Collection: Charlie Munger - #199 '2008 Financial Bailouts were Absolutely Required'



[Transcript]

CHARLIE MUNGER 00:00

I think those bailouts were absolutely required to save your civilization and to give you the best chances of solving the housing and student loan and other problems. So I think that was absolutely required and we were lucky that both administrations were as wise and bold as they were. So I think you shouldn't resent that, you should thank God they did it.


And I think if you understand the system and the dangers it was in you would recognize that, that's the least of that – that was your blessing.


BECKY QUICK 00:34

What would have happened potentially?


CHARLIE MUNGER 00:37

We don't know what, it could have been awful. (Laughter) I don't even want to think about how awful it could have been. And it is not completely crazy.


There again the Germans were pretty civilized people. I always point out that Albert Einstein got a highly subsidized primary school education in Germany from a catholic church. Whole primary institution of little Albert Einstein subsidized by the catholic church, that is a pretty civilized place.


In the other way, Adolf Hitler, get the economy with enough misery and enough disruption, destroy the currency, God knows what happens.


So, I think when you got troubles like that, you shouldn't be bitching about a little bailout. You should have been thinking it should have been bigger. I mean, those people were working for you and they were in both parties. They were a credit to both of us that all that happened.


And now, if you talk about, bailout for everybody else. There comes a place if you just start bailing out all the individuals instead of telling to adapt that the culture dies. I don't know where it is – a little certain place – you gotta say to people, suck it in and cope buddy. Suck it in and cope.


And in the 30s with my family as these families will move in the same house and they'd wear the same clothes for a while and they, you know, just – they coped. And that was part of how the civilization got through.


We do not want a civilization where, with every hardship, we go to the government and say, give me some money, the world is not what I expected. So I think there's danger and just shoveling out money too much on the people who say, my life is a little harder than it used to be.


Of course, it's a little harder than it used to be. This is normal worldly life.


And I think it is very dangerous to assume that what people did to save the whole banking system was wrong, and that is clearly right to shove a lot of money to people. We're now short of money. I think we come to a place where we or everybody has to suck it in and cope.


(Source: https://youtu.be/Pph3Bg8Pihg)

 

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