All-In with Chamath, Jason, Sacks & Friedberg - E70 EMERGENCY POD! Russia invades Ukraine Reactions, Putin's ambition, Biden's response and more

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All right, everybody, welcome to another episode of the all in

podcast episode number 70. We made it to 70 episodes, which is

just shocking to me. And we’re recording a little bit earlier,

because one of our besties had to change their schedule,

Chamath. And it’s a crazy day to be doing this last night, Putin

decided to invade the Ukraine. Late Wednesday night, early to

Thursday morning, Putin started a special military operation in

quotes to demilitarize the Ukraine. And we’ve been watching

this build up for weeks.

You’re missing it. He said to demilitarize and denazify.

And denazify. Yes, of course. Because the Ukraine was filled

with so many Nazis. His trolling continues. I guess just starting

it off. Sax, you’re a big Putin fan, along with Truncheon. You’re

the right wing. So tell us how glorious is this invasion from

the Republican Party?

It’s interesting what it’s, well, that’s funny. But it’s

also, it’s also kind of sad, because what you’re doing right

there is exactly what the whole Twittersphere is doing, which is

anybody who wants to actually deescalate and defuse this war

before it escalates and metastasizes and something much

worse gets denounced as a Putin apologist. I have no dealings in

either, you know, Russia or Ukraine, for that matter,

Ukrainian cash is not lining my pockets, like many of our

politicians, their families in Washington, I have no interest

except preserving the safety of the United States of America.

And the point is that I think Biden, the one clear, elusive

point that he made in his last speech, I know he’s giving one

today is that the United States of America would not intervene

militarily in Ukraine, we should all understand that he made it

very clear. The troops that were being sent over there were

to defend our NATO allies. Ukraine is not one we do not

have a treaty obligation to defend them. What is happening

right now is tragic. Putin is the aggressor. It’s a

humanitarian disaster. I do feel bad for the people of Ukraine,

our thoughts and prayers are with them. However, we are not

going to intervene militarily in that conflict, nor should we

because we cannot risk starting World War Three. It is not a

vital American interest, who rules the Donbass in a way that

it is a vital American interest to avoid a war with Russia. And

the tragedy here, the second tragedy is that we did not do

everything we could to diplomatically try and solve

this problem. And what do I mean by that on the spot three weeks

ago, I said that Ukraine was never gonna be part of NATO. Why?

Because Biden just said it, we can’t defend them militarily

against Russia, we were never going to admit them. Why didn’t

we give up that card that we don’t know for sure what would

happen. But if we had been willing to basically affirm that

we believe in Ukraine sovereignty, but they are not

going to be part of NATO, that might have diffused this


I think we had consensus on that we said, like, hey, what if I

think actually, I suggested, what if we set a five year, you

know, moratorium on them joining or something like that out


Can I just ask one question on this? Okay, yeah. Saxe, do you

not think that the US, you know, regardless of the obligations

under NATO, faces a little bit of an issue on a global stage

where, you know, we told this leader back down, don’t do this,

and then we don’t respond militarily, that that action

effectively reduces America’s influence and credibility, when

it comes to these sorts of defensive statements, in this

kind of global theatre, and our primacy is being challenged

because we lay down the law, we said, this is not allowed, you

cannot do this, there’s going to be repercussions. And then it

happens, and there are economic sanctions. And, you know, maybe

we’ll talk in a second about some other potential

repercussions. But by not doing something militarily, we weaken

ourselves and we weaken our position, and it gives

permission to others to take action that may be counter

ultimately to kind of the US interests abroad.

Okay, so in response, I have to quote what Barack Obama said.

And we’ve mentioned this on a previous pod, he said, the fact

is that Ukraine, which is, and this is back in the Atlantic

interview, he gave the fact is that Ukraine, which is a non

NATO countries can be vulnerable to military domination by

Russia, no matter what we do. This is an example where we have

to be very clear about what our core interests are, and what we

are willing to go to war for. The fact of the matter is, none

of us on this pod want to send our sons and daughters to go

fight and risk their lives and die to determine who rules the

Donbass or even Ukraine, we sympathize with them, we may

impose sanctions on their behalf, we may arm the

militarily, but we are not willing to fight. And so

therefore, us trying to lay down this law to Putin was a bluff,

and he called our bluff. And the smart thing we can do right now

is not to escalate. Look, we’ve already gone to the river. He’s

caught, you know, we basically tried to barrel and bluff him at

every street, we got to the river, he has now invaded, we’re

now in a showdown. What do you want to do now you want to

escalate this even more, the only way that we could make this

worse is to precipitate a world war. Now, if our absolute

priority, our absolute priority right now should be to make sure

that this war doesn’t spread.

My prediction is as of right now, it would be very unpopular

to go to war, or for the US to enter the war in a on the

battlefield, I do think, and I don’t know if we’re going to

hear more about this today. But I do think that the cyber war is

beginning today. The United States has talked at length

about having, you know, tremendous cyber capabilities.

And my understanding is, as of this morning, a number of state

websites were down in Russia, and a number of, you know,

Russian cyber interests were under attack. And so we may see

the US kind of confront Russia on another battle stage, not on

the, you know, on the field on the physical field. But if over

the next couple of weeks, this continues or days, and I was

just looking at CNN this morning and BBC, and there were these

images that started to come out of like, you know, Ukrainian

airplanes that had been downed. And if you start to see images

of children, you know, helpless children, buildings being

bombed, bodies strewn on the street, does that not change

kind of the American opinion on whether or not we should do

something here? And will that not kind of lead us potentially

into a war that, you know, today, I think we all, you know,

where many people would say strategically doesn’t make sense

economically doesn’t make sense. You know, we’re only

going to lead to kind of escalation. But don’t you think

that American opinion typically changes when imagery arises when

you know, the sort of brutality of war?

Well, I mean, that’s kind of block images out of some wars

and we have in the past. Yeah.

But even today, it’s like the first day and there’s like these

really gruesome, awful photos coming out. And I could see

people getting sympathetic to that and starting to kind of,

you know, bang the, the war drum saying this is ridiculous. We

can’t let this tyrant do this. It’s awful.

It’s already happening, you know, but this is why we should

not conduct foreign policy by Twitter. We should not

Twitterize the situation. Yeah, this is when cooler heads need

to prevail. The fact of the matter is when Soviet tanks,

they rolled into Hungary in 1956 or Czechoslovakia in 1968

to crush the Prague Spring or Poland in 1981 across solidarity.

We did nothing because avoiding war with the Soviet Union was

more important, even though we sympathize with those people.

And in 2008, we’ve been in this situation before. 2008, Georgia,

the Republic of Georgia, Putin invaded on behalf of these

breakaway Russian sort of dissident provinces, South Ossetia

and Abkhazia. Why did that happen? Well, if you remember

back in 2008, there was a lot of talk about Georgia joining

NATO. And you had, you know, the Warhawk Senator John McCain

go over there and declare we’re all Georgians now. And so what

happened? All of a sudden, these breakaway provinces, the

Russified provinces, South Ossetia and Abkhazia started

rebelling. That gave Putin the excuse to roll in there and the

tanks. A year later, he left, but there was no more talk of

Georgia joining NATO. So and again, we George W. Bush was

president at the time. We did nothing militarily. We just sent

humanitarian assistance. That was it. So we’ve been in this

situation before. We should not. I keep hearing in the media

on cable news and on Twitter, this is historically

unprecedented, we must act. No, we’ve been in this situation

before in 2008. And all those previous times, we were in this

situation in 2014. When Putin invaded, let me ask you a

question, sir. We had this concept of, hey, maybe if we

said, hey, we won’t admit them into NATO. And do you think that

if we had actually made that concession, or said, we’re not

going to let them into NATO for a decade, or whatever, do you

think that would have changed Putin’s behavior? So now?

