Charlie Munger: Worldly business

In a world where you sometimes have to amputate a limb to stay alive, you can’t expect that every business can stay exactly as it is.”

–Charlie Munger.

Charlie Munger: Shared-hardship model

“Some of our businesses have a shared-hardship model, where they don’t layoff, at least not yet. And the businesses with that model tend to be very strongly placed economically. So I guess it shows that Benjamin Franklin was right, when he said, ‘It’s hard for an empty sack to stand upright.’ So we’re all over the map on that, and so is all of industry. But I do think an ideal model would be a business so strong that it could operate in the shared-hardship mode instead of the layoffs.”

–Charlie Munger.

Charlie Munger: Against human nature

GEICO to me is very much like Costco. And one of the reasons it’s succeeded is that they really feel a holy duty to have a wonderful product at a very low price. A lot of people talk that game, but very few have it just right down under the body and soul of the company. But GEICO does, and companies like that do tend to grind ahead over time…. It’s easy to talk the game, but living the game is something else. I mean, it’s against the human nature of many entrepreneurial people to try and get the price down and the service quality up all the time.”

–Charlie Munger.

Charlie Munger: ‘We don’t do startups’

“We could make a lot of decisions about a lot of things very fast and very easily. And we’re unusual in that respect. And the reason we’re able to do that is there’s such an enormous other lot of things that we won’t allow ourselves to think about at all. It’s just that simple. I have a little phrase when people make pitches to me, and about halfway through the first sentence, I say, ‘We don’t do startups.’ They don’t exist. Well, if you blot out startups, there’s a whole layer of complexity that goes out of your life. And we’ve got other little blotter-out systems. And using those, we finally find out that what remains is still a pretty large territory that we can handle.”
—Charlie Munger.

Charlie Munger: Your whole civilization deteriorates

“I would say that I like a certain amount of social intervention that takes some of the inequality out of results in capitalism. But I hate, with a passion, rewarding anything that can be easily faked. Because I think then people lie, and lying works, and the lying spreads. And I think your whole civilization deteriorates.”
—Charlie Munger.