December 6, 2022

"Anyone who thought there could possibly be a 6.5% riskless (or even low risk) return in 2022 conjures an old saying - 'a fool and his money.'"

"I feel sorry for them, but yet I'm not sympathetic. Some people took their life savings into a casino and bet it all. Jeez.... The fact that people are millions 'investing' in so called cryptocurrencies tells us that we have a woefully inadequate financially educated populace. Using real money to buy fake money has got to be the most obvious con in history. And yet here we are."

From the top-rated comment on "Ordinary Investors Who Jumped Into Crypto Are Saying: Now What?/Many small investors who piled into cryptocurrencies on FTX, BlockFi and other platforms are recognizing the perils of investing in an unregulated industry" (NYT).

The article begins with an anecdote about "a 43-year-old father of two [who] put $600,000 — much of his life savings — into an account at BlockFi" because it was "marketed... as risk free, yielding 6.5 percent interest, more than [he] could get anywhere else." 

As they say: If it's too good to be true, it probably is.

121 comments:

holdfast said...

What’s really crazy is that, because of inflation, US Government I-Bonds are yielding more than 6.5% this year. But you can only buy $10k per person.

hawkeyedjb said...

Can he write off the 600 thou as a donation to the Democratic party? Seems like that's where a lot of the $ ended up.

iowan2 said...

I'm a genius because I never 'bought into' crypto.

I also refused Amazon, because back in the day, it never turned a profit.
Back in the 70's I was going to college. During a weekend home, I told Dad he could just forget the help he was giving me with tuition and housing and just by stock in Casey's. A C-store (but now a pizza shop, that sells gas) scattered across Iowa, and now contiguous states. That would have been a game changer.

Past results may not be representative of future results.

RideSpaceMountain said...

"Many small investors who piled into cryptocurrencies on FTX, BlockFi and other platforms are recognizing the perils of investing in an unregulated industry"

Wait...I thought unregulated was the point. Pick one you flip-floppers!

Big Mike said...

If a group of FTX investors slowly tortured Sam Bankman-Fried and Caroline Ellison to death, I don’t see how any honest jury could vote to convict.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Old adages are the best kind. I'd like the pro-Crypto people here who keep saying the rest of us "just don't understand blockchain" to tell us how to identify the "good" Crypto sellers from the bad. Because it looks to me like the established ones are being dragged down by these Ponzi model Cryptos, and there really is no backstop to correct the fall. PayPal and Venmo were unregulated because they were like debit cards, a new way to transfer payments not an investment, and until PayPal went woke and started abusing account holders for wrongthink they had built up TRUST. Their is no Trust in Crypto and no FDIC* to help those left holding the bad investment bag. It's not a deposit. It's not a bank.

Then what exactly is it?

*This is in no way an endorsement of government backing for Crypto, nor for will-nilly "regulation" which has become graft disguised as consumerism with the mono-party in charge in DC, offering no real protection at all.

Dave Begley said...

Charlie Munger on crypto: rat poison squared.

Lem Former Twitter Aficionado said...

"A blazing fire makes flame and brightness out of everything that is thrown into it, The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way." Marcus Aurelius - Meditations.

For a contrarian view...

Nassim Taleb - 3 Cognitive Biases That are Making You Poor and Unhealthy + How To Overcome Them

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

Crypto is so Maxine Waters... It's so Corruptocrat party.

Lurker21 said...

True, but the bank guy had to explain to me why I could only get a pittance of about 2% from a certificate of deposit when inflation was officially 8% or 9% and unofficially twice that. So we just accept the fact that our money is worth less every year and there is nothing we can do to off set that, except maybe take a gamble on the stock market?

I was also tempted by the "money for nothing" aspect of crypto -- earning (what must be tiny fractions of) bitcoins for performing trivial, nonsensical tasks on line -- but sloth, suspicion, and incompetence on a more basic level prevented me from putting money into anything risky.

Heartless Aztec said...

Had a friend who bought two units - or whatever they call it - of crypto when it was first available for $15K each. And while the 3 shells were still being moved across the table top sold each one for $75K and exited the game before the reveal. Being retired I didn't have the stomach for that so I bought several spectacular acres along the St Johns river in the Old South part of North Florida. 10% increase in four months. God's not making any more of that.

Robert Marshall said...

Would it violate the Seventh Amendment for SB-F to be tied to the whipping post and flailed alive by the father of two who "invested" his life savings in crypto?

Or should we just continue having our "media" give that piece of crap a nice, loving tongue-bath? Because, Democrat donations.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Lurker touches on another unique crypto quality: I was also tempted by the "money for nothing" aspect of crypto...

Yeah those "trivial" mathematical problems one "solved" to "mine" crypto are weird, but also extremely thirsty, requiring enormous amounts of computer power. My SIL built three mining machines to run separately from his PC etc. And if you live in a state with expensive electricity already like we do, it is quite costly even to mine Bitcoin unless you're an IT dude who can maintain it round the clock with a good UPS back-up in case of brown-outs.

Gusty Winds said...

The DNC has the money. Maybe they could issue refunds is they actually cared.

Butkus51 said...

a Bitcoin primer......Nova/bitcoin

https://youtu.be/dnavKPl5f9I

I understand it a lot better after watching that. All that wasted electricity for nothing.

Thing is, they have this bankman fried dude on audio explaining his fraud program.

MAxine Walters is in love.

Dems as a whole are some sick people. On everything.

Rittenhouse shoots 3 random dems who attacked, 2 were convicted Pedos.

good odds.



Butkus51 said...

a Bitcoin primer......Nova/bitcoin

https://youtu.be/dnavKPl5f9I

I understand it a lot better after watching that. All that wasted electricity for nothing.

Thing is, they have this bankman fried dude on audio explaining his fraud program.

MAxine Walters is in love.

Dems as a whole are some sick people. On everything.

Rittenhouse shoots 3 random dems who attacked, 2 were convicted Pedos.

good odds.



RideSpaceMountain said...

@Big Mike

Tortured to death? No no. The most appropriate penalty is to hitch them naked to rickshaws wearing vegan leather harnesses while creditors take turns racing them in laps around NYC tourist attractions for a fee to raise revenue for repayment in the bankruptcy filing.

Creditors get paid back, and being whipped while strapped to a rickshaw satisfies their Chinese imperial harem fantasies...the pain is part of the kink. Win win.

rcocean said...

OK, lets distract from Bankman-Friedman's fraud, and blame the investors! Did we get these same articles about Bernie Madoff? I don't think so. If you remember, Bankster-Fraud promised people in the terms of service that their crypto=money was safe and would NOT be loaned out without their permission.

Imagine if you buy gold bars from a dealer and you store it with him, with the understanding that your gold is your gold. He then takes your Gold Bars and lends them to his other trading company and loses it. He committed fraud, you didn't lose it because you were "taking risks".