Well, it’s honestly, it’s hard to know. I mean, I can’t I can’t

prove a counterfactual. However, I think it was tragic not to

try. I do think I think I think it should be the goal of

diplomats. Sure. To try. And again, as I said on a previous

pod, it was the sleeves off our vest, Ukraine is not gonna be a

member of NATO. So to give that up, would have was basically

giving them nothing. It was almost meaningless to us. And

instead of making that concession, what happened?

Blinken came out with this statement, NATO’s door is open

and will remain open. It was perhaps the most provocative

thing he could have said in that situation.

And they would have had to been voted in that would have happened

wouldn’t have happened anyway. Let me ask you this question.

You’ve been complaining about the media and Democrats banging

the drum of war, and you’re saying they’re more hawkish. On

the other side of the table, you have Trump came out and said

that Putin’s move on the Ukraine is genius, and the guy is very

savvy. And then you had Pompeo saying I have enormous respect

for him. And that he’s a very talented statesman has lots of

gifts. And he knows how to use power, we should respect that.

So your party, your crew is praising Putin, do you think the

praising of Putin is wise in this kind of situation?

Oh, look, here’s what’s going on. First of all, the warhawks

and the people being the drums of war is happening on both sides

of the aisle. And on both both both sets of cable news, I was

watching Fox last night. And they were all but you know,

cheerleading for war basically saying we have to go on. I

watched it too. Yeah, it’s crazy. We’re saying we have to

go on offense that what what is Biden doing saying that we’re

not going to intervene militarily. I’m like watching

these people who are acting, you know, it reminded me of Dr.

Strangelove, where you have Slim Pickens, the cowboy riding the

atomic bomb on the way down. They were excited. And I’m

watching the cable news. And all these people are acting this

way. And I’m like, what in the world is going on? You know,

it’s ratings. It’s all this is a big part of what I

tried to point out, our prediction show at the end of

last year, you know, the if a country is happy, if the

economy is growing, if there isn’t significant risk of

inflation, no one wants to go to war. When those are not the

case, there’s a tendency to say we got to do something. And if

you don’t, you’re anxious. And if you don’t have anything to

do, and some conflict arises, that’s a good place to kind of

apply your energy and your pressure. Let me bring the

dictator himself into this. You’ve been silent thus far.

Any thoughts on what we’re seeing here? I was letting the

proletariat speak. Okay.

Are you the bourgeoisie? Or what?

That sweater is very bourgeois, I have to say. I mean,

I mean, sweater Karen right now is drafting. She’s multiple

emails. She’s melting. She’s melting. I think there could

just be a GoFundMe to revoke that sweater from you. What is

the story with that sweater? That’s what that’s what Trudeau

Trudeau will revoke in a state of emergency to stop that. Yes.

I mean, this feels like we’re processing this chamath so

quickly, that the Ukraine just asked on Twitter today, for

everybody to tell at Russia how they feel about what they’re

doing. And the Ukraine I’m, this is happening in real time, is

tweeting memes now about Putin. This seems almost surreal, and

is getting very strange in terms of how we’re interpreting

it. I mean, is there an off ramp here? Are we just going to

have to deal with Putin doing this every number of years? And

this is just going to be, you know, a year or two of, you

know, conflict? I don’t know. But here’s what’s important to

two points. One is the economic sanctions have begun and the

economic damage to Russia has been starting to be infected,

right? I think Germany basically suspended the certification of

Nord Stream 2. That has a huge economic impact to Russia, right?

I think the ruble against the dollar was off nine or 10% this

morning, when I woke up here in Europe, so it’s down even more.

So now, the interesting thing about that was that I read an

article in the Wall Street Journal, maybe Nick, you can

dig this up. And this was a few years ago. Preceding this,

Russia had built massive amounts of US dollar reserves. In fact,

they’ve been depleted over like the last little crisis that they

went through. And then they had rebuilt all these dollar

reserves. So in some ways, it may have been the case that

these guys have this plan all along. And they put some, you

know, they built up their bank accounts, just in case because

they knew that this would happen. The other thing is,

there’s a quote from HR McMaster, he said that

deterrence is a simple equation. It’s, it’s the product of will

and capability, right? Will times capabilities. And so, you

know, if you’re going to be a deterrent on the world stage

militarily, not only do you have to have an incredible

military capability, you also have to have the will to go to

war is what he said. And I think in America, you know, what

Friedberg said is, I think if you pulled a lot of people, you

know, people are pretty exhausted after all of these

different conflicts. And so I’m not sure that the will is there

to go to war. And so the best off ramp is to try to find some

amount of economic pressure points, and then to negotiate

some sort of, you know, release valve from all of that economic

pressure in return for some normalization. I think that’s

really the best chance, you know, I can be honest with you,

when I was thinking about the odds of this, just from a

financial perspective, and you know, whether I should be doing

something different or putting something on, I thought that

there was zero chance that this would happen. Literally, I put

it as close to zero as possible, because I thought in 2022, it

just didn’t seem like this could be possible. And here we are.

And it seems like it is. I hope everybody reclaims safe.

I think that Biden’s going to announce some pretty crippling

sanctions. And I think the West is going to be very punitive

financially. And that’s probably awkward. But it depends on it

depends on how long that stuff will last. Because again, like I

said, I think Russia’s foreign currency reserves are pretty

strong. Going into this.

Let me let me then pass the ball to you, sax. There’s, there’s

going to be a lot of people who are going to die, both Russians

and Ukrainian. Sadly, if this thing keeps escalating, there’s

190,000 Russian troops on the border, or making their way into

the Ukraine. Is there an off ramp here? In your mind in any

way? Do you think the sanctions will work? And God, these the

poor citizens of Russia? I mean, are they going to crack at some

point? And is this going to blow back on to Putin? Because what

did they seem to get out of this? I guess is a question. Do

the Russian people support this? And will they support it? And

an extended basis?

Well, okay. So there’s a few questions there. Okay, so the

fact of the matter is so so I think you’re right that Putin

has bought himself a headache here, right? I mean, the the

eastern parts of Ukraine that are, you know, ethnically

Russian, the areas of the Donbass, they will, those people

will support him. But the western part of Ukraine that

wants to be free, that’s not ethnically Russian, that is

going to be a headache for him to manage. I don’t think he

wants this problem long term, it’s probably going to be more

like the situation we had in Georgia in 2008. He goes in for

a year, he institutes perhaps some sort of puppet government

or some government that’s more favorable to him. And then he

gets out probably this is if there’s no escalation. I think

it’s very important. I keep making this point. The most

important thing Biden can do is to make sure that this does not

escalate militarily and that we do not get militarily involved.

I think sanctions will happen. I mean, that’s pretty clear.

Probably, we have to move forward with that. But But at

the same time, it will sanctions work in terms of being a strong

deterrent. No, I don’t think so. There was a very good article

by Neil Ferguson and Ken Griffin, actually in the Wall

Street Journal talking about what we should do. They made the

point that sanctions don’t usually work. However, what we

should really be striving for is energy independence. So 100%

So yes, but the crazy thing is America, despite having these

huge natural gas reserves, 7% of our natural gas is coming from

Russia right now. So why because we stopped fracking, we stopped

the you know, Biden cancel the Keystone pipeline. And then in

Europe, the situation is even worse, which is they’re

completely dependent on on Russian natural gas.

