High-Frequency Trading Is 'Basically Evil': Munger

CNBC

Events in Europe are a great example of bankers gone wild and you simply can't trust them, said Warren Buffett's right-hand man Charlie Munger.

"What Cyprus demonstrates is an old truth: You can't trust bankers to govern themselves," Munger told CNBC. "A banker who is allowed to borrow money at X and loan it out at X plus Y will just go crazy and do too much of it if the civilization doesn't have rules that prevent it."

Seeing parallels between Cyprus and Iceland, Munger called it "stark, raving mad" and added that "the bankers would have been doing even more if it hadn't blown up. I do not think you can trust bankers to control themselves. They are like heroin addicts."

(Watch related video: Munger on Banker 'Heroin Addicts,' 'Evil' High-Frequency Trading)

Munger was also extremely critical of high-frequency trading.

"I think the long term investor is not too much affected by things like the flash crash. That said, I think it is very stupid to allow a system to evolve where half of the trading is a bunch of short term people trying to get information one millionth of a nanosecond ahead of somebody else," Munger said.

"It's legalized front-running. I think it is basically evil and I don't think it should have ever been allowed to reach the size that it did," he said. "Why should all of us pay a little group of people to engage in legalized front-running of our orders?"

(Related: Buffett on Fed, IBM and His First Tweet )

- By CNBC's Paul Toscano. Follow him on Twitter and get the latest stories from "Squawk on the Street" @ToscanoPaul

Disclaimer

More From CNBC

Rates

View Comments (162)