FINANCIAL MANIPULATOR CHARLIE MUNGER: U.S. SHOULD BAN CRYPTOS LIKE CHINA
Billionaire real estate mogul Charlie Munger has said, as recently as December 2022, according to Yahoo News and others, that his motivation in acquiring wealth has always been to ensure his personal independence and freedom in life.
But that’s for him.
The freedom of others—especially when it comes to participating in permissionless crypto-powered blockchain technologies—appears to be a pretty low priority to Munger.
He advocated this past week that the U.S. go “full China,” and ban cryptocurrencies.
The near Centenarian (yes, he’s close to a hundred years old) pontificated on crypto technology in a recent Wall Street Journal opinion piece.
The piece was curiously put out as the sector showed the strongest signs yet of emerging from an extended downturn, dated from the fall of 2021, which has come to be known as a “crypto winter.”
Munger said crypto technologies aren’t currencies, commodities or securities.
Fair enough, if one was perhaps arguing that crypto technologies represent disruptive innovations that deserve their own classification and regulatory understanding.
But Munger wasn’t nearly that nuanced or appreciative.
“Instead, it’s a gambling contract with a nearly 100% edge for the house, entered into in a country where gambling contracts are traditionally regulated only by states that compete in laxity,” Munger opined. “The U.S. should now enact a new federal law that prevents this from happening.”
Perhaps Munger was confusing cryptos with state lottery systems, and profit skims from legalized casino gaming and sports betting operations. Those sanctioned activities rake in billions in a highly regressive system that creates magical “intrinsic value” for the state to issue dollar debt against.
Reaction from the crypto community, on a Bitcoin Magazine twitter thread and elsewhere, was swift and even more mocking than our previous sentence. A few examples:
Says the guy who made a fortune in the biggest gambling/risk market ever: the stock market. Even worse, Munger’s investment success is fueled by forced debt-slavery imposed on the young generation who are forced to bare the costs and pay for his success.
So is any other fiat currency. At least #Bitcoin is country and affiliation neutral. It is the first humanity-wide and country-agnostic high-volume reserve currency. It achieve what was discussed by politicians for the past 100 years. It is here. And it works.
The crypto trash talk from Munger is hardly new. Coindesk noted that Munger has previously said he wished crypto had “never been invented.”
Munger No Champion of Average People
Berkshire Hathaway may have a reputation for being one of the top run investment firms in the world.
But the company has also been credibly called out for unscrupulous practices that have especially hurt financially marginalized people.
A good example was detailed by The Seattle Times in 2015.
The newspaper found that Berkshire subsidiary Clayton Homes, then the biggest American supplier of mobile homes and mobile home loans, charged onerous fees in nearly all properties on which it offered financing.
Fees were deemed so onerous that Clayton was compelled by government regulation to provide additional disclosures to potential buyers.
In comparison, less than half of all loans in the remainder of the mobile home business are classified as having onerous costs, according to a Yahoo News story speaking about the revelations.
Yahoo noted that when Munger business partner Warren Buffet was confronted about Claytons practices, he responded, “I make no apologies whatsoever for Clayton’s lending terms.”
Berkshire Hathaway has also been accused of predatory profit squeezing at the expense of workers and long term company health, in the case Kraft-Heinz and others.
Munger has exhibited other hypocrisies. He publicly advocated on behalf of the COVID “vaccine” based on controversial gene level mRNA technologies. But Berkshire has its own enormous stakes in companies known primarily for peddling junk food (see “BERKSHIRE BILLIONAIRE WHO MADE A FORTUNE INVESTING IN COMPANIES THAT CONTRIBUTED TO U.S. OBESITY EPIDEMIC ‘APPALLED’ BY THOSE WHO REFUSE COVID JAB.”)
RAY DALLIO TEASES BITCOIN ALTERNATIVE?
Bitcoin’s signs of partial recovery seemed to cue the appearance of investment elites on legacy media outlets, trashing the decentralized King Crypto.
Famed investor Ray Dalio, speaking soon after criticisms from Berkshire-Hathaway’s Charlie Munger, added his own two cents concerning bitcoin.
Or rather, Dalio added his own “inflation index bond” coin idea.
Speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box program on 2 February, Dalio commented concerning bitcoin, “It’s not going to be an effective money. It’s not an effective store holder of wealth. It’s not an effective medium of exchange.”
One might think the bigger story regarding Dalio was what he said concerning the U.S. dollar and major central banks around the world.
“We are in a world in which money as we know it is in jeopardy,” he noted on that score. “We are printing too much, and it’s not just the United States, it is all the reserve currencies.”
Dalio used his appearance to pitch a vague idea about a new coin that would hedge against inflation.
“The closest thing to that is an inflation index bond, but if you created a coin that says OK this is buying power that I know I can save in and put my money in over a period of time and transact in anywhere, I think that would be a good coin.
“So I think you’re going to see the development of coins that you haven’t seen that probably will end up being attractive, viable coins. I don’t think Bitcoin is it.”
In the past, Dalio has flip-flopped in his assessments of bitcoin, depending on whether it was riding high or crashing down.
Bitcoin maximalist Michael Saylor had his own reaction to the latest apparent bitcoin suppression efforts.
“If [Munger] were a business leader in South America or Africa or Asia and he spent 100 hours studying the problem, he would be more bullish on bitcoin than I am,” Saylor said about criticisms of bitcoin from Charlie Munger.
Saylor made his comments on CNBC following the release of the 4th quarter earnings report from MicroStrategy, the business analytics company he founded.
MicroStrategy remains heavily invested in bitcoin, with about 132 thousand bitcoins.
Though the company reported a 192 million impairment charge against bitcoin the 4th quarter of 2022, other investment firms raised their expectations for MicroStrategy stock on the news.
Coindesk reported Canaccord Genuity analyst Joseph Vafi noting, “Institutional investors are continuing to work on their bitcoin and overall digital-asset strategies, in our view. As such, we expect to see continued mainstream adoption, which we believe bodes well for the medium term and supports our view that BTC is biased higher over time.”
As noted by AmbCrypto, MicroStrategy holds the largest portion of bitcoin of any publicly traded company.
FTX: AND THE GRIFT GOES ON
With all that 40 million dollars in FTX pilfered campaign money funneled to Democrats and Mitch McConnell’s favored PAC having accomplished its purpose, naturally politicians should now return the “loans” and everything will be jim dandy? Right?
This past week, FTX made news for sending notices to politicians, asking them to return campaign contributions, as the corrupt crypto exchange tries to pull together funds to at least partially offset millions owed to embezzled users of its platform.
CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was the second largest contributor to Democrat party candidates over the 2022 election cycle.
Though he was also meeting multiple times with SEC reps and political oversight bigwigs like Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) who regulate the crypto industry, indications of FTX’s corrupt financial misuse of user funds (largely carried out via a sister investment firm called Alameda, run by SBF’s former girlfriend), somehow never reached the SEC.
FTX crashed in slow motion in November, just in time to avoid having the scandal impact voters heading to the polls.
What’s more ridiculous than FTX’s latest move? Only that many politicians have not already returned the money.
The Trends Journal pointed out problems with FTX and Sam Bankman Fried before FTX went down, in articles such as “SAM BANKMAN-FRIED, CRYPTO’S CENTRAL ELITIST?” (1 Nov 2022), “FDIC TELLS FTX AND OTHER CRYPTO EXCHANGES TO CUT THE FALSE CLAIMS” (23 Aug 2022) and “FOLLOW THE MONEY: FTX CRYPTO EXCHANGE VALUATION REACHES $25 BILLION” (26 Oct 2021).