E Point Perfect

Making sense of the markets this week: November 27, 2022

“Rather than try to learn an entire new set of management skills, he should take the easier, more sensible path: Hire someone who has real experience in social media and strong relationships with advertisers to run Twitter.”

As an avid Twitter user (yes, you should follow me), I hope he figures things out. Or hands over the keys. 

I’ll be sure to follow up on this story over the next week or two. 

What’s up with bitcoin and FTX? 

Regular “Making sense of the markets this week” columnist Kyle Prevost has covered the FTX debacle that has tarnished the entire cryptocurrency industry. 

This other article suggests Sam Bankman-Fried ran a personal fiefdom. Money is missing, and creditors are unlikely to be paid in full—or paid anything at all. Investors are likely to only get cents on the dollar for the assets they have on the FTX exchange. It is a terrible mess and very unfortunate for many investors. 

One has to separate bitcoin from shitcoins and exchanges. FTX has little or nothing to do with bitcoin and its long term prospects, IMHO. It would be like bringing down gold due to the actions of one mining company. Think: the Bre-X scandal. Of course, the industry needs more regulation. The FTX scandal is likely a much-needed wake-up call. 

Bitcoin lives on the blockchain. Have a look at how I answered the question “What is bitcoin?” I wrote, “not your keys, not your bitcoin.” Here’s more from that crypto explainer.

“It is the scarcity of bitcoin, and its finite quantity, that offer the greatest appeal to those who reject or question the value of fiat currencies such as the U.S. dollar, the euro or the Canadian dollar. Certainly, bitcoin, as well as fiat currencies, are created ‘out of thin air.’ But, while central banks can create as much new currency as they see fit, there is a hard limit to the amount of bitcoin. That’s why those who favour bitcoin often call it ‘the hardest currency on earth’.” 

In contrast to Kyle Prevost’s column, I feel there is a case for bitcoin getting stronger—not necessarily weaker. Bitcoin was created after the financial crisis as a hedge for failing fiat currencies and financial assets. 

Here’s the backdrop for the world’s reserve currency, the U.S. dollar. At an optimistic 3.8% rate in 2027 (Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates and the rate to service public debt), the interest expense on the debt eats all healthcare spending. By 2047, the interest expense eats all discretionary spending. By 2049, it will eat all Social Security. This could be your world currency. Can the U.S. “fix” the situation along the way? It’s possible. But, it might be more than a challenge. 

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