The Sage of Omaha came to the rescue of the investment bank in 2008 but has decided to sell out during the pandemic.

The range of possibilities on the economic side are still extraordinarily wide, Mr Buffett told shareholders at Berkshires virtual annual meeting this month. We do not know exactly what happens when you voluntarily shut down a substantial portion of your society.
In 2008 and ’09, our economic train went off the tracks and there were some reasons why the roadbed was weak… This time we just pulled the train off the tracks and put it on its sidingand I don’t really know of any parallel.
Berkshire came to the rescue of Goldman in 2008 when it invested $US5 billion, initially through preferred stock, during the fallout of Lehman Brothers failure.
The original investment, which earned Berkshire about $US500 million a year in dividends, was costly for Goldman. In 2013, the two sides agreed to new terms that made Mr Buffetts company one of Goldmans largest shareholders.
We intend to hold a significant investment in Goldman Sachs, a firm that I did my first transaction with more than 50 years ago, Mr Buffett said at the time.
Goldman Sachs has underperformed its biggest rivals for several years, as the management struggled to reshape its 150-year-old trading business for market conditions that were fundamentally changed by the financial crisis.
The banks new chief executive, David Solomon, attempted to answer some of that criticism at an inaugural investor day in January when executives promised to lift returns at the trading business and aggressively pursue growth in new areas such as transaction banking as well as existing ones including asset management.
Berkshires filing with US securities regulators on Friday also showed that it had increased its stakes in two of the largest US airlines in the first quarter, just weeks before Mr Buffett decided the purchases were a mistake and dumped his entire portfolio of airline stocks at a loss in April.
The company bought almost 1 million shares of Delta Air Lines and 218,966 units in United Airlines during the quarter, the filing showed. It was unclear if Mr Buffett, or one of his lieutenants, had bought before or after the coronavirus reached US shores, when airline stocks were hit particularly hard.
Mr Buffett told Berkshire shareholders this month that the company had spent between $US7 billion and $US8 billion to amass its stakes in American Airlines, Delta, United and Southwest since 2016.
It turns out I was wrong, he said at Berkshires virtual annual meeting in May. The airline business and I may be wrong and I hope Im wrong I think it has changed in a very major way.
Before his U-turn, Berkshire had become one of the largest shareholders in the four airlines, holding an 11 per cent stake in Delta, 10 per cent in American and Southwest and 9 per cent in United at the end of last year.
Berkshire Hathaway shares have fallen 25 per cent this year, compared with an 11 per cent decline by the broader market.
Financial Times