Further, if I invest in a company based on their financial statements and those F/s are complete lies (which bankster frauds were), I'm not a greedy fool, I've been defrauded.

The MSM is mounting a fullcourt press to minimize this man's crimes. If it because people without power were the ones defrauded? Is it because Bankster Fraud is a liberal Democrat who gave 90 percent of Millions to democrats? Is it because his Family has connections?

You tell me.

rcocean said...

OK, lets distract from Bankman-Friedman's fraud, and blame the investors! Did we get these same articles about Bernie Madoff? I don't think so. If you remember, Bankster-Fraud promised people in the terms of service that their crypto=money was safe and would NOT be loaned out without their permission.

Imagine if you buy gold bars from a dealer and you store it with him, with the understanding that your gold is your gold. He then takes your Gold Bars and lends them to his other trading company and loses it. He committed fraud, you didn't lose it because you were "taking risks".

Further, I invest in a company based on their financial statements and those F/s are complete lies (which bankster frauds were), I'm not a greedy fool, I've been defrauded.

The MSM is mounting a fullcourt press to minimize this man's crimes. If it because people without power were the ones defrauded? Is it because Bankster Fraud is a liberal Democrat who gave 90 percent of Millions to democrats? Is it because his Family has connections?

You tell me.

Gusty Winds said...

As they say: If it's too good to be true, it probably is.

That is correct. But this was false advertising. Celebrities and Jim Cramer were praising and acting as front men for FTX. Nobody told these victims that they were investing in a DNC-FTX-Ukrainian money laundering scheme.

Seems the DNC has a big part to play in these investors losing their life savings.

Jim Gust said...

Crypto, like tulips, does have value, but not as an investment. The promoters have ruined it.

Levi Starks said...

I feel like most rational people know that crypto is a game of musical chairs.
What they don’t expect is for so many of the chairs to disappear all at once.
If I were setting the curriculum for High School students I’d make special class where reading “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” was required reading.

Paul said...

Try U.S. Treasury Bonds.... and hope the U.S. government does not go belly up.

AZ Bob said...

"Wait...I thought unregulated was the point. Pick one you flip-floppers!"
--RideSpaceMountain

So true.

Daniel12 said...

Blogger iowan2 said...
"I'm a genius because I never 'bought into' crypto.

I also refused Amazon, because back in the day, it never turned a profit.
Back in the 70's I was going to college. During a weekend home, I told Dad he could just forget the help he was giving me with tuition and housing and just by stock in Casey's. A C-store (but now a pizza shop, that sells gas) scattered across Iowa, and now contiguous states. That would have been a game changer.

Past results may not be representative of future results."

This is a perfect summary of the ad Larry David did for crypto at the Superbowl. For FTX, to be precise.

Enigma said...

Crypto's logical failing is simple and was obvious from the start:

- Gold and metals require money and labor to extract from the earth. The final output is a physical good with predictable uses for electronics, jewelry, ornamentation, etc. The price goes up and down but never goes to $0, and metals tend to rebound to long term averages. Cheating is not possible. You either dug up/refined some gold or you didn't find any.

- Crypto "mines" computer algorithms to produce no physical end value whatsoever. Proof of effort or proof or provenance is the same as the anti-counterfeit measures built into paper money. Therefore, crypto is smoke-and-mirrors about moving paper money to computers but outside old school banks. Its value is based on trust or some 3rd party authority arbitrarily setting its value. Crypto's main market niche was for creating an electronic black market rather than the cash, gold, and barter black markets of the past. This works only as long as government spies or hackers don't create effective tracking methods or crack the algorithms or a new computing breakthrough renders the old security methods obsolete.

The recent boom in Bitcoin followed from couch-potato momentum investors who saw an easy path to wealth as its nominal price went up and up and up. The next momentum play might well be tulip bulbs, but at least tulip bulbs sprout and make beautiful flowers. If only they produced golden flowers...

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Bitcoin is still selling around $17,000, above pre-pandemic levels. I missed out so can only marvel at its resilience. It doesn’t seem to matter how many people think crypto is intrinsically worthless so long as enough people think it isn’t.

Jersey Fled said...

Rule number 1: Never buy into anything that you don't understand

Rule number 2: Never buy into anything that your brother in law is way too excited about.

Original Mike said...

""Ordinary Investors Who Jumped Into Crypto Are Saying: Now What?/Many small investors who piled into cryptocurrencies on FTX, BlockFi and other platforms are recognizing the perils of investing in an unregulated industry" (NYT)."

This some protection in regulation, but not nearly as much as the headline writer thinks.

Randomizer said...

"we have a woefully inadequate financially educated populace. "

How is that relevant? The guy who lost $600k is an experienced investor. He wanted to get in on the action and got burned. If he's got the skill set to generate $600,000 in the bank at 41 years-old, he'll be able to recover.

Most of my friends who would describe themselves as financially uneducated, know enough to make their mortgage payments, open a Roth IRA, and get a finance guy to put them in an index fund. They don't know what fund they are in or how to buy a stock. They'll be fine.

Michael K said...

This whole story is a branch of Darwin's law.

traditionalguy said...

The crooks of the first decade gave us large home loans for all breathing people closed as fast as the system could create fake appraisals using fake comparables followed by a crash in which every real estate investor with a loan lost it all . This time the fictional set up used to rob us was a pretense their was an uncrackable computer program run by idealists. And the games go on.

Achilles said...

RideSpaceMountain said...
"Many small investors who piled into cryptocurrencies on FTX, BlockFi and other platforms are recognizing the perils of investing in an unregulated industry"

Wait...I thought unregulated was the point. Pick one you flip-floppers!


The only people that want crypto regulated are DC bureaucrats and democrat voters.

I have made a lot of money on my crypto investments this year. And when the market invariably recovers I will be looking at buying a bunch of real estate and any other asset that I can hold relative to the dollar which will halve in purchasing power every 10 years in historical lockstep.

I can explain the difference between a Centralized off chain exchange like FTX and on a decentralized on-chain exchange like Uniswap in about 5 minutes to someone with no background knowledge.

The key difference is that on chain the crypto funds are in your wallet and off chain in a centralized exchange the funds are in someone else's wallet.

What SBF did was pure fraud and/or theft. But people chose to put their funds in his wallet.

And he did what democrats and progressives always do with other people's money.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Another saying,,, "Follow The Money". Never happen. Explained clearly in the above posts. Gotta find those $600 pirates!

Original Mike said...

"The guy who lost $600k is an experienced investor."

He may or may not be "experienced" but he's certainly dumb if he put most of his portfolio into one very risky asset.

Diversify.

donald said...

