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20210629 CNBC interview with Warren & Charlie?


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I can't tell if Charlie is embracing communism or simply wants the SEC to finally do its job. 


MUNGER: A wise regulator--

BUFFETT: We could just start--

MUNGER: But a wise regulator stops this stuff before it starts.

BUFFETT: It’s very hard to stop though--

MUNGER: What, yeah, what interests me in this is that the communist Chinese behave the way I am talking in favor of. And our own wonderful free enterprise economy is letting all these crazy people go to this gross excess. People who are avoiding it are the communist Chinese. They step in preemptively to stop speculation.

Edited by Castanza
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Charlie did a lot of talking during the show. 


Too much talking....


QUICK: What about what they’ve done to Jack Ma? He’s kind of disappeared as--

MUNGER: Well, yes, but Jack Ma is one of the swingers. So, they just cut his, they said, “To hell with you.” He basically gave a speech when he said to a, to a one-party state, “Well, you guys are a buncha jerks, don’t know what you’re doing. And I know what I’m doing, and I’m gonna do it better.” And he was gonna wade into banking and no rules and just do whatever he pleased.

QUICK: He also brought--

MUNGER: The Chinese, the Chinese--

QUICK: Banking to a lot of people—

MUNGER: Communists did the right thing. They just called in Jack Ma and say, “You aren’t gonna do it, sonny.” And, and I wish we had a, I don’t want the, all of the Chinese system, but I certainly would like to have the financial part of it in my own country.





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His comments about Jack Ma and communists were indeed the most interesting parts :-).  


I also found the following interesting:


MUNGER: Well, I think a lot of business travel will never come back. Just corporation after corporation deciding one meeting a year, two meetings a year in person, and the rest Zoom. And I think that’s here to stay. And, of course, what’s happened to office demand is just think of the agonies in that field now. And a lot of people have found they don’t need to be there. I think all kinds of things are gonna happen that, that we’ll be, we don’t go back to what we did before.


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The interview was taped in Pasadena right after the Annual Meeting.  The motivation is that Warren and Charlie were together in the same place for the first time since the pandemic started and both are firmly in "overtime" to quote the younger fella.

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I think what Munger said about Ma and Ant is on the money. Ant was doing loan originations while offloading 100% of the credit risk to other banks - there's a big moral hazard and misalignment of incentives in that kind of lending model. And it was becoming larger and larger with no checks and balances on its growth. The Chinese government is right to be nervous about seeing something like that outside of its regulatory purview.


Not sure if I agree on his view on business travel and offices though. Perhaps it'll be depressed in the near to medium-term but teleconferencing has been around for a long, long time and it never replaced in-person meetings. In China, things have more or less returned to the way things were pre-pandemic.

Edited by Peregrine
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