Germans are in the UK, not France.

The op ed made the point that we could be investing in liquefying

natural gas and exporting it to Europe to create more energy

independence and that would remove their dependency on

Putin that energy independence here.

Problem with energy independence is it takes too long. And we

went through a massive capital under investment cycle over the

last six or seven years. And so you know, in order to start

this off, you need to have started actually putting money

in the ground six or seven years. And the problem today is

if we put money into the ground now, that’s not going to yield

any sort of return on investment capital for another six or seven

years. And so when you look at these nat gas companies, every

single one to a name has basically said we are not going

to put any incremental capital into us domestic net gas or

shale, or even offshore. The real solution is to actually go

fully alternative and to go to renewable energy. Because you

can today, right? deploy solar vastly more aggressively in the

United States. Look, at the end of the day, the thing that is

completely abundant and has the best implications all around is


and it’s gotten cheaper than coal and and and and stuff like

why why are we only 3% penetrated in the United States?

Right? We can manufacture these panels, we can deploy them

broadly. Right now, you know, we’re in this situation where

California is actually revisiting the ITC credit or the

net metering laws, sorry, rather, which would have huge

implications for the California solar market, it could actually

destroy that whole market. And so you know, we have to get

really organized, David, to your point, but there is a path to

energy independence, I think it’s alternative energy, it’s

wind and solar. Because we can do it today. And you can do it

really quickly. And you can basically leapfrog the entire

capital investment cycle that you need to do for net gas, we’ve

we’ve already missed the train.

Well, and also you could have Germany could start turning back

on nuclear power plants if they could get their citizens to pick

nuclear over war. And that seems like a pretty easy choice.

It takes too long.

No, they’ve been doing it for 20 years. They’ve been turning

them off for 20 years.

I know they could. That means they don’t have to rebuild them

tomorrow. They could just turn the back on.

It’s not a light switch, Jason. No, but that’s not how it works.

It’s not a light switch.

I know, but it’s not the same as building a new one in the US.

That’s the point. They could build them back on.

It’s still years. It’s still years between these things.

But the threat of doing it, but you got to think Chamath, the

threat of doing it would terrorize the Saudis and the

Russians if all of a sudden the EU said we are going to go

massive solar, massive nuclear, and we’re going to be energy


I’m not sure any country is going to really have a massive

reaction to any other country talking about a multi year

investment cycle.

I do think Jason, to your point, solar is not a multi year

investment cycle. It can literally happen in bucks.

Yes, and it’s much more disruptive.

So for example, if you took $3 trillion to build back better

and instead said, you know what, we’re just gonna actually put

solar everywhere, everywhere, that would be you take $3

trillion of solar, and you put it literally everywhere in the

United States, I think everybody would support it, you would

have domestic job creation, like nobody’s business, you would

take so much carbon out of the air, and you don’t need to work

enormous energy dependence.

Well, it would give you a degree of freedom so that the next

time you’re pushed to war, you can actually evaluate it under

a very different, you know, risk calculus than if you actually

need the energy from the country.

That’s the point.

Yeah, that’s the point.

And just for a fact check here, nuclear power in Germany

accounted for 13.3% of German electrical supply in 2021.

France, by the way, 70 80%.

And that was generated by six power plant, of which three were

switched off.

At the end of 2021.

They literally just turned these off Chamath.

And the other three, I know, but the decision was not made

yesterday, Jason, my point is, this is these are 20 year


Now it was Fukushima that pushed them actually in the sentiment

of, and they also had 70% of their electricity on a couple of

weeks come from renewable.

So the Germans suddenly thought that they didn’t live in a

shady area and they could get by with just solar, which is a

big mistake.

This turning these off Germany, if they didn’t turn these off,

they would have a different approach here too.

You can be sure of that.

So, look, I’m a fan of solar, but I’ll just make the point

that natural gas burns from a climate standpoint, it burns

much cleaner than oil and oil burns much clearer than coal.

So natural gas is a way better than a lot of the alternatives.

And the main problem with it is that when you frack, you can

get the release of water.

Well, that but that’s in the ground.

But in terms of the release of methane, which is a greenhouse

gas, that’s actually worse than CO2.

And so you can actually get, you know, methane release.

But in the US, we have techniques for recapture of it.

Whereas I don’t think Russia cares about that.

So we’d be a lot better off.

I think solar is part of the answer, but I don’t think we

should be turning our backs on the enormous reserves of

natural gas that we have here in this country.

Friedberg, what are your thoughts?

You’re hearing three of us talk about energy, give us your

science boy superpowers here.

And what do you think is the clearest shot on goal here for

energy independence as an option to war?

I’ll just point out that the notion that there are countries

that are jockeying or positioning to stop the train

towards renewable alternatives for energy production this

century, the number of countries in that bucket are close to


You know, Saudi Arabia took Saudi Aramco public specifically

so that they under kind of MBS’s strategic direction, diversify

away from, you know, the fossil fuel dependency of their

economy and diversify into other assets.

So they are going to sell down their equity interest in Saudi

Aramco over time, and invest in things, you know, they probably

made their first bet and regret it with SoftBank.

But they’ll probably make other bets to try and invest in kind

of next gen industries.

And so, you know, if you look at the money that’s going from

even Exxon, and you know, there’s a guy locally here in

San Francisco, who ran a very significant board proxy fight to

get on the board of Exxon, and he won, and he’s jockeying for

continued and increased investment from an R&D

perspective in renewables and alternatives.

And we’re seeing this across the board, there’s going to be in

the next couple years, if not already, many of these fossil

fuel dependent businesses, and countries have or are making a

massive shift towards alternative renewable sources of


So I don’t think that there’s any enemy here.

There’s no evil, like all the folks that have been dependent

on in the past are aware of the fact that this is not where the

future is, we do have to transition.

So the reason I bought energy stocks in December, and the

reason I made this point was threefold.

One is because we have, as a result of this general consensus

view, under invested in energy infrastructure.

And the demands that are going to come out of the ex COVID

economic growth cycle cannot be met with the current energy

infrastructure, and you’re going to see energy prices continue

to climb, coupled with the fact that when war or conflict

arises, typically, you see stockpiling, and you see trade

routes being shut down, and you see energy prices climb.

And so, you know, I think generally, we’re in a little bit

of a transitionary state, everyone knows where the puck

needs to be, everyone’s headed there.

But for now, I think everyone’s trying to navigate, how do we

get through the next couple of years?

And in this particular year, you know, get through the season

of uncertainty.

You know, how fast is the economy growing?

How much have we actually under invested in infrastructure?

And how much renewables do we have coming online?

Now, I think the right answer, if I were to be president of the

world, I would immediately deregulate nuclear and make

nuclear fission reactors, a mainstay of energy production

here in the US.

And I think that there are a number of techniques we could

undertake for a safer

building without all the regulatory cycles and process

needed to get these things stood up.

You know, China, as I’ve mentioned in the past, is over

the next 30 years committed to building check this number out,

I think we talked about this 140 nuclear power stations,

their estimated cost, I believe is on the $3 billion per station

range, they are going to increase their total energy

production capacity with these nuclear power stations on the

order of 15 to 20%.

So they will take coal offline as they bring those online, or

they will kind of start to have a cleaner mix of energy rather

than building an extra infrastructure.

So, you know, if we as the United States intend to be an

economic challenge to China this century, if we intend to

compete effectively with them, we are going to have a really

hard time with energy prices being what they are here in this

country, China is already 30 to 40% cheaper than us on an

industrial scale basis with their current energy


And when their nuclear comes online over the next decade,

their prices are going to drop even further nuclear should be

in the four to 5% per kilowatt hour range.

