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It does seem like the revised agreement has reduced the flexibility that Berkshire previously had with respect to the timing of the warrant exercise. The Goldman press release makes it clear that Berkshire no longer has the right to exercise at any time which was a provision of the original agreement. Instead, the cash settlement on October 1 based on the trading price of Goldman shares over the previous ten days is the prescribed outcome. Unless I'm missing something here, Berkshire no longer has any rights to exercise prior to expiration.

It seems to me that Berkshire should have received something in return for losing this flexibility. My assumption is that I am missing something because Buffett is not in the business of being a nice guy and giving away flexibility for nothing in return.

From the PR, emphasis mine:

The warrant had provided Berkshire Hathaway the right to purchase 43,478,260 shares of Goldman Sachs' common stock, par value $0.01 per share, at an exercise price of $115 at any time until October 1, 2013. Under the amended agreement, Goldman Sachs will deliver to Berkshire Hathaway the number of shares of common stock equal in value to the difference between the average closing price over the 10 trading days preceding October 1, 2013 and the exercise price of $115 multiplied by the number of shares of common stock covered by the warrant (43,478,260).
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