Gambling culture

Warren Buffett’s right-hand man, Charlie Munger, thinks US finance is “out of control and it isn’t good for the rest of us."

The US has “a vast gambling culture, and people have made it respectable,” says Charlie Munger, right-hand man of legendary investor Warren Buffett, as reported by UK Business Insider.

The main gambling venues are not casinos, he says, but the stock market, the largest of all casinos, where too many people want to get rich quick. “And too much of the new wealth has gone to people who either own a casino or are playing in a casino,” adds Munger, who recognizes that he himself is part of that culture to a certain extent.

“I’m always afraid,” he says, that “I’ll be a terrible example for the youth who want to make a lot of money and not do much for anybody else, and who just want to be shrewd about buying little pieces of paper. Even if you do that very honestly, I don’t consider it much of a life.”

Though the billionaire defines himself as a Republican, he agrees with Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders that “American finance is out of control and that it isn't good for the rest of us. You all see what goes on in finance: the craziness, the promotions, the fuzzy accounting, the crazy trading cultures…. It’s very bad for all of us that we have this huge overdevelopment of finance.… And yet it’s very hard to do anything about it.”

In the endless cycles of booms and busts that characterize financial markets, Munger considers that “the big busts hurt us more than the big booms help us.”