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  • Frank Tian

Buffet/Munger on Banking

If Forbes were to create a list of "90 Above 90", Buffett and Munger would be on it unanimously.

On May 7, the 92 and 99 years young duo fielded nearly 60 questions during the 5 hours Q&A, a highly anticipated part of the annual Berkshire Hathaway meeting.

Here are a few excerpts related to banking.

❓ [The very 1st question in the morning] Had the SVB deposit not been fully covered, what economic consequences would have been for the nation?

📍 Buffett: “It would have been catastrophic … I cannot imagine anybody in the administration [...] like to be the one going on television tomorrow to tell the American public why we are keeping only $250,000 insured and we are starting to run every bank in the country and disrupt the world’s financial system.“

❓ [The very 1st question in the afternoon] What is your outlook in the banking industry? How do you assess the risk and opportunities in this sector?

Buffett was well prepared - he turned over two signs on the desk. The one in front of him is “AVAILABLE FOR SALE”. The one in front of Munger is “HELD-TO-MATURITY”. 😂

📍 Buffett: “We did something enormously sensible in my view when we set up FDIC … If you have people that are worried about whether their money is safe in the bank, […] you cannot run an economy very well.”

📍 Buffett: “I haven’t heard from anybody that want to take up my $1M bet on whether the public will lose money if they have a demand deposit at the bank no matter what is the size.”

📍 Buffett: “You’ll have to have a punishment for the people that do the wrong thing.”

📍 Munger: “I don’t think having a bunch of bankers all of them were trying to get rich leads to good things. I think a banker should be more like an engineer - he is more like into avoiding trouble than he is getting rich.”

📍 Buffett: “Banking can have all kinds of new inventions, but it needs to have old values.”

A sign of the change:

Previously behind-the-door only, now the Berkshire annual meeting is live streamed to worldwide stakeholders and non stakeholders. All previous years’ recordings are posted on CNBC as well.

More information. More open.


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