My buddy Dave has gotten up just about every morning since I know 1991 to run a tire and auto shop. It is his, he did it all. He bought a couple of properties, invested in mutual funds, the whole bit. About 6 months ago he said he was selling EVERYTHING except for his house and investing in FTX. I was horrified at the time because they were the guys that Major League Baseball Umpires were advertising on their shirts. That was all I need to know (I know several umpires) and said no when he told me I was an idiot if I didn’t put everything into it. Look at the YouTube videos he said, it’s simple he said. I told him I’m just gonna buy a house when the market crashes. My plan is better.

Achilles said...

"Ordinary Investors Who Jumped Into Crypto Are Saying: Now What?/Many small investors who piled into cryptocurrencies on FTX, BlockFi and other platforms are recognizing the perils of investing in an unregulated industry"

Of course Ann links to the NYT's. What a fucking disgrace.

Anyone that believes what the New York Times says is a fucking idiot at this point.

Crypto is regulated as fuck. Know Your Customer bullshit is everywhere. We have to submit photo ID, addresses and the whole 9 yards.

The SEC is running around right now suing people and arresting people.

FTX got "Special Status" from the SEC. Gary Gensler and SBF are literally family friends. There is a reason why SBF is free right now and not arrested even though the SEC has arrested people all through the crypto space.

The problem here is not a lack of regulation. It was the decentralized "unregulated" nature of the crypto industry that caught on to the Government assisted fraud of SBF.

The NYT's is a corrupt shitty source with an evil agenda misleading people.

Beasts of England said...

I’m a big fan of risk free investments; especially the high yield offerings.

walk don't run said...

My understanding with the Madoff ponzi scheme is that those who were able and fortunate to cash out early are now being required to pay back their inadvertently ill-gotten gains as required by the courts. If FTX follows the same approach in liquidation we should see demands for charities, political parties and other beneficiaries of gifts and bequests from FTX and their counterparties and managers to repay what they received directly and indirectly from FTX. Its going to be very messy that's for sure but the "wheels of justice" will grind slowly ahead and Bankman-Fried and his partners will all be in jail but it will take a few years. You just have to have patience!

RideSpaceMountain said...

@Achilles

"I will be looking at buying a bunch of real estate and any other asset that I can hold"

Might I suggest diversification in gold (not comex though).

I'm betting big time that sometime in the next 5 years one of the major OPECs (probably Saudi) will begin trading oil for currencies other than USD on a massive scale with buyers of first refusal who will refuse to pay in USD. When that happens, the Saxo prediction in the link will be dwarfed by an explosion in spot troy. Fuck $3000...the $ will be in big big trouble.

Howard said...

You can't cheat an honest man. You can cheat those whom think they can get something for nothing. Ponzi schemes where the conman Madoff with the loot are NHI situations.

Pete said...

Actually, I purchased a high cash value life insurance policy 14 years ago from a highly rated company, and its been pumping out 6% annually year in and year out. Crazy that anyone would risk such much money on an incomprehensible start-up like that.

Achilles said...

What people really need to understand here is that Crypto currency is not your enemy.

Crypto currency is going to provide anonymity and freedom to financial transactions.

Crypto currency is going to end the control of currency by corrupt organizations like the federal reserve who are printing money and destroying the buying power of the working class.

It does not take that long to learn about crypto and there are chains out there that are less prone to fraud and corruption.

There is nothing abnormal in crypto. This boom and bust looked exactly like the dot com boom in the 90s and the real estate crash in the 2000's.

They all have similar events and all involve government corruption.

Crypto Currency is going to be as disruptive and beneficial as the original concept of currency was to the barter system.

Narr said...

Once I found out that I can't kep my Cryptobucks in a lockbox under my bed, I lost interest.

I'm old-fashioned when it comes to investing.

mccullough said...

The businesses that are regulated are also sketchy ASF.

The regulators are sketch ASF.

The politicians are sketchy ASF.

The NY Times is sketchy ASF.

Achilles said...

Randomizer said...
"we have a woefully inadequate financially educated populace. "

How is that relevant? The guy who lost $600k is an experienced investor. He wanted to get in on the action and got burned. If he's got the skill set to generate $600,000 in the bank at 41 years-old, he'll be able to recover.

Most of my friends who would describe themselves as financially uneducated, know enough to make their mortgage payments, open a Roth IRA, and get a finance guy to put them in an index fund. They don't know what fund they are in or how to buy a stock. They'll be fine.


The guy who lost 600k put all his money into one stock?

That sounds totally like what you described in the second paragraph.

Totally.

The guy who lost 600k didn't lose the money because he invested in crypto. He lost his money because he took a risk investing in something he didn't understand and not diversifying.

I have invested in projects that failed too. Lost a few thousand dollars a few times.

If you want to live in someone else's walled garden and be taken care of you can do that in the crypto space too.

The people crying for regulations in crypto are really just being dishonest about this whole discussion.

John henry said...

How come nobody ever talks about how much money the media (including indirectly reporters an newsreaders)

Taxpayer to treasury to Ukraine to ftx to us pols and most people stop there.

Nobody ever talks about how the pols spent a large part of the loot buying campaign ads.

From media.

John Henry

MikeR said...

"I feel sorry for them, but yet I'm not sympathetic." I don't like you.

BUMBLE BEE said...

This'll take some conjuring as well.

https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/downtown-office-space-pandemic/2022/12/06/id/1099288/

Your kid's inheritance.

TestTube said...

You can keep bitcoin in your own wallet. I don't know why you would keep it in someone elses wallet, anymore than I would understand keeping your cash in someone's wallet, or your gold in someone else's vault (Well, the last has some advantages as far as fungibility and safety from theft. But not enough!)

I am thinking about getting some bitcoin while it is so out of favor and the price has plummetted. Not more than I can afford to lose and still smile, however.

I suppose I am sort of a fool anyway for putting my retirement investmets in the standard Stock/Bond mix. Lost a third in between inflation and crashing stock/bond market.

The best investment still seems to be 40 hours a week for a paycheck.

tim maguire said...

I think I've mentioned on here before that years ago, I looked into buying a million bitcoin when a million bitcoin could be had for about $700. In the end, I passed because I couldn't figure out how bitcoin was money. It's like today's NFT's--what are you actually getting? Where is the value coming from?

I've had plenty of opportunity to second guess that decision, but people today spending tens of thousands on one bitcoin when we still can't figure out how it's money? It's hard to feel sorry for them.

lgv said...

I have a masters degree in finance. There is this crazy thing in the market place called risk and return. That's why junk bonds were yielding >20% in their heyday while US treasuries are yielding 60% of the inflation rate. It's the reason people should have questioned Madoff's success. I'm just not that empathetic.

"Investing" in crypto is more comparable to currency speculation.

