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Every time I get rid of a much beloved idea I pat myself on the back. From house decorations to pool everything number 1. And so I recommend the engaged life. Kenny Shapiro , for instance, was "the Atlantic investment banker for [Italian American mafioso] Nicky Scarfo, the vicious killer who ruled the Philadelphia Mafia, the most murderous mob family in America. Molasky's interests in sports have been more than casual. And it has gotten harder and harder and harder. I can tell this group…you come here as a cult to talk to a cult-leader?
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At issue is the sovereign authority of the tribe versus the federal statutes of the United States Government against the legal cultivation and sales of marijuana cannabis in California Most folks under the age of 60 most likely assume it was always a term used to make reference to the American Indian people and as such just accept it.
I am a federally recognized Reservation American Indian. I spent the first 18 years of my life on the Soboba Indian Reservation located in Southern California. And at age 76, I've had the opportunity to experience the greatness of this Country Heavy accent, she asked if we were real Indians and why we were singing and dancing there on the beach.
She was genuinely interested, no sarcasm Established February of by Ernie C. Creative Indian is a work in progress I am an Indian, American Indian. I prefer 'American Indian' because anyone born in the western hemisphere is a native American. The activity was sponsored in part by the California Department of Education and U. The GONA curriculum is designed to develop positive self-esteem, goal setting, traditional tribal values and tribal cultural awareness for the Native American Tribal community in east San Diego County She was genuinely interested, no sarcasm.
She said she was in the restroom and couldn't wait to go out to see it for herself. She was brought to tears listening to the bird songs and watching the young women dance.
She kept saying it was beautiful just beautiful. She asked if we lived on Indian reservations. I told her yes a lot many of us do and I told her she was on Kumeyaay land now. She was so excited and the look in her eyes as she stood there and watched in disbelief that "real Indians" were before her was something I'd never witnessed.
I left her with tears in her eyes and a smile like a child looking at the gates of Disneyland. She'd thought we were extinct. This commentary was contributed by Annette Guachino and published with her permission. What is pathetic is that non-American citizens seem to get more protections from the Constitution of the United States of America than the American Indian tribal people.
In fact just the other day the Federal Court judge in Hawaii ruled that the Trump travel ban was not legal because it violated the Civil Rights of the non-citizens. The legislation also addressed the crises of domestic violence that pledge the American Indian community. However, the tribes were ultimately subjected to the power of Congress and the Constitution Serving the Southern California Inter-Tribal Community with employment information, job fairs, job listings, vocational training, education, courses and leads to gainful full and part time jobs in Southern California.
GoodJobs serving military veterans and their families. These programs focus on eliminating barriers to employment to facilitate your transition to the civilian workplace, prepare for your career, and assist you on the road to economic independence The fun places where to find active fun things to do in Southern California, educational, family values, sports, cultural, and entertainment in San Diego area.
And of course being Charlie Munger, I decided that the psychologists were doing it all wrong and I could do it better. So they were ignoring the most important thing in their own profession. And of course the other thing that was important was to synthesize psychology with all else.
My question relates to a comment you made some years ago about Warren Buffett. I think you said that he has become a significantly better investor since he turned 65, which I found a remarkable comment.
Of course you do better over time. And some people are better at that than others. Berkshire would be a very modest company now if Warren never learned anything. I mean any territory he took he was going to hold it.
But what really happened was, we went out into the new fields of buying whole businesses and we bought into things like Iscar that Warren never would have bought when he was younger. Ben Graham would have never bought Iscar. He paid 5 times book or something for Iscar. And Warren who learned under Graham, just, he learned better over time. What have we said about the airline business?
We thought it was a joke it was such a terrible business. And now if you put all of those stocks together we own one minor airline. But finally they got down to four big railroads and it was a better business. And something similar is happening in the airline business. On the other hand, this very morning I sat down in my library with my daughter-in-law and she booked a round trip ticket to Europe including taxes, it was like 4 or 5 hundred dollars. In the old days, I frequently talked to Warren about the old days, and for years and years and years, what we did was shoot fish in a barrel.
So we waited until they slowed down and then we shot at them with shotgun. It was just that easy. And it has gotten harder and harder and harder. And now we get little edges…before, we had totally cinches. We do not make the same returns we made when we could run around and pick this low hanging fruit off trees that offered a lot of it. As a cash substitute! You would never have done that in the old days. We had a lot of cash and we thought Exxon was better than cash over the short term.
And what do we appear in the press with? Apple and a bunch of airlines. I think we have the odds a little bit in our favor.
You have to get by in life with the best advantage you can get. On the other hand the thing that caused it to be so enormously difficult was when we got so enormously rich. If I were running the world I would have his exact attitude about Social Security. Accept a little danger. What was the most meaningful thing you did with your life?
Well, I think the family and children is the most meaningful thing most people do with their life. And I always needed a certain amount of toleration from the fair sex.
