Charlie Munger: “Lots of Troubles Coming”

Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charlie Munger offered straight talk earlier this month at a Los Angeles-based Daily Journal annual shareholders meeting when he predicted rough waters ahead due to “too much wretched excess.” This according to a recent article in CNBC.

Munger highlighted how much risk investors are taking, especially in China: “It’s hard to imagine anything dumber than the way the Chinese hold stocks.” He also admonished what he described as the use of the “bull— earnings” metric of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) as a profit metric: “It’s ridiculous. Think of the basic intellectual dishonesty that comes when you start talking about adjusted EBITDA. You’re almost announcing you’re a flake.”

Another concern Munger mentioned focused on innovation: “I do think that my generation had the best of all this technological change,” adding, “I don’t think we’re going to get as much improvement in the future because we’ve gotten so much already.”

The article also cites the risks that U.S. investors are facing in the form of the evolving coronavirus, political uncertainty related to the upcoming presidential election, and the ballooning budget deficit: “The U.S. budget deficit increased by 25% in the first four months of the fiscal 2020 period to $1.06 trillion.”