Warren Buffett hardly needs an introduction – the legendary 83-year-old investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway has a résumé that can put just about anyone to shame.
However, you’re unlikely to find the phrase “bitcoin believer” on this particular CV.
Speaking to CNBC, Buffett touched on many issues, from the crisis in Crimea to his eventual successor and even bitcoin. What the ‘most successful investor of the 20th century’ had to say about the latter is not very encouraging, however.
Bitcoin won’t be around in a decade or two
Buffett brought up bitcoin in a curious context. He argued that in wartime it is much better to hold stocks rather than money. He pointed out that he made his first investment in 1942, when the war in the Pacific wasn’t going very well for the US.
He was right to do so, as the stock market grew during the war, while the dollar depreciated.
“American businesses are going to be worth more money. Dollars will be worth less, so that money won’t buy you quite as much, but you’ll be much better off owning productive assets over the next 50 years than you will be holding pieces of paper or, I’m not sure, bitcoins,” he said, chuckling.
Buffett does not view bitcoin as a currency at all:
“It’s not a currency. I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t around in the next 10-20 years.”
Buffett went on to point out that bitcoin is being priced off the dollar and that it is simply not a durable means of exchange.
Wars, markets, economies
Buffett appears to believe that world markets are overreacting to Russia’s decision to deploy troops to the Crimea, essentially invading Ukraine via a back door.
He said that he simply does not take such things into consideration, adding that he doesn’t buy businesses based on macro factors. In other words, even the prospect of a war in Europe leaves Buffett unfazed.
The CEO is bullish on the stock market and the US economy in general. He points to moderate, but consistent growth over the last few years and the resilience of the economy in face of public mistrust.
It is easy to see why some people may be reluctant following the crash of 2008, but Buffett thinks everything is in order – nobody is getting wildly optimistic or pessimistic, he concludes.