- Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger blasted Robinhood and Archegos’ lenders in a recent interview.
- The business partners also reflected on their six decades of friendship and biggest influences.
- Buffett and Munger discussed remote working and the pandemic’s impact on Berkshire Hathaway as well.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger blasted Robinhood, slammed the banks that enabled the Archegos Capital meltdown, and reflected on their friendship of six decades in a CNBC interview that aired on Tuesday night.
The Berkshire Hathaway chairman and vice-chairman also shared their key lessons from the pandemic, discussed its impacts on their company, and clashed on the subject of Zoom meetings versus telephone calls.
Here are the 15 best quotes from “Buffett & Munger: A Wealth of Wisdom,” lightly edited and condensed for clarity:
Warren Buffett: “I knew when I met Charlie, after a few minutes in the restaurant, that this guy was gonna be in my life forever. We were gonna have fun together. We were gonna make money together. We were gonna get ideas from each other. We were gonna both behave better than if we didn’t know each other.”
Charlie Munger: “What I like about Warren is the irreverence. We don’t have automatic reverence for the pompous heads of all civilization.”
WB: “It goes well beyond buying a stock and selling it higher. He’s designed dormitories and helped build them. He’s worked at hospitals to understand how they can be made better, serve more people, and do it at less cost. Charlie’s worked on big problems, and he doesn’t need to. And Charlie has never shaded anything he’s told me since we met, in terms of presenting it to me in a different way than reality. He’s never done anything I’ve seen that’s self-serving. He makes me better than I would otherwise be. I don’t wanna disappoint him.” – describing what he admires about Munger.
WB: “I never heard my dad say to me in my life, ‘Be sure you pay all your debts.’ But I just watched how he lived, and you wanna have certain people in life that you don’t want to disappoint. You wanna have people that make you a better person than you otherwise would be. Charlie does that for me now, but my dad did it for me early on.”
WB: “What really is great is if you can do what you want to do in life, and associate with the people you want to associate with in life. We’ve had that luxury now for 60 years or close to it. That beats 25-room houses and six cars.”
CM: “If it’s clear that something is a mistake, fix it quickly. It doesn’t get better while you wait.”
CM: “Think of how massively stupid that was. It was the lure of the really easy money that the idiot was paying you, being the prime broker for the jerk. They were all foolish. But Credit Suisse has managed to be the biggest fool of all.” – commenting on the Archegos fiasco earlier this year.
CM: “Robinhood is beneath contempt. It’s a gambling parlor masquerading as a respectable business. It’s basically a sleazy, disreputable operation.” – on the popular trading platform.
CM: “The regulators need to change laws now. But if you’re running a gambling parlor, you want the big players to gamble more furiously. We don’t wanna suck people into gambling for way more than they can afford.” – criticizing lax rules in the securities business.
CM: “Our wonderful, free-enterprise economy is letting all these crazy people go to this gross excess. The communist Chinese are avoiding it. They step in preemptively to stop speculation. I don’t want all of the Chinese system, but I certainly would like to have the financial part of it in my own country.”
WB: “If you get enough people believing something won’t be there next week in banking, it won’t be there next week, absent the Federal Reserve.” – recalling companies’ mad rush to tap their credit lines when the pandemic struck.
WB: “The biggest thing you learn is that the pandemic was bound to occur, and this isn’t the worst one that’s imaginable at all. Society has a terrible time preparing for things that are remote but are possible, and will occur sooner or later.”
WB: “The economic impact has been extremely uneven. Millions of small businesses have been hurt in a terrible way, but most of the big companies have overwhelmingly done fine, unless they happen to be in cruise lines or hotels or something.” – Buffett added that the pandemic surprised his team in many ways, and cautioned there’s a lot they still don’t know about the fallout.
WB: “I don’t see any plus to it particularly. I’d rather have my feet on the desk, and I find the telephone a very satisfactory instrument.” – responding to Munger saying he’s “fallen in love with Zoom” and uses it three times a day.
WB: “I wouldn’t have wanted to work there. I’d resign or be fired. I’d rather be in a jail cell with a few people who are interesting, and plenty of reading material.” – commenting on how he would react to a centralized management system at Berkshire.