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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
I’m a fan of solar.
It’s really just about costs and time to deployment.
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.
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.
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.
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 times.
Freeberg, any thoughts?
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
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,
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?
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
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
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
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.
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 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 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
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
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
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?
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 podcast.co 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.