CNBC Anchor Joe Kernen pushed back against Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger’s latest tirade against cryptocurrency on Thursday.
Specifically, the anchor called the billionaire’s assessment of Bitcoin while criticizing his lack of knowledge on the subject.
Munger’s Latest Rant
On Wednesday, Munger appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box where Rebecca Quick asked him to steelman the arguments against his anti-crypto position. After a brief pause, Munger refused to do so.
“I don’t think there are good arguments against my position,” he said. “I think the people that oppose my position are idiots.
The investor’s “position” in question was published in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal earlier this month, arguing that the United States should ban cryptocurrency entirely, just like China did. He likened cryptocurrencies to neither commodities nor securities, but rather “gambling contracts.”
In Wednesday’s interview, he had a different name for the asset class: “crypto shit.”
“Sometimes I call it crypto crappo, and sometimes I call it crypto shit,” he continued. “It’s just ridiculous that anybody would buy this stuff.”
In the midst of crypto’s contagious meltdown in the summer of 2022, Munger lambasted crypto as an “open sewer” of evil actors, while claiming that their existence is “undermining the national currencies of the world.” During this week’s interview, he reiterated his defense for fiat currencies.
“You can think of hardly anything on earth that has done more good to the human race than national currencies,” he said. “If someone says I’m going to create something to replace this national currency… it’s asinine.
Munger went on to call cryptocurrencies “worthless,” “no good,” “crazy,” and “massively stupid,” adding that its allowance has been “anti-social,” and that intelligent people should “totally avoid it.”
The following day, Joe Kernen said that Munger’s comments were a basic, “pedestrian,” viewpoint on crypto that he’s heard from people completely ignorant on the subject for the past “20 years,” (although Bitcoin is now just 14 years old).
“I don’t think he’s read the first page of the Bitcoin Standard, or whatever book you want to go to,” he said.
The Bitcoin Standard, written by Saifedean Ammous, is a book examining the historical development of currency worldwide, arguing that Bitcoin will eventually emerge as the world’s currency of choice. It presents money as something naturally emergent on the free market, rather than something that needs a national government to be its issuer.
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