Another general rule of investing, don't invest in something you don't understand, which is why I skipped the Enron craze at the time.

James K said...

I think I have a rudimentary understanding of crypto, but what these guys invested in wasn't crypto itself but (as I understand it) in firms that borrowed money and speculated in crypto, and in God knows what else, and of course shoveled money to politicians and the media. Obviously those firms can go belly up (and commit fraud) even if crypto itself still has value. And the lack of transparency means that even if you really understand crypto, you have no idea what those firms area doing.

Jupiter said...

How did the truth make its way into the NYT? I'm suspicious.

Daniel12 said...

"Rule number 2: Never buy into anything that your brother in law is way too excited about."

Achilles is your brother in law. All he needs is for you to sign up and bring five more friends. He has your welcome packet and can explain the whole thing in five minutes.

You have many brothers in law.

Nonyabidness said...

Imagine you had a criminal enterprise, though. Maybe you manufacture fentynyl. Imagine all the funds you have are stolen or otherwise ill-gotten and you need to launder that money somehow so that the IRS cannot take half of it, or start asking a bunch of pesky questions about where and how you got it before they steal all of it in a civil forfeiture.

Well then crypto is definitely the way to go. Imagine you wanted to launder a bunch of political donations to obscure the source of the money. Crypto is your go-to place to be.

Is some of the money going to eventually get pinched by some dude? Sure. The Mafia was ripped of many times. But since the money was stolen in the first place, it's not like you lost money. And you could always whack the guy later.

Price of doing business.

Not all of what you are seeing makes sense if you're an honest person. But if you're an honest person, then you're the last one of them in the United States.

Lots of people knew Bernie Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme. As long as you get out before it implodes, you can make a lot of money. Maybe they come get it one day. Maybe not. It's better than the .25% Bank of America is paying on savings accounts.

walter said...

"If it's too good to be true, it probably is"
Does that apply to overextended pensions?

Nonyabidness said...

Try U.S. Treasury Bonds

Currently, the US Treasury will sell you an I-bond paying 6.89% interest, knowing full well that currently inflation is running at 7.7%. So you're losing money by purchasing these government bonds, and yet we still allow our own government to continue this thievery, instead of abolishing it.

We deserve everything we get.

Icehouse said...

The average investment return rate assumption for U.S. public pension funds has been higher than 6.5% for forty years now. The politicians we vote into office justify the charade of public pension viability with such claims and we, the public, go along with it.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Yes, you can't cheat an honest man. But: I sense a new defence of SBF is coming: he took candy from babies, but they were exceptionally greedy babies. This will somehow be combined with cognitive impairment (I didn't really understand any of it myself, maybe you investigators can figure it out) and memory loss. He'll be a moral and spiritual leader, showing us the way to give the welfare state more power to regulate our lives. He'll be a poster child for cannabis psychosis. If you find yourself in a delirium of forgetfulness and group sex, where billions of dollars come and go, seek help. You could end up like me. Except you won't have a billion dollars that have mysteriously gone missing.

Daniel12 said...

Lloyd W. Robertson said...
Yes, you can't cheat an honest man. But: I sense a new defence of SBF is coming: he took candy from babies, but they were exceptionally greedy babies.

Indeed. This was exactly what wall street types did to home purchasers when the crash happened in 2008. In fact it triggered the entire Tea Party movement! Only there, people were buying actual homes to live in.

rcocean said...

I'm more interested in punishing Bankman-Fried for his massive fraud then playing the "Well, I sure am smart, I didn't get involved in that mess". But that's the internet. people always want to brag about all the money they made, or didn't lose, and how smart they are.

Anyway, i normally have no sympathy for people who gamble on risky investments and lose money. That's why they're risky. that's not what happened with Bankman-Fried.

Its a tribute to the MSM that they play on people's ignorance. They want this scandal to go away, and one way is to label it as "Just a lot of gamblers and fools who lost their financial bet". Which is false.

Wince said...

If the leadership of the Democrat Party wanted to damage the legitimacy of crypto as a confidential medium of exchange, what would they do?

Maybe set up (and then protect) an fraudster who would swindle billions running a crypto exchange while he transferred millions to your candidates for office?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

currently inflation is running at 7.7%

and that is the official rate, which is bullshit.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Crypto is currency, not "like investing in currency." But as Achilles has pointed out, it is currency that depends on the perceived value, like the US dollar. If in fact BitCoin follows through on it's original promise of creating only a fixed number (was it one million?) "coins" so that the valuation would never fluctuate by "supply" (like fiat money) but only by demand curve pressure then it may well be "stronger than the dollar" over time. Up until crypto, the way one made money in fiat currency was exploiting exchange rates, which I believe is the goal of BitCoin: to position itself as a hedge against fiat dollars that have as Achilles correctly notes tended to lose value over time. I could quibble about whether that is 10 or 20 years to halve, but current trends* might make both of us look silly.

The old rule of 12 for interest can be roughly applied to the official inflation rate of 8% or to the unofficial rate of closer to 15% YoY and the outlook for the dollar is piss poor and worse than Achilles historical number. We ain't in Weimar territory yet but we're on the autobahn to it. I chose real property last year (well, started negotiating in late 2020) and parked all we could in land in SoCal. It will rebound fast if America survives.

Nonyabidness said...

" I sense a new defence of SBF"

It's only going to work in the media - and only for a short time. The people, including politicans, who received SBX's stolen money are going to have to fork it back. The guy running FTX now is essentially doing the work Irving Picard did after the fall of the Madoff ponzi scheme, which the SEC ran cover for over 30 years.

Lots of the people involved in the scheme committed suicide, rather than go to jail. I highly suspect SBF to do the same, since he doesn't exactly "blend in" if you know what I mean.

Even though these defenses will only work for a short time, the purpose of them is simply to extend that time. That way, when all the criminal activity is traced back to one political party, they can have their Press Secretary say it's "old news" and a "distraction." And they can get on to the next scam.

Rusty said...

Once I found out they were backed by the full faith and credit of some Japanese guy and he wasn't talking I bought more gold.

tim in vermont said...

We have been running our economy on zero interest money for decades, and businesses that grew to depend on cheap money are taking it on the chin. Wait until a couple of years of these high interest rates pass and the Federal Government can't make the payments on the interest of our national debt. That's when the fun will begin, and something drastic will need to be done.

The other thing that this cheap money has done is to finance the "category killers" that have all but wiped out Main Street retail. Yeah, it was the result of a "free market," but was it? A French economist once did a study of ancient economies that discovered that when a new gold mine was discovered in a kingdom, everybody did not get richer, but the king and his cronies got richer, and everybody else got poorer due to higher prices. And as the French say: "The more it changes, the more it's the same thing."

Narr said...

