Stiglitz one-ups Buffet, wants to 'shut down the cryptocurrencies'

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May 8, 2019

Tis the season to trash crypto, apparently.

Only a day after Warren Buffet’s dismissal of Bitcoin as ‘a gambling machine’ that ‘hasn’t produced anything’, yet another financial heavyweight opted to pick a fight with digital currencies. This time, it’s Nobel laureate and former chief economist of the World Bank, Joseph Stiglitz, with, if nothing else, one of the weirdest crypto takes of the year:

“I actually think we should shut down the cryptocurrencies.”

Absurdity of the claim aside, Stiglitz’s main gripe with the crypto market seems to stem from the illicit use of digital assets, and the lack of transparency associated with crypto transactions (though he remained pretty vague throughout his remarks):

“It disturbed me a great deal – the attention that was given to cryptocurrencies”, lamented Joseph, “Because those were moving things off of a transparent platform and into a dark platform.”

Stiglitz also reiterated his support for the financial status quo, and praised the ‘very stable’ US dollar:

“We have a very good currency so far; the currency’s been run in a very stable way, there’s no need for anyone go to a cryptocurrency,”

And so, after a long hard day yesterday of bashing Buffet and everything he stands for, the crypto reddit was forced to turn into the ‘Ah s#%t’ meme and tear into Stiglitz anew:

And so they did.

First point of attack, as expected, was Stiglitz’s inane notion that one can simply ‘shut down’ crypto somehow, as if he’s talking about a toaster:

Next, some pointed out that Stiglitz’s main argument against crypto - namely that it’s used by baddies - could also warrant the imminent shutdown of pretty much all commodities in existence, from the US dollar to shoes and event tickets:

Much like with Buffet, Stiglitz’s age was brought up a number of times to essentially disqualify any opinion he may have about crypto:

For some, Stiglitz’s ‘argument’ was actually the most scathing criticism of Bitcoin available, and as such perfectly demonstrates the lack of viable counterpoints to crypto:

Either way, after lambasting Stiglitz himself, it was time to turn to the ‘Nobel laureate’ part of the story. The prized title was swiftly proclaimed meaningless, rooted in monarchy and politically motivated; one particularly woke redditor even wondered: ‘Is economics even a science?’

Finally, it was time to turn on economists in general, as almost anyone with a degree in economics was dubbed an unimpressive paid stooge:

Typical echo chamber nonsense aside, there were actually fragments of an interesting discussion tucked in between the memes and general vitriol. If you don’t mind a longer read, one user attempted to dissect Stiglitz’s comments in the broader context of 20th century policies, and current shifting political paradigms. Here’s the full comment, split in two parts.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Whether you agree with the above argument or not, i think we can at least agree that it’s heaps better than the ‘analysis’ offered by the ever-present ‘lol economists’ crowd.

You can find most of the Stiglitz discussion here and here.

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May 8, 2019

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