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Lyn Alden on debt, the dollar, and Bitcoin

On The Brink with Castle Island

June 29, 2020

67 minutes

We host Lyn Alden, equity research and investment strategist focusing on global macro and commodities, to talk about the debt overhang, the effect of the dollar as the reserve currency, QE, the likelihood of inflation, and the prospects for Bitcoin. 

In this episode: 

  • How the Bretton Woods system broke down and gave way to the Nixon shock
  • The genesis of the petrodollar system with Saudi Arabia
  • Alternatives to the dollar reserve that were mooted prior to Bretton Woods II
  • Why the dollar reserve system has begun to impose a cost on americans rather than being a net benefit
  • How the US became a debtor nation and what that means for the middle class
  • Why the US dollar can't find a natural equilibrium
  • The relationship between dollar strength and emerging markets
  • Why the US government is caught between remaining strategic power through dollar centrality versus re-onshoring supply chains
  • Can the world transition past a dollar standard?
  • Why global commodities being priced in a single currency is a historical aberration
  • Why calling QE simply an asset swap isn't a complete description
  • Why our monetary situation bears resemblance to the 1940s
  • The Fed's changing inflation target
  • Why QE in 2008-14 was largely noninflationary and why this time might be different
  • Lyn's view on Bitcoin and how it fits into her macro thesis
  • Lyn's major concerns about Bitcoin

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