Senate Banking Committee, FTX, Silvergate Bank discussed on CoinDesk Podcast Network
Outside of FTX, one of the institutions that people are keeping a close watch on is silvergate bank. Silvergate bank services a huge part of this industry. In fact, it's one of the only banks that does. The crypto specialized bank operated its own proprietary to crypto settlement rails, which are used throughout the crypto space. Due to fears of its exposure to FTX, silvergate stock is down 54% this month. Institutional crypto trading platform falcon X informed its clients that it would be no longer using silvergate for clearing late this week. Falcon X said this was quote out of an abundance of caution. In line with their aim to be the quote safest counterparty during these market conditions. Optimistically then, this move doesn't necessarily indicate a problem at silvergate, just crypto platform seeking to minimize all counterparty risk, but that hasn't kept the chattering class from saying that something might be wrong at silvergate as well. What's more, the rumors around silvergate were getting worse, not better. By midday Friday, silvergate stock was down 20% in the last two days. One defender Friday came in the form of block towers area David Paul. He wrote, an update on silvergate. We've done some more analysis and our confident it's solvent, with large margin for error, as confident as we can be as non bank experts performing superficial financial analysis. It's critical and valuable infrastructure to the industry, and they've always been good faith partners to the industry. Any bank can face liquidity challenges, but silvergate structured balance sheet very defensively. And so is in great shape to deal with short term liquidity challenges. Again, this has not stopped the rumor mill from flying. Now in terms of some of the other areas of contagion that we've been following when it comes to genesis in DCG, there's not really anything new as of late Friday afternoon. Alex Krueger, however, pointed out, quote, market trading as if DCG were throwing genesis lending under the bus. As indicated by the GBTC discount widening today by 6%, eth E discount by 8%. And then, of course, there was crypto VC Chris Bernice, who had recently started to allow some optimism to come back into his tweeting, only to tweet late on Thursday night, I've gotten more information unconfirmed by the primary source that makes me less aggressively optimistic than I was earlier. We should get significant clarity next week. This week and weekend is likely rumor chaos. So make of that what you will now one more thing inside crypto some updates on the regulatory landscape. Lawmakers have understandably renewed their efforts to bring crypto legislation to the table during the lame duck session following the midterms. Chief among them is a push from Democrat senator Kirsten gillibrand to ready a stablecoin Bill for a vote. At a blockchain association event in D.C. on Wednesday, she said, quote, the bill we're working on now and we hope to introduce in the next few weeks would be a comprehensive stablecoin bill that we would ask to get at least a hearing in the Senate banking committee and maybe get a vote by the end of the Congress. She mentioned that Republican senators Patrick toomey and Cynthia lummis were assisting in this effort. So far, most of the attention on stablecoin legislation has been focused on the bipartisan bill in the house, which looked promising in early reporting, but stalled out as negotiations became tense on controversial inclusions. Getting a stablecoin Bill through the Senate banking committee is likely to remain difficult, however. Committee chairman sherrod Brown this week said that in his view, cryptocurrency still don't offer quote anything useful or beneficial. In the anti crypto wing of the Democratic Party, senators Warren and Durbin are pushing for answers about the collapse of FTX. On Wednesday they wrote to former CEO Sam bankman freed, and current CEO John J ray, asking for more information about what precipitated the exchanges collapse. They said that the collapse, quote, justified our long-standing concerns that the crypto industry is built to favor scammers and designed to reward insiders into defraud mom and pop investors. Now an important aside, Sam's father, Joseph bankman, Stanford law professor, helped Warren draft her 2016 tax simplification Bill and was formerly a donor to her campaign. With the collapse of FTX happening rapidly and in a Shroud of confusion and secrecy, the senators asserted that one thing is clear. The public is owed a complete and transparent accounting of the business practices and financial activities leading up to and following FTX collapse and the loss of billions of dollars of customer funds. On this at least, I agree with them. By November 28th, both bank and freed and Rey are required to provide the senators with information and documents about FTX and its subsidiaries balance sheets, the cause of the exchange is liquidity crisis, its rationale for buying bankrupt crypto exchange Voyager digital, and whether reports that salmon other executives built a backdoor into FTX is accounting system to allow them to alter financial records and move money around without alerting other people are accurate. The CEOs are also required to provide historical data about transfers between FTX and Alameda capital. Now on top of this effort, there is also talk of a hearing in December from the House financial services committee, and I think you will all understand when I say bring it on. All right, so what about a couple of updates about what's been happening in the state of play in not crypto? Since the lower than expected inflation print markets have been doing pretty well, which of course raises the question if the fed is going to do that thing they do where they walk everything back, trotting out an endless line of fed officials to explain why the market has gotten ahead of itself. On Thursday, it was St. Louis fed chair James bullards turned to poor cold water on the market rally. He said that the fed's interest rate policy would need to rise between 5 and 5.2% from the current level at 4% to be sufficiently restrictive to curb inflation. He also flagged the possibility that more might need to be done, saying that's a minimum level. Echoing comments from other fed speakers this week, he dismissed the relevance of a single good inflation print. We have to see a lot more progress before we can be convinced that inflation is actually declining. We've been burned already two years in a row so we've got a long ways to go from here. One of the emerging side narratives out of the fed in the last month has been a renewed factional dispute between hawks, presumably led by chairman Powell, and doves, presumably led by vice chair lael brainard. The main point of difference seems to be on whether to hike fast and get there sooner or to slow down hikes and allow the economy to catch up with policy adjustments to see if the fed has already done enough. Speaking to this bullard said he would defer to chairman Powell on how much to hike at each meeting but noted quote, if you do more now, you have less to do in the first quarter of 2023. If you do less now, then you have more to do in the first quarter. Generally speaking, it probably does not make a lot of difference in terms of the macroeconomics. Markets and mayhem wrote, blurred mentioned the possibility of a 7% fed funds rate, folks. Before we dismiss him as completely insane, if inflation doesn't show signs of significant relief, the fed is likely to continue hiking until it does. Now Elizabeth Warren for her part is almost as angry at the fetish, she is a crypto. She issued a terse response to the barrage of hawkish fed speakers saying, quote, of course the fed has a role to play in getting inflation under control, but there's a big difference between landing a plane and crashing it. Her concern is that the fed has gone too far with interest rate hikes and risks a deep recession or maybe worse. Power risks pushing our economy off a cliff she wrote and who will be most likely to lose their jobs, not stock brokers and investment bankers. Nope. The people out of work will be low wage workers and those already struggling most with rising prices. The fed needs to slow down on these extreme rate hikes and remember its dual mandate of price stability and maximum employment.