The Fed's Losing Battle with Deflation (w/ Jeff Booth)
MAX WIETHE: I'm sitting down with Jeff Booth, author of the Price of Tomorrow and also an entrepreneur, thank you for coming in all the way from Vancouver, Jeff. JEFF BOOTH: Thanks. Thanks for having me, Max. MAX WIETHE: It's our pleasure. Well, before we get into a little bit about your background to help understand the lens through which you're viewing this issue of deflation and technology and the way that's going to impact society, I'd like to just get a brief summary of the book for our viewers so they can understand what we're going to be talking about today. JEFF BOOTH: The book you mentioned, it is called the Price of Tomorrow, why technology is key to an abundant future. It's about what's happening in the world today, through the lens of you see the divide in political spectrums, you see the divide of the social contract in our world breaking down and it can be pulled back to technology is deflationary. That's not a guess that's a fact and it rides an exponential wave of deflation. What that means is we should be seeing lower and lower cost and higher and higher gains abundance everywhere in our world. Why we're not is because central governments and monetary stimulus around the world that's trying to prevent that. Because we've grown up in a world where inflation rate wins, and we can't see that deflation could be a good thing. MAX WIETHE: I do think you make an interesting case for that in your book. Before we go a little bit deeper into exactly how you lay out your thesis, why don't we go back a little bit to understand your background, and how you came to these ideas. JEFF BOOTH: My background is as a technology entrepreneur, and I've started on numerous companies, one of which grew to over $500 billion market cap. I'm on boards of numerous other technology companies. In an interesting analog to what I'm seeing is, engineers, there's something called the engineer's ring, and it's a ring that symbolizes our work has meaning, our work has consequences. The story behind it comes from a bridge collapse in Montreal in the 1920s. Now, when you're an engineer, you have to take an oath, our work has consequences. In technology, our work has consequences. The consequences actually could be profoundly great. Every single technology company I'm involved in or helping entrepreneurs are intent on making the world better through technology. If you look at what's going to happen out of the jobs, because of technology, artificial intelligence and what's happening, it's hard to square that peg. It's really hard because our job as technology entrepreneurs is to make things more efficient and the technology that we're able to use today to deploy to make that happen come at the cost of jobs. I know today, there's some people that say, oh, no, don't worry, there's going to be more jobs in the future, more net new jobs in the future. I do not believe that's true, and we could go into that. If the technology can create a more efficient future, and we don't change our social structures or the way that our economies are built, then we're going to drive polarization into our economies, and ultimately, that's going to end in a really bad spot for society. MAX WIETHE: Is it this societal change that you think we need to make? That was the reason that you wrote the book? Why did you decide to put pen to paper? JEFF BOOTH: For my children. For the impact, my children won't grow up in the world that I grew up in, unless their societal change on this. How you get elected in a cycle like this of division is you create internal division in a country and then that internal division isn't big enough to stay elected, and you need to blame another country. If you just look through the lens of what's happening in the polarization of the world today, Hitler's a good example in the '30s. Pray on, because people don't want to face the first principles, the facts, it's easy to drive blame and division into that. We have a structural change that's hitting society. We're not talking about the first principles, we're talking about everything that's in the news is two orders of magnitude away from the first principles. That's why I wrote the book. MAX WIETHE: You really start out the book with the first principles, some of them being the misunderstandings that we have about the way that our world functions and the way that it's going to function in the future. Then also the truths that you try and lay out as your truth. I think that's a great place to start to really dive into the meat of the book, that first section. JEFF BOOTH: Well, we grew up, I did, too, my parents did, their parents did, their parents did, believing inflation was good. My parents bought a home for, call it, $100,000 in 1970, that home was worth $1.5 million today. They got raises through their careers, paid back the home in the future dollars that were worth less. That whole path has driven a lot of prosperity in the world, so I'm not arguing the path. What I'm arguing is today, the deflationary nature of technology is a bigger force, and nothing you're going to do to stop it. Let's just look at deflation versus inflation from that concept and say, is it good or bad? It's not good or bad, people win or people lose, where you put your money matters. In a deflationary environment, the value of your dollars goes up. I would think that that would be a good thing, because it means goods and services are getting less and we get