Buffett’s Right-Hand Man’s Worried About US Finance
New York: Warren Buffett’s righthand man, Charlie Munger, is worried about American finance. According to the Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman, we have “a vast gambling culture, and people have made it respectable.” Basically, the stock market is a casino and too many people want to get rich quick.
“There’s way, way too much of that inAmerica.Andtoomuchof thenew wealth has gone to people who either own a casino or are playing in a casino. And I don’t think the exaltation of that group has been good for life generally, and I am to some extent a member of that group.
“I’m always afraid I’ll be a terrible example for the youth who want to make a lot of money with and not do much for anybody else and who just want to be shrewd about buying little pieces of paper. Even if you do that very honestly, I don’t consider it much of a life. Just being shrewd about buying little pieces of paper, shrewder than other people, is not an adequate life. It’s not a good example for other people.” Munger made these comments at the 2016 Daily Journal Meeting back in February. A transcript has just been posted by value investor Whitney Tilson.
Munger, a Republican and a billionaire, also said that he agrees with the views of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vermont) on this issue.
“The truth of the matter is that ... Elizabeth Warren doesn’t agree with me on many subjects, and I wouldn’t agree with her on many subjects, but she is basically right when she says that American finance is out of control and that it isn’t good for the rest of us. Both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are not two of my favorite people on Earth, but they are absolutely right,” he said. Munger went on to explain that there’s cyclicality in the securities marketandthat“thebigbustshurtus more than the big booms help us.” He added that what gave rise to Adolf Hitler was the Great Depression.
“What really enabled Hitler to rise was the Great Depression. You put on top of the Weimar inflation the Great Depression, and people were just so demoralized that they were subject to being snookered by a guttersnipe like Adolf Hitler. So I think this stuff is deadly serious ...”