Musk Recalls How Munger Said Tesla Would Fail After the Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chair Calls Crypto a ‘Venereal Disease’

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Nati Harnik/AP/Shutterstock (9665074ab)Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger smiles during an interview in Omaha, Neb.
Nati Harnik/AP/Shutterstock / Nati Harnik/AP/Shutterstock

Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman, billionaire investor and Warren Buffett’s right-hand man Charlie Munger again doubled down on his disdain for cryptos, calling them a “venereal disease.” It didn’t take long for Tesla CEO Elon Musk to reply with a scorching tweet.

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Speaking at the Daily Journal Corp.’s annual meeting, which was held virtually on Feb. 16, Munger said “I certainly didn’t invest in crypto. I’m proud of the fact I’ve avoided it. It’s like a venereal disease or something. I just regard it as beneath contempt,” according to a transcript of the meeting.

“Some people think it’s modernity, and they welcome a currency that’s so useful in extortions, kidnappings, tax evasion, and so on. And, of course, the envy… everybody has to create their own new currency. I think that’s crazy, too. I’m not having it. I wish it had been banned immediately.”

It didn’t take long for crypto aficionado Musk to chime in on the matter on Twitter, replying to a tweet about Munger’s comments.

“I was at a lunch with Munger in 2009 where he told the whole table all the ways Tesla would fail. Made me quite sad, but I told him I agreed with all those reasons & that we would probably die, but it was worth trying anyway,” Musk tweeted.

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Munger is a longstanding crypto critic. Speaking at the Sohn Hearts and Minds conference in Sydney on Dec. 3, he said that he will never buy cryptos, and praised China for banning them, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

“I think the Chinese made the correct decision, which is to simply ban them,” he stated. “My country — English-speaking civilization — has made the wrong decision,” he said, as GOBankingRates previously reported.

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It’s interesting to note, however, that on Feb.14, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway released its stock investments as of Dec. 31, 2021, revealing that Buffett increased his stake of 107 million shares of crypto-forward Nu Holdings, the parent company of Brazilian digital bank Nubank, according to the 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Buffett had made a $500 million investment in June 2021 and the bank went public in December, as GOBankingRates reported. Nubank offers investment in Bitcoin through the QR Bitcoin ETF, a product of Easynvest, a company acquired by NuBank in the same month, Benzinga reported. 

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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