more for less. When central banks around the world say we need to drive inflation, that comes down to we have too much debt in the world, and if you have deflation with too much debt in the world you create a negative spiral. Again, deflation or inflation isn't good or bad, it's where does your money go to drive a better outcome. If you have deflation today, technology deflation and we can go into that, that is going to accelerate and the only way to stop that acceleration of deflation is debasing currencies or spending money you don't have, then the consequence of that is asset prices rising, stock prices rising, and everybody that has assets or stocks are winners out of that. I'm a winner out of that. In fact, because of zero interest rate policy, the funds that are raising giant funds to invest in technology and take jobs faster have more capital because they're trying to-- that whole thing is driving a faster feedback cycle but it's also the divide of our societies. Because if you have assets, they're getting artificially promoted. If you don't, you can't keep up to the rate of that asset price rise. You're picking the pocket of some people and giving it to others. That's why we have massive inequality in the world that's accelerating inequality. MAX WIETHE: I think one of the things you talked about as you called it, technology deflation, not all deflation is the same. A lot of people, when they hear the word deflation, their mind immediately goes to the 1930s in the Great Depression, which I call it demand side deflation, there was people didn't have any money and so to sell goods at all, you had to lower the prices and so that deflation on its face looks bad. The deflation you're talking about is of a completely different nature. What are some of the like the most important technologies, I think people need to keep their eye on to understand the deflationary forces that are coming our way? JEFF BOOTH: I use this example in the book, but it's an important example because I've asked this question to pose 10s of thousands of times to audience all over the world. The question is, if I fold a piece of paper on itself, one times, two times, three times, a normal 8.5 by 11 piece of paper, if I could fold that paper 50 times, I can only fold it seven, but if I could fold that paper 50 times, how thick is the piece of paper? Most answers I get from all over the world are about a couple inches. I've had a couple people say to the roof, but out of 10s of thousands of people are answering, no one has ever guessed to the sun. That single piece of paper would fold to the sun, and it's an exponential pattern. Moore's law or quantum behind Moore's law, but Moore's law for now is driving, accelerating that every 18 months, we get a double of compute power. Why that matters a lot, those two analogues matter a lot, is it's the same reason we misunderstand technology in the beginning. There's a hype cycle in technology because the fold doesn't do anything. We expect something and it doesn't do anything. If you now compare those two things, we'll unfold 33 with regards to technology, so we're not in the small folds anymore, we're on the really thick folds. The big steps in technology. If you're looking back today and saying self-driving cars, all of this technology that's coming, you're looking back backwards the last 50 years, and the last 50 years in the next 18 months will double. If you can't get the answer from a piece of paper moving to the sun and nobody can get the answer from piece of paper moving the sun, unless you've heard it before, then you similarly can't get the answer for what technology means going forward. If you look at today, you talked about some of the different technologies, I would say it's a base layer of everything we do. In fact, I don't think people even realize that they're celebrating technology and creating the monopolies that we see before us today. Google, your searches are free. Then they add Maps, then they add Waze. Everything is free that you're using. Amazon, prices keep going down then they add Movies, then they add this. The technology companies today are celebrated for the same deflation that they're bringing to our lives. We're using them because of that. That is the product that we see. We have this crazy belief, crazy belief that we can get deflation in some parts of our society and inflation everywhere else and run an economic model that we used to run. Going forward if you think fold 34, fold 35, what's going to happen in that doubling rate of technology, if it took $185 trillion in the last 20 years to essentially stop deflation, $185 trillion monetary easing debt creation to get a nominal inflation rate, going forward, that number is going to explode. You have a Ponzi scheme of debt, credit creation, and at some point, it's going to break. MAX WIETHE: Do you think the social consequences of that printing could come to fruition and slow down this deflationary cycle because of the social problems that will come to roost first? JEFF BOOTH: If you look at the newspapers today, if you look at most of what is in the news today, it's the social problems that everybody's talking about. Whether it's Trump on one side, Bernie on the other side, or it's the social consequences of what we're talking about that are rising and is creating divide in the world like we've never seen. Well, we've seen but we've seen that the height of World Wars. MAX WIETHE: Yeah, but those monopolies that you're talking