The other dumb thing about this move is that Buffett is a bottom-fishing value investor. Being short a put means you cannot take advantage of extremely distressed prices, because you are already effectively long from much higher. It takes away a value-investors most potent weapon - the ability to deploy substantial cash into securities at major discounts whenever one of the periodic panics or recessions hits the market. Why would someone who specializes in being able to buy when others are too scared, want to give up that unique advantage for a measly premium at historically very low volatility levels? It makes no sense. IMO it's further evidence that Buffett has simply got too old. He is 79 and like everyone that age, his brain is deteriorating, so his judgement is not as good and sharp as it used to be.