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All-In Summit Ushers in the New Establishment
This week I had the pleasure of attending the All-In Summit hosted by the All-In Podcast team in LA with Jason Calacanis, David Sacks, David Frieberg and Chamath Palihapitiya.
I’ve followed their podcast for a while and was curious what they would have to offer in terms of programming. The team did not disappoint with heavy-weight investors such Bill Gurley, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and chess streaming influencer Alexandra Botez taking the stage.
The speaker series was followed by 3 nights of parties - a casino-themed poker night at the Majestic downtown LA, a Barbie night on the Santa Monica pier (all rides and games included), and finally a Cypherpunk party at the Lot at Formosa, with a performance by Grimes (who was heavy rumored to be a double).
As I watched the event unfold, that these four (for lack of a better word) nerds, achieved every nerd dream - they became celebrities of their own world, with lines forming to take photos with the four.
My personal highlight of the event, however, was the interview with former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Larry Summers.
Firstly, he expressed concerns about the economic landscape, stating that a soft landing for the economy seems distant, indicating potential uncertainties in the near future. He stressed the need for the Federal Reserve (Fed) to invest in its credibility and consider raising rates as a means to maintain economic stability and ensure the effectiveness of its policies.
Additionally, Summers underscored the significant risk posed by the extraordinary size of the budget deficit, highlighting the importance of responsible fiscal management. In contrast to the notion that regulations stifle economic growth, he argued that regulations can serve as a positive force when well-designed and implemented, offering protection for consumers, maintaining market integrity, and promoting fairness. Summers emphasized the fundamental purpose of having law enforcement (and regulation), which is to serve as a deterrent against crime.
Despite acknowledging the challenges facing America, Summers maintained an optimistic outlook. He firmly believed that these problems are solvable, and he emphasized that America possesses the necessary tools to address them. Throughout his discussion, he reiterated America's enduring appeal as a destination of choice for people worldwide.
Summers also highlighted America's remarkable capacity to establish processes for renewal and growth, making it preferable to play America's hand in the global arena over countries like China, India, or even Europe.
However, he expressed concerns about the sustainability of America's finances, citing the rising costs of healthcare and education. He noted a shift in societal values, moving from the belief that self-esteem stems from achievements to the idea that achievements result from self-esteem. This transition is reflected in reforms such as the removal of standardized testing in education.
Despite America's substantial challenges, Summers remained optimistic, pointing out that the country has historically faced and overcome difficulties. He emphasized the solvability of these issues and the dynamism of American society in addressing them, making it a destination desired by people worldwide.
Summers praised America's pro-opportunity stance, highlighting the belief that everyone, regardless of their background, has the potential to succeed and reach the top. He called for reforms in university admissions, advocating an end to legacy admissions and athletic recruiting, especially in sports favored by the elite.
Summers concluded by emphasizing the need for frameworks that enable freedom to flourish, encapsulating his vision of a stable and prosperous economic environment guided by responsible policies and a commitment to solving challenges.
This Week By the Numbers 📈
Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 0.6%, meeting economists' expectations and marking a notable uptick from the 0.2% rise observed in July. On an annual basis, CPI inflation surged to 3.7%, surpassing the forecasted 3.6% and representing a significant jump from the 3.2% recorded just a month earlier.
The core CPI, which excludes food and energy costs, showed a 0.3% rise, exceeding economist projections of 0.2% and outpacing the 0.2% increase seen in the previous month. Year-on-year, the core CPI decreased to 4.3%, aligning with economists' predictions and down from the 4.7% rate observed in July.
Following the news, the price of Bitcoin remained relatively stable at $26,100.
The recent surge in oil prices, with WTI crude oil reaching its highest levels of 2023 in August (a trend continuing into September), played a significant role in driving headline inflation higher last month.
Looking ahead, the Federal Reserve's policy meeting in September is scheduled for next week, and it is widely anticipated that the central bank will maintain its benchmark fed funds rate at the range of 5.25% to 5.50%.
