Munger Tells 25 Million Americans To "Suck It In", And To "Thank God For Bank Bailouts" As BRK Benefits From $95 Billion Of TARP Funding

Tyler Durden's picture

There is a reason why many countries institute mandatory retirement age: it is so that when dementia strikes, and people spout any damn thing that comes to mind, only the nearest four walls are subject to their insanity. Alas, when it comes to Berkshire Hathaway, no such luck. And while we have extensively discussed Warren Buffett's recent inexorable decline from merely a successful rider of the biggest cheap credit bubble in history to a captured puppet of Wall Street courtesy of his tens of billions of Wall Street-related investments, little has been said about his even older, and apparently even more affected by the unpleasant side-effects of a public televised senescence, sidekick, Charlie Munger. Luckily, courtesy of Bloomberg we now know just how deep the rot runs in the Berkshire family. During a discussion at the Universtiy fo Michigan, the 86 year old told the 25 million of Americans who comprise the 16.7% of the underemployed population in the country, to "suck it in and cope." Not only that, but apparently, all those who have been without a job for 99 weeks and more and no longer have recourse to insurance benefits, should "thank God for bank bailouts." Why of course he would say that: after all $26 billion worth of direct BRK investments were the recipient of over $95 billion in bailouts. So when it comes to him, thank god for the bailout indeed... But when it comes to the little man, old Charlie is all about doing the right thing.

It gets better:

Bank rescues allowed the U.S. to avoid what could have been an “awful” downturn and will help the country as it deals with the housing slump, Munger, 86, said. He used the example of post-World War I Germany to explain how the bailouts under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama were “absolutely required to save your civilization.”

“Hit the economy with enough misery and enough disruption, destroy the currency, and God knows what happens,” Munger said. “So I think when you have troubles like that you shouldn’t be bitching about a little bailout. You should have been thinking it should have been bigger.”

Germany was unable to stabilize its financial system in the 1920s, and, Munger said, “We ended up with Adolf Hitler.”

Nowhere in  Munger's ridiculous hypocritical ramblings does the old man mention that it was precisely the same currency debasement, wanton money printing and incipient hyperinflation that created Adolf Hitler out of the failed Keynesian experiment that was the Weimar Republic. Just as nowhere does he discuss his massive conflicts of interest that would have bankrupted the billionaire should the equity in banks have been wiped out, and Berkshire's holdings, together with its multi billions bet against the S&P, would have wiped out the firm, its shareholders and its management. Because lest we forget:

Munger slipped 16 places to 230th on Forbes magazine’s 2009 ranking of the wealthiest Americans as Berkshire’s stock gain last year trailed the advance in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. His stake in Berkshire, which didn’t take government aid, is worth about $1.6 billion.

As for how many of the companies that Berkshire has invested in did take government aid, well, that is an entirely different issue altogether.


We couldn't agree more with Joshua Rosner:

“Charlie Munger is misrepresenting history, and that’s why the public is angry at Wall Street,” said Joshua Rosner, an analyst at research firm Graham Fisher & Co. “We could have wiped out the equity holders before we wiped out the taxpayer.”

But of course, this would mean going back to the aforementioned conflict of interest, and Munger's apparent incomprehension that a business' operations can continue even as its balance sheet is being restructured. But Restructuring 101 is so simple and so logical, that we can see how that ten or so viable synapses in his head may have forgotten about it.

More on Munger's descent into dementia:

At the Michigan event, one questioner said he had attended both Berkshire and Wesco meetings. “You mean the groupies have followed me here?” Munger asked. To another who asked whether the government should have bailed out homeowners instead of Wall Street, Munger said: “You’ve got it exactly wrong.”

“There’s danger in just shoveling out money to people who say, ‘My life is a little harder than it used to be,’” Munger said at the event, which was moderated by CNBC’s Becky Quick. “At a certain place you’ve got to say to the people, ‘Suck it in and cope, buddy. Suck it in and cope.’”

When one hears hypocrisy like that, what can one say but - Charlie Munger. Of course, when financial organizations, and complete bankrupt states comes begging for money to their respective central banks, as is the case each and every day in Europe, and soon among the various broke states in the US, not to mention thousands of pension funds, sucking it in is such an anathema. Or at least it would be to people like Munger and Buffett, who have invested their entire life savings in the perpetuation of a regime that will eventually result in the same social upheaval if not outright global conflict, that Munger laments caused WW2.

