Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Expect the unexpected (Japan example)

"Warren has said that over 40 years, a lot of surprising things will happen." by Charlie Munger (May 15, 2002)

"What's interesting in Japan is that every life insurance company is essentially insolvent because they promised to pay 3%. Who'd have thought that this could lead to insolvency, but interest rates went to zero and stayed there for years. They tried to invest in equities, but got negative returns. Can you imagine 13 years with negative equity returns and interest rates below 1%?" by Charlie Munger (May 15, 2002)

"Is it inconceivable that it could ever happen here? I don't think so. Strange things happen." by Charlie Munger (May 15, 2002)

"Anyone has to be flabbergasted by Japan's recession, which has endured for 10 years, despite interest rates below 1%. The government is playing all the monetary games, but it's not working. If you had described this situation to Harvard economists, they would have said it's impossible. Yet at the same time, there's an asset bubble in Hong Kong. Why? Because Japan and China are two vastly different cultures. The Chinese are gamblers.” by Charlie Munger (May 15, 2000)

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