Zero HedgeThere is a reason why many countries institute mandatory retirement age: it is so that when dementia strikes, and people spout any damn thing that comes to mind, only the nearest four walls are subject to their insanity.
Alas, when it comes to Berkshire Hathaway, no such luck. And while we have extensively discussed Warren Buffett's recent inexorable decline from merely a successful rider of the biggest cheap credit bubble in history to a captured puppet of Wall Street courtesy of his tens of billions of Wall Street-related investments, little has been said about his even older, and apparently even more affected by the unpleasant side-effects of a public televised senescence, sidekick, Charlie Munger.
Luckily, courtesy of Bloomberg we now know just how deep the rot runs in the Berkshire family. During a discussion at the Universtiy fo Michigan, the 86 year old told the 25 million of Americans who comprise the 16.7% of the underemployed population in the country, to "suck it in and cope." Not only that, but apparently, all those who have been without a job for 99 weeks and more and no longer have recourse to insurance benefits, should "thank God for bank bailouts."
Why of course he would say that: after all $26 billion worth of direct BRK investments were the recipient of over $95 billion in bailouts. So when it comes to him, thank god for the bailout indeed... But when it comes to the little man, old Charlie is all about doing the right thing.
It Gets BetterBank rescues allowed the U.S. to avoid what could have been an “awful” downturn and will help the country as it deals with the housing slump, Munger, 86, said. He used the example of post-World War I Germany to explain how the bailouts under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama were “absolutely required to save your civilization.”
“Hit the economy with enough misery and enough disruption, destroy the currency, and God knows what happens,” Munger said. “So I think when you have troubles like that you shouldn’t be bitching about a little bailout. You should have been thinking it should have been bigger.”
Germany was unable to stabilize its financial system in the 1920s, and, Munger said, “We ended up with Adolf Hitler.”
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