Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Charlie Munger...

...On the differences between "basicland" and "sorrowland". Today's news and editorials has been a relentless barrage of negativity.

In a previous post I espoused my admiration for Mr. Munger. He does not think like an economist or an academic. He thinks like a focused businessman and allocator of capital. His business has gotten so big that persuading people, ordinary and of the political ilk, is part of his business.

We should make things that other people want to buy...this of course will require shipping and logistics services. And Berkshire's 26.3 Billion purchase of Burlington will pay dividends if this happens. Our current emphasis on service exports does not use much railroad space...and imports are subject to tariff risk.

Thus, convincing the masses to make things is a nice hedge. Well played, Mr. Munger.

Among the suggestions of the Good Father were the following. First, he suggested that Basicland change its laws. It should strongly discourage casino gambling, partly through a complete ban on the trading in financial derivatives, and it should encourage former casino employees—and former casino patrons—to produce and sell items that foreigners were willing to buy. Second, as this change was sure to be painful, he suggested that Basicland's citizens cheerfully embrace their fate. After all, he observed, a man diagnosed with lung cancer is willing to quit smoking and undergo surgery because it is likely to prolong his life.

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