Charlie Munger, “Donald Trump Not Wrong on Everything, So ‘Roll With It'”
Charlie Munger, 93 anni, the billionaire Vice Chairman Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A), said some of US President Donald Trump’s ideas to prove constructive for the country, tempering comments a year ago suggesting that his fellow Republican was not morally qualified for the White House.
“Well, I’ve gotten more mellow,” Mr. Munger said during Wednesday’s annual meeting at the publishing company Daily Journal Corp. in Los Angeles, which he chairs.
“He’s not wrong on everything,” said Munger, referring to Trump. “Just roll with it. If there’s a little danger, what the hell, you’re not going to live forever anyway.”
,Mr. Munger, spoke for nearly 2 hours to investors and students on a wide range of issues.
He has been Warren Buffett’s right-hand man for decades, helping him Berkshire into a roughly $410-B conglomerate with more than 90 companies including insurers, utilities, food producers and a railroad.
Berkshire also has large investments in dozens of stocks, including iPhone maker Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), and the 4 biggest US carriers: American Airlines Group Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc., Southwest Airlines Co. and United Continental Holdings Inc.
Tuesday, Berkshire revealed multi-billion-dollar stakes in all five companies, marking a reversal of its longstanding aversion to the technology sector and antipathy to the “joke” that Mr. Munger said airlines once were.
Berkshire is now Apple’s 5th-largest investor, and the largest or 2nd largest investor in the 4 airlines.
“The nice thing about the game we’re in is that we can keep learning,” Mr. Munger said.
“He’s changed when he’s buying airlines, and he’s changed when he’s buying Apple,” he said of Mr. Buffett.
“I don’t think we’ve gone crazy,” Mr. Munger added. “I think we’re adapting.”
Charlie Munger downplayed the impact of the recent scandal afflicting Wells Fargo & Co.(NYSE:WFC), in which Berkshire is the largest investor with a roughly 10% stake.
Mr. Munger said the bigger problem for Wells Fargo was not its sales culture, but how it reacted.
“The mistake there was that when the bad news came, they did not recognize it,” he said. “I don’t think that impairs the future of Wells Fargo.”
He defended his earlier faulting of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.’s business practices, including the Canadian drug company’s model of acquiring rights to drugs and driving prices higher.
Criticism and regulatory probes have caused Valeant’s growth plan to unravel, and its share price to plunge more than 93% in 18 months.
“It was really interesting how many high-grade people that took in,” Mr. Munger said. “It was too good to be true.”
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Have a terrific weekend
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