Today, China’s in the kind of, you know, seven to 8% per

kilowatt hour range, the US for industrial, I think is in kind

of a 9% 10% range, eight to 10% depending on where you look.

So, you know, they’re already cheaper, they’re going to get

even cheaper.

And so not just from like, what’s the right transition from

a security point of view, but energy is going to be so

critical in this next century, for us to maintain our footing

as a competitor to China, particularly as big about

this for a second.

If automation is the future of manufacturing, then electricity

and energy ends up being the biggest cost driver for those


And if our if everything is on parity, and everyone’s got the

same automation systems, whoever’s got the cheaper energy


And to dovetail you and Chamath’s both positions, a

friend of ours said, Hey, you know, nobody wants to live near

nuclear power plants.

And they’ve already got the grid going there, because it has to

be there surround the nuclear power plant with a solar farm,

because it’s the most efficient way.

So actually pairing these two things, perhaps even with some

batteries, solves the entire problem.

And what do we think sacks is the eventuality here, in terms

of the relationship between Russia and China, now that we’ve

wrapped up the energy, and then, you know, all of us, I think

don’t want to go to war here.

So I guess there’s two questions here of escalation.

And I’ll let you pick which one you want to go for escalation

with Taiwan, or does, if Putin is not held, we don’t hold the

line here.

You know, Putin picks another country to or another region to

go after in 2023 2024.

At what point do you say we got to hold the line?

Well, I mean, I think the line is that we have existing NATO

treaty obligations to protect the members of NATO under Article

five, we have to come to their defense, Ukraine is not one

Georgia is not one.

So to me, that’s the line is our existing treaty obligations.

And this is why we should not want to add some of these

countries to NATO is because it involves us in their disputes

and drags us into war.

You know, on Twitter, all I hear is that this is 1938 all over

again, and we cannot appease a dictator.

And that is one lesson of history.

It’s an important lesson.

However, there are other lessons of history.

And it seems to me that the situation we’re in could be more

like 1914, which is World War One, what happened in World War

One, basically conflicts between minor powers drag major

powers into wars.

And basically, Germany gave Austria the so called blank check

war guarantee.

And then that led to a war with Russia.

And then that dragged the, you know, Britain and France in and

eventually the United States.

So, you know, it was a case where nobody, none of these

powers wanted to be in a war with each other.

And yet, somehow inertia, and threats and escalations, and

miscalculations and folly, all sort of tumbled their way into


And that I think may be the historical precedent here that

we want to avoid.

I think we need to be very careful not to let, you know,

every conflict all over the world drag us into these, these

types of wars and disputes.

Saks, do you think American primacy is coming to an end?

I hope not.

But if our goal is to preserve American primacy, which I think

it should be, then we need to be smart about how we use our


And we don’t want to fritter it away.

And what I’ve been doing for the last 20 years frittering away

our strength in wars we didn’t need to be in, in the Middle

East, we spent how many trillions on nation building

there, that turned out to be a total folly and waste of money.

Look at this, and we have a $30 trillion national debt.

If we want this century to be an American century, like the

last one, we need to preserve our strength and use it wisely

and not involve ourselves in every conflict.

And, you know, so look, we need to protect our NATO allies.

I agree with that.

But we don’t need to be creating disputes and involving

ourselves in wars that we have no obligation to get involved


We need energy independence, and we need to deliver our

balance sheet for American finances.

And it’s possible, but it’s going to require a lot of

focus and sacrifice.

I really think the scene that I just made up that is actually

really quite genius, which is redirect that $3 trillion build

that better build to just pure solar everywhere in the United


It would be so disruptive.

I mean, it would just be so disruptive.

It becomes a dividend.

It’s like it’s UBI in a way.

Everybody gets no electrical bill.

I don’t think it would allow people to have free electricity


But I do think it would subsidize basically the deployment

of energy infrastructure to every single household in

America in a way that would just completely shake up,

frankly, the political world order.

Because what you guys said is so true.

A lot of this stuff rests on the politics around natural

resources, right?

So today, it’s oil.

Tomorrow, it’s going to be some rare earth.

In 10 years, it could be copper and lithium.

And we want to find ourselves with the ability to be clear,

tied, and focused in our response to these issues.

But if we need critical resources that can only come from

one other place or two other places, and we don’t have the

engineering ingenuity to have figured out how to de-lever our

reliance, then we’re going to get dragged into not just this

conflict, but a whole bunch of other conflicts going forward.

I’d say yes.

And we could be energy independent for free right now

if we were just to repeal some of these executive orders.

I mean, we were energy independent like a year or two

ago until we banned fracking.

Why do the fracking when solar is available?

It seems to me like we want to actually preserve the

environment, stop global warming.

So if solar is available and nuclear is available, why would

you advocate for fracking and ripping up the earth and

polluting it?

I’m a fan of solar.

It’s really just about costs and time to deployment.

Got it.

OK, so you see it as a bridge.

Hey, maybe we do it for five years, 10 years.

Long term, I think solar is the answer.

But I think that’s a long term strategy.

The other thing that is confounding is like Americans,

and this is another thing I was just watching the media,

and I did exactly what you did, David.

As I put on Fox, I was like, let me get their interpretation

of this, because the Trump folks are praising Putin.

And then these guys are wanting to go to war.

So it feels like there’s some inner conflict or civil war

going on in the Republican side of things.

But even on the.

There is.


And then on the left, you have this craziness.

They were, I mean, Wolf Blitzer and everybody was so excited

about this war.

They were like, stay tuned.

And oh, my God, we’re going to be 24 hour coverage.

They were like orgasmic in their coverage.

Remember, CNN got their got their big.


Golf War at the Gulf War.

That was it.

Well, that was the chance to shine.

I remember being a kid watching that.

That is the language.

Free break.

That was the language they were using.

So Don Lemon was saying.

And we have the full resources to give you blow by blow coverage

of everything happening.

Stick with CNN.

This is where we do our best work.

And it was literally like war porn.

And it was really uncomfortable to watch combined with sacks.

And this is what I wanted.

Well, maybe freeberg, I’ll throw this one to you.

They kept talking about how Americans were going to suffer

at the pump.

And I just thought this is so crazy and disturbing.

There’s 190,000 young Russian men who are going to die.

Countless Ukrainian civil civilians who are going to die


And this thing could escalate.

A sack said, you know, you can’t play games with war.

He could.

The dominoes can fall in all directions.

You have no idea when you light off these grenades.

And we’re talking about our pain at the pump.

Very weird.

Very weird times.

Freeberg, any thoughts?

America’s weird.

It’s weird.

I want to if freeberg doesn’t want to respond to that.

I want to I want to talk about the media coverage.

I’ll add to that.

I mean, you flip over to MSNBC.

John Bolton is on MSNBC.

And one of the weirdest things happening in our politics now

is that all the neocons who used to be members of the Republican

Party who worked for George W. Bush and got us into the Iraq

war have now all become Democrats.

And they’re all over.

They’re supposedly the conscience of the country over on CNN and

MSNBC and beating the drums of war.

It’s absolutely unbelievable.

And one of the tactics they use that I think we should talk about

is, and this goes all the way back to the Vietnam War, is that

anybody who merely tries to, let’s say, understand the other

side or wants to deescalate or get out of a conflict, they try

to portray as unpatriotic.

I mean, again, this goes all the way back to the Vietnam War,

where the Vietnam protesters were portrayed as un-American

and unpatriotic.

Well, it turns out they were right.

That was a mistake for us to get embroiled in Vietnam.

