Saturday, March 15, 2014

Charlie Munger on efficient markets and bureaucracy

If markets were efficient, this tent wouldn’t be so full. Some business schools are teaching properly, but the world grew up amidst a different fashion, encouraged by academics of the era. What we believe is simple, and many avoid it because of that simplicity. They want to be experts. And how can you be an expert if it’s simple? Also, execution is difficult – and people don’t like to fail. 
The whole institutional reward system encourages different behavior and thought. If you went to work at a big firm, you’d grind your way up. It’s a hierarchy. Nobody cares about how to do it better. And by the time you’d been there 10-15 years, you’d be thinking their way. This didn’t happen to Warren. 
[Wesco board member] Peter Kaufman came into a business [Glenair] and became the CEO in his early 30s, so he’s been the CEO a long time. The whole place is twenty or more times bigger. That’s a Berkshire experience, but that’s not normal. Normal bureaucracy doesn’t reward an attitude like ours.