Dec 3, 2021 - Economy

Charlie Munger calls 2021 markets "even crazier" than dot-com bust

Charlie Munger

Charlie Munger attends the annual Berkshire shareholders meeting in Omaha, Neb., in 2019. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

Berkshire Hathaway's Charlie Munger said at a conference Friday that markets are now overvalued and "even crazier than the dot-com era," the Australian Financial Review reports.

The big picture: Warren Buffett's right-hand man also praised China's ban on cryptocurrencies, which he said should never have been invented, according to the AFR.

  • The S&P 500 has more than doubled since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, sparking fears among some investors that the market is overpriced, Bloomberg reports.

What he's saying: "The dot-com boom was crazier on the valuations even than we have now but overall, I consider this era even crazier than the dot-com era," said Munger, who has served on Berkshire's board since 1978.

  • "You have to pay a great deal for good companies and that reduces your future returns," he added.

When asked about China, Munger said, "I admire the Chinese, I think they made the correct decision, which was to simply ban them. In my country, English-speaking civilization has made the wrong decision, I just can't stand participating in these insane booms, one way or another."

  • "Believe me, the people who are getting in cryptocurrencies are not thinking about the customer, they're thinking about themselves."

In the wide-ranging interview, Munger declared that American millennials are "very peculiar" and told the Australian audience "they're very self-centered and very leftist."

  • He also offered some praise for Tesla founder Elon Musk and said he might bet on wholesale retailer Costco over Amazon.
  • "[Musk] thinks he's even more able than he is and that's helped him. ... Never underestimate the man who overestimates himself," he said.
  • He later added, "Amazon may have more to fear from Costco in terms of retailing than the reverse. Costco will eventually be a huge internet player. People trust it and they have enormous purchasing power."
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