Better Read the Fine Print on That Bitcoin Pitch
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Manufacturing Bitcoin Consent
Jack Dorsey is many things: CEO of Twitter. CEO of Square. Philanthropist. Founder of CEOs Anonymous, a 12-step group for people who CEO too much.
What Jack Dorsey is not is a macroeconomist. That did not stop him from warning recently that “hyperinflation is going to change everything. It’s happening.” Many people in his replies, macroeconomists and otherwise, pointed out he was wrong:
But many more got what Dorsey — who is also a Bitcoin enthusiast — was really driving at. They played their role in his call-and-response bit by shouting back, “#Bitcoin ₿ is the solution!” (Some praised the demigod Shiba Inu, but at least their hearts were in the right place.)
Did impressionable people rush to buy Bitcoin because of Dorsey’s tweet? It would be irresponsible not to speculate. But any theoretical person who did so was responding to bad information:
- Hyperinflation is not, in fact, happening.
- Bitcoin won’t protect you from hyperinflation.
Misinformation about Covid will get you banned from Twitter, and rightly so. Misinformation about Bitcoin will win you millions of followers. And Lionel Laurent notes it’s everywhere from Twitter to London Tube ads to, uh, basketball teams. It’s not nearly as damaging as Covid misinformation. The worst that can happen is somebody loses their life’s savings. But for people who aren’t, like, the CEO of three companies, that could be bad! Read the whole thing.
Meta World Peace
In the proud corporate tradition of Altria, Academi and Tronc, Facebook is now Meta. Its ticker symbol will be MVRS, which is not short for “My VCR Rewinds Slowly” like you’d think but for “metaverse,” which is a thing we’ll all be inhabiting in Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of a future powered entirely by cringe.
As with all corporate name changes, Facebook’s rebranding took all of its many worries and just stuffed them into a shiny new bin. They will still have to be cleared away, as Tim O’Brien has written. The key will be whether the rebranding marks a fundamental change in the company’s structure or not, as Parmy Olson and Ben Schott have written. Leonid Bershidsky suggests the metaverse could be even more lucrative for Meta than Original Formula Facebook was. The trouble, as we always say in CEOs Anonymous, is that wherever you go, there you are.
Further MetaFace Back-Reading:
Is the Fed Making a Terrible Mistake: 2 Fed 2 Hawkish
Yield curves are flattening all over the place, which happens when bond markets predict slowing growth. In fact, the weird, short-lived part of the curve between 20-year and 30-year Treasuries actually inverted today, meaning you got a higher rate for lending to the government for 20 years than for 30. It’s not quite the Seventh Seal being broken, but John Authers writes it is a sign markets see central bankers cracking down on inflation.
Going by today’s third-quarter GDP report, the U.S. economy isn’t exactly hale and hearty. But Karl Smith dismisses the report as backward-looking and skewed by auto sales that were hurt by computer-chip shortages. The world’s chipmakers are busy spending kajillions of dollars to turn that shortage into a glut, writes Tim Culpan. It could yet be that both inflation and growth turn out just fine.
Bonus Inflation Reading: Stanley Black & Decker is passing costs on to you, the consumer. — Brooke Sutherland
Global air traffic is finally starting to get back to normal, writes David Fickling, unless you count China, which maybe you should.
Europe is letting its nuclear power go obsolete, which will not help it fight climate change, writes Jonathan Ford.
COP26 could bring real progress if the world sets rules for a carbon market and aid for developing countries. — Bloomberg’s editorial board
Russia is a huge climate-change culprit but also a big climate victim. — Liam Denning
Torn by infighting and beholden to old notions of liberalism, the left can’t counter the visceral pull of the far right. — Pankaj Mishra
The GOP, meanwhile, is hopelessly captured by anti-democratic conspiracy theorists. — Jonathan Bernstein
China is making the Soviet Union’s Cold War mistakes. — Hal Brands
Erdogan’s erratic behavior keeps hammering Turkey’s economy and the lira. — Bobby Ghosh
Americans aren’t mad at billionaires. — Stephen Carter
Habemas framework for a Democratic spending bill.
Vaccinated people can spread the delta variant as much as unvaccinated people.
Area VC calls men who take parental leave “losers.”
The hot new accessory is tiny, heavy cubes.
A preacher predicted black holes in 1783.
Scientists are figuring out why placebos work.
Area goal is incredible.
Notes: Please send tiny cubes and complaints to Mark Gongloff at email@example.com.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.
Mark Gongloff is an editor with Bloomberg Opinion. He previously was a managing editor of Fortune.com, ran the Huffington Post's business and technology coverage, and was a columnist, reporter and editor for the Wall Street Journal.
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