Zoltan Pozsar, who until recently worked as the managing director of investment bank Credit Suisse, offered his insight into financial markets and the issues that are weakening the dollar’s dominance around the world.
In his role at Credit Suisse, Pozsar’s insight into the ins and outs of the legacy financial system and market dynamics was highly sought after. His recent departure from the bank came shortly after it was purchased by UBS in March as an attempt to keep it from collapsing amid existential turmoil for banks around the world. On stage at Bitcoin 2023, Pozsar addressed how U.S. banks have been impacted.
“This is basically an episode where the large banks are largely insulated from the problems,” Pozsar said. “It’s basically lessons in not being able to run interest rate risk, not knowing how to make a loan that will be weathering a rising interest rate storm.”
He described the Federal Reserve’s responses to these banking failures as only addressing “half the problem.”
“I think it’s more like foaming the runway for any of the large banks that might be having problems down the road,” he added.
Pozsar was interviewed on stage by BitMEX co-founder Arthur Hayes, who pressed him on whether he owns any bitcoin.
“I don’t own any,” Pozsar responded. “I’m observing it. I don’t like to dabble in things that I don’t understand well.”
Pozsar outlined his pessimism that bitcoin could ever really serve as money, as his historical research has shown him that money has to have a direct link to a government to endure. As a fundamentally decentralized, peer-to-peer network, Bitcoin could not support money that fits his definition.
“The one thing I will say about bitcoin is that money, if you will, is something that is purely public or a public-private partnership,” Pozsar explained. “When I look at Bitcoin, it’s a purely-private initiative. It’s clearly lacking a state link. But then again, things are evolving, there are a number of countries that have adopted bitcoin as a legal tender, so things are definitely in flux there.”
In his writing, Pozsar has underscored the evolving role that Bitcoin is playing around the world as institution-backed money like the U.S. dollar becomes weaker. At Bitcoin 2023, he listed several global market trends, including the rising economic power of China, that are threatening its role as the global reserve currency.
“There’s a number of changes happening that I think we need to keep an eye on because it’s all going to be at the expense of the dollar’s share of commodity finance, trade finance, share of reserve assets and so on,” Pozsar said.