Too many investors nowadays make the Greater Fool argument: If I'd known it was a scam I would have sold it off before the crash!

I have made some unwise investments in my time, but the more I learn about crypto the less I understand, and that's a poor basis for speculation.



MacMacConnell said...

Say with me, "Tulip Bulbs".

SBF is a garbage person raised by garbage parents.

rhhardin said...

26-week Treasuries are paying 4.75%, about as risk-free as it gets. US6M quote

tim in vermont said...

I think that the best investment strategy is real estate in the district of the Speaker of the House.

Temujin said...

I tend to agree with Achilles on this stuff. The talk is all about the horrors of the 'unregulated' market. Yet the regulated market has it's own history and it is not one that is clean in any way. Yes, it's more stable. Until it's not- as in 2008. And we're currently working on another 2008 right now. As student loans, car loans, and come January, mortgage loans all take a huge hit, and those mortgage-backed securities will be back in discussions very soon.

From Bernie Madoff to collateralized debt obligations, Enron, WorldCom, BearSterns and others, the regulated financial markets are rife with grifters and conmen. And many of them come with Big Bank names and Big Bank suits presenting them. So this feigned horror at a scammer pulling a fast on in crypto may ring true to some, but it's always a present danger to any investor, in any market.

And Enigma- while it is true that golds and metals do have an intrinsic value, that value is only there if people demand those items and place value on them. But...what of the US Dollar? What intrinsic value does the dollar have, as it is no longer backed by gold, and has its worth measured in the confidence of the people. That's it.

Crypto is the same. And I think that Bitcoin and Ethereum will withstand this initial flaw of a wild-west system. The system will filter out the scum, as much as can be done. And those that should continue, will continue. This is not the end of crypto- as has been predicted for so long now. It is a part of the evolution of it. FTX should never have happened. Neither should have Bernie Madoff or Lehman Bros.

Remember- Banks- 'heavily regulated' banks nearly took down the US and world economy in 2008. So the argument about the safety of the government oversight or an outside oversight body falls flat to me.

MadisonMan said...

a 43-year-old father of two [who] put $600,000
What does being a father, and having two kids, have to do with anything here? I see a guy lacking horse sense.

Michael said...

Tulip bulbs. There was an endless supply. Not so bitcoin

Zev said...

crazy to put all your money into such a thing
but the depositors did have a right to expect that it wouldn't be stolen

n.n said...

The perils of investing in a regulated industry with fiduciary risk, untitled assets, worthless degrees, 8% progressive prices, etc.

Achilles said...

Narr said...
Once I found out that I can't kep my Cryptobucks in a lockbox under my bed, I lost interest.

I'm old-fashioned when it comes to investing.


You can.

It is called a hardware wallet.

You can also keep your seed phrase under your bed and as long as the internet exists so will your wallet and your ability to access it anonymously.

No government can track it or access it or steal it.

People who don't understand how blockchain works are going to be stuck with the Central Bank Digital Currencies soon.

Achilles said...

rhhardin said...
26-week Treasuries are paying 4.75%, about as risk-free as it gets. US6M quote

The only risk is inflation.

You might as well take your savings to the Casino. At least you have a tiny chance at the Casino.

gilbar said...

i'm stuck remembering the past. Remember the past?
Remember Enron?
Remember hearing about Enron employees that were: WIPED OUT! and it was SO SAD??
Then, it turned out; that those employees had
a) put their ENTIRE 401ks into Enron Stock
b) had put ALL their cash into Enron Stock
c) had taken out second mortgages on their homes, to get MORE CASH, to buy MORE Enron stock
and then.. Finally
d) were WIPED OUT!

When you put All your eggs into one basket.. Your omelet is Your Problem, not mine

Achilles said...

Rusty said...
Once I found out they were backed by the full faith and credit of some Japanese guy and he wasn't talking I bought more gold.

Bullets will be the actually physical currency in any situation that people think gold will be useful.

Now Platinum on the other hand has real industrial uses.

Achilles said...

Daniel12 said...
"Rule number 2: Never buy into anything that your brother in law is way too excited about."

Achilles is your brother in law. All he needs is for you to sign up and bring five more friends. He has your welcome packet and can explain the whole thing in five minutes.

You have many brothers in law.


Daniel is your 95 IQ financial advisor.

He doesn't really know what he is talking about but he still keeps talking and knows what you should be doing with your money.

gilbar said...

fun with numbers!
Current US national debt is what? about 31 TRILLION dollars?
at 2% a year interest; that comes to about 620 BILLION dollars.. A year
at 4% a year interest; that comes to Over 1.2 TRILLION dollars.. A year!

Currently, our deficit is about 1.4 Trillion dollars..
So All other things being equal (haha!) doubling the interest rate DOUBLES our deficit

Oh, AND! our upcoming world wide recession will mean that
a) revenue will DROP
b) demands by democrats for EXTRA MONEY will increase

I'm still not at all sure about bit coin.. But investing in 5.56mm ammo is looking Better and Better

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

I think that the best investment strategy is real estate in the district of the Speaker of the House.

Our congresscritter Aguilar is now the 3rd Democrat in House rankings. I'll work him to see what he can do LOL.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

How did Bitcoin do in Canada when Trudeau froze the accounts of the Truckers? Did they or did they not lose access to their crypto accounts?

Achilles said...

If in fact BitCoin follows through on it's original promise of creating only a fixed number (was it one million?) "coins" so that the valuation would never fluctuate by "supply" (like fiat money) but only by demand curve pressure then it may well be "stronger than the dollar" over time.

It is mathematically limited to 21 million bitcoin and I believe they will be all mined by approximately 2040.

Achilles said...

gilbar said...
i'm stuck remembering the past. Remember the past?
Remember Enron?
Remember hearing about Enron employees that were: WIPED OUT! and it was SO SAD??
Then, it turned out; that those employees had
a) put their ENTIRE 401ks into Enron Stock
b) had put ALL their cash into Enron Stock
c) had taken out second mortgages on their homes, to get MORE CASH, to buy MORE Enron stock
and then.. Finally
d) were WIPED OUT!

When you put All your eggs into one basket.. Your omelet is Your Problem, not mine


No Gilbar. Don't look at history. Whatever you do don't do that.

Listen to Daniel12 and the other people who think the dollar is safe and that the US economic system is a well regulated system that will protect their savings.

They might be ignorant but they make up for it by being loud.

Mike Petrik said...

One should disentangle two distinct issues: (1) the investment appeal of crypto, and (2) the wisdom of putting too many eggs in one basket. People can reasonably disagree on the former. Not so much on the latter.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I’m jealous that some guy my age amassed six hundred grand in cash, I own that — but I’d be surprised if he put that by, little by little, by scrimping and saving. Someone so foolhardy with a big pile of cash probably got the bulk of it when Grandma died. Just a theory.

