All-In with Chamath, Jason, Sacks & Friedberg - #AIS: Opening chat with Miami Mayor Francis Suarez

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce your besties, the Queen of

Quinoa, the Sultan of Science, David Freeberg, the Rain Man, David Sachs, the Dictator himself,

Chamath Palihapitiya, and everyone’s favorite bestie, the Point God, Jay Paul.

I cannot believe what J. Cal has pulled off here. I mean, I am in shock that this is

even real. I still don’t know where all the money went. The amount of

money you embezzled. We are witnessing our first Theranos moment, starring

Jason Calacanis. Guys, I got great news for you. I took all the money, I put it in

Luna. I haven’t checked it in the last week, but we were up 3x. We’re gonna kill

this. You’ll never find the money. I put it through multiple Bitcoin tumblers.

That’s great. It’s gonna be great. Welcome everybody. By the way, sorry, this is a

joke to everybody in the room, but one person sitting over here who is really

sweating the accounting of this. I said, if J. Cal’s gonna do this, we’re gonna have a

grift session. We’re gonna all sit down and we’re gonna figure out where the

grift happened, because it’s gonna happen. The guy who’s always calling out the

grift knows how to grift better than anyone else. We’ll figure this out. Half these people. Half his family’s here. Have you guys met them all? They’re

great people. Are there any Calacanises who are not on the payroll? We’re feeding a lot of Calacanises here. I’ve been your biggest supporter defending you from these two fucking jackals, but it finally got into my brain as well. So when I got into the hotel room and I opened the bag, I was like, maybe this cup costs $4,000.

It’s very possible. It’s a heated cup. It’s a heated cup. Who are we to know? When was the last time you bought a cup? It’s like the Pentagon or something, you know? I mean, it’s like when George Bush went to the supermarket and he didn’t know how much a tomato or a gallon of milk cost. What does a gallon of milk cost? $7.99? I have no idea. I’m sorry. I’m not gonna pretend. I asked Sax, when’s the last time you

flew commercial? Which George Bush was in office?

Herbert Walker.

Yeah, it was. I think Obama was still in office.

He just won the Democratic nomination. We’re so grateful for you all to come here. How many people flew, just by a show of hands and a whoop whoop, how many people flew over 10 hours to get here?

Oh my god.

I mean, it’s pretty incredible.

Fans from around the world.

And I just think, you know, it’s very special to us that this podcast means so much to you. Last night, we, you know, had a little debrief. And the things you said to us, you know, when we when we when we met you all, and it’s very weird to do a podcast like this and have it become super popular item. Two weeks ago, it became the 26th most popular episode in the App Store, which to us was crazy.

We did this because we were losing our minds in COVID. And as friends, we couldn’t play poker, we couldn’t see each other was very lonely. And we did this for ourselves. And the fact that all of you got some value from it. It was just remarkable to us like as a concept, but incredibly gracious of you all to come here and then to tell us what it means to you.

I, it just has blown us away that people are even tuning in to it. How has it changed your life, Friedberg? I mean, you were a nobody.

Literally didn’t have a Twitter account.

We were all very famous in the tech industry. But nobody knew you.

I mean, I mean, literally, we were backstage and they said Queen of Quinoa and this audience went crazy.

I mean, you’re very socially awkward. Tell us what? What is it like for you to be famous?

You know, I appreciate that. But I’ll tell you the, the odd, the weird thing is we go into our office for 90 minutes a week, and we talk to each other over zoom. And then we go in the room and people want to take pictures. That’s what’s so like strange. It’s like, we’ve never done this. And we did it once in person together, right? The pod, we’ve always done it over zoom. And it was always like a remote, like, so it always just felt like, hey, I got a meet, I got meetings on either side. Let’s go do the pod for for 90 minutes. And then all of a sudden, it’s like, hey, you know, people actually fucking listen to us talking.

Over zoom. Yeah, a little wacky. I’ll tell you. But it was great to meet everyone last night. I think it was, it was really cool. Because I heard a lot of stories last night about some dude sold his company for like fucking $2 billion. Where’s that guy?

That guy and he’s like, he’s like 11.

Yeah, he said he sold his company because of the the call we made on the top of the market. And he’s like, I took the deal 21 times revenue. Oh, there he is. Oh, who’s this guy, sir? Welcome.

