Today, we could tell you all about the developments on the Alabama gambling front, where the proposal to start a state lottery, open six casinos, and legalize sports betting advanced out of committee.
Instead, though, we want to talk about gambling itself.
After the recent surge in prices for the Dogecoin cryptocurrency, a lot of old-money windbags are chiming in with their disapprobation of the idea.
Take 90-year-old Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffett, one of the wealthiest men in history.
He’s not a fan of these newfangled apps that make it easier – and cheaper – for the everyman to invest in things like crypto and stocks.
Buffett says you’re better off owning an S&P 500 index fund. Or other things his investment firm/hedge fund business will be happy to sell you. For a commission.
And if Buffett’s naked ambition wasn’t so obvious already, he doubles down on the nonsense when he claims that – effectively – cryptocurrencies and stock trading apps have “become a very significant part of the casino aspect, the casino group, that has joined into the stock market in the last year or year and a half.”
In other words: Gambling bad, stock market good.
Except for the teeny tiny fact that the stock market is itself gambling in purest sense and is specifically exempt from every single US state’s gambling laws precisely because its speculative nature is a chance-based risk of something of value.
The issue here isn’t that buying and selling stocks is “bad” or that buying and selling crypto is “bad.” The issue isn’t that these things are or aren’t gambling (they are), or that gambling itself is even “bad.”
The real issue is that according to Buffett, you’re too stupid to gamble without people like him holding your hand and charging you a fee for the privilege.
“American corporations have turned out to be a wonderful place for people to put their money and save, but they also make terrific gambling chips. If you cater to those gambling chips when people have money in their pocket for the first time and you tell them they can make 30 or 40 or 50 trades a day and you’re not charging them any commission but you’re selling their order flow or whatever…I hope we don’t have more of it.”
OK, Warren. Sure.
The reality is this:
All speculation is a gamble.
Wall Street – not the Las Vegas Strip – is the biggest casino district in the world.
And the people who work on Wall Street are the pit bosses of the hedge funds, which are the richest casinos in the world.
They’re trying to protect their monopoly.
Buffet dislikes apps like Robinhood (which we also dislike, for different reasons – see #GameStopGate), but he also dislikes crypto.
One is a threat to his business model, while the other is a threat to the fiat money his business model is based on.
The same is true for US online gambling sites that operate offshore. These venues are perfectly legal, offer a compelling service, and are vilified by domestic services that simply can’t stand the idea of competition.
Don’t give these cretins the pleasure.
Trade stocks on your smartphone, buy all the crypto you can, and gamble online all you want.
We do, and we’ll never take any guff from these swine.