Even Warren Buffett had a bad financial crisis: The Omaha sage personally lost $25 billion in 2008, enough to put him behind Bill Gates on the worldwide rich list. But while many investors hunkered down as markets tanked, Buffett recalibrated, pouring billions into companies—Goldman Sachs, GE, BofA, Amex—that got federal bailouts and saw their stock prices soar. Buffett's conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway looks headed for a massive payday, reports the New York Times—enough to cement his reputation as the best investor of all time.
“He put a ton of capital to work,” one analyst tells the Times. “The crisis gave him the ability to put one last and lasting impression on Berkshire Hathaway." Still, Buffett tells the Times that "we are not out of problems yet." By the end of the second quarter, Berkshire was selling more stock than it was buying and moving into corporate and government debt. Buffett's value-oriented approach to buying hasn't changed: "If it’s going to keep me awake at night, I am not going to go there." (Read more Warren Buffett stories.)