Capital Destruction and Mimetic Desire in Tech and Finance
Byrne Hobart, writer at The Diff, joins Taylor Pearson, co-chief investment officer of Mutiny Fund, for a wide-ranging discussion on everything from monopolization within technological companies to “Straussian” readings of Jerome Powell and Anthony Fauci to what the 800-year chart of real interest rates indicates about the history of capital markets. Hobart scrutinizes what the tendency of technological firms to mimic the major winners in the space means for the future of technological innovation and the venture capital industry as well as the capital that tracks it. After Pearson asks Hobart about the notion of “optionality” as applied to Airbnb, they discuss their risk/reward analysis of Bitcoin as well as the recent companies that went public via special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs). Filmed on January 8th, 2021. Key learnings: This interview contains many contradictory propositions such as the notion that bubbles can be useful and that citizens living during the fall of an empire have a better quality of life than those that lived during its rise. Hobart argues that SPACs as a whole offer little upside and that Bitcoin has a favorable (if skewed) risk/reward profile.