Charlie Munger reveals what he REALLY thinks about crypto in all his infinite wisdom.
At the 2023 Daily Journal (DJCO) meeting, Becky Quick shared a question in which “Charlie said, I’m not entitled to have an opinion on this subject unless I can state the arguments against my position better than the people who are supporting it. The question is, does this also apply to your Wall Street Journal article on banning cryptocurrencies? And if yes, would you care to share the arguments against your position?”
After an awkward silence, Charlie said, “Well, I don’t think there are good arguments against my position. I think the people who oppose my position are idiots,” which made Becky crack up laughing. Ultimately he admitted, “there is no good argument on the other side. I can’t supply it.”
Charlie affectionately refers to “crypto crappo” with an even stronger expletive that I had fun bleeping out (if you can count how many times he must have said the bleeped word).
Quite riled up, Charlie said “it’s ridiculous that anybody would buy” crypto assets.
Real national currencies have served the human race really well, Charlie contends. “So if somebody says I’m going to create something that sort of replaces the national currency, it’s like saying I’m going to replace the national air. You know, it’s asinine. It isn’t even slightly stupid, it’s massively stupid.”
Charlie warned that crypto “is very dangerous” and that “governments were totally wrong to permit it.” He said, “I’m not proud of my country for allowing this crap, what I call a crypto s***. It’s worthless. It’s no good. It’s crazy. It’ll do nothing but harm and it’s antisocial to allow it.”
Charlie believes “the guy who made the correct decision on this is the Chinese leader” President Xi, in effectively banning crypto and who may have thought, “not in my China.”
Charlie contends you should be able to argue the merits of the opposing case, “but when you’re dealing with something as awful as crypto s***, it’s just unspeakable. It’s an absolute horror. And I’m ashamed of my country that so many people believe in this kind of crap and the government allows it to exist is totally, absolutely crazy, stupid gambling with enormous house odds for the people on the other side. And they cheat in addition to cheating and the betting. It’s just crazy. So that is something. There’s only one correct answer for intelligent people there, just totally avoid it and avoid all the people that are promoting it.”
Becky followed up by asking how Charlie felt about gambling in the Super Bowl and other sports, to which he said “I obviously don’t think you should have a gambling impulse around betting against odds.” And he’s only bet a few thousand dollars in his whole 99 years, and he’s a multi-billionaire.
Someone later on had a question about what should a good government do for economic growth besides ban cryptocurrencies, to which Charlie answered, “the main way of civilization getting rich is having all these exchanges and having all the property in private hands.” Essentially he’s saying you want a capitalistic “system where most of the property was privately owned. A lot of freedom of exchange.” This is how you grow GDP per capita if you’d like to have a prosperous society, which apparently isn’t necessarily taught “that way in most education,” per a sagacious Charlie Munger.
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