about that are driving the technological evolution, which is inherently deflationary what if there's talk about breaking up these monopolies, and that could slow things down and you get into the power of monopolies later in the book specifically with regard to AI and how the importance of large data sets that are always being updated are extremely important and so that in some ways, if the goal is to achieve some AI superiority, then you almost need these monopolies, and that's going to slow down that deflationary cycle potentially, if we have these societal issues, which are clearly rearing their head faster than runaway deflation. JEFF BOOTH: Let's dig into AI a little bit. It's one of the things, not the only thing, there's a whole bunch of deflation coming. Let's take a look at AI as a first principle. The way we learn is through error correction. The more you practice, the better you get, through error correction, but we can't see all of the data sets we have to choose to see certain data sets. AI as it adds more and more data sets, it's actually the same thing. It's error correction at scale. If you talk to, I'm friends with many of them, if you talk to top AI researchers, then somewhere between five and 20 years, we're going to have general purpose AI that's better than us at everything. If every job, five and 20 years, that's not a long time scale. If every single job is a function of our intelligence, and it's hard not to see that. If every single job is a function of our intelligence and we're going to have Ais that are more intelligent than us, how can you logically conclude that there's going to be more jobs in the future? That path is going to-- today, economists compare general purpose technologies, AI and electricity and say, we've been through this before and the policy tools through electrification worked and yes, there was retraining that needed to happen and everything else but there no jobs in the future. I think it's foolish to compare electricity to AI. Nobody said electricity is going to be smarter than human beings. Electricity was important breakthrough as electrification created new industries and everything else, but nobody ever said electricity-- two things. Electricity wasn't doubling its performance every 18 months and nobody ever said it was going to be smarter than humans. I think it's a bad analog. If you think that the policy tools that worked in the '30s to be able to bridge societies through that transition will work again in this transition, I think you're not looking at the first principles of what's happening in technology. MAX WIETHE: AI is one of them. Another interesting area of deflationary technology that you get into is energy. Energy in itself also feeds back into a lot of the other technologies which could be deflationary. I think it's important that we talk about that as well. JEFF BOOTH: There is no life on earth without energy. For years, we didn't see the consequences of the energy and all the jobs of energy. We dig up all of the energy, not anymore, but most of the energy from plants, animals that got the energy from the sun before. That whole job exploration, refining, put it in your car, all of that produced a lot of jobs, we didn't see the second order consequences of those jobs. Energy itself is about 9% to 10% of any economy. The race for lower cost energy is a critical matter in economic. It's what drove the race for coal. It's really hard to stop a race for oil, race for all around the world, because if you don't have lowers cost energy versus your competitor, your economy fails because its core to everything. We now have solar energy that is on par with the lowest cost energies in the world and following that same exponential trend of lower and lower costs. The whole infrastructure of digging things up, refining them, having offsets to the environment and all the damage that costs in the future will look foolish. There's still going to be a massive transition time, but today, that has a huge consequence for if you're adding deflationary net nature of solar one's built, you're not bringing coal to the solar farm. A lot of different jobs go away and it adds deflation, it adds to all of the other deflationary trends that we're seeing. I just don't see how governments are going to stop it. At the other side of it, why is it a bad thing? If you think about the abundance that that could bring you, if you think about the abundance in your life that that could bring you with lower and lower energy cost, to at some point potentially being free energy, why is that a bad thing? MAX WIETHE: I can't personally think of any good reasons but there are some counterarguments that people would make that new commodities are going to become more important as new technologies arise and that solar panels and the battery technology, that we're going to need to store that energy is made up of these different minerals, which we don't mind at the rates that we're going to need to mind them at. You'll see the inflation come from other areas. Yes, oil might be in a secular downtrend and declining in price, but you're going to see that that price of oil is going to make its way into other commodities. How do you- - JEFF BOOTH: If you add up all of these exponential technologies that are moving, we are in a secular downtrend. If you said today, we have all the jobs of the traditional industry and all the new jobs of the build out of the new. I actually see right now, that's today, and