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The Idylls of Mammon

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Published : December 02nd, 2023
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Category : GoldWire

"If you’re not willing to react with equanimity to a market price decline of 50% you’re not fit to be a common shareholder, and you deserve the mediocre result you’re going to get compared to people who can be more philosophical to market fluctuations.”

Charlie Munger

"You should thank God for bank bailouts— absolutely required to save your civilization.  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.  You should thank God the government saved the big banks and their investors.  

Now, if you talk about bailouts for everybody else [e.g homeowners], if you just start bailing out all the individuals instead of telling them to adapt, the culture dies.  There's danger in just shoveling out money to people who say, 'My life is a little harder than it used to be.'   At a certain place you've got to say to the people, 'Suck it in and cope, buddy.'"

Charlie Munger, Event at the University of Michigan, September 14, 2010

"Why couldn’t the banks 'suck it in and cope' Charlie?  But then again that wouldn’t have been so hot for the Berkshire portfolio, which includes TARP recipients: American Express, Bank of America, M&T Bank Corp, US Bank, and Wells Fargo.  And of course there was that $5 billion loan to Goldman Sachs in September 2008 when Wall Street was melting down.  Then Goldman received $10 billion in TARP the following month.  Charlie and Warren must be clairvoyants.  Forget the injustice and long-term damage of bailouts, if it’s good for Munger and Buffett we are supposed to thank God for it."

Douglas French, Warren Buffett's partner: Bank Bailouts Saved Civilization, Christian Science Monitor, September 30, 2010

"Inequality is a euphemism for all the things that have gone to make the lives of the rich so much more delicious for the last three decades.  And for the things that have made the lives of working people so wretched and so precarious.  You catch a glimpse of inequality every time you hear about someone that had to declare bankruptcy because a child got sick.   Inequality is about the way in which speculators, and even criminals, get a helping hand from Uncle Sam, while the Vietnam Vet down the street loses his house."

Thomas Frank, Listen Liberal

Stocks managed to put together another rally, with even the tech sector along for the ride.

The VIX fell.

The Dollar declined.

Gold and silver held a good push into their breakouts and put a spike near the highs at the close.

Wow.

There will be a non-farm payrolls report next week.

The problem with powerful organizations and people is that they lose focus on the bigger picture and eventually see only themselves.

Power and possessions will invoke  in their adherents a kind of moral astigmatism.

And over time these elite often foster and advance some rather cruel and unusual economics and domestic policies which their academic and media sycophants are only too happy to rationalize and support.

Such are the ways of the worldly, and the allure of the abyss.  As old as Babylon, and evil as sin.

Have a pleasant weekend.




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