Um, anyway, everybody, it was crazy. What an audience. The mayor of Miami, Francis.

So I take it. I take it 11 just close. I got to dress like a human being for about an hour.

Well, it actually doesn’t close 1111 doesn’t. So we’ll just go there. Sorry, it’s 24 hours. It’s 24 hours. Not that I’ve ever been there. But yes.

Hey, thanks for hosting us. We were thinking of a place to do it. And you were gracious enough to encourage everybody’s poker money everywhere else in the country. So you decided to come here. Yes, we’re gonna

But what an incredible resurgence and courting of the tech industry you’ve done here. Tell us about a little bit about what’s happened in the last two years since you started replying to people on Twitter saying,

Hey, um, if you’re running a business, we’d like to help you.

Yeah, sort of a United States of America type of approach, right? Fundamentally American, where we want to create high paying jobs in our city. We want to empower people, we want to give people an opportunity at being prosperous. And for some reason, in this country, in certain cities, that’s been frowned upon, or it makes you feel guilty about it. And here in Miami, we’re fundamentally shaped by our sort of our

origin story, right? And many people in Miami were exiled from their country of birth, for because in those countries, communist regimes took over. And obviously, in those countries, a government official is saying, Hey, give me your property, give me your, your business, and don’t worry, I’ll make everybody equal. And they do make everybody equal, they make everybody equally miserable. So, you know, they’ve accomplished that.

And whenever government wants to grow, you should run in the opposite direction. And so in Miami, we do it by following some simple rules, we keep taxes as low as humanly possible. And shocker, our budget has doubled in size. Since we have kept taxes to 1960s lows. We focus on quality of life. So we have the lowest homeless rate since 2013. We’re the first major city I think in America to have a tax rate of less than $1.5 billion.

So we want to actually try to get to zero, we want to have zero homeless. And we actually invest in safety. You know, we actually, while other cities decrease funding for our police, we’ve increased funding for our police, we have the most. We have the most police officers we’ve ever had in our history. And by the way, they have the hardest job in America right now, our police officers. And I’m going to give you a shocking correlation. Our crime went down. Shocking.

So you added police.

We added police.

And the crime went down.

Yes, I know. It’s bewildering. Our homicide rate went down by 23% last year. This year, it’s down by 40% from the 23% of last year. So almost 63% two years ago.

So that’s basically the combination of economic prosperity and then safety and security. People are too busy to think about all of the long tail things they could be doing to screw up their own lives or somebody else’s life. They’re just living a good life.

Yeah, we have 1.4% unemployment. We’re number one in the nation in wage growth. We’re number one in the nation in tech jobs. We’re number one in tech job migration. I think we’ve moved 2 trillion AUM in the last 18 months. And our VC pipeline grew by 200% year over year. And to put that number in context, if it was a zero sum game, and our gain was, for example, San Francisco’s loss, which may very well be going into the future. In two years, we would overtake San Francisco as the VC capital of the world.


And to be clear, you know, this is a very liberal city that is welcoming of all people. This is not like you’ve become some like insane, crazy right wing, like T.L. Sachs. You still are like fine with people living their lives.

Yes, we’re very much into freedom. We’re kind of sort of libertarian here in Miami. And you know, we want people to live their lives as they see fit. We’re not here to tell them what to do. We’re here to create the conditions for their prosperity to the extent that government even gets involved in that, right? We like to stay out of people’s business. We try to be efficient, which I know is almost an oxymoron in government. And we try to facilitate people’s growth and success. That’s it. That’s all we do.

Tell us about your support of crypto.

So, you know, when we were trying to create this buzz and ecosystem, we knew we had to disrupt the natural order of things. And so our hack, right, our David and Goliath sort of slingshot hack was to go all in on crypto.

Part of the reason why is, you know, I understood the fundamentals of it. I like the fundamentals of it. You know, I think one of the things that’s missing in our society is trust. And when you see policymakers, whether at the Fed or the federal government, spending significantly more money than what it’s taking in, which is creating hyperinflation, we see interest rates going up. I mean, it’s sort of a terrible man or woman inflicted suffering.

And you see a system that is designed to sort of create trust by making it human-less, in effect. It was something that was very attractive. Obviously, the blockchain, I was part of the Blockchain Foundation, part of the Blockchain Task Force for the state of Florida.