Narr said...

"As long as the internet exists," eh?

I'll not invest in an electronic currency that I don't understand, and entrust it to an unstable and unpredictable electronic regime that I have no influence over (and barely understand).

Of course, you can say, I'm at the mercy of large and not necessarily benign forces already, but that's no reason to double down.

And at my age, if it comes down to bullets and gold, I'm screwed anyway.



RideSpaceMountain said...

@Tim in Vermont

"I think that the best investment strategy is real estate in the district of the Speaker of the House."

That or Martha's Vineyard. There's a magical forcefield that limits sea level rise according to my agent, and have you ever seen a community that deports illegal immigrants faster? I haven't!

Balfegor said...

Re: Achilles:

Crypto is regulated as fuck. Know Your Customer bullshit is everywhere. We have to submit photo ID, addresses and the whole 9 yards.

KYC comes in for the exchanges which are highly likely to be regulated as broker-dealers, and are thus subject to the kind of KYC/anti-money laundering requirements that apply to broker-dealers. But that, in turn, is because some cryptocurrencies on those exchanges (not necessarily all!) could be regulated as securities. Foreign crypto exchanges may also have to track some of that information to comply with "FATCA" reporting obligations on US taxpayers, although enforcement would be harder (other countries still have privacy and bank secrecy laws, after all).

Regulation of crypto in the US is mostly what I would call "shadow" regulation, where market participants are aware that regulators, in their vast discretion, might interpret this or that existing law or regulation to apply to crypto. To the extent they operate in the US, prudent crypto companies are probably going to assume some level of regulation and seek to comply preemptively.

That said, what's long puzzled me about crypto is that once you impose all the regulatory burden of AML, KYC, and tax reporting obligations, it's not clear what market advantage blockchain crypto offers. The original pitch was that you could have a store of value safe from expropriation by the government with smart contracts and so on moving money impervious to the rulings of the petty magistrates of the United States or China or wherever. But that advantage disappears as soon as you're just owning fractional interests in pools of crypto tokens actually held by another party, a company, that can be located and compelled to cough up your personal data and your money to the next government agent that comes along. Or as soon as the man with the keys to those tokens just decides to take them for his own.

Nonyabidness said...

"26-week Treasuries are paying 4.75%, about as risk-free as it gets."

Yes, the government would like to sell you something that it is wildly devaluating.

Imagine you're at a car dealership and you can buy a car that ... the moment you drive 1 foot off the lot ... is worth HALF of what you just paid for it.

We can't abolish car dealerships. But we can abolish our government.

Because we don't ... then we DESERVE to have our money STOLEN from us.

A fool and his money should never have gotten together in the first place.

Mikey NTH said...

Had no idea what it was, didn't touch any crypto. Nor did I buy any NFTs. Reminded me too much of crazes like Beanie Babies.

D.D. Driver said...

Achilles: Thanks for correcting the record. My (admittedly thin) understanding is that FTX positioned itself as a "regulated" exchange (like Coinbase). Is that right?

Isn't the SEC at least a little bit responsible for giving its Investor Seal of Approval to a band of conmen? If everyone knew they were in the wild west, they would judge the risk accordingly. But, if the "experts" have done the work and tell you "this is a safe enough place to park your money" you would be rightfully surprised when it turns out that the safe place is run by criminals who steal everything you own.

rsbsail said...

Don't invest in anything that you don't understand. There is a reason that utility stocks were often described as investments for widows and orphans. If you are retired with less than a $1,000,000, than don't invest in anything that you don't understand.

rsbsail said...

BTW, in the Bernie Madoff scandal, there was a recovery of something like 85% for investors. How? Because they went after the people who got in early and made a lot of money as the first movers in the ponzi scheme. They clawed back those ill-gotten profits. I wonder if they will be able to do the same here.

Josephbleau said...

The problem with people who are so smart that they have lost all their money, is that they expect their relatives to keep them and their families in the style they have become accustomed to. Or the suggestion that one should pay for the cell phones of cousins children, newly poor.

gpm said...

It's been a while, but I did some work on some Madoff cases. The thing that jumped out to me was that the annual tax statements that Madoff issued did not remotely conform to IRS requirements. I couldn't believe that nobody picked up on that point.

--gpm

Achilles said...

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...
How did Bitcoin do in Canada when Trudeau froze the accounts of the Truckers? Did they or did they not lose access to their crypto accounts?

They did not.

There is no way for the government of Canada to stop people from accessing their crypto nor is there any way to identify who owns a particular wallet outside of IP tracing.

It is trivial to get a vpn to avoid that.

The government would have to watch you every moment you are on the internet or torture you until you gave them the seed phrase.

Josephbleau said...

I have an old defined benefit pension and have kept 10% in an IRA every year. Plus differed comp. Live poor, retire rich. I am a voice from your future.

Not to brag but to inform. I got 2 kids thru college along the way.

My path is to fish in Scotland, drink in Ireland, and go to the British museum. Elgin marbles and such, wot? Stay in Mayfair and see the lords. Berkley Square and such.


Achilles said...

Temujin said …

Crypto is the same. And I think that Bitcoin and Ethereum will withstand this initial flaw of a wild-west system. The system will filter out the scum, as much as can be done. And those that should continue, will continue. This is not the end of crypto- as has been predicted for so long now. It is a part of the evolution of it. FTX should never have happened. Neither should have Bernie Madoff or Lehman Bros.

There is corruption in every financial system and most of it starts in the government because government jobs are magnetic to the corrupt.

I personally think Bitcoin will always be used as a reserve asset like gold. Proof of work is too expensive and slow to be able used as a layer one transaction platform. So it will serve as gold used to serve and how treasuries are used now to back layer one and layer 2 assets.

Outside of Tether most stable coins are backed by US treasuries and undergo full audits.

US Dollar Tether is another corrupt fraudulent token and when it crashes it is going to take even more exchanges down with it. I have been watching it for several months. But it also serves as the backbone of the centralized exchange liquidity pools so when it goes it will make FTX look tame. Tether has 4-5 times the valuation of FTX. Every few weeks Tether competitors take shots at them forcing redemptions.

If you are into crypto these are the things you need to be prepared for. It is the difference between being a pack of wolves and a pack of sheep.

Ethereum is trying to be a replacement financial system. They will fail. The technical foundation of the ethereum virtual machine is sketchy and the chain is a pile of patches and bandaids from a code standpoint. The technical debt is too high and there will always be exploits and hacks because of that.

MadTownGuy said...

I know nothing about Bitcoin, but found this article about how it was used to (mostly) circumvent the Canadian government's freeze of truckers' assets:

HONK, HONK, HODL: HOW BITCOIN FUELED THE FREEDOM CONVOY AND DEFIED GOVERNMENT CRACKDOWN

"...through it all, the Freedom Convoy quickly became one of the most high-profile test cases for the use of Bitcoin as a permissionless and censorship-resistant way of transacting value to whomever, wherever, whenever.

