Hosts Mike Regan and Vildana Hajric are joined each week by expert guests to discuss the main themes influencing global markets.
- FTX 'Horror Stories' in the BahamasThe implosion of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX empire dealt a harsh blow to the Bahamas’ ambitions to be a hub for the crypto industry, and it’s causing massive pain for locals who treated the now-bankrupt exchange like a bank. Stephane Ouellette, chief executive of Toronto-based crypto firm FRNT Financial, traveled to the Bahamas to assess the fallout from the collapse. He joined the What Goes Up podcast to discuss the bankruptcy’s effect on the island nation it called home, as well as the impact the scandal is having on his business and the entire market. “FTX was positioning [itself] as a banking alternative, particularly in regions where they operated—like the Bahamas,” Ouellette said. “So there’s even more horror stories of people treating FTX like bank-like infrastructure, and therefore leaving a significant amount of their assets just latent on FTX. Now they can’t get access to them, just like everybody else.”
- Life in Crypto After FTXThe collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX cryptocurrency empire was accelerated when the head of a rival exchange announced he was planning to dump holdings of something called FTT—a token created by FTX that afforded some perks to investors who owned it. At one point, the token was one of the 10 biggest coins in the market, which would have made it eligible for the Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund. However, Bitwise never added FTT to the fund. Matt Hougan, chief investment officer of Bitwise Asset Management, joined the What Goes Up podcast to discuss the damage caused by the implosion of FTX and explained why the fund snubbed its coin. “We look at assets that are at undue risk of being found in violation of federal securities laws,” he said. “FTT fell into that framework because we thought it was likely, or possible, to be deemed a security by regulators. And it was largely internally controlled, in our view.”
- FTX Shows Crypto Still the ‘Wild West’FTX Cryptocurrency Exchange rattled the financial world this week when a crisis of investor confidence triggered a run, forcing the company to scramble for a buyer or bailout to avoid collapse. Joining the What Goes Up podcast to discuss the chaos that ensued are Sadie Raney, chief executive of the crypto hedge fund Strix Leviathan, and Nico Cordeiro, its chief investment officer. The firm said it had a limited amount of funds with FTX frozen. “We’ve been through a number of market crashes,” says Raney. “We’ve used Voyager in the past. We also used BlockFi. And when there were some indicators that maybe they were, I guess you could say over their skis, we stopped trading with them.” “This one,” Raney said, “I don’t think anyone saw coming.” Cordeiro adds that while their firm has “some funds frozen there,” it was “a small portion of our portfolio allocated there—simply because this space is the wild west.”
- Institutions' Slow-Motion Crypto EmbraceCryptocurrency news this year has been filled with stories about how institutional investors are embracing digital assets. So if more big players are entering the space, why are prices for Bitcoin, Ether and other tokens so depressed compared with last year’s peaks? Leah Wald, chief executive of digital-asset investment firm Valkyrie Investments Inc., joined the What Goes Up podcast to share her thoughts on the topic. “Institutions have a longer time horizon. They also, as a fiduciary, cannot just jump in with a strategy,” Wald said. “There’s a lot of other hurdles that institutions have—whether it’s risk parameters, among others, and also just generally the vehicle that they need in order to buy it.” Wald also sheds light on the outlook for blockchain miners, use cases for crypto in developing markets and the prospects for a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund.
- The Worst Way to Fix InflationThere are better ways to combat inflation than destroying demand with interest-rate increases, according to Nela Richardson, chief economist for payroll giant Automatic Data Processing Inc. She joined the latest What Goes Up podcast to give her take on half-century record American employment, decades-high inflation and signs of softness in the US housing market. “It’s about productivity,” Richardson says. “Productivity grows you out of inflation when more workers produce more output for the same amount of cost. That’s what productivity is. That’s what gets you out of the inflation wage-price spiral conundrum.” But to do that, she says, business and government need to invest in jobs and workers—something they haven’t been good at recently. “It takes more partnerships with community colleges to build an agile and skilled workforce in the places that the economy needs it,” Richardson says.