that's happening in a number of different industries. Tomorrow, it won't look like that. Once you hit the breaking point of some of these technologies, it'll change dramatically, and it will drop all of the existing jobs. I would love to have this debate, but I don't see where the jobs are in the long term that create net new jobs globally, net new high paying jobs globally. For our existing economy to work the way around inflation, that would have to happen. MAX WIETHE: It's not a short term, a switch to-- you acknowledge that a short term switch to solar could cause inflation in certain areas, but over the long run, these trends are inherently deflationary and that will win out over time. It's not that this is some short term thing that deflation is on the horizon. Next year, not that you couldn't see these same forces playing out, but it's not like it's going to take over tomorrow. JEFF BOOTH: I would ask you this, you would already see it. $185 trillion in the last 20 years has been created to be able to increase GDP around the world by $46 trillion per year. Just ask yourself, what would asset prices look like, what would the deflation and inflation look like without the $185 trillion? You would already see it. What my premise is, is that's going to accelerate? Today, we're stopping it. Central banks all around the world, whether it's US, whether it's Euro, whether it's China, the printing press is on trying to stop that from happening. I suspect it's going to stay on. I suspect because we can't see the different way we need to construct society that we're going to keep taking the short term juice until it breaks, but you would have already seen it without that printer. MAX WIETHE: If they're going to keep printing, what's going to break first? Is it going to be these systems that we have now at the central banks and the government's as they exist, or is deflation going to run away beforehand and these governments are going to have to figure out how to deal with it? Are we going to restructure before the deflation hits? JEFF BOOTH: I think the restructure happens in a different way. Unfortunately. I wrote the book so that we could have really critical debate around core issues rather than the secondary effect that seems to be driving the debate today. It's better to use an example here, and Blockbuster. Everybody talks about Blockbuster and they're 9000 stores and why they didn't see Netflix coming. Blockbuster, for the time that they grew their business, 9000 stores was the thing that was driving the business. At the time when they didn't buy Netflix for $50 million, download speeds, remember slow speeds, they couldn't-- Netflix wasn't delivering videos through technology, through download speeds. They were emailing videos, the business didn't make a lot of sense. Blockbuster missed the exponential trend of technology, what would happen? That made their business irrelevant overnight. By the time it was irrelevant, it didn't matter what they did. What they did is added candy aisles to the stores, and it just delayed their collapse by one year. It's easy to look at these examples in creative destruction in companies where the smartest and brightest minds can't see it. If you actually just zoom up a level, all of us have been in an inflationary environment all our lives. We can't see it because we don't question these things because they've always been true. I would say, what's happening right now is there's a structural change that's so great that's happening to society through technology that people can't see it. We stay on a path and making tweaks to an old system similar to how Blockbuster added candy aisles to their stores, thinking that that's going to solve it. Through that lens, if you see what's coming, and why you might be trapped in a bias as well, which is really easy to see how we all get trapped in those things that we don't question anymore and move to the next thing, it's just important time because we've never seen technology like this. MAX WIETHE: Well, I'm not really pushing back against that idea. I'm more trying to get your input on what is going to happen first is the printing, which is offsetting the deflation as we see now, going to become the societal issue that will cause a restructuring before we see the deflation or will the deflation be the thing which makes the debts untenable and thus, we have to start thinking about not literally restructuring the debt, but restructuring society first? JEFF BOOTH: I didn't really look-- but I will. The printing, these are probability distributions. This is I can't say, I'm not going to say this is going to happen or this is going to happen. I wrote the book to hopefully drive up debate that this doesn't happen. What do I suspect is going to happen? Printing is going to continue, but printing isn't just going to continue, it's going to accelerate to a rate that is staggering. That printing all around the world, whether it's China, Japan, everything else will rise into asset prices and everything else and further driving equality and society is going to break. When that happens, people vote for people who say it's not your fault, it's their fault. Once people believe that it's not your fault, it's their fault, it's hard to unring that bell. What ends up happening is you drive society, you break society, and that ends up in revolutions and wars. That's unfortunately what I suspect is going to happen if we keep playing the game we're playing, because