Luckily for him, he won't be around to see it.

300 million other Americans, however, won't have the same privilege.

For those who wish to projectile vomit at their monitors, here are two straight hours of unbridled hypocrisy.

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tip e. canoe's picture

"Suck it in and cope, buddy. Suck it in and cope.’”

so will say the Reaper as Charlie takes his last inhale.

bb5's picture

well said-I got a good laugh out of that!

percolator's picture

The Reaper can't come quick enough for him and his partner in crime.

TraderTimm's picture

It is statements like these issuing forth from Charlie that make me wish I could punch people through the internet.

Please, someone draft the Inter-PUNCH protocol, stat!

Brutlstrudl's picture

Sumbitch didn't even offer us any cake

crosey's picture

Charlie Munger, have you lost your mind?  You certainly have lost touch with the reality facing nearly everyone but your elite class. 

We, the people, have been "sucking it in" for the last couple of years.  And because we have, at the point of the government gun, been sentenced to years of tax servitude in order for you to ensure your viability or bail your ass out, please allow me to warn you that there are few things more incendiary than a wealthy bastard and recipient of our tax donations, attempting to boost our morale with an austerity play.

But we don't get mad, we just sell our BRK.

B9K9's picture

Perhaps I can fulfill my role as one of the resident reminders of human behavior here at good 'ole ZH to help identify what is occurring.

What do deathbed confessions (which are leveraged in a quite excellent fashion by certain, ahem, "non-profit" organizations), Greenspan's recent admissions, and now (tossed salad) Munger Charlie have in common?

Guilt, and the driving need/desire to attempt to come clean in order to have a clear conscience as one reaches the inevitable end-of-the-line. Try this on for size:

Riddle me this - as the crisis continues to unfold with no respite, and in fact begins to accelerate as all vestiges of bullshit are whipped away by brute force, will we begin to see (a) more, or (b) less confessions and revelations of the truth, either directly or via pseudonymous proxies?

I would argue (a). While those still ensconced within official circles will try and maintain (b), human nature is still too strong and will overpower these puny attempts as individuals go 'rogue' and spill the beans.

crosey's picture

Agreed.....the truth wants to be found.

Assetman's picture

Perhaps I'm a little slow on the uptake, but let me make an attempt at what you are saying:

If you are old as dirt and on your deathbed, like Charlie Munger, the confessions are not only brutal but more of a "stick that in your poorhouse, biatches" tone.  For why not?  You're almost six feet under anyway.

If you are younger-- and you still want to live a life without fear of hanging (or worse)-- you set the tone of your confessions on the side of the poor huddled masses.  You are surprised and shocked you participated in the shell game-- becuase you didn't think it was a shell game.  You either move to the deep woods of Northern Califionia and get a plot near Neal Kashkari-- or you move to Paraguay and live among the Bushes when the time comes.  Somehow, Alan Greenspan thinks he has time to live-- or he would have been a heckuva lot more brutal.


MakesMeChunder's picture

Well said indeed ... My sentiments were similar when listening to our former President, Mr. Clinton last week on the Daily Show last week.

In case you missed the 2-part interview ==>

September 16, 2010 - Bill Clinton - The Daily Show With Jon ... 
chet's picture

"We, the people, have been "sucking it in" for the last couple of years."

With stagnant wages, a lot of people ahve been sucking it in for a decade or more now.  I wonder if Mr. Munger's income was stagnant over the last ten years.

crosey's picture

Sorry, you're right, and I was too short in my timeline.

Racer's picture

Marie Antoinette also had similar things to say to the poor before the French Revolution!

midtowng's picture

We can only hope that the peasants are running out of patience with the wealthy elite. It certainly appears that the aristocrats have decided that the workers are no longer a danger to them, so they can say any damn thing they want to.

Steaming_Wookie_Doo's picture

Seriously! Munger saying that his life's been harder since this all happened--while having more than $1 billion in personal wealth. 

Dear Real IRA, we heard about your "banker relief" program in Ireland. Do you guys work in America too?

RockyRacoon's picture

Mr. Munger, we know where you live.

aerojet's picture

I'm pretty sure she didn't actually utter the "Let them eat cake" line.  It may well have been the sentiment of the oligarchs of that time.

