Warren Buffett refused requests to testify before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission but will appear in front of the panel next week after receiving a subpoena, the commission said.

The commission first asked Mr Buffett to participate in a private interview, possibly leading to an appearance at a hearing, but Mr Buffett, chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, declined.

According to Fortune magazine, the commission was eager to hear Mr Buffett’s thoughts on financial topics including derivatives, regulatory reforms, the shadow banking system and the ratings agencies.

Mr Buffett is a widely respected investor known for his tart opinions on Wall Street. Through Berkshire, he also has extensive derivatives holdings and substantial stakes in Goldman Sachs and Moody’s, the ratings agency.

At the Berkshire annual shareholders meeting earlier this month, Mr Buffett surprised many observers by launching a full-throated defence of Goldman and its executive team, rejecting accusations that the bank had misled customers.

After turning down the initial invitation, several more letters and conversations were exchanged during which time Mr Buffett indicated he would appear if he received a subpoena but not otherwise.

The FCIC was created by Congress in May 2009 and has significant powers to investigate the causes of the 2008 collapse of the global financial system. Its report is due in December.

The 10-member commission, chaired by Phil Angelides, a Democrat, and Bill Thomas, a Republican, has grilled high-profile bankers including Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, and Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive of Goldman.

Mr Buffett did not respond to request for comment.

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