Warren Buffett: Wall Street Not 'Evil' But Needs 'Carrots' and 'Sticks'


Warren Buffett doesn't look at Wall Street as "evil," but he does believe both "carrot" and "stick" incentives are needed to make sure people "behave well" while they are trying to get rich.

Here's the quote from the same Business Wire interview , recorded last month and released yesterday , that also generated Buffett's latest comments on the economy :

"What you have to change in Wall Street is you have to make sure that in addition to carrots, there are sticks. And it can’t be a one?way street where they are making ungodly amounts of money when things are good and then they move on to someplace else for a while when things are bad. You have to create a downside. I hope there are some practices put into place – and I’ll have a few thoughts on them myself – but Congress undoubtedly will have a few thoughts too. You have to put in something where there is downside to people who really mess up large institutions and we need some new help in that. Too many people have walked away from the troubles they have created for society, not just for their own institution, and they have walked away rich. They may not be as rich as they were before, but they have walked away better than they should have. There have to be incentives – not only to get rich, but to behave well."

Buffett acknowledges that a "big capitalist system" requires a "big capital market," but sees "plenty of room for improvement."

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