Goldilikes permabear's picture

she did say this line, but it was not intended that way.  "cake" was very common and cheap (used alot to line pantries) so she ignorantly suggested that they could eat this source. 

fuckin msm always creating spin

Babalooee's picture

At least Marie offered food. Although junk food. Although back then there were no artifical colors, preservatives and Monsanto the death angel didn’t exist.  So yeh, she offers basically health food and went headless. Imagine if your average ahole on the street were to actually wake up from Charlie’s slap and really suck it in. 

Hard1's picture

Suck it in and cope ...bitchez!

CashCowEquity's picture

Breaking legs for $500.00 , Alex...

hedgeless_horseman's picture

Better yet, put Munger, Biden, and FLOTUS together on live television for 30 minutes on a Thursday night on an empty stage (except for some bottles of Gin, Rolling Rock, and Midol) with 3 mics .  Run only GM and Ally Bank commercials.  I would guarantee revolution before the weekend.

Id fight Gandhi's picture

What fucking jack ass.

bb5's picture

you have a gift of being able to get right to the heart of the matter!

scratch_and_sniff's picture

Whats the deal with the stimulus tomorrow? Anyone think we are due for a pause?

sethco's picture

I pray to Jesus this guy will die soon in the most horrible and painful and lengthy fashion possible.

Sucks_to_be_Smart's picture

He'll get his.  We all square up at the end i think.

Dadburnitpa's picture

Spot on.  I've always thought of death as the great equalizer.

Glaucus's picture

Had I been there, I'd have had a question for the audience:

Anybody want to join me in taking this asshole out back and beating the shit out of him?

Widowmaker's picture

Didn't a young Jesus bitch-slap greed when it crossed the common good but didn't have a problem with interest/investments/PE Ratios and HFT?

rrbluefin's picture

Charlie Munger provides only the most recent example of why we should bring back public flogging and hanging.  I hope your final days are spent in gut wrenching agony Charlie and that they last a long, long time.  99 weeks should just about do it.

Assetman's picture

I think Charlie Munger's blunt approach to decribing the financial crisis is refreshing.

Now where is that shovel I intended on using?

I am a Man I am Forty's picture

Munger jumped the shark, Buffett did a long time ago.

Id fight Gandhi's picture

Buffet made it the honest way. Wink wink.

wisefool's picture

"It ain't me. I ain't me. I ain't no senators son!"


But I might be a congressman's son or be best buddies with that guy.

stollcri's picture

Someone needs to whack Charlie on the head with a bag of nickels; maybe that would bring him back into the real world with the rest of us.

docj's picture

How'd that sentiment work out for the elites in early-1790's France - eh, Chuck?

And we're better armed.

Internet Tough Guy's picture

Then he shat on the carpet, stole the salt and pepper shakers from his table, and hightailed it for the limo.

spekulatn's picture

Funny stuff ITG. Thanks for the laugh. Time for a diaper change. 

Young's picture

Thank you Tyler, I've been saying it for years, Buffett and Munger are no more than tax evading credit riders.

MarketFox's picture

1) 50% draw down

2) 6th largest TARP recipient

Reminds one of complaining farmers and farm subsidies....

Some people feel more ENTITLED than others....

Turd Ferguson's picture

Fuck this crusty, old asshole and the Becky Quick he rode in on.

Robslob's picture

From Old Bag to D-Bag in less than a decade...

I am ready to move from this country while we still have the cash...

Trundle's picture

Munger telegraphs the response from the oligarchs.

Littlelamb's picture

Charlie just qualified for biggest douche in the universe

The Rogue Trader's picture

I won't shed a tear when the Grim Reaper comes for this parasitic crustacean...

surfsup's picture

Caught this earlier in the day with the sound off on the tv.... Can someone teach these billionaire's to sit up straight in a chair?  Their body language tells a tale all on its own, not that I'm keen to "hate" extremely rich people but that to the degree they are materially possessed they appear for the most part to be somewhat physcially dis possessed -- always bending around -- angled -- etc.  He scared me at sight within .02 seconds and indeed 50 years from now history books will show what a ruinous affair such a blown out Creditor vs Debtor Paradigm many of these birds perpetuate.   Will take at least a couple generations to work out this genetic greed currently atop the heap on our Planet, but it will come...