'Harvey Weinstein has done a lot for improving behaviour': Charlie Munger says finding bad people helps businesses and society

  • During the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting 2018, Charlie Munger responded to a question about the recent scandals at Wells Fargo.
  • Munger said the bad actions by employees coming to light were a long-term good for the bank.
  • Munger compared the revelations to the recent #MeToo movement.
  • “I think Harvey Weinstein has done a lot for improving behaviour too,” Munger said.

Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffett’s right-hand man, connected recent scandals at one of his biggest investments – Wells Fargo – to the monumental #MeToo movement.

In response to a question about the spate of recent scandals at Wells Fargo, most notably the millions of accounts opened by employees without customers’ knowledge, Munger said that finding the employees engaged in fraudulent actions at Wells Fargo will make the bank stronger going forward.

To emphasise his point, Munger made a comparison to the #MeToo movement and the recent revelations of sexual misconduct by powerful men.

“I think Harvey Weinstein has done a lot for improving behaviour too,” Munger said.

In Munger’s somewhat glib argument, bringing bad actions to light are beneficial to both a business and society by helping people recognise the failings within systems.

In the Wells Fargo example, Munger said the bank will be stronger going forward as it revises its incentive structure to make sure that similar behaviour does not occur at the bank.

In the Weinstein example, society has been forced to have honest conversations about the systems in place that allow powerful men to prey on others, particularly women. This has led to a re-examining of workplace relationships and the gender structures in society.

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