the force of deflation is so great, it's like we're trying to stop gravity by flapping our arms. We're not going to stop it. Without a realization that we're not going to stop it and rebuild society in a different way to take advantage of it, society is going to break. MAX WIETHE: I think that's a great way to get into how you ended the book, which is with way that you talked about just now what you think will happen, but you did lay out some examples of ways that you think we can think about restructuring ourselves as a society to deal with these deflationary forces. What do you think would be-- The way without revolution, what does that going to look like? JEFF BOOTH: If you go back to is deflation good or bad, there needs to be a reset of debt around the world or something to be able to bridge it. I'm not suggesting that it's one thing but I did lay out a simple premise. It's going to sound crazy but I think we might be asking the wrong question. Governments all around the world, every government, how do we protect our high paying jobs? How do we gain more high paying jobs, and as a consequence, in a deflationary world, we need to print to be able to do it? We need to do it. What if we're asking the wrong question? What if the question is how do we build a society where we don't need them? What if we let deflation happen and prices just kept going lower and lower? As jobs fell out of the market, you didn't have to have this massive transfer of wealth from the rich to the poor to be able to drop the people that were left off of the path of deflation? Because if it's true that technology is going to do more and more of these jobs, wouldn't it seem logical to build a society where we can benefit from that technology instead of stuck in an old framework where we have to drive higher and higher and higher paying jobs when we know they're not going to be there? Why don't we let it happen? In fact, capitalism itself would work perfectly there. We don't live in a capitalist society anymore. We live in crony capitalism where if we are printing money, capitalism itself, allowing things to fail, and where you're actually paid for your difference and ingenuity and everything else not because you have assets that were artificially priced would work perfectly if you let deflation happen. MAX WIETHE: What if we're starting from a place of too great of inequality where the people at the bottom of the pyramid don't have enough as those deflationary forces kick in to be able to survive? If prices dropped to zero immediately and we go from a world of scarcity to a post-scarcity capitalist economy immediately and everything costs next to nothing, then yeah, people can live off of their savings, their nonexistent savings, people don't have any money at all. There's huge amounts of people who have less than $500 in savings. That's some serious deflation, that we would need to be able to go to a world where $500 in savings and no job is going to be able to get you through life. JEFF BOOTH: Let's dig into that a little bit more. Today, you have a problem. Let's just take what you just said. There's a whole bunch of people without $500 in savings. I agree with that, there's a whole bunch of people. How will artificially printing more money solve their problem? Because what you will do there is post prices will go up, stock prices will go up, rent prices will go up, they don't participate in any of those and their dollars will be worth less and less as you drive inflation and they won't be able to-- the current path cannot work. That's what I'm getting at. The new path, how we transition to something, I'm not saying there's too much debt in the world today, there's over 250 trillion dollars of debt in the world to run an $80 trillion world economy. That data is going to have to be figured out at some point on a transition. What I'm saying is that transition is going to happen whether we like it or not. Your show talks about it, Bitcoin, I believe it's one of the things in my portfolio. It's my hedge against this. It could go to zero, it has risk, it has ups and downs. I actually believe it's one of those things that as governments debase their currencies, and they're going to have to continue to do so, then what is a currency? It's just trust in an exchange rate, I lend you my money, I lose utility of money today and you have the inverse, you gain utility of money today, which you can spend, and you lose it later with interest. If that's an exchange between us or countries or companies and everything else, and you pretend to if you change the denomination and you change your utility of money, pretend to pay me back, I start to lose trust in the currency. That currency breakdown is likely what's going to happen at some point. Whether it's Bitcoin or a form of trust, that I see that as a really good hedge against what's happening because at some point, the existing system is going to break. MAX WIETHE: I don't disagree with you there, but I was more trying to get at you said without a transfer of wealth. That was the phrase that I touched on, and that there is a group of people who, no matter how deflationary we get, there is going to have to be some transfer of wealth there. It doesn't matter if we restructure the debts, they don't really care about the debts. They care about being able to afford a house, being able to afford health care, being able to put food on their table. Even if we restructure the global debt, and people stopped debasing