At the CC Forum Investment in Blockchain and AI conference held in London this week, the stage was packed full of outspoken commentators, both for and against cryptocurrency and blockchain. It inevitably led to a heated exchange between Nouriel ‘Dr. Doom’ Roubini and Bobby Lee.
On stage, Craig Wright, the man who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto sat beside Brock Pierce and Tone Vays. Joining them was one of Bitcoin’s most prominent detractors, Nouriel Roubini, who predicted the 2008 financial crisis, as well as Bobby Lee, who founded BTCC in 2011.
The latter two got into an argument over the value of fiat currencies, with the famed economist saying he has no problems with monetary policies such as negative interest rates. However, Lee spoke of the unfair inflation that has struck the dollar over the past thirty-odd years.
Inadvertently, it led to Roubini bringing up the depreciation of S***coins, which Lee sharply jumped on, asking Dr. Doom: “You call this a S***coin?!” Holding up a 100 dollar bill in his face.
No Problem with Inflation
The argument began with Lee asking Roubini for his opinion on the printing of fiat money and the control that central banks have on the flow and supply of money.
“There is nothing wrong with quantitative easing,” expressed Roubini. “There is nothing wrong with zero policy rates, there is nothing wrong with negative policy rates, there is nothing wrong with foreign guidance, there is nothing wrong with anything that the central banks have to do.”
He then went on to look back at the 2008 financial crisis stating that the same mistakes were made in the 1930s where everyone was able to liquidate, leading to the great recession. He added that today, we have learned the lessons of the past, where there was no monetary policy.
Unfair to Lose Value
Lee’s, argument against Roubini, who is at peace with leaving the financial system to the central banks to affect the value and supply of money, was to refer back to his own experience of the value of money over the last thirty years.
“I moved to the United States in 1989, thirty years ago, and I remember that $100 was worth so much money, it could do so much for me, over a weekend. If I hold the same bill for thirty years, is it fair, is it good that today, that same bill is worth much less than thirty years ago — is that fair?” he asked the audience.
Roubini was quick to jump in on Lee’s attack on inflation by stating: “Any S***coin, in 24 months, will lose 90 percent value…” Only before Lee quickly reminded him that he is comparing his $100 bill to a S***coin.
Is Lee right? Does the depreciation of the US dollar equate to the same thing as cryptocurrencies shedding 90 percent of their value? Or is Dr. Doom right and central bankers should be trusted to govern monetary policy? Let us know your thoughts!