At Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting of shareholders on Saturday, legendary businessman Warren Buffett and his long-time business associate, Charlie Munger again slammed bitcoin.
Bringing up bitcoin, according to Buffett’s partner Charlie Munger, is like “waving the red flag at the lion.”
This isn’t the first time the couple of billionaire businessmen have slammed bitcoin. Buffett named bitcoin “possibly rat poison-squared” at the 2018 general conference, although Munger called it a “turd.” The cryptocurrency was worth about $9,800 at the moment.
“I knew there’d be a question on bitcoin,” Buffett said. “I thought to myself, ‘Well, I’ve watched these politicians dodge questions all the time, you know, I find it kind of disgusting, but they do it.’ But the truth is I’m gonna dodge that question because we probably got hundreds of thousands of people watching that own bitcoin, and we probably have two people that are short. So we got a choice of making 400,000 people mad at us and unhappy, and, or making two people happy, and that’s just a dumb equation.”
“Of course I hate the Bitcoin success,” Charlie Munger says. “I should say modestly that I think whole damn development is disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization, and I’ll leave the criticism to others.”
— Yahoo Finance (@YahooFinance) May 1, 2021
Munger was less evasive with his thoughts on Bitcoin.
“Of course, I hate the bitcoin success and I don’t welcome a currency that’s useful to kidnappers and extortionists, and so forth,” the 97-year-old said. “Nor do I like just shuffling out of extra billions and billions and billions of dollars to somebody who just invented a new financial product out of thin air. So, I think I should say modestly that I think the whole damn development is disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization. And I’ll leave the criticism to others.”
“I think every time you buy a nonproductive asset, you’re counting on somebody else, later on, to buy a nonproductive asset, because they think they can sell to somebody for more money,” Buffett said at the 2018 meeting. “It does come to a bad ending.”
“I think people who are professional traders that are going to trade cryptocurrencies, it’s just disgusting,” Munger added. “It’s like someone else is trading turds and you decide I can’t be left out.”
In February 2020, at a charity dinner with Justin Sun, CEO of TRON, Buffett received his first Bitcoin. The honor came at a cost of $4.6 million to Sun. Buffett doesn’t seem to have changed his mind after receiving a Bitcoin gift from Sun.
What is Berkshire Hathaway?
Berkshire Hathaway is an American international conglomerate investment firm with its headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. GEICO, Duracell, Dairy Queen, BNSF, Lubrizol, Fruit of the Loom, Helzberg Diamonds, Long & Foster, FlightSafety International, Pampered Chef, Forest River, and NetJets are all wholly owned by the company, which also owns 38.6% of Pilot Flying J; and significant minority stakes in public companies Kraft Heinz Company (26.7%), American Express (18.8%), and The Coca-Cola Company (6.3 percent ).
Beginning in 2016, the corporation purchased significant stakes in big US airline carriers such as United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, and American Airlines, but sold all of its airline interests in early 2020.
Since 1965, Berkshire Hathaway has averaged a 19.0 percent cumulative increase in book value for its owners (compared to 9.7 percent for the S&P 500 with dividends included for the same period), while using vast volumes of money and little debt.
Warren Buffett, the company’s chairman and chief executive, and Charlie Munger, one of the company’s vice-chairmen, are noted for their management and leadership. Buffett concentrated on long-term acquisitions in publicly listed firms early in his tenure at Berkshire Hathaway, but he has increasingly purchased more entire companies.
Berkshire Hathaway also controls a wide variety of companies, including confectionery, retail, railroads, home furnishings, encyclopedias, vacuum cleaner suppliers, jewelry trading, uniform manufacturing, and storage, including many municipal electric and gas utilities.
Berkshire Hathaway is the world’s eighth-largest listed corporation, tenth-largest conglomerate by sales, and largest financial services company by revenue, according to the Forbes Global 2000 ranking and formula.