the currency and we have cheap prices, they're still not going to be able to do that. I'm leading into UBI, and those sorts of other things but I think that in the world that you're describing, it's almost undoubtable that those things would be a part of that. JEFF BOOTH: Well, let's look at both sides of the political spectrum, or the socialism versus capitalism. On socialism, if a large part of the population drops out, and there's only a few people at the top making an enormous amount of money, then there's either going to be revolution, where those people take the money and at some point in the future, and that's going to come in first, it's going to be way higher taxes on wealth. That's the whole path on one side of the political spectrum, way higher taxes to pay for the people that have dropped out. That's one part. If you add to that, that more and more jobs are going to leave, and more and more and monopolies out of artificial intelligence are going to be created, there's going to be very few people at the very top. That's the path, that's the path the current world is on. What that looks like on that current path, on the socialist side is more and more taxes, more and more taxes, more and more taxes to pay for the other and if you don't do that, revolution at some point. On the capitalist's side is it's hard to see your-- I'm an entrepreneur, it's hard to see what you believe is created from your ingenuity being given to somebody else. Less taxes, less taxes, less taxes, and more in a free market. We don't live in a free market anymore if you have to produce $185 trillion of debt to create growth. A free market would be you didn't need to do that. Both, right now, and what you have is, if you talk about UBI as an example. UBI says, okay, let's give everybody a working wage and that'll make the problem go away. If you think about the trying to make that happen in a society today, imagine a person wants to live in New York, because they think jobs prospects are higher there, but also the rents are way higher here. They don't have a job. Do you pay them more, or somebody that has a needy child or something, do you pay them more? Because you're taking from the wealthy and giving to the left out of society, on UBI, you raise a whole bunch of cornucopia of other problems that divide society further. Ultimately, if you look at the inflation, deflation debate, instead of that, and you say where we're going, then UBI, all it does is it sits on top of the existing system that we've had forever. It doesn't talk about a first principle from which deflation is. If we're going to have deflation, now UBI might need to be there as a transfer to something else, there might be a whole bunch of other things that are needed as we transfer economies. If the underlying thing is it's going to be more and more deflationary going forward, I don't see why we should talk about that because that's the most important thing to how societies are built today or how economies are built today. MAX WIETHE: I guess what I'm saying is the revolutions will be perpetual. If you don't have some UBI, that the revolutions will be perpetual in this deflationary world because once the deflationary forces are truly understood and people aren't taught this other side of things, then will you even move to New York because the jobs are better? Are you moving to New York because you like, nobody's going to be looking for jobs, you'll have no motivation to look for a job, the chance of success in you becoming one of that top percent of people who is able to participate in this endgame economy where things are automated, AI is thinking for us and energy is extremely cheap? JEFF BOOTH: These are hard concepts to grapple with, but it doesn't make them not true. Economics is driven by scarcity and technology creates abundance. We're sitting in the studio right now and the most valuable thing is the air we breathe. Without it, we die in a couple minutes yet it's free because it's abundant. Through that lens, it's hard to see you could create a model for air or oxygen underwater where it's scarce, you could create a model for oxygen if we pollute our air so badly that it becomes scarce. Without that, it's free because it's abundant. Technology creates abundance everywhere. It's going to be it's not just in your phones anymore. It looked back and look at your phone. Like it's hard to believe that-- my first phone was $2,000. My first phone bill was $1200, and all it did is made phone calls. It's hard to believe what I have free on my phone today at that abundance, that technology isn't now just in our phones, it's moving to every part of society. Why wouldn't we logically expect to see that and if we could see that, we could drive a really exciting future, a future of abundance for everybody. The path to that is going to be challenging. The path to that right now, if you look out your window, if you look at the political divide, not just in the United States, but all over the world, it's already there. Burying our heads in the sand and saying that that's not going to get worse, I think is ignorant. I think it's going to get a lot worse. MAX WIETHE: Well, it sounds like we're really discussing a world that's post scarcity. That a post scarcity world, a lot of the economic concepts which we hold as truths are proven to be false, and that we need to reconsider how we restructure ourselves moving forward to understand this new world of post scarcity economy. JEFF