...

“Three years ago, if you had asked me what’s the chance that Canada would freeze individuals’ bank accounts… I’d find it really hard to believe it was 20%,” said Greg Foss, an outspoken Bitcoin advocate and fifth-generation Canadian. “And three years later, it’s 100%... It was not a good thing for freedom.”

...

“Though the RCMP won’t comment on the case, it issued a statement to CBC News saying it has the capability to seize and recover digital currency assets, pointing to past cases where the Crown successfully prosecuted crypto criminals,” according to a March 21 CBC News report.

Perhaps led there by on-chain surveillance methods, police raided St. Louis’ home in late February and, according to him, seized 0.28 bitcoin stored in a wallet that he controlled along with Lich and Freedom Convoy organizer Chris Barber.

“Officers forcibly removed me from my apartment and took me to an unmarked police vehicle,” St. Louis told the Financial Post, per an article published in March. “Police wanted the seed phrases for my crypto wallets. Under police compulsion, I provided my seed phrases.”
"

Cross-reference this with the IRS requirement here in the US for reporting transactions of $600 or more through Venmo that might be taxable.

Martin said...

To believe that crypto is low risk would be the same as believing that currency or commodities trading is low risk.

Blair said...

Who'd have thought that a currency that only exists on the internet would end up being worthless? Man, I didn't see that coming, at all...

MadTownGuy said...

Another excerpt from the Canadian Truckers' Bitcoin article, and an anecdote...

"Dichter called this year’s vaccine mandates the “straw that broke the camel’s back” for Canadian truckers.

“Most of us are vaccinated,” he explained. “It was the mandates, the lack of choice. That was the problem.”

Dichter described a personal experience that took place just days before the convoy occupation of Ottawa; border agents had tracked his vaccine status by surveilling his phone within a certain vicinity of the U.S. border as he drove back home. To him and many other Canadians, this level of government monitoring was indicative of a growing willingness by government officials to track personal details about their citizens without permission.
"

Our anecdote: the wife and I were taking a four-day drive from Manitoba to British Columbia last August. We disclosed our itinerary to the border agent, showed our passports and vaccination records, and as we were wrapping up the process, the agent informed my wife that she had been randomly selected for a COVID test. It was not a self-administered test; we had to set up a Microsoft Meet session with a public health nurse to conduct the test in her sight, then package up the contents and take them to a drop point to be sent to a lab for evaluation. All we had to do is scan the QR code on the test carton and it would guide us through the process.

What was not made clear, and should have been, was that the test company for Manitoba was not the same as the one for Saskatchewan, where we stayed the first night. The QR code returned an error message, so we contacted the test company for Saskatchewan as listed on the flyer the border agent gave us. They set up a test appointment for the next morning at 7.

The test company was a no-show for the appointment, so we called them at 7:30 to find out why. They said the test kit code didn't match their records. They asked which company was listed on the carton and it was then we found out we had to contact the provider in Manitoba. We then explained to the other test provider the issue with the QR code, and they said they would have to send us a new test kit by courier. I told the CSR that we were leaving for Banff that morning and asked if they could guarantee the kit would be at our destination in time for us to comply with the time requirement. They said they could not, so i said i would take it up with Manitoba Public Health after we got to our destination in British Columbia.

To be continued...

effinayright said...

dfast said...
What’s really crazy is that, because of inflation, US Government I-Bonds are yielding more than 6.5% this year. But you can only buy $10k per person.
**********************

I tried to help my young son buy some I bonds last summer.

Treasury wrote back to say they had difficulty confirming some (unidentified) information he supplied them. He's young, so all he had to send was his name, address, SS info, and bank accounts. Easy Peasy.

But no. They requested he go to a notary with a new form, sign it and send it back.

They also said it would likely take "12 or more weeks" to process.

That was outside the window for getting the 2022 I bond offering, so we were SOL.

Your government at work!

(p.s 2023's offering will be much lower. Our financial advisor says it's likely not worth it.)

effinayright said...

dfast said...
What’s really crazy is that, because of inflation, US Government I-Bonds are yielding more than 6.5% this year. But you can only buy $10k per person.
**********************

I tried to help my young son buy some I bonds last summer.

Treasury wrote back to say they had difficulty confirming some (unidentified) information he supplied them. He's young, so all he had to send was his name, address, SS info, and bank accounts. Easy Peasy.

But no. They requested he go to a notary with a new form, sign it and send it back.

They also said it would likely take "12 or more weeks" to process.

That was outside the window for getting the 2022 I bond offering, so we were SOL.

Your government at work!

(p.s 2023's offering will be much lower. Our financial advisor says it's likely not worth it.)

MadTownGuy said...

Continued from before...

When we arrived in British Columbia (not having had much time in Banff due to dodgy GPS directions), I called Manitoba Public Health to see what we could do at least to comply with the test requirement. I never got hold of a real bb person and had to leave a voicemail for a callback that never came.

After our second night in BC, we headed back to the US, not sure whether we'd be flagged for detention at the border. We weren't, but not more than 20 minutes after crossing we got a robo all from Public Health asking if we had submitted the test kit. After pressing numbers to explain the status and reason the test wasn't completed, in typical Canadian fashion the recording informed is that they were sorry we had an issue with the test provider, but we should know that non compliance could result in fines up to $5,000 CAD, possible imprisonment (!), plus additional fines and levies up to $750,00 CAD.

I had kept detailed records of phone calls, screenshots of the error message from the QR code, and kept them at hand along with the materials the border agent gave us. On arrival home, I wrote to Manitoba Public Health and the agency's office in Ottawa, explaining that we tried our best in the limited time we were in country, but were not able to comply due to no fault of our own.

A few weeks on, we received a nice reply from Manitoba Public Health saying they understood it wasn't possible for us to comply, and in any case the testing requirements terminated at the end of September. Whew.

On the way home from our travels out west, I told my wife that if we saw a Mountie in front of our abode we would just keep driving east...

Achilles said...

D.D. Driver said...

Achilles: Thanks for correcting the record. My (admittedly thin) understanding is that FTX positioned itself as a "regulated" exchange (like Coinbase). Is that right?

Isn't the SEC at least a little bit responsible for giving its Investor Seal of Approval to a band of conmen? If everyone knew they were in the wild west, they would judge the risk accordingly. But, if the "experts" have done the work and tell you "this is a safe enough place to park your money" you would be rightfully surprised when it turns out that the safe place is run by criminals who steal everything you own.


The SEC is corrupt. Period. Just like the rest of this illegitimate regime.

