Monday Musings

I am still suffering adverse effects from the first dose of the Shingrix vaccine. As such, I do not have the same perspective I have when I am less encumbered by physical maladies.

Becky Quick of CNBC interviewed Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger and Bill Gates this morning. First, a politically incorrect remark: Becky Quick has great legs. Why it’s not OK to express that view but is OK to praise someone for being a great singer is beyond me. Both are products of genetics.

Quick asked her guests about Bitcoin. Here are two comments:

Buffett: Bitcoin is an asset that creates nothing.

Munger: Bitcoin is worthless, artificial gold.

Millennials will dismiss those remarks as being the thoughts of old fogeys. (Buffett is 87, Munger is 93.) However, automatically assuming that anything new, anything created while a person is young and “vital” is progress is also a prejudiced viewpoint. Most of us suffer from temporal arrogance, but many young people of today push the arrogance to new heights. Neither human beings nor their institutions are perfect; therefore, no creation or development is automatically good just because it’s new.

All three men opined that the world is a much better place now than it was, say, 100 years ago. Munger mentioned that cars of today are remarkable feats of engineering in that a car purchased new today can be driven for ten years without any major problems. Buffett and Gates said that the world was less violent, healthier and wealthier than in generations past.

I would like to add that, IMO, a significant reason why people don’t see or acknowledge progress is that it is not in the interest of politicians to acknowledge progress. If the world is better, then why do we need more government programs?

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A picture of a 1964 Corvette convertible I took this weekend at a monthly gathering “sponsored” by a local Corvette club. I LOVE C2 Corvettes. This was the only C2 at the show; most of the cars were C5, C6 or C7 models like the two blue Vettes parked next to the ’64. I grow more determined by the day to acquire a restomod C2 Corvette.

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5 thoughts on “Monday Musings

  1. While I generally agree with Messrs. Buffett and Munger-with a nod to Graham and Dodd- there are many people in Venezuela today who wish they had bought Bitcoins two years ago.

    Value is the price we place on our biases. Is Kurt Cousins more valuable than Tom Brady? Or Colin Kaepernick? Is the C2 more valuable than the ZR-1? Is Apple as a company more valuable than Amazon? Is Becky Quick more valuable than Maria Bartiromo? Value may like beauty, be in the eye of the beholder. All in all, I would not kick bitcoin out of bed for eating crackers when it is at $9000.

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    1. It’s a big world. If millions of people “think” Bitcoin has value, then they will bid up the price. That’s an application of The Greater Fool Theory. Fiat currency works, in large part, because governments have the power to tax and to borrow. Precious metals have industrial use. Bitcoin has no intrinsic value and is still way too volatile to be used as a medium of exchange.

      Companies have value based on the expected present value of future earnings and dividends paid. I wouldn’t buy Bitcoin at $1.

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  2. I tend to agree, but every two months, some lucky bastard in our country spends $2-10 and wins $130-500 million dollars playing Powerball/MegaMillions. Bitcoin is similar.

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