And similarly, the Iraq War, it turns out that was a gigantic


But in 2003, David Frum, who’s like one of the leaders of this

group, wrote an article called Unpatriotic Conservatives, in

which he attacked and sort of mow-mowed the…

There were conservatives like Pat Buchanan and Robert Novak

who were against the Iraq War, and he called them

unpatriotic and implied that they were un-American, and

somehow in the pocket of Saddam Hussein, because they were

against us, our involvement in the Iraq War.

Well, they turned out to be right, and yet they were

demonized and called unpatriotic.

And where are we today?

Those same people I’m seeing, David Frum, on Twitter now,

impugn the patriotism of people who merely want us not to

escalate this, not to get involved, and maybe to try and

understand our enemy.

Because, I mean, this is one of the problems with Twitterizing

our foreign policy is, look, we can see Putin as an aggressor,

we can see him as a thug or an authoritarian or as a dictator,

but nonetheless, we should still try and understand our


And anybody who tries to promote a greater degree of

understanding or diplomacy gets attacked by these people as

being Putin apologists.

Chamath, you said you didn’t see this coming, you thought

this was a very small probability.

I think we all felt it was a pretty small probability that

Russia would actually go through with this.

You thought it was actually something?

Actually, I do.

Friedberg, you did think it was going to happen.

It’s a certainty.

Yeah, wait, you thought it was a certainty that America would

get involved because of the wag the dog scenario?

Or that Putin would do it because?


This is not like a surprise that Putin did this.

I mean, this has been a long time coming.

Yeah, I mean, it just felt like I thought that he would

saber rattle and we come to some resolution here.

But what does he want?

It seems like nobody, and this is what everybody keeps saying

By the way, I think that’s a really complicated question.

I feel like there’s decades of and layers of like, to the

story, it’s like, you know, war and peace, and then you read

like one half of the final chapter, and you’re like, Oh,

yeah, okay.

Like, there’s a lot to the story that’s going to be really

hard for us to unpack.

So, you know, I’m not sure there’s a very simple, like,

what does Putin want as much as there is a significant

narrative that backs the history, you know, post Soviet

history with Ukraine and the relationships.

I mean, you guys may remember that there was a president,

a presidential candidate or president that was poisoned by

Putin at some point.

I mean, there’s been like a long history to this that I don’t

think is something that we can reunification is what most

people would put that under is there’s economic, there are

social, you know, there are individuals, cultural motives.

I mean, there’s a lot driving this.

There’s a lot of influence within that country that I don’t

think we really fully grasp within the country of Russia.

I mean, that we don’t fully grasp related to some of the

cultural relationships with some of the population in either

group in the Ukraine.

And so, you know, it’s a very difficult question to simply


Can I take a shot at it?

Yeah, sure.

Okay, what does Putin want?

So I want to there’s an article by Peter Baynard, who was an

editor of the New Republic, he’s not, you know, some far right

conservative or whatever.

He published this quotes from a memo that was written by Bill

Burns, back in 2008.

So Bill Burns is the current DC is the Director of Central

Intelligence, the head of the CIA.

He is also a Russian expert.

He speaks Russian fluently.

He is the and he spent many years over there in our

government, and he works for Biden, he’s Biden’s head of the


So he is the highest ranking Russian expert in our


In 2008, he wrote a memo to Condoleezza Rice, who was then

the Secretary of State.

And what he said is, this is about Ukrainian entry into


He said, Ukrainian entry into NATO is the brightest of all

red lines for the Russian elite, not just Putin.

He says, in more than two and a half years of conversations

with key Russian players from knuckle draggers in the dark

recesses of the Kremlin, to Putin’s sharpest liberal

critics, I have yet to find anyone who views Ukraine and

NATO as anything other than a direct challenge to Russian


So Burns pointed out to the then Secretary of State that this

was a huge red line.

And since then, since 2008, Putin has been very consistent

that Ukrainian entry into NATO has been a red line.

And even in the speech that he gave last week, he talked

about, he talked about this.

And he said that, I’m quoting Putin from his speech, he says,

if Ukraine was to join NATO, it would serve as a direct

threat to the security of Russia.

So, you know, in response to Putin’s speech, and on Twitter,

I keep hearing that Putin is this madman, we can’t

understand what he wants, that the only possible explanation

for his behavior is either senility, he’s gone crazy, he’s

gone mad.

And, you know, I’m looking at this, and I’m like, okay, maybe

those things are true.

But you can’t say that he hasn’t been clear about what his

red lines are.

He’s been saying this for 20 years, that Ukraine joining the

NATO alliance is an absolute red line.

And, you know, I mentioned before on this pod that imagine

if the Cold War is still going on, and the Warsaw Pact still


And, you know, Justin Trudeau was going to lead Canada into

the Warsaw Pact, we would absolutely be up in arms about

that, we would not let that happen.

It is that kind of issue for Putin.

And we just act like this guy is insane, and has no point of


I’m not, we don’t have to believe he’s right.

But to basically say that he has no interest in Russian

security, that we need to give any weight to that we just need

to dismiss all of his concerns out of hand.

It just, you know, this is not the history of the situation.


Did you read anybody read Madeleine Albright’s New York

Times piece?

It was pretty interesting, because she was in the position

when they first met him.

And he’s been talking about the Ukraine and reunification for

20 years.

And it’s probably a good lesson for the entire planet, that

dictators are going to, you know, they have a certain to

your point, Chamath, of like, having will and capabilities.

A lot of people have capabilities.

A lot of people don’t have will to start wars anymore on this


And, and he clearly is in that group, I think, as hard as it


But Jason, we don’t know.

Here’s the thing, by not taking NATO off the table as an issue,

we don’t know whether his true aim here is the restoration of

the Russian Empire, or merely to avoid, you know, this border

country being part of a military alliance that he views as a


So I don’t know what the answer is.

Or door number three, he wants more attention, he wants to be

more globally relevant.


But we made the mistake of not taking this issue off the table.

And so if we had taken the issue off the table, then we could

get to the real heart of the issue.

Maybe it would have diffused the situation.

Or if the EU and NATO had done it, right?

It’s not just us in this.

The people in Europe have a big say here, as we’re discussing

this on a on a Thursday, February 24.

Biden has announced a coalition of partners, EU, Australia,

others are doing pretty significant sanctions, it seems,

limiting Russia’s ability to do business in dollars, euros and

yen imposing major sanctions on the Russian banks trying to

cripple the ruble blocking form.

Major Russian banks freezing all of their assets in America,

adding sanctions to Russian elites, I guess that’s the oligarch

class. And Russia’s largest state on enterprises will no

longer be able to raise money from coalition of governments

Biden assumes this will degrade their military advancement.

And I have a funny Russian story to tell.

So when I was when I was still running, when I was managing,

not just my money, but other people’s money, and I was

raising funds, eventually, you know, you, you get LP

commitments from all kinds of people interested in investing

with you, if you’re generating great returns, right?

Meaning, you know, rich family offices all around the world

want to give you capital.

And there’s a very strict process in America, where when

you get capital in, you have to make sure that those folks

basically pass, you know, an anti money laundering check and

a know your customer kind of check.

KYC checks.

And one of these checks is actually a gray list and a black

list that Treasury and the DOJ kind of manage.

And every now and then they’ll put people on and off the list.

And there’s a very famous person in Russia, who I will not say

when I was raising money for my last fund, this is probably in

2014 or 15.

He was on the he was not on the list.

You know, very well.

