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While You Were Working – May 8

Charlie Munger is OK with financial regulations, Garrett flip-flops, and the UK's FCA gets swindled

3 min read

Modern Money

Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger

The Oracle on the right is sounding like the Oracle on the left - Photo credit: Eric Francis/Getty Images

It’s not like this Munger fella knows what he is talking about

Charles Munger, the ying to Warren Buffett’s yang at Berkshire Hathaway, fired a shot across the bow of those working to roll back Wall Street taxpayer protections. Munger is a well-known Republican, so when a guy with his track record speaks in support of financial regulations, you’d think people would listen.

“My fellow Republicans — the ones taking away all this regulation of major finance — I think that’s bonkers. … It is true that some of the new regulation has taken banks out of financing leveraged buyouts directly, and that we have shadow banking instead to do that. I think that’s fine. What’s wrong with the shadow banking?”

Despite the street cred Munger wields in Omaha, it will be a surprise if his words do anything other than fall on deaf ears in Washington.

As an interesting aside, Munger’s son, Charles Jr., has spent millions of dollars supporting Republican candidates in California. I wonder how he feels about his father’s musings.

As the door revolves

OK, OK, OK. This isn’t the typical government to K Street revolving door story because the Export-Import Bank isn’t a pure-bred lobbying firm. What makes this story about Scott Garrett getting set to take the helm of the Ex-Im Bank so interesting is that he worked vigorously while he was in Congress to close the bank. Garrett has always been a follow-the-money kind of guy, so I guess it is no surprise his policy views proved “flexible” when he was offered a spot that would allow him to remain quite cozy with the CEOs of major US companies. If anything, it makes one wonder if the move means Garrett wants to keep his political options open. After all, running a government agency requires less explaining on the campaign trail than a gig on K Street.

This is hilarious

Apparently the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority felt a new logo would help it do its job better, so it decided to spend some money on a new design. This was the old FCA logo:

And a whopping $85,000 later, this is the new FCA logo:

Like they say in certain parts of Asia: Same, same, but different.

Imagine if the SEC or CFTC had $85k laying around to spend on things like logos?

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