I started wrong and I never completely fixed myself. I can tell this group…you come here as a cult to talk to a cult-leader? When I was a freshman in Omaha Central High, there was a friend of the family, a girl my age.
She had gone off to summer camp the year before and she met a blonde goddess. A voluptuous 13 year old. And I was a skinny under-developed whatever and so forth. And she was wearing a net dress and I set her on fire! And I wanted to get a letter at Omaha Central High. Of course I was no good at any sport. So I went down to the rifle range and learned they gave letters in rifle shooting.
And I was so skinny that I could shoot a in the sitting position by sitting cross-legged and putting one elbow on each foot. But I could shoot a hundred every time. So I was a good rifle shooter and they gave me a letter. But I was so skinny and short and underdeveloped that it went from one arm pit to the other.
And then I had another experience. There was a girl I still remember, Zibby Bruington. She was a senior and a very popular senior. And I was a nerd sophomore. And somehow she agreed with me to go to a party in one of the out-buildings at the Omaha Country Club.
Perhaps because she liked one of my friends who was a big strapping fellow. So I took Zibby to this party in my Ford, and it sleeted and got rainy, and so forth. And Zibby and I had to walk for several miles through sleet. That was the last I ever saw of Zibby Bruington. And then my car stayed in the mud and I neglected to put in anti-freeze and the temperature went way down suddenly and the block broke!
Because it was too expensive to fix. My life is just one long litany of mistakes and failure. And it went on and on and on. I had the most popular boy in school as my campaign manager.
I came in second by miles. I was a total failure in politics. Now, I tell you all this because I know a nerd when I see one. And there are a lot of nerds here who can tell stories like mine. Oh yeah, Guerin wants me to repeat the story of Max Plank. According to the story, Max Plank when he won the Nobel Prize was invited to run around Germany giving lectures.
And a chauffeur drove him. And after giving the lecture about 20 times, the chauffeur memorized it. We have to do this in an orderly fashion. Everybody who can swim go to the right wing and stand there. For those of you on the left wing, thank you for flying Air Italia. With regard to the proliferation of index funds, do you think there will be an issue with liquidity any time we go through another large crisis?
Do you think that will create large discrepancies between the price of the index fund and the value of the securities underneath? Is because if you buy a small index, and it gets popular, you have a self-defeating situation. When the nifty-fifty were the rage, JP Morgan talked everybody into buying just 50 stocks. Of course in due time, their own buying forced those 50 stocks up to 60 times earnings. Where upon it broke and everything went down by about two-thirds quite fast.
In other words, if you get too much faddishness in one sector or one narrow index, of course you can get catastrophic changes like they had with the nifty-fifty in that former era. But it will work for a long time. The indexes have caused just absolute agony among the intelligent investment professionals. And yet all the people expect if they have some money, they can hire somebody who will let them beat the indexes.
And that has to be agony. Most people handle that with denial. It makes your generation of money managers to have way more difficulties and causes a lot of worry and fretfulness.
And I think the people who are worried and fretful are absolutely right. I would hate to manage a trillion dollars in the big stocks and try and beat the indexes. In fact if you look at Berkshire, take out a hundred decisions, which is like two a year.
The success of Berkshire came from two decisions a year over 50 years. If you take these people doing some of those early trading by computer algorithms that worked. Then somebody else would come in and do the same thing with the same algorithm and play the same game. And of course the returns went down. What books or experiences were most formative to you in your early career?
Where and how do you tell your most ambitious grandchildren to look for business opportunities. It may not be as much as you want. And so the main thing is to just keep in there, and be glued together, and get rid of your stupidities as fast as you can. And avoid the bad people as much as you can. But try teaching that to your grandchildren. If you want to improve your grandchildren the best way is to fix yourself.
You cultist send me so many books that I can scarcely walk into my own library. And then he did computer algorithm trading. And I really liked the book. For one thing, the guy had a really good marriage and he seemed grateful for it. And it was touching. For another he was a very smart man. He was a mathematician using a high IQ, to A beat the dealer in Las Vegas and so forth and the B use these computer algorithms to do this massive trading.
I found it very interest and since some of you people are nerds, and maybe you might like a love story. And Peter Kaufman told me a story about somebody he knows that did the same thing as Thorp did, but he did it more extreme.
He wore disguises and so forth. He won four million dollars I think, in the casinos. And then he went into the stock market where he made four billion dollars! You know, these people are mathematically gifted. But there are a few. And so some of them started just like Thorp. So I recommend it for you. Question on Filial piety. In this generation, how can we fulfill our filial duties? I like filial piety.
They worship old men. That is my kind of a system. Think what we owe to people who figure out things in the past that make our civilization work.
I know so many people whose main problem of life, is that the old ideas displace the entry of new ideas that are better. That is the absolute standard outcome in life. But in most fields you want to get rid of your old ideas. So you get these ideas and then you start agitating them and saying them and so forth. They think they know everything. Some 17 year old who wants to tell the whole world what ought to be done about abortion or foreign policy in the middle east or something.