And I thought, wow, this is a great opportunity to get

somebody who seems to be doing a lot of really interesting good


And not less than two or three weeks after we had signed our

LP agreement, I think it was DOJ or Treasury, put them on this


And we get a we get a, you know, an email basically saying, a

tear up the LPA, and you can’t take the capital.

And we had to undo the entire limited partner agreement.


What percentage of the fund would that person have been


I don’t remember.

But he was a he’s a significant person investing significant

510% or something.

So I would guess.


Hey, Jason, I just want to going back on a point I made about

energy and energy independence earlier, because I actually

pulled up the numbers.

So, you know, the average cost per kilowatt hour in the in

China right now is about nine cents.

For for energy production, it is estimated that nuclear power

production should drop to about four cents, but could be as low

as one cent per kilowatt hour if operated at scale, with perfect

efficiency, just to give everyone a sense of where not just

security risk and kind of, you know, the green opportunity lies,

but also where economic advantage lies in investing in nuclear


And so as China builds out 140 nuclear plants here over the next

two to three decades, they’re going to see their energy costs

decline from about nine cents for industrial use, potentially,

you know, into the sub five cent per kilowatt hour range, which

makes them tremendously competitive on a manufacturing

point of view.

It’s a lot of Bitcoin servers.

That’s a lot of hash.

I think it’s never going to happen.

I’m not.

I love nuclear.

I think America America’s America’s ability to scale nuclear, I

think is a very difficult proposition.

And I think our real solution is solar.

It’s solar.

It’s practical.

It can be done today.

And it can be done right now.

And just to look at the EU versus the US in terms of gas mileage,

which is just stunning.

The EU has mandated America doesn’t have the resolve.

It’s like, it’s like, we have to we have to cross so many


And, you know, we have to really confront a bunch of issues that

we that have been riddled with so much inaccuracy, you know,

for example, the environmental impact, the understanding of

how nuclear energy works, you know, the NIMBY is in Jason that

you referred to about not being able to build these things all

around the country.

And so reducing the form factor, in my opinion, is a technical

challenge that I think we can overcome.

But it still leaves the policy and the societal level challenges

that I think are very difficult to overcome.

Because you’re talking about rewriting history in many ways

and, and convincing, you know, hundreds of millions of people

that things that they had thought were true are no longer


And I think that’s much, much harder than we give it credit


And cars is a perfect example.

Americans now we’re averaging 24 miles to the gallon, the EU is

mandated 57 miles per gallon in 2021.

They’re getting it done in the EU.

They’re twice as effective.

I tweeted, Hey, listen, Americans, we need to buy better

gas mileage cars and move to EVs.

And I was faced with quite a backlash.

I mean, it was insane.

That’s not entirely true, because California did pass their

own legislation.


And there was this issue because the car companies pushed back

and said, you know, it’s too expensive for us to build two

different SKUs, one for California and one for the rest

of America.

They’re already building ones for the EU.

Just to give you one counterpoint to your statement

about energy independence arising potentially from solar

to generate a gigawatt of capacity and industrial scale

solar farm would take about 7500 acres.

You know, so that’s about 30.

I don’t think that’s how it’s I don’t think that’s how it’s


I think a very simple solar installation and everybody’s

home with a simple battery is more than enough to basically

give people the power they need.

And then these big CNI installations that’s happening

on top of all these big buildings will cover the rest.

And I think that you’ll still have some amount of nat gas

beakers usage, and maybe you can have some amount of solar

or hydro or wind.

But people are experimenting and figuring out the battery

storage capability to supplement this.

I think what we don’t have is that at 3% resi solar, we don’t

have a credible alternative.

But you know, 80% resi solar with battery systems in

everybody’s home, which is a tractable solution that costs

thousands of dollars per home, which the government could

subsidize would be a great use of capital, I think would be

transformational for energy, it would completely rewrite the

energy calculus.

So again, to do that today would cost because when you do

something on a residential roof, it costs a lot more than doing

it on an industrial scale.

So when you build out a 7500 acre solar facility, you get

economies of scale, you get single tubes, everything can run

off one wire, when you build it on a roof, you need contractors

to come in, you got to wire the home, you got to put batteries


So the actual amortized cost over the lifetime of that solar

installation works out to something on the order of 15

cents a kilowatt hour.

Whereas if you do it on an industrial scale, it works out

to about three cents a kilowatt hour.

So you know, your point makes sense, but it makes things more


So then the question is, who’s going to fund the delta?

And is someone actually going to pay for that delta?

The government.

Yeah, we’re gonna we’re gonna I’m sure I’m sure over the next

few years, we’re going to spend trillions and trillions of

dollars on nothing.

Those trillions and trillions of dollars could probably whatever

your gap is, I don’t know whether your math is right or


But whatever the gap is, that gets us to China as an example,

in terms of the cost per kilowatt hour, the government

could substance and there is a quantifiable number.

And if we had if we decided whether it was worth it or not,

we could decide.

But all I’m saying is, it’s something that we need to put on

the table.

Because every time a new president comes into town and

gets elected, they generally get this one big shot on goal.

You know, the last few presidents have tried to either,

you know, cut taxes or basically give these massive

economic stimulus packages.

And the net dollar effect of these things is now measured in

the trillions of dollars.

And I suspect that the net, you know, cost of subsidizing and

up solar energy that you’re going to broadly deployed is

also in the trillions of dollars.

And we should just decide whether that isn’t a better use

of the money.

All right, just to do some quick math here.

To boost your point, he almost nailed it.


There are 85 million standalone homes in the US.

I’m just gonna assume none of them, for the sake of this

argument, have solar on them.

But 3% do, I think.

Average cost of putting solar on homes.

20 to 35,000.

I picked the number 30,000.

Yes, yes.

Hold on a second.

But but in Australia, it costs 5,000.

Okay, they have a cheaper system or something?

No, it’s because of all the nonsense that exists in the

United States.

Subsidize it.

So but just to give the raw cost here, if it was $30,000 to

put on it, you can do it for $5,000 a home, because Australia,

which is one sixth the size of America, is able to do it with

no subsidies direct to the consumer for $5,000 in


So that price is possible.

I’m going to pick the $30,000 crazy price in America by $2.5

trillion to put solar on every home, the end.

Like, we’re, you were $30 trillion in debt, 10% of our

debt would make us energy independent forever, the plan

gets better when you do math.


And think of the think of the amount of savings you do to the


Think of the lack I don’t know if you saw this, but there was a

UN report about the criticality and importance of emerging

wildfire threats to our ecosystem and our ecology.

I don’t you know, for all of us that lived in California, do

you guys remember how the sky was orange and red two years

ago, or those?

Yeah, crazy pictures from Los Angeles.

So if you if you have a have less of a reliance on these

aging utilities and these utilities infrastructure, there

will be less forest fires, the air will be cleaner, people

will be more resilient.

Think of the times that for example, in Texas, where there

was a massive freeze, right where people were shut out of

they couldn’t have power because the actual traditional

utilities were shut down.

If it’s only two and a half trillion dollars, I think we

should have done this yesterday.

I can’t believe the number is that low.

Considering the things that when we put two and a half

trillion dollar price tags on things and spend the cost of

upgrading, I’m just pulling some numbers here off of the

internet, but replacing our electrical grid would be 5


So if you think about the replacement cost of the actual

grid, which we’re going to have to do at some point, and the

upgrade cost of 500 billion a year, or the maintenance of

500 billion a year, this actually starts to seem very

reasonable and achievable if we had the will, which means we

need to have some politicians who actually aren’t in the

pocket of a number of jobs that Biden would create if he

actually ran with this, then and because you do need a lot of

local installation capability and other jobs, you would create

hundreds of 1000s, maybe even millions of jobs in the United

States, they would be really well paying.

