Bitcoin Hits ‘Peak Hathaway’ With Charlie Munger Baby Brains Quote
Before going on to claim having “mellowed” — albeit on the topic of President Trump — Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charlie Munger told Yahoo Finance on Sunday he likened bitcoin to “harvested baby brains.” Nothing mellow about that.
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Berkshire Hathaway Attention-Seeking Behavior Descends to Bad Taste and Vulgar Allusion
Munger was in no mood for subtlety during an interview with Yahoo Finance’s Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer in Omaha, Nebraska, on the weekend. A day after the annual shareholders meeting of storied holding company Berkshire Hathaway on May 5th, Munger set his tongue loose and good taste free when probed about bitcoin.
“Suppose you could make a lot of money trading freshly harvested baby brains. Would you do it? To me bitcoin is almost as bad.”
Calling bitcoin “anti-social, stupid and immoral,” Munger appeared to delight in decrying the digital asset and its enthusiasts:
“I regard the whole thing as a combination of dementia and immorality. I think the people pushing it are a disgrace. There ought to be some things that are beneath you, that you just don’t do, and this is one.”
Seeking Relevance in a Modern World, Executives Have a History of Scathing Attacks on Bitcoin
It’s hard to know if Munger should be taken seriously. The brow-beating is possibly an attempt to seek relevance in a world Munger finds increasingly difficult to understand. Notwithstanding the company’s long-running record of success, Buffett has conceded he made a mistake in not investing in Google or Amazon. The company only first bought shares in Apple in 2016. It appears cryptocurrencies are one technological bridge too far for Berkshire Hathaway.
Over the years, Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger have both demonstrated a level of concerted and obsessive antipathy toward cryptocurrencies.
“If you wanna gamble somebody else will come along and pay more money tomorrow, that’s one kind of game. That is not investing.”
At Saturday’s shareholder meeting the Oracle of Omaha dabbled in some colorful language of his own, telling investors bitcoin was “probably rat poison squared”. Munger’s acidic wit has been consistently harsher in tone, with the investor labeling bitcoin “noxious poison, beneath me, disgusting” at a two-hour question-and-answer session in Los Angeles in February.
Charlie Munger Baby Brains Quote His Most Outlandish so Far
Why do the billionaire business partners use such toxic language when talking about bitcoin? Charlie Munger has always had a sharp tongue and Warren Buffett’s is only slightly less abrasive. But the Charlie Munger baby brains quote is likely to become the Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman’s most remembered.
It may be an expression of irritation with reporters who continue to prod with questions on a topic they know the men do not enjoy. Although they do keep taking the bait.
It may be an ill-disguised attempt to remain prominent in an increasingly noisy world where social media grants unfiltered publishing rights to anyone with an internet connection.
Without explaining why he considers bitcoin to be immoral, though, why Munger chose “harvested baby brains” over the countless other activities he could surely have fathomed would have adequately painted the picture of immorality he seemed determined to paint is baffling.
He may find amusement in his noteworthiness and quotability. But the harvested baby brains commentary suggests Munger has a troubled relationship with decorum and common decency. Some may argue his choice of words – to use his own – indicates “a combination of dementia and immorality.”
Have your say. What do you make of the Charlie Munger baby brains comment? Was it too low of a blow?
Images via Pixabay, Javier Lastras at Wikimedia