BOOTH: That's the debate we should be having. That is a debate political circles around the world at all sorts, that's the debate we should be having. It's an important debate. MAX WIETHE: I think that's if you look at the candidacy, the former candidacy of Andrew Yang, that's what he was trying to have with him throwing himself into the ring and now, the Democratic debate has gone a little bit back towards looking at the symptoms of this deflationary issue and Yang to me, this is all personal opinion here but Yang to me was the one who was looking at these causes of deflation and saying this is what we need to be talking about, not these really symptoms. JEFF BOOTH: Even if his policy response on UBI, that might not be the response. At least he was somebody that was active in the debate around the first principles and I agree with you, an intellectual debate around what we need to do rather than throwing stones. MAX WIETHE: We're going to change pace a little bit here. You talked about Bitcoin a bit as something that you hold in your portfolio and I do want to couch this part of the conversation with the disclaimer that you're not a financial advisor or a hedge fund manager but you are an entrepreneur and businessman. How are you looking at, in a world where this deflation is going to be a force, how are you looking at where you're putting your money, the types of businesses that you're investing in, the time horizons that you're looking at, how are you investing around this? JEFF BOOTH: If you think about what we've talked a lot about, what will central banks likely do? If central banks don't print, then I think you would want to be out of the market, you'd want to be in cash, but they will likely print so you need to be in the market, but the game is actually not what's happening out here. The game is what are central banks doing? If you take that to its logical conclusion, first of all, what companies would I be in, I would be in a bunch of the companies that I'm involved in or technology monopolies. I would have all your listeners, readers look at network effects. A network effect is-- a the telephone works on a network effect. It's worth zero if I'm the only one with the telephone, and the value of the network increases with the traditional user. If you have a telephone, you and I can talk. If one other person, one other person and the internet itself is designed, really strong network effects, as are the big monopolies on top of it. Most of the value that's been created in monopolies are around network effects. I look for network effects in companies or design around network effects in companies and I have had tremendous success in my own portfolio around companies that have the demonstrate that because the value to all users keep going up and up and up and as a byproduct, their algorithms get better. As a byproduct, nobody uses a second place algorithm. There's still lots of opportunities for companies to be created in the end of there. I'm really excited about the technology companies I'm involved in, really excited about that. I would have money there. Then if printing is going to happen, you'd need to be in the market. Then I would look at what is the logical next step from there. The logical next step from there is, at some point, taxes are going to have to go way up. If you have, let's say, you're investing in real estate and real estate has been asked that if China's going to devalue their currency, which they're going to print money and devalue their currency, then the holders of that currency in China need to get it out of China, and they needed to put it somewhere and it goes into our real estate, and the real estate goes up, and then our rents go up and everything else. Those things are likely to accelerate and those things are likely to continue to happen, but because you can't move it, it can be taxed. Taxes at some point down the road are going to go up as well as you try to pay back all of the stimulus and debt that you're producing. Be careful of how all in I was on any asset class like that. At some point, the moving around deck chairs for the Titanic about the monetary policy is going to break. I don't know what that point looks like, but Bitcoin itself works on a network effect as well. The more and more users of a system increase the value of the system. Bitcoin overall, actually has that potential to operate on the network effect and then at some point, drive massive trust in it, and that trust might be from currency holders in Venezuela, who Bitcoin, while Bitcoin last year lost 30% of its value, it didn't lose 1.8 million percent of its value from the inflation rate. Those people won, they could move that currency, it was life saving for people in Venezuela. That might happen from a whole bunch of different countries, might happen from people in China getting into it so that they can move and safe from currency devaluation. At some point, with enough people using that, whether it's a currency or not, whether it's a hold of value or store of value that enough people trust, it can just change the game over at all. I look for asymmetric bets. Almost unlimited upside and limited downside. If I said, where is the gold market today versus a Bitcoin market today and what could happen? It's an asymmetric bet. I hold some of that in my portfolio. MAX WIETHE: Wonderful. Well, Jeff, it was a fantastic read and one that I very much enjoyed. Thanks so much for coming in. JEFF BOOTH: Thank you very much.