Munger's Comments on the Stock Market

Following are interesting notes based on comments by Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett's partner, that were forwarded to us from an attendee.

  • The longest recession ever was 16 months. He thinks best case we entered into a recession in November of 2007 or worst case January 2008. This would put us well into the later half of the cycle, which will be painful but short. 
  • We are setting the base for a 10- to 15-year bull run. The stock market has never performed worse in the last 10 years, yet corporate profit expansion has never been better. 
  • The market will not rally until bond yields come down on the long end. Right now you should be in munis of solid states that are yielding 7-8% risk free. 
  • TARP will make money. Historical yields on toilet-quality mortgage packages are well above the prices people are contemplating buying them. Really smart vulture guys are buying at the 50-60% levels. He and Buffett are also buying at these levels. 
  • We will see a healthy level of deflation before we see inflation. He predicted $50/barrel oil. Demand has been slowing for a year. As long as money velocity turns to favorable, government can pull out the excess liquidity before it becomes inflationary. 
  • The dollar has turned the corner and will rally from here against the Euro. 
  • Governments will drive LIBOR down to force interbank lending. Europe is much worse off than the U.S. in terms of bank health. 
  • Cash on the balance sheets of corporations has never been higher. If they all bought back their stock, their P/Es would be trading at a 50% discount to the historical market average. 
  • He and Buffett are buying U.S. equities for their personal accounts. 
EconomicsRichard M. Todd