One of things I do is pat myself on the back every time I get rid of the dumb idea. I have a big system of patting myself on the back.
Every time I get rid of a much beloved idea I pat myself on the back. And I recommend the same mental habit to all of you. The price we pay for being able to accept a new idea is just awesomely large. Well you petroleum people of course have to get more specialized because the oil is harder to get and you have to learn new tricks to get it.
Generally, specialization is just the way to go for those people. I think the basic ideas of being rational and disciplined and deferring gratification, those will work. I want a man whose specialized. And you should never forget that.
So my question is, can you provide some examples? And I would kindly ask that you provide as many examples as possible, and be specific as possible. Well, the minute I hear somebody that really wants to get rich, at a rapid rate, with specifics. That is not what we try and do here. We want to leave some mystery so that you yourself can amuse yourself finding your own way.
And I learned that indirectly from a man I never met. He was a pioneer when he came out to Iowa and fought in the Blackhawk Wars and so on.
And eventually after enormous hardship, well he was the richest man in town and he owned the bank and so on. Iron fence, capacious lawns, big barns. This guy took over Iowa when the black topsoil in Iowa was cheap. It was just a few that enabled him to become prosperous. He bought a few farms every time there was a panic you know. But he only did a few things. These people with the computer algorithms do it, but they have a computer sifting the who world.
I always say that those people have all the social utility of a bunch of rats in a granary. Well, my favorite industry is taking care of my own affairs. Because these wild enthusiasms come into it. Is there any current monkey-business in corporate America that worries you? Well the answer is yes, but not as extreme as Valeant. That was really something. I probably should have done that. And I feel an obligation to tell you something sort of interesting and I just went straight into Valeant that year.
It was really pretty disgusting. It was too good to be true. There was a lot wrong with Valeant. It was so aggressive. It was drugs people needed. It was just…take the difference between Valeant and the Daily Journal Company. A lot of them are very decent people. Which some of our competitors did by the way. I think there are times when you should be satisfied based on..
And at Valeant they just look at it like a game like chess. And they just stepped way over the line. And of course in the end they were cheating.
I got a lot of publicity over that Valeant thing. My question relates to a talk you gave to the foundation of financial officers in here in California. So am I comfortable? Am I securely rich? Many of whom neither they or their advisors understand?
And is three stocks enough? The chances that any one of those things happening is almost zero. And the chances that all three of them are going to fail?
I just worked it out. Hell one will suffice if you do it right. If you have one cinch, what else do you need in life. And people think they should be paid for telling us to diversify. You only need one cinch! And sometimes the market gives you the equivalent of an Uncle Horace. And when it does, step up to the pie-cart with a big pan. When they do you have to have the gumption and the determination to seize the opportunity shrewdly. Imagine learning that from your dead great-grandfather, at a very young age.
But you know I spent my whole life with dead people. All the dead people in the world, you can learn a lot from them.
You reach out and grab a book. None of those problems with transportation. So I really recommend making friends among the immanent dead. Which of course I did very early. But Adam Smith really did. Question on Irish economy and Irish banking. Berkshire Hathaway was a shareholder in Irish banks pre Could you comment on how the Irish economy and Irish banking system proceeds with the U. By a thing that any idiot could do which is make it a little more gamey. And the temptation are very great.
They went crazy in Ireland…the bankers. And we went crazy when we trusted the damn statements. And it was a mistake. Now what Ireland has done was very smart…in reducing all of these taxes. Now they have English speaking people with practically no taxes. They just sucked in half the world into Ireland where they got these…Gates went there very early with Microsoft, and so on. And they took a place that was really a backward place that had a sort of internal civil war for 60 or 70 years, and bad opportunities, and they really brought in a lot of prosperity.
And they did that by this competitive lowering of taxes and so on. So it worked for Ireland. I think Ireland deserves a lot of credit for the way they advanced their country. But it did work for Ireland. I think Ireland deserves a lot of credit, and of course they recovered very well from a very major collapse.
Irish are like the Scottish. My question is in regards to Lee Kuan Yew. He took over a malarial swamp with no assets. Surrounded by a bunch of Muslims who hated him. In fact he was spat out by a Muslims country. And so hay, here he is, no assets, no money, no nothing. People were dying of malaria. And he creates in a very short time, by historical standards, modern Singapore. It was a huge, huge, huge success. And of course I have two busts of somebody else in my house.
Now you turn to India. And the bribes are just awful. I think that India will move ahead. But it is so defective as a get-ahead…the Indians I know are fabulous people. But the system and the poverty and the corruption and the crazy democratic thing where you let anybody who screams stop all progress?
Let me give you an example. And this one process would take their lousy iron ore and the coal and make a lot of steel. And they got a lot of cheap labor.