Charlie Munger

Among the many things Warren Buffett is known for– being an extremely successful investor, (supposedly!) loving Cherry Coke, living in the same house he bought in 1957 for $31,500– one stands out from the crowd: his penchant for mixing folksy business wisdom with aberrant sex fetish. A short list of topics on which Buffett has injected his trademark style include: undervalued stocks (“I like an oversexed guy in a whorehouse“), Bear Stearns (“It’s like a woman taking off half her clothes and asking, ‘Should I continue?’ Even if you’re a 90-year-old eunuch, you let ‘em finish.“), the stimulus package (“First stimulus package was sort of like taking half a tablet of Viagra and having also a bunch of candy mixed in“), why people sell companies to Berkshire (“You can sell it to Berkshire, and we’ll put it in the Metropolitan Museum; it’ll have a wing all by itself; it’ll be there forever. Or you can sell it to some porn shop operator, and he’ll take the painting and he’ll make the boobs a little bigger and he’ll stick it up in the window, and some other guy will come along in a raincoat, and he’ll buy it.“) and bridge (“If I’m playing bridge and a naked woman walks by, I don’t ever see her…don’t test me on that!“). So it was probably only a matter of time until it rubbed off on his business partner, Charlie Munger, and yet this still sort of feels like someone is stepping on someone else’s toes: Read more »

The highlight of Buffettstock is always Warren’s five-hour, off-the-cuff Q&A session with Berkshire investors at Omaha’s CenturyLink Arena, and this year was no different. The Berkshire chief and sidekick Charlie Munger ranged over a variety of topics for 38,000 adoring fans, including: Did they fuck up, re: Coke? Should a 59-year-old volunteer sheriff and college dropout take over as Berkshire chair when the 83-year-old Buffett expires? Can they invest all of the money they’re making?* And, last but not least, stuff they don’t like, notably high-frequency trading and activist investors. Read more »

  • 14 Apr 2014 at 3:49 PM

This Cinco de Mayo, Take A Bath With Warren Buffett

Charlie Munger, too. Read more »

Here’s a neat little story from Bloomberg: Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s long-time right-hand man at Berkshire Hathaway, moonlights as the chairman of the board of a wee newspaper company called Daily Journal. Daily Journal owns a collection of newspapers so dull that they “specializ[e] in public notice advertising,” particularly notices of foreclosure sales. It also owns $128 million in marketable securities, virtually all of it ($121mm) in common stocks. This is noteworthy because, one, Charlie Munger is the one picking the stocks, and two, Daily Journal’s total book assets are only $173.8mm, its book equity is $106mm, and its market cap is around $190mm. For every dollar you invest in Daily Journal, you’re getting around 33 cents of foreclosure notices and 67 cents of Charlie Munger’s stock-picking. Charlie Munger’s stock-picking: pretty good, as it happens, and in any case a commodity that some people desire.1

Which led to an amusing exchange with the SEC where: Read more »

As you’ve probably heard by now, Andrew Mason, the Groupon CEO who was unceremoniously fired in February from the company he founded, has released an album called Hardly Workin’. It includes tracks entitled “Look No Further,” “Risin’ Above The Pack,” “My Door Is Always Open,” and “It’s Up To Us,” a sample of whose lyrics go something like this:

  • “If you’re seeking business wisdom / You don’t need no MBA / Look no further than the beauty/ That surrounds us every day.”
  • “Obsess and pout and position / Yourself to get to that higher level. Well now I’ll tell you / To forget what you’ve learned / You push before you’re ready you’re gonna get burned”
  • “How do you think I learn what’s going on? / Yeah I need you to come to me when something’s wrong, son / My door is always open.”
  • “Don’t you want a mansion and yacht like mine? / It doesn’t come easy / You gotta stay determined / It might look like magic but I’m not Merlin / You gotta stay focused retain that hunger / Or you’ll never ever ever be the next Charlie Munger

Initially, we here at Dealbreaker assumed this whole thing was an elaborate joke Mason was playing on the universe, simply because he had time on his hands, so why not? Upon further examination, however, it appears that he is either not kidding at all or is amazingly committed to seeing the joke through. For example, on his blog, Andy actually wrote this:

Before I leave you to your speaker system or headphones, one word of advice for managers thinking about how to make best use of the album: Context is king. Sure, you can just leave copies of Hardly Workin’ on your employees’ desks and achieve an incremental increase in productivity and morale (productivity is a function of morale, people!), but I wrote this album as someone someone who believes that messages mean different things depending on the time and place they’re delivered. Try ending your next all-hands meeting with “It’s Up to Us,” for example. Or, having trouble communicating with a low-per/hi-po employee? A “Thinkin’ of You” note attached to a flash drive preloaded with “My Door is Always Open” might be the catalyst you need for that transformational breakthrough.

So, 1. He seems to believe that companies will be quick to start incorporating his tunes into new employee orientation programs or as a motivational technique for existing employees whose productivity has waned and 2. He’s pretty certain that instead of having a normal chat with someone about their work, leaving an unsettling care package on their desk, that culminates in the the following coming through their speakers, is the way to go: Read more »

In an interview on CNBC, He said that Cyprus demonstrates, “an old truth, you can’t trust bankers to govern themselves. A banker who’s allowed to borrow money at X and loan it out at X plus Y will just go crazy and do too much of it, if the civilization doesn’t have rules that prevent it.” Warren Buffett’s right-hand man added, “What happened in Cyprus was very similar to what happened in Iceland, it was stark raving mad in both cases. And the bankers, they’d be doing even more if the thing hadn’t blown up. I do not think you can trust bankers to control themselves. They’re like heroin addicts.” [SFG]

  • 04 May 2012 at 3:48 PM

Here’s A Thing Charlie Munger Said

“I think gold is a great thing to sew in to your garments if you’re a Jewish family in Vienna in 1939 but I think civilized people don’t buy gold.” [CNBC via BI]

“The bubble in America was caused by some combination of megalomania, insanity and evil in, I would say, investment banking, mortgage banking,” Munger, 87, said today at a conference in Pasadena, California…“I would guess that Dick Fuld has not a single ounce of contrition wherever he sits today,” Munger said. [Bloomberg]