Charlie Munger unleashed a fresh barrage of fiery criticism at cryptocurrencies in a recent interview. He dismissed the digital coins as worthless, urged people to avoid them entirely, and compared the crypto industry to a dirty cesspool.
“Crypto is an investment in nothing,” Munger told the Australian Financial Review. “I regard it as almost insane to buy this stuff or to trade in it.”
The 98-year-old investor and Berkshire Hathaway vice-chairman asserted that just because something is scarce or difficult to make more of, that isn’t a compelling reason to own it. He added that stocks, which represent pieces of real businesses and claims to their profits, are a far superior investment.
Munger also took aim at coin creators and exchanges, and swore off buying crypto because it undercuts the existing monetary system.
“I think anybody that sells this stuff is either delusional or evil,” he said. “I’m not interested in undermining the national currencies of the world.”
Warren Buffett’s business partner, who has previously described crypto as a venereal disease and a tool for criminals, issued another damning indictment during the AFR interview.
“I just avoid it as if it were an open sewer, full of malicious organisms,” he said. “I just totally avoid and recommend everybody else follow my example.”
Bitcoin, ether, and other popular coins have plunged more than 70% from their November peak, sparking a wave of layoffs, record withdrawals, and bankruptcies in the crypto industry.
Rising prices, stock moves, and fossil fuels
Munger weighed in on several other market topics. He declared that he largely ignores macroeconomic trends, pays little attention to what commentators say, and instead focuses on investing his and Berkshire’s capital as best he can.
“All these people that are blabbering on television don’t think the way that I do,” he said.
The billionaire investor also described inflation as a recurring issue that he’s endured many times before, but suggested it would ultimately render all of the world’s currencies worthless. “That’s my basic cynical view,” he said.
Moreover, Munger shrugged off the recent slump in stocks as nothing unusual, but noted that rising interest rates are likely to materially impact stock prices and valuations.
Finally, Buffett’s right-hand man predicted the world would continue using fossil fuels for a long time, noting that natural gas is needed to create the nitrogen fertilizers used to grow crops. Yet he also suggested clean-energy sources would play a greater role in global power generation. “Both things are going to happen,” he said.
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