FED, Richard Clarita, U.S. discussed on The Breakdown with NLW


The breakdown is sponsored by FTX. FTX is the safe regulated way to buy and sell Bitcoin and other digital assets. Trade crypto was up to 85% lower fees than top competitors. FTX U.S. is also the only leading exchange that supports both Ethereum and Solana NFTs. You can trade NFTs with no gas on FTX U.S. and gas subsidized when you withdraw off the platform. Help support the breakdown and visit FTX U.S. today. That's FTX U.S.. One more on the trad 5 side of things. I gave the bullish Bill Miller take, but I should compliment it with a little bit more bearish data on fun flows. Last week saw $207 million of outflows from digital asset investment products. The lion's share of that was Bitcoin without flows of 107 million, which makes sense given the Bitcoin makes up the majority of these products. This is a continuation of a trend that began in mid December. In the last four weeks, outflows of total nearly half a $1 billion, 465 million. And over this four week period, these investment products have represented 25% of total Bitcoin trading turnover, which is higher than normal. So the point of all this take this with the Bill Miller piece is not to minimize that there is some definite short term churn as the market makes sense of what's going on with the fed and the shift in policies, but that doesn't mean that everyone's getting bearish. Speaking of what's going on with the fed, fed vice chair Richard clarita is leaving with only two weeks left in his term. On the one hand, yeah, it's two weeks, but it's the symbolism that matters. He's leaving clouded in controversy and scandal. Last year in October, there was a mini scandal when it was announced that Richard clarita bought about a $1 million in shares of a U.S. stock fund just a day or so before Powell announced effectively that the fed was going to go ham on printing to preserve the economy during the COVID crisis. What we didn't know and what we discovered last week is that only three days earlier, clarita had sold at least a $1 million in shares of that same fund. And this is the really dicey part. Home spent a year hiding the sale part of this and a 7 figure swing inside three days is not a normal thing to do. You're already talking about questions about buying an asset when you know that the fed is going to announce major support. But the fact that you dropped an equal amount of that asset just three days earlier is zoo. So let's be really clear on the timeline and this is from Brian chapada at Bloomberg. Friday two 21 20 stocks fall from record high. Monday two 24 20 sell stocks. Wednesday two 26 20, kurita had calls with board member and regional fed president. Thursday two 27 25 stocks. Friday two 28 20 Powell hints at rate cuts. Now, this sort of controversy has been an ongoing concern with the fed and with Congress. Eric Rosen Graham, the fed president in Boston and Robert caplan, the fed president in Dallas, both resigned in September. And while Rosen grant cited health concerns, both were largely caught up in the public backlash around their disclosure of stock trading during the pandemic, emergency response from the fed. Last October Jerome Powell announced new guidelines that included banning purchases or sales during times of market stress, and there is currently a probe of fed trading underway by the Central Bank's inspector general, although the clarita revelations are bringing up questions about the scope of that investigation. Elizabeth Warren was hammering this point ahead of Jerome Powell's confirmation hearing, which is happening today. And obviously the question here is one of institutional trust. And it's just so low right now. As I mentioned, this isn't just the fed. In the U.S. last year, only three out of 38 major hedge funds managed to outperform the S&P 500, which by the way, wow. But according to new data compiled by unusual whales on Twitter, 35 out of 535 members of Congress outperformed the S&P 500. This was largely bipartisan as well. 16 Republicans in 19 Democrats. Nancy Pelosi made headlines in December for defending the rights of Congress people to trade stocks, saying, we are a free market economy. They should be able to participate in that. Of course, the question is skeptic might say isn't free markets. It's access to information that others don't have sooner than anyone else has it. Travis kling pointed out this hypocrisy in a tweet that said, we now have three fed board members that have resigned due to the egregiousness of their insider trading during the COVID market crash. But they won't let you participate in AirDrops where thousands of dollars 'cause you need to be protected. All right, last one to wrap up and then we'll be off for the day. PayPal is exploring its own stablecoin. This came out a couple weeks ago because a developer had found a PayPal coin logo hidden in the app. PayPal said it was from an internal hackathon, not something they'd finalized plans for. But the SVP of crypto told Bloomberg, we are exploring a stable coin. If and when we seek to move forward, we will of course work closely with relevant regulators. The markets take kind of falls into one of two areas. The bullish is represented by this tweet from forklifts. So Facebook changed its name to meta, PayPal is launching a stablecoin and a new $1 billion fund has announced weekly and people think 2018 is going to repeat? On the other end of the spectrum skeptical. Michael Doherty wrote, SEC and a bunch of other predators wouldn't let it grow further than a plan. Definitely it will be regulated hills overhead. I don't exactly fall into either of these camps. I think PayPal is smartly positioning itself for the possibility that regulators this year say, okay, to stablecoins. But force an incredibly high compliance burden on them that it's extremely difficult for today's crypto industry players to meet. Or at least will take them a very long time to. In other words, if the government comes back with rules that say, more or less, banks are the only legitimate issuers of stablecoins, I can see PayPal trying to sneak in as the or less while the existing crypto providers get blocked out. PayPal would leverage its much longer history and market to sneak in a quickly closing door. Whatever the case though, I will say it's interesting at how quickly things have evolved. When PayPal announced last year it was getting into crypto, it was major headline news. This time, barely a PEEP. That could be that the ins and outs of stablecoin policy is just two in the weeds for most, but it's still interesting to note. Anyways, I want to say thank you again to my sponsors on this show. Next dot IO, abra and FTX. And thanks to you guys for listening. Until tomorrow be safe and take care of each other. Peace.

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