Charlie Munger has no persistence for bitcoin.
Throughout a two-hour question-and-answer session Wednesday on the Every day Journal shareholder assembly, the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and longtime sidekick to Warren Buffett mentioned he considers the present bitcoin craze to be “completely asinine.”
“Bitcoin is noxious poison,” Munger mentioned in response to a query. Munger, 93, is chairman and a director at Every day Journal, a Los Angeles-area publishing firm, and his look at its annual assembly is an opportunity to listen to his views on a variety of topics.
On bitcoin, the expertise may be attention-grabbing however the investing frenzy round it during the last 12 months ought to have prompted a authorities crackdown just like the one in China, he mentioned. “Our authorities’s extra lax method to it’s fallacious. The best reply to one thing like that’s to step on it exhausting.”
Munger additionally tried to pre-empt questions on Berkshire’s greatest inventory holding, Wells Fargo. The financial institution has been scuffling with intense regulatory and media scrutiny since 2016, when a large pretend account scandal got here to gentle. Since then, Wells has admitted it additionally bought automotive insurance coverage to clients who did not want it and improperly charged charges on some mortgage price lock extensions.
Berkshire owns $27 billion of Wells shares, about 9 %. On Wednesday Munger mentioned it was time for regulators to “let up” on it.
The financial institution had worker gross sales incentive methods that had been too sturdy within the fallacious path and it was too gradual in reacting, he mentioned. However it’s working to repair the issues. “I believe Wells Fargo can be higher off for having made these errors.”
Munger mentioned a fledgling effort by Berkshire to work with J.P. Morgan Chase and Amazon on a brand new healthcare answer for his or her 1000’s of workers will take some time to kind out. “The present system shouldn’t be solely regrettable, it is evil,” he mentioned, citing hovering prices and misaligned incentives. “That is a really troublesome factor to tackle. I do not know the way it will work out.”
On the present financial local weather and the federal government’s plans to extend the deficit, Munger mentioned, “After all I am involved concerning the rising degree of presidency debt. However, it is attainable the world will perform effectively even with a unique sample of presidency conduct.”
He added, “Do not count on the world to go completely to hell.”