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Warren Buffett – A Poster Man for Ethical Business Dealings

There has been a long list of corporate scandals over the past months. And now there may be one more -- the insurance company American International Group Inc., AIG, is under investigation for accounting improprieties. AIG had a business relationship with a company controlled by billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

On Monday (4/11) Mr. Buffett was a witness in a government investigation. But, the New York State Attorney General says that Mr. Buffett is not the subject or target of the inquiry. VOA's Brian Purchia has more on America's most successful investor.

Warren Buffett has politicians -- even superstars -- seeking his support. He's often called the greatest investor in history and is a folk hero to investors everywhere. Ten thousand dollars invested with Mr. Buffett in 1956 is worth an astronomical $350-million today. With a net worth of $41 billion, Mr. Buffett is the second richest man in America, however, in 1999 he told ABC's Nightline that his children will not inherit all of his riches.

"I see no reason why somebody that happens to win the ovarian lottery and come out of the right womb is entitled to fan themselves for the next 50 years," says Mr. Buffett.

Mr. Buffett has a reputation as a paragon of integrity who makes money the old-fashioned way. Mellody Hobson, the president of Ariel Capital Management says, "Not only has Warren Buffett been squeaky clean. Warren Buffet has been a poster child -- a poster man -- for ethical business dealings."

A man of simple tastes, he still lives in the house he bought in the 1950s, and he often complains the rich pay too little in taxes.

"I think that a prosperous economy ought to try and look for a just economy. An economy where my receptionist pays a lot higher tax rate than I do does not strike me as a just economy," says Mr. Buffett.

Warren Buffett owns everything from a chocolate retailer... to an underwear manufacturer... to an insurance company, which unusually for him is under scrutiny by government regulators.