Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Buffett's Sidekick Munger

The Wall Street Journal recently published a decent article on Buffett's long-time business partner, Charlie Munger.

It talks about the differences between the two (e.g., one is laconic while the other is loquacious), some of the deals that Buffett made because of Munger (including the latest one), and what they expect for the economy going forward. Here's an excerpt:

The men share a view that the U.S. financial system will change, and criticize past excesses. "People were horribly overpaid for just pouring on leverage," Mr. Munger said. The two investors have repeatedly warned about the systemic risks posed by the abuse of leverage and derivatives.

Mr. Munger thinks regulators may significantly curb the amount of leverage, or borrowed money, that banks can use. That will drive down pay at Wall Street firms, since traders won't be able to make as many big, leveraged bets. This could benefit Berkshire, with its cash hoard of $24.3 billion at the end of 2008. "There's going to be new rules in the game," he said. "For someone like us, that's going to be very interesting."

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