Company of the Week 💰
This week was a proud moment for our family office as one of our founders was named to the TIME100 AI Influencers.
I met Kate Kallot a couple years ago on Necker Island, back when she was leading the emerging markets work at NVIDIA. Since then, she’s chose to follow her passion of making an impact to Africa and started Amini - “a Nairobi-based startup she founded last year, uses satellite imaging and AI to collect and crunch environmental data to understand what’s happening at ground level, down to the square meter.”
We were lucky enough to write the first check into her $2M pre-seed round and join her advisory board. Stay tuned for her next round.
Full write-up in Time Magazine here.
Top Stories 🗞️
Coinbase (COIN) has created a new crypto lending service in the U.S. for institutional clients, helping fill the void left by the blowups of firms like Genesis and BlockFi.The platform was quietly revealed in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Sept. 1, which showed $57 million had already been raised for the program. Clients can lend Coinbase money – predominantly crypto assets – and get collateral exceeding the value of the loan. Such overcollateralization acts as a safeguard from disaster.
The partnership means Deutsche Bank will, for the first time, be able to hold a limited number of cryptocurrencies for its clients, as well as tokenised versions of traditional financial assets, a Deutsche Bank spokesperson said. Crypto trading is not in the bank’s “immediate plans”, the spokesperson said. Deutsche Bank said it aimed to offer crypto trading in a World Economic Forum paper back in 2020. Various banks, including Standard Chartered, BNY Mellon and Societe Generale, offer crypto custody services. “As the digital asset space is expected to encompass trillions of dollars of assets, it’s bound to be seen as one of the priorities for investors and corporations alike,” said Paul Maley, Deutsche Bank’s global head of securities services.
Mexican billionaire and founder of the Grupo Salinas corporate conglomerate of several Mexican companies opened up about his investment portfolio and interest in Bitcoin, giving the most credit to Saifedean Ammous and his book ‘The Bitcoin Standard.’ According to Salinas’s detailed account, Ammous’s book gave him a good introduction and clear breakdown of money, as well as the advantages of the flagship decentralized finance (DeFi) asset over traditional finance, including the lack of room for manipulation or any kind of abuse by the authorities or financial institutions.
Crypto exchange FTX can sell and invest its crypto holdings to pay back creditors, a judge in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware ruled Wednesday. In a court hearing, Judge John Dorsey said that he approved the motion and overruled two objections that were made opposing the plan. This allows the bankrupt exchange to sell, stake and hedge its crypto holdings, which it said are worth over $3.4 billion. An attorney representing the ad hoc committee of FTX customers supported the plan during the hearing, while a lawyer for the unsecured creditors committee said all of the involved parties looked to expedite the process.
In a recent appearance on CNBC's Squawk Box, former PayPal President David Marcus shared his vision for Bitcoin, aiming to transform it into a global payment network. Marcus, who is the CEO of Lightning Network infrastructure company Lightspark, emphasized the importance of expanding Bitcoin's utility beyond just a store of value. During the interview, Marcus highlighted the significant strides Bitcoin has made over the past decade, evolving from an obscure digital currency to a recognized store of value and hedge against inflation. However, he argued that Bitcoin could play a much broader role in the global financial ecosystem. Marcus proposed that Bitcoin has the potential to become a truly global payment network, similar to PayPal but operating on the decentralized Bitcoin network. He emphasized the need for Bitcoin to evolve further, offering faster, cheaper, and more efficient transactions, making it accessible to a broader audience.
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About the Author: Tatiana Koffman
Hi there and thanks for reading! If you stumble upon my newsletter, you will notice that I write about money, economics, and technology. I hold a JD/MBA and spent my career in Capital Markets working across Mergers & Acquisitions, Derivatives, Venture Capital, and Cryptocurrencies. I write to make financial topics more accessible and create equal opportunity for the next generation of investors. I have personally invested in 20+ companies and funds (👉 my portfolio).