclays’ attempt to buy Lehman failed after the US Treasury refused to guarantee Lehman’s toxic assets until it could stage a shareholder meeting to approve the deal. It is thought that Barclays asked Mr Buffett to assist in some way to allow it to complete the deal until it could hold a vote.
Mr Buffett shrugged: “Don’t try to get in touch with me by cell phone.”