And you would be pushing us towards a completely energy

independent clean energy, you know, zero carbon future that

be transformation.

Yeah, I wonder how many hours of work it is to install, you

could actually do that math as well and figure out how many

jobs you create, and then how much tax those people pay and

then how much they spend of that money to put back into the

economy, you’re probably getting a 30 40% rebate on that $2.5

trillion. So it becomes even better because of the high

paying jobs. All right, the markets are tanking. Obviously,

over the last couple of months.

Dow is down 11% year to date.

And of course, a lot of the growth socks, we’ve talked about

this over and over again from zoom to Netflix, Facebook,

Spotify, Coinbase, Twitter, all down over 50%.

Today, the market went down five 6% on the news and then

rebounded. Is this all priced in? And is this the bottom of

the market? Cathie Wood is supposedly buying and I don’t

know if it’s net buying or she just reallocating. But are we

now in the bargain hunting period of the market and we’ve

bottomed out the smart folks that I talked to who I really,

you know, look up to and respect, think that the bottom

in the S&P is around 3800. And what we still need to do is it’s

one last flush. And that last flush will really touch the big

cap companies but that growth is largely done sort of getting

taken to the woodshed. So in general, I think that so

generally buyers of growth now, sellers of value, and waiting

for this one last, you know, 400 point move down the S&P and I

think people think it’s roughly the bottom. Now, if there’s a

world war, obviously, who knows all that’s wrong.

So sacks, what’s more shocking that we’re almost at the bottom

or there’s people in the markets that Chamath really respects?

Speaking of people that we respect, so I think Brad

Gerstner has a really interesting take on this, which

is that

sorry, I should also be clear that I’m recruiting this one

person who I really respect, you know, so they’re both got it.

So, Brad Gerstner has published a couple of charts showing

basically multiples in the internet index and among SaaS

companies over the last whatever dozen years or so. And what you

can see is that over the last two years during COVID, there

was a huge spike in multiples for internet companies and for

SaaS companies. And that over the last really since November,

last three, four months has now come down. And as of I would

say last week, it was right at about the historical trend. And

now it’s starting to go under the historical trends. So from a

bargain hunting standpoint, you’d have to say that this is

the first time that we’ve been below the average for a few

years. Now, that’s not to say it can’t go down even more,

because in the same way that you can be above trend, you can

also be below trend. And if this war escalates and

metastasizes, it will go down more. But if this conflict can

stay localized, and the economy doesn’t go into a recession,

because of everything that’s happened, then yes, this might

be bargain hunting.

Here’s the chart for everybody to take a look at. From January

20 to January 22, the two years of the pandemic. And I think

this is times for looking sales. If I’m if I’m reading a correct,

I don’t have the full chart here. I just have a screenshot

of it. A portion of it.

Yeah, I think it’s enterprise value. Yeah, it’s enterprise

value divided by like forward looking revenue, which is you

were kind of saying is like ARR. Yeah, it’s sort of like ARR.

It’s like revenue.

And so yeah, we had this 15 x, we went up to 40 50 x private

market deals going at 100 200 x. Those days are over time. And

it’s we’ve talked about that ad nauseum. One of the interesting

things that I’m seeing is I think people are looking at

businesses that have been corrected. And saying, Hey, what

is the true value of this? And I think the best example is

Peloton new CFO, the CFO of Netflix, I gotta go. All right,

I gotta go. I love you. I love you. I love you. Stay safe and

enjoy your vacation. Cheers. Now. So I just without your

mouth here, I just want to talk a little bit. Have you guys

watched what happened with Peloton and the CFO coming in

and just really revitalizing that business very quickly.

By the way, Jason, I’ll say one thing. I think two weeks ago,

if you pulled the market, there would probably have or if you

looked at the the trading prices of bonds, you probably

would have assumed a 95% chance of a half point rate hike in

March. And as of today, my guess is that the probability of

that is below 5%. And you’re probably assuming, you know, a

quarter point rate hike, or maybe even a deferral at this

point. And I think that’s one of the things that’s keeping the

market up instead of tanking so much. People are predicting

that it’s been such bad news that they’ll push it out. Yeah,

they’re assuming that under conditions of great uncertainty

like this, the Fed cannot act as aggressively as they were

planning to act interest. And as a result, that that rate hike

would be pushed out. And it would continue to kind of keep

prices somewhat inflated, and continue to support the market

with cheaper capital and liquidity. So you know, a lot

of capital around the world is going to get locked up as armed

conflict kind of comes to bear. And when that happens, you know,

markets will tighten up and prices will be affected. And so

the Fed in in traditional and typical times would want to have

an incentive or would have a motivation to, you know, inject

liquidity into the markets. And so this is not a great time to

do a half point rate hike. And so it’s almost certain at this

point that they’re not going to do a half point rate hike feels

to be like huge setup right now people have capitulated the

markets gotten demolished, I just think there’s some these

companies are still great. Great, great businesses out

there, and some great companies to invest in some great stocks

to buy for all the way from technology through to

industrials, through to, you know, even some of the energy

companies that are going to benefit greatly from this

commodity cycle, we’re, we’re kind of in the middle of. And so

there’s going to be, you know, I think an opportunity to move

away from speculative behavior into real kind of cherry picking

productive, cash generating businesses in the next, you

know, or even growth businesses that are actual, you know, value

craters. So versus being like 10 year speculative kind of bet.

So it’s a great time to kind of be looking for businesses you

really like to own, to identify them to make investments and to

hold those investments for a very long period of time. You

know, you’re not going to find a lot of market conditions like

this. I mean, if we all went back to March of 2020, and you

remember, the S&P was 2300. I was gonna buy Disney, I never

got around to it. Yeah. So like, if at that point, you pick

businesses that you knew were going to be durable businesses

and that you loved, and you thought we’re going to have legs

to them, you bought everything from Alphabet to Disney, to

Lockheed Martin, you know, you could have done tremendously

well. So now’s a great time to kind of be looking for

businesses that you really like, and to buy a stake in them.

Yeah, forget, forget about trying to time the bottom.

That’s a fool’s errand. Right? No, no, if you want to buy

stuff, you want to hold for 10 years, things are relatively

cheap relative to a time horizon, the sacks pointed out

and, and Gertner pointed out, so things are relatively cheap,

find businesses you like to own and buy them cheap. They could

get cheaper, but they’re kind of at the bottom end. I think

the whole timeframe around like speculative stuff is kind of

wiped out. Like I think that that that that era is gone now.

What are you saying?

Well, it’s it’s that plus, I think one of the things that

happened is that people are realizing now that the burst of

activity, especially like an e commerce type companies that

happened during the pandemic, that was not ongoing,

sustainable growth, it was one time growth. In fact, in many

cases, it was sort of worse than one time growth, which is it

was pulled forward growth, meaning that growth in the

future will be lower because you pulled forward that revenue.

Well, I think Peloton might be a good example. I mean, everyone

bought them during the pandemic. But then after the

pandemic, everyone who needs one has got one already. So

it could also be cars, right? Like people were desperate to

buy cars, and now there’s not a right. So what what happened is

not only have multiples gone down, but these companies were

being comped based on growth rates that were unsustainable.

And so now they’re all revising their forecast down. So it’s a

double whammy. And Brad’s made this point. But what’s

interesting right now is the markets are actually rallying.