FTX and the SEC were working together. The SEC gave FTX special status and FTX avoided most of the bullshit that other exchanges have to go through.

Gary Gensler is a personal family friend of SBF.

The SEC is more corrupt by far than the Crypto industry in general. That has been the focus of what I have been telling you people. You are living in walled gardens maintained by corrupt shitheads.

Now you people think putting the SEC in charge of regulating Crypto will make it safer and better? Everything the SEC has done in the crypto world is in bad faith and is driven by the same corruption the SEC uses to protect Goldman Sachs and Chase at our expense.

CZ, the CEO of Binance Exchange, called FTX out and highlighted the special status that the SEC gave to FTX. Binance was going to buy FTX out until they saw what SBF actually did with the accounts.

Now everyone knows that SBF just stole the customer accounts. The reason SBF is not in jail is because he gave huge chunks of the money he stole from mostly small investors to Democrats and Never Trump Republicans.

You can stay in the regulated US financial system if you want. But there aren't any good odds there. They are just printing your assets into oblivion. The US government is running 32 Trillion in debt now? The interest on that is over a trillion dollars a year now. That's at least 20% of GDP and our economic growth is negative this year.

The end of that road is so obvious it is comical. They aren't even pretending they care anymore. You are just dumb if you hold those assets. You are just dumb if you trust this corrupt illegitimate regime.

Math never loses.

effinayright said...

Shakespeare summed up the Kanye ravings 400-odd years ago:

"....it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."

Analyzing his rantings his utterly pointless.

Kanye's nuts. That's all.

walter said...

rhhardin said...
26-week Treasuries are paying 4.75%, about as risk-free as it gets. US6M quote
--
And inverted yield curve. No worries!

Achilles said...

Balfegor said...
Re: Achilles:

That said, what's long puzzled me about crypto is that once you impose all the regulatory burden of AML, KYC, and tax reporting obligations, it's not clear what market advantage blockchain crypto offers. The original pitch was that you could have a store of value safe from expropriation by the government with smart contracts and so on moving money impervious to the rulings of the petty magistrates of the United States or China or wherever. But that advantage disappears as soon as you're just owning fractional interests in pools of crypto tokens actually held by another party, a company, that can be located and compelled to cough up your personal data and your money to the next government agent that comes along. Or as soon as the man with the keys to those tokens just decides to take them for his own.

The difference is between "On Chain" and "Off Chain."

Off chain is on the centralized exchanges. This is the realm you are describing. It is a scary place and I do not go there much. I have had funds frozen there for days. When you buy crypto with fiat on one of the portals like Coinbase your funds are held there for up to 2 weeks before you can take them off. The centralized exchanges ask for names and pictures and bank accounts and addresses. There in my opinion is no reason to be in these instead of day trading on robin hood.

I operate for the most part entirely On Chain. This means that my assets are in a wallet or staked in On Chain protocols. Nothing that I have on chain can be tracked back to me or an address. My original purchases from my bank account were trackable from Coinbase. But since then have fun.

I do most of my trading on Minswap: https://app.minswap.org/. This is referred to as a Decentralized Exchange. The liquidity pools that you trade in are populated by people who stake their tokens in a pool. When you trade you pay a .3% LP trading fee that goes into the pool and is distributed to the Liquidity pool providers. I also trade on https://app.wingriders.com/ and https://exchange.sundaeswap.finance/#/. The reason it is referred to as decentralized is because the liquidity is funded democratically by people on the chain and the interest and fees are distributed to the people that provide liquidity.

I am also pretty heavily involved in the Indigo Protocol. This is a protocol for creating iAssets which are over-collateralized tokens which are currently iBTC and iUSD. I have deposited a fair amount of Ada, which is the chain native token, into an account and this allows me to mint iUSD stable coins. If the value of my collateral, Ada, goes down too far then some of my collateral is contractually given to the people who have staked assets in the stability pool.

On chain interactions are referred to as "Trustless." That means that when you enter into a smart contract the execution of that contract is functional in nature. i.e. if you give the contract inputs you will get the same outputs every time. We are using a lending protocol where people are lending us money. We put up collateral in the form of NFT's as collateral and the lenders put up capital. We get the capital and a time period to pay it back. If we don't then the lender gets the collateral. There is no bankruptcy court or small claims or civil court.

It is the way our economy was supposed to work until lawyers figured out voiding contracts was a way for lawyers to get rich.

Old and slow said...

As is often the case, Balfegor steps in with a reasonable and well stated comment that addresses important issues. Casting pearls among swine, eh?

Old and slow said...

"My path is to fish in Scotland, drink in Ireland, and go to the British museum. Elgin marbles and such, wot? Stay in Mayfair and see the lords. Berkley Square and such."

Christ, if you manage half of that you'll be laughing. I intend to retire to a shack in the back garden of my house in Ireland, rent the main house, and go to London / the continent on occasion.

Buddy Coogler said...

But what has come as a big surprise to many is that the firms where they deposited their money lacked the basic protections offered by a brokerage or a bank.

My favorite quote from a GA Supreme Court decision came in a contracts case - "Those with the ability to read, have the duty to read."

I think this fellow had the duty to read and take note that there is no FDIC coverage. He, and the NYT folks want regulation everywhere. There should be some wild, wild west sectors that are unregulated. And surrounded by a fence and neon signs that say - as I think they have with respect to crypto - beyond this point, you're on your own!

The media is trying real hard to find the blind widows and orphans who invested in this stuff, and they are not finding any. Not that people have not been hurt, just that they knew the risks, or could have asked or read, and just didn't.

Quaestor said...

"Using real money to buy fake money has got to be the most obvious con in history."

Unfortunately for this top-rated commenter, the quadrupling of this nation's dollar-denominated sovereign debt since 2021 will sooner or later reveal the difference between fake money and what he deems to be "real money" to be purely notional.

And though we all delight in the demented antics of our Idiot-in-Chief, we'll also discover the Big Guy's ten percent is banked somewhere in the Middle East in neat packets of minty-fresh ¥100,000 yuan notes. Biden won't be hauling wheelbarrows full of near-worthless cash to the bakery thrift store like us middle-class wage slaves.

cdb said...

“They” actually say, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Your version is nonsensical.

JAORE said...

I recall a short story of years ago. It seemed a group of mid-level accountants had taken over heaven. Newly arrived people, in the story it was Einstein, were bombarded with a list of their sins. Sins being defined as lost investment opportunities. Einstein, for example was uniquely poised to take advantage of the rapid increase in value of uranium.

Crypto is just one of my lesser sins.

n.n said...

To gamble perchance to invest. It is a well established apology that you can abort your baby and have her, too.

Eric said...

I'd speculate (see what I'm doing here?) that an account would have 6.5% more fake money in a year, so no risk!