The Intersection: Logan Mohtashami's Most Controversial Opinion
ASH BENNINGTON: Logan, if you have a few more minutes to join us, we'd like to ask you some questions called the intersection. They're a little bit more personal questions about the way you view the world. Logan, is there one person living or dead who you'd want to interview and if so, why? LOGAN MOHTASHAMI: Genghis Khan. Because when you look at-- my degree was actually history. If you look at one person that infected the world in terms of velocity as horrific as Genghis Khan and the style of his leadership, it'd really be interesting to see what he was like personally, because the models were historic in every way imaginable when you look at the history of data. It would be interesting to see what he was like personally, because you have to be just a very unique person to do that damage around the world. ASH BENNINGTON: Anyone living? LOGAN MOHTASHAMI: Personally, this is just for me because it was always Magic Johnson. I was a basketball player growing up, I was a high school basketball coach before I got into finance. He was such an integral part of my life, just because of his leadership skills. It was a real turning point when I followed Magic and realize what it meant to be a leader and what it meant to always be positive for the people around you. Because when you take that role, and it would just be wonderful just sitting down and chatting with him and just going over all of the stuff that he's gone through on the basketball front and the personal front. ASH BENNINGTON: Are there any books that have changed your outlook on the world, the way that you see your profession and the way that you see things more broadly? LOGAN MOHTASHAMI: No. There's not any books. Honestly, I am such a chart guy that the way my mind works is that numbers are more valuable to me than reading words. Numbers are, and I believe this, numbers of the closest thing we have to the handwriting of God. Looking at data in itself is more impactful for me than any book because it tells me the story in a more proficient way where a human being can interpret history or an event with their own bias, so charts of course. ASH BENNINGTON: That's a great answer. Talking of breakthroughs, are there any key successes or experiences in your life that you think of as a tipping point in your career? LOGAN MOHTASHAMI: Really, for me, was being a high school basketball coach at age 18. I was like an old soul but general leader anyway, and when you get to have a leadership role at such a young age, and I was like the baby of my high school class too, so I'm literally coaching kids that I'm not too much older on, you learn the aspect of what it means to be a leader and how you need to always 24/7 show that class, show that positive attitude, avoid negativity and the dark aspects of humanity. At age 18, and I only did it for five years, having people look up to you, that were young kids and then you see them grow up, you realize that every single day, you need to have that mindset with yourself. Coaching high school basketball at such a young age taught me that because what you teach kids or what you tell people, it's going to follow you for the rest of your life. Now, a lot of my kids are grown up and they have kids of their own and just to having them conversing, oh God, you're always so positive. I always remember when you always made us try to work hard and be your best, that to me was the tipping point because I learned it at a very young age and use that throughout the rest of your life. ASH BENNINGTON: Conversely, have you had any key failures that really made you reappraise or reevaluate your life that set you on a different trajectory? LOGAN MOHTASHAMI: Yes. The financial crisis, faith in humanity can be blinding. Back then, just seeing the greed and what was going on, and not doing enough to try to spread the word was my failure back then, and we didn't have-- I wasn't even in the financial blogging but I learned from that to always make sure that-- humans are greedy always and no matter what it is, the history of humanity have shown us that when money is involved and speculation evolves, societies can go to that very quickly. One of the reasons I wanted to write, be a financial blogger, was to make sure that lending never eases ever again. In fact, I've always take that stance in Britain, many articles I wrote throughout the last 10 years that tight lending is a prepper tales of myth. There's nothing-- we have no tight lending in America, we are actually still, even today, at very liberal lending standards, because if you facilitate debt and speculation and money, it could turn a society apart like this. That's what the history of the world has shown us that when money is involved and speculation evolves, people jump in, and always, the failure of not reading that in terms of getting out there and trying to explain that this is not a good thing haunts me to this day. That is why for the rest of my life, I'm always going to focus on making sure that lending is adequate and safe, and to go against any single person that tries to facilitate debt speculation for housing, because that is something that is so impactful for any economy and for any household. ASH BENNINGTON: Finally, what belief do you hold that is the most controversial opinion in your professional life? LOGAN MOHTASHAMI: That the US economy is the most prolific economy in the history of the world, and that a lot of these takes on the US economy are more ideological based. If you look at the history of data, you look at the history of demographics, inflation, everything the US economy has been able to do, such wonderful things. Because the world has made so much progress in the last 200 years, that if you look at the history of the world in how bad things used to be, how hard things used to be in the days, the US economy, just generally the progress the world has made, it's been a miracle, especially in the last 200 years. I, myself, is always to go after the extreme right and left and say, hey, listen, things used to be a lot worse 100, 200 years ago. Let's put things in perspective, and I always get attacked on that front. I expect that to be the case to the very last day I live.