Have you ever wondered why we use the word “ruthless” to describe someone who is cruel, merciless, or without pity? The word comes from the Middle English word “reuthe”, which means “pity, compassion, or sorrow”. To be ruthless is to be without reuthe, or without any feeling for the suffering of others.
The term “ruthless” originates from the Middle English word “reuthe,” denoting “pity, compassion, or sorrow.” Contrary to its roots, being ruthless implies lacking compassion or empathy for the suffering of others. Interestingly, the term is connected to the name Ruth, signifying “friend” or “companion.” The biblical story of Ruth, found in the Book of Ruth, serves as a stark contrast to the concept of ruthlessness, emphasizing faith, loyalty, and love.
In 2022, amidst the final stages of the pandemic and just before the onset of a conflict initiated by Russia, we found ourselves facing an unexpected turn of events. Seven years of growth concluded with encounters with individuals and companies of questionable ethics.
Seasoned investors like Warren Buffett often remind us that dealing with individuals of bad character rarely leads to favorable outcomes.
His words are, “You can’t make a good deal with a bad person.”
The conversation where this quote is mentioned,
QUICK: And while the pair delivered market beating performances with the Berkshire portfolio for four and a half decades, they have lagged the S&P 500 for the last 5 and 10 years leading some to question whether they’ve lost their touch. They’re not concerned.
[MAY 2021] MUNGER: I’m quite comfortable holding Berkshire. I think our businesses are better than the average on the market.
QUICK: We asked Munger and Buffett their thoughts on some of the latest headlines in the business world, those that could have lasting impact on how markets operate beginning with Credit Suisse’s five and a half billion dollar loss stemming from its business with Archegos Capital Management.
MUNGER: Think of how massively stupid that was. And of course, it was the lure of the really easy money that the idiot was paying you, being the prime broker for a jerk. But he was a convicted insider trader that came out of the craziest part of the hedge fund industry. And they were getting unusual profits by extending unusual credit. I mean, it was just, the world was shouting at them, “Crook. Fool.” And they didn’t listen. They thought, “This is where the easy money is, crooks and fools.”
BUFFETT: There’s one rule–
MUNGER: We don’t like either of–
BUFFETT: That, that we learned a long time ago is that you can’t make a good deal with a bad person. Just forget it. Now, if you think you can draw up a contract that, that is going to work against a bad person, they’re gonna win. But one thing, they, they probably enjoy litigation but ah, Berkshire Hathaway as an entity, or me personally, or anything, we don’t wanna spend our life, you know, doing that sort of thing. And, and besides, the bad guys win. They know more games. They may lose eventually in the but, but it’s no way to spend your life.
QUICK: Charlie, it wasn’t just Credit Suisse that got pulled in by that. There were a lotta firms that were doing business with Archegos and–
MUNGER: Yes. Yes. They were all foolish. But, but Credit Suisse has managed to be the biggest fool of all.
BUFFETT: Well, Becky, if you look back–
MUNGER: A lot of competition for that order–
BUFFETT: In nineteen–
快速：我們詢問了芒格和巴菲特對商界一些最新頭條新聞的看法，這些頭條新聞可能會對市場運作產生持久影響，從瑞士信貸與Archegos Capital Management的業務往來導致55億美元的損失開始。
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