Sunday, February 27, 2011

Charlie Munger on accounting and derivatives

I stumbled on a Spring 2009 interview in the Stanford Law Review with Charlie Munger, known better to some of you as Warren Buffet's partner at Berkshire, Hathaway.  Although it is almost 2 years old now, his comments are still absolutely relevant, especially since nothing really has been done to alter the landscape.  I urge readers to digest the whole interview, partly because he talks about issues we have not addressed.

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Young girl entertaining Mickey Mouse and other friends at a make-believe tea party, 1930s
In a simpler providence, a young girl entertains friends at a make-believe tea party, 1930s by State Library of Queensland, Australia, on Flickr

Mr. Munger is more straightforward in his speech patterns than Mr. Buffet. I find him refreshing even if I do not always agree with his point of view.

He rips the accounting profession pretty much throughout the whole interview:
As we look at the current situation, how much of the responsibility would you lay at the feet of the accounting profession?
I would argue that a majority of the horrors we face would not have happened if the accounting profession developed and enforced better accounting. They are way too liberal in providing the kind of accounting the financial promoters want. They’ve sold out, and they do not even realize that they’ve sold out.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Domestic Terrorists are mostly Right Wing Extremists

I was watching an episode of Numb3rs where the FBI is looking for a sniper. Of course they had to bring in and question a right-wing extremist, who they painted as both a white supremacist and a fool. Not that those two things are in any way not connected. I just find TV writing to be so perfectly aligned with Progressive narrative that it no longer surprises me.

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Numb3rs publicity photo