- Charlie Munger, the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, weighed in on Amazon‘s decision to cancel its plan to bring a second headquarters to New York City.
- He told CNBC in an interview on Thursday that states like New York that he says are “driving the rich people out” are “pretty dumb.”
- Amazon’s surprise announcement on Thursday sparked a debate across the political spectrum over whether the decision was a victory or a loss.
- Follow Amazon’s share price here on Markets Insider.
Charlie Munger, the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, addressed Amazon‘s decision to foil its New York City headquarter plans when he said in a Thursday interview that he believed the city had driven the tech giant out in a “pretty dumb” move.
“There are a number of places that have shot themselves in the foot,” Munger said in an interview with CNBC, responding to a question about whether New York had “created a big problem for itself” amid some opposition to Amazon’s initial plan.
He continued: “Connecticut, California, New York City. They – it’s – it’s been serious. And driving the rich people out is pretty dumb if you’re a state or a city. And the idea that you’re going to help New York by driving the rich people out, of course it hurts New York.”
He went on say that other states have been unwise to “drive the rich people out.”
“I know a lot of rich people who left California,” he told CNBC’s Becky Quick. “I think it’s really stupid for a state to drive the rich people out. They’re old. They keep your hospitals busy. They don’t burden your schools, the police department, your prisons. They give a lot. Who wouldn’t want rich people? I think Florida and Hawaii have both been very smart in the way they’ve recruited rich people. And I think Connecticut and California have been stupid.”
Amazon’s surprise announcement on Thursday sparked a debate across the political spectrum over whether the decision was a victory or a loss. The Jeff Bezos-led company concluded its hunt for a second headquarters last November when it announced it had landed on both New York and Virginia.
Proponents suggested it would have brought thousands of jobs and economic opportunity to the city; opponents said the headquarters in the Long Island City section of Queens would have driven up home prices and burdened already-congested public transportation.
Amazon shares for the most part have had a relatively muted reaction since the announcement. The stock traded less than 1% lower on Friday; it has gained 8% so far this year.
Read more about Amazon’s HQ2 decision:
- Why Amazon canceled HQ2 in New York City and what it means for everyone involved
- A Jeff Bezos letter from 1997 about ‘reversible decisions’ sheds some light on the shock Amazon HQ2 u-turn
- Mayor Bill de Blasio slams Amazon for scrapping its HQ2 project in New York City
- Markets Insider