Arthur Hayes: For The War
- When war is waged, the State takes priority. Regardless of whatever the pre-war legal norms were, during wartime, whatever the State needs, the State takes. And because the State must have what it needs to wage war, the private sector is typically crowded out of a wide range of goods and services.
- When the domestic economy cannot produce enough goods and services to support both the State and the private sector, the State resorts to paying people and for supplies in government fiat money, which becomes increasingly less valuable as the war goes on and goods are harder to come by. During previous total world wars, shortages of milk, bread, butter, sugar, and labour abounded, and there was nowhere to hide. During the current iteration of global economic war, we still have shortages – they just look a little bit different. We’ve run low on semiconductor chips, masks, baby formula, and weapons. There is no escape (or at least, there wasn’t in the past – but more on that later).
- Readers may also be dismayed that I offer no price prediction in the event the economic war escalates. The point at which war becomes “total” for both sides, is the point at which you lose all options to protect yourself financially. The fiat price of Bitcoin ceases to be a thing. Who cares how many USD / EUR / JPY / CNY / RUB etc. buys one Bitcoin when you are forbidden from converting fiat currencies into anything other than domestic government bonds?
- At that point, I’d expect that the Bitcoin price would switch from a fiat exchange rate to one against oil. Oil is the source of energy that powers modern civilisation. The ownership goals of Bitcoin are to maintain constant purchasing power with respect to oil. “Bitcoin per barrel of oil” would become the new exchange rate.
- The goal is to remain financially flexible in the face of the vagaries of war. 100% of your financial capital should never be parked in just one monetary instrument, whether that be Bitcoin, domestic fiat currencies, bonds, stocks, real estate, commodities, or gold. But your opportunity to move your fiat assets into Bitcoin and other “real” assets only exists today, and may not tomorrow. Remember that.