- Charlie Munger tore up Bitcoin, Robinhood, and SPAC at the Berkshire Hathaway annual reunion.
- Warren Buffett’s business partner dismissed concerns about big-tech competition.
- Munger said aggressive federal spending couldn’t go on forever.
- See more stories on the Insider business page.
Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s right-hand man, exploded bitcoin, Robinhood and PSPCs at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting on Saturday.
Munger, the 97-year-old vice chairman of Berkshire, also defended big tech companies against claims they needed to be taken down, and he said unchecked federal spending would end in disaster.
Here are the 16 best Munger quotes from the reunion, slightly edited and condensed for clarity:
1. “It’s crazy to think that someone is going to be smart enough to hug the money and then just go out on the bottom tick in a crazy fit and spend it all.” It is too strict a standard. Anyone who expects Berkshire is shut out of his mind. “- dismissing the idea that Berkshire could have deployed much of its cash stack when markets fell last spring.
2. “Warren and I don’t have to agree on all the little things we do. “- commenting on Berkshire leaving his position at Costco, Munger’s favorite company.
3. “I would hate to see our current giants brought down to a low level on the basis of competitive reasoning. I don’t think they hurt a competitor much. I think they do credit to the market, credit to our civilization. “- opposing the dissolution of large tech companies.
4. “There is a good chance that this extreme driving is more doable than everyone thought. But I know that if you keep doing it without any limits, it will end in disaster. “- suggesting that loose monetary and fiscal policy may be more sustainable than feared but may not last forever.
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5. “It’s a moral failure to some extent. The easy money made by things like PSPCs and derivatives, etc. – you push it to excess, it causes horrible problems with civilization. no credit on regulators and monitors that will allow it. It’s not just stupid, it’s shameful. ”
6. “I don’t care about the poor playing fish. I don’t like professionals who take suckers. “- pointing out that he is much less concerned with speculation from amateur investors than with trading apps that profit from it.
7. “We used to shoot fish in a barrel, but it got more difficult. “- bemoaning the lack of good deals in the market.
8. “Bernie Sanders practically won. With everything exploded so high and interest rates so low, millennials are going to have a hell of a time getting richer compared to our generation. The difference between the rich and the poor in the Rising Generation is going to be much smaller. So Bernie won. He did it by accident, but he won. ”
9. “If you buy back stocks just to make them go up, that’s deeply immoral. But if you buy back shares because it is the right thing to do in the best interests of your existing shareholders, it is a highly moral act. And the people who criticize him are nuts. ”
10. “It is probably a mistake to be anti-capitalist. Capitalism is what increases the GDP for everyone. I’m a little wary of being constantly angry with people for having a little more money. “
11. “It is foolish for states to drive out their wealthiest citizens. Seniors who don’t commit crimes, who donate to a local charity – who the hell, in their right mind, would hunt the rich? Florida and places like that are very smart, and places like California are very dumb. It is against the interest of the state. ”
12. “I hate the success of bitcoin. I am not in favor of a currency so useful to kidnappers and extortionists, etc. I also don’t like just handing out a few billion and billions and billions of dollars more to someone who just invented a new financial product out of nowhere. I have to say modestly that I think all development is disgusting and against the interests of civilization. I will leave the criticism to others. ”
13. “Oh, Warren, even though you shot and missed, you were at least shooting an elephant. The cost of health care in Singapore is 20% of what it is in the United States, and their medical system is functioning better. So you were shooting a huge elephant. But as you have discovered, it is very difficult for people to be very excited about losing any part of their income. “- commenting on Haven, Berkshire’s joint venture with Amazon and JPMorgan to reduce employee health costs and improve care.
14. “It is truly horrible that something like this attracts the investment of civilized men and decent citizens. This is deeply wrong. We don’t want to make our money selling things that are bad for people. “- accusing Robinhood and other trading apps of encouraging amateur investors to bet on stocks and engage in options trading.
15. “The States have replaced the Mafia as the owner of the numbers game. They pushed aside the Mafia and said, “It’s our business, not yours.” It does not make me proud of my government. “- compare state lotteries to the “Italian lottery” organized by the crowd.
16. “If you’re not a little confused by what’s going on, you don’t understand it. We are in uncharted territory. “- arguing that no one knows the medium-term effects of stimulus controls, near-zero interest rates and aggressive federal spending on the stock market and the US economy.