And I think it might be because of this latest Biden news at

this press conference. So the important point here is that

Biden did not sanction Putin directly, there’s talk about

sanctioning him personally, or and he also did not remove

Russia from the swift system, which is like sort of the key

banking system. And I don’t know if this is because Biden

doesn’t want to do it, or because Europe won’t support the

move. Pretty clear Europe doesn’t want to do it. So no one

is willing to suffer too much economic loss here to defend

Ukraine, nevermind sending troops. So it seems to me that

the signal here is that both militarily and in terms of

economic interest, Europe does not want further escalation. And

that may be why the market is rallying. Also, the Fed may hold

off on interest rate increases, while this is all going on. So,

you know, sometimes markets can act in funny ways.

Well, they’re forward looking, people are putting money at

stake, so they have skin in the game. So it’s, you know, the

people can talk all they want about what’s going to happen

with the markets, but unless they’re placing bets, that’s

kind of cheap talk. And here people are actually placing

bets on stocks, they think will do well in the future.

Skin in the game, people look, their economic interests are

skin in the game, having people’s sons and daughters go

off to fight and die in some foreign war, that is real skin

in the game. What is not skin in the game is people tweeting,

you know, their moral outrage and condemnation and whipping

things up. And, you know, we should not be listening to that

and calling everyone who disagrees them traitors, because

that’s happening to, you know, this is a time for cooler heads

for avail.

You and I are going to actually agree on this. And we’re both

going to agree that Trump and Pompeo should not be fawning

over Putin.

Yeah, but Jason

never commented on that. Let’s get people want to hear us get

into it. Well, I mean, you can’t support them fawning over

Putin like that. Do you? I can’t imagine you

like I heard I heard what what Trump said when he was saying,

I didn’t hear the Pompeo quotes. I can’t speak to that.

He’s a genius.

Look, listen, you know, sometimes Trump is being

sarcastic when he says things like, Oh, what a beauty, you

know, he means the opposite. And I think the point Trump was

making wasn’t really about Putin being so great. The point I

heard Trump making was that if he were president, this wouldn’t

be happening. Now, you can disagree with that. It may be

true or untrue. But that was the real point he was making. I

think that you’re letting you know, the political partisans

try to whip this thing up. And as part again, as part of this

meme of anybody who doesn’t support what I want must be a

traitor. It must be in the pocket of truth of Putin.

We have to use this meme warfare to get people free bird

to shame these politicians into backing like the solar plan and

doing something meaningful like this, like and backing nuclear,

how do we get the politicians to reflect energy independence as

a priority? It feels like it’s not a priority for them.

Well, I mean, the one of the good things about American

democracy is that politicians are generally pretty responsive

to what their constituents want and believe. So they use

polling data. And that polling data drives, you know, if they

want to get reelected, they better do what the polls are

telling them people want them to do. And so ultimately, if you

can kind of influence people broadly in the United States,

and that can that can go both ways, by the way,

special interest to and you have people with weird ideas,

right? Like, yeah, but generally, like if something is

deeply unpopular, politician risks not getting reelected,

they’re not going to kind of run to do that. And if something

is very popular, even though it may not be the right thing by

some objective framework, you know, they would still run to do

that. So, you know, I do think that there’s, you know, some

degree of work to be done around, you know, framing for

people broadly, you know, via the work, maybe that we do on

our podcast, but I think more importantly, on a repeated way

and in a way that’s kind of inspiring and inclusive, will

drive people to kind of want to see these changes happen. And

ultimately, politicians should respond.

Can I make one other point to your thing about, you know, who

today would be considered, you know, in the words of Jen

Pisaki, parroting Russian talking points, Barack Obama,

if Obama today, were out there saying exactly what he told the

Atlantic magazine back in, I think it was 2012, or 14. If he

was saying that today, he’d be accused of being in Putin’s

pocket, and being a Putin apologist and a traitor and all

this kind of stuff. Because he said that in that interview, he

said, Listen, Putin was always very businesslike, he was

punctual, he showed up, he wanted to negotiate and deal.

Basically, he sounded like a guy who, look, we may disagree

with him about everything. But he wasn’t a madman, he was

someone you could talk to, he was a coldly ruthless, but

rational actor. And that’s basically what Obama said, he’s

someone you could talk turkey with. And if you say that today

that, hey, maybe we could negotiate our way out of this

with Putin, you’re accused of being, you know, a puppet of

his. Yeah,

well, the concept of starting a war in this day and age is just,

it’s crazy, like, it is crazy that he’s starting this war and

putting all these people at risk. And we don’t even know

what the goal is. He’s not even asked for anything, like, what

is he exactly asking for? So he may not be, he may have been

rational then, or maybe Obama was trying to steer him towards

rationality and praising him publicly to get that more

rational Putin to show up. This feels like irrational, that we

don’t know what his goal is, like, the fact that the world

can’t say, if we gave him x, he would do y, is I think his

strategy, Putin’s always like to be this, like, unpredictable

madman, right?

No, I mean, we just said that he’s a coldly ruthless rational

actor as sort of the opposite of a madman. I mean, his red

lines have been clear. He’s been stating them for for years.

The problem is that again, we’re conducting referring him

to murdering opponents of his and oh, there’s no question that

he’s ruthless. He’s an authoritarian, call him a

dictator if you want. I’ve tweeted in support of Alexei

Navalny. So I get it. But that doesn’t mean he’s a madman. He

has desires and interests. And it’s the job of diplomats to

figure out how to conduct diplomacy and negotiation with

people you disagree with. And one of the problems we have

today is again, we’ve Twitterized everything. So, you

know, we basically figure out the first step is, who are the

people who should be cancelled? You know, who’s wearing the

white hat, who’s wearing the black hat, let’s all rise up and

virtue signal and moral denunciation. And, you know,

stick our fingers in our ears and not listen to the other

side. And, and listen, that that is a way to find yourself in

greater conflicts, not avoid them. Yeah. All right. So just

wrapping up here. Let’s, let’s wrap with sacks his favorite

part of the show. sacks his favorite moment where he’s

super engaged in learning. He’s got his thinking cap on he’s

taking notes. And that is the science corner. No, not

what about Vendetta Corner? I thought you’re gonna say

Vendetta Corner. Yeah, what about

a quarter this quarter is actually my favorite part of

the show. It is now people love Vendetta Corner in the

Twitter community spaces. Who loves it because Twitter is all

about vendettas. But I have no vendettas this week.

What are you doing with your time? Yeah, I’m, I’m trying to

advocate that this is time for cooler heads prevail. And so,

um, Oh, for fuck’s sake, start a fight with somebody. Aren’t

you fighting with Paul Graham? There’s nobody here. You’re

you’re taking the week off for ski week. I don’t think we’re

fighting over anything. It’s not I can’t not that I can think

of. All right. For the dictator Chamath Palihapitiya, the

sultan of science, David Friedberg, and the rain man

himself. David sacks. I’m Jay cow. And we’ll see you all at

the all in summit in May 15 1617. You can go to the website

summit.all in where you just type all in some of the

all in summit into Google and find it May 15 to 17 in Miami,

Florida, we’re doing it at the New World Symphony. And we have

a page there where you can vote on speakers can be three days of

fun. We have a scholarship there if you can’t afford the

regular ticket. And you can apply for a scholarship if

you’re a super fan. And we’ll look forward to seeing you

there and go vote for some speakers. Bye bye. I love you

besties. Let your winners ride. Rain Man David sack.

We open source it to the fans and they’ve just gone crazy

with it. I love you besties.

Besties are gone. That’s my dog taking a notice in your


We should all just get a room and just have one big huge

orgy because they’re all just useless. It’s like this like

sexual tension that they just need to release somehow.

We need to get merch.