So I had a sort of education on the technology prior to the moment where I sort of decided to go all in on it. And I thought that it could be a differentiator being a young mayor who understood the tech, who understood that I wasn’t taking as big a risk as people thought I would be taking. And it’s been great for our ecosystem. I mean, whatever the price of Bitcoin is at a given moment is pretty much irrelevant.

But what’s important to me is we have the Bitcoin Conference. We have you guys. We have the Bitcoin Conference, which is tens of millions of dollars in economic development. We brought a tremendous amount of funds and exchanges to headquarter here in Miami, which has created hundreds of high-paying jobs. And then we got FTX to name our arena, which is a $200 million gift or contribution to our community.

So it’s been something that’s benefited us to the tunes of hundreds of millions of dollars. So regardless of what you think about crypto as a technology, as an economic development tool, it’s been game-changing for us.

Saks, I’m curious how you think about what you’ve seen in this city versus where we all live and operate in the Bay Area, and then across the country. How do you grade the job the mayor has done here? And what do you think the lessons are for the rest of the country?

I think Mayor Suarez has done an amazing job here, and it’s something that other cities should be looking to emulate, which is simply to be helpful instead of being an impediment.

I did an event for Mayor Suarez in San Francisco, my home, and it was the best-attended event. And I’ve done a lot of political events. The one we had with you was the best-attended event I think we ever held.

And there was a tremendous amount of curiosity on the part of people in San Francisco in terms of what’s been happening here. And the thing that you heard over and over again by the people who attended that event who had asked questions was, why can’t we have a mayor like you in San Francisco?

Because I don’t live there.

Actually, I’m president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, so I kind of jokingly say, well, I’m kind of, you know, I’m trying to. But every city I go to, they ask me the same question, and I’m like, well, I really like Miami a lot.

Yeah, I mean, fundamentally, we have not just a mayor, but because the mayor in San Francisco is actually not bad. London Breed’s not bad. The issue is the Board of Supervisors who really controls the city. I mean, they’ve been engaged in killing the golden goose.

I mean, San Francisco and the Bay Area had a lock on the tech ecosystem. And because the political forces there define tech as the enemy, they basically have driven it out. And as a result, you now have emergent tech hubs all over the United States, starting with Miami and Austin and other cities like that. And it’s kind of crazy. San Francisco had the monopoly, and it basically chose to give it up.

Well, spending, it was a giant grift, right? Aren’t they at like 4x budget per capita over New York? It’s like 3x. It’s something insane.

Yeah, it is crazy.

Mayor, let me ask a question around. One of the reasons Silicon Valley exists is because of the relationship with the universities in the Bay Area. And obviously, that still continues to be a big driver for the tech and more recently, biotech economy in the Bay Area.

No doubt.

A lot of people get their PhDs, they graduate engineering students, they stay in the Bay Area, UCSF, Stanford, Berkeley, etc. How do you think about the relationship between universities? What’s the kind of reflective solution here? And are there relationships you can maybe build or bridge with California schools to kind of get innovation hubs set up that partner with graduates?

I would love to. You know, one of the things that’s interesting about Silicon Valley is 95% of the people that live in Silicon Valley were not born in Silicon Valley. In Miami, it’s closer to 70% of the people that live in the city were not born in the city. I’m actually an anomaly being the first Miami born mayor in the history of the city 125 years. So that’s a pretty cool stat. But I absolutely think that we can, look, we’re not perfect.

I like to think that I get up every morning. As a mayor, you sort of look at the imperfections and you try as a long term build, right? Beyond these 24 months, you start thinking about what are the structural things that we can do better. And I think you just hit on one of them, right? I think certainly having a university that’s at the caliber of the Stanford’s, the MIT’s, you know, Harvard, even UT and Georgia Tech, a lot of fanfare in Austin and in the Atlanta area.

And so I think we can certainly do better. I’m not one of these people that likes to be complacent, or that thinks that, you know, even if we had a university at the caliber of some of these universities, I’d be still trying to find a way to do better. I think the world is highly disruptive. I think higher ed is highly disruptive. And I think, and it’s an archaic sort of institutional, just like government, right? They’re always behind.

So I think that gives cities like Miami, if we’re smart, if we find our crypto for universities, right, we can sort of leapfrog a lot of them and get to the top very quickly, I think.

I want to ask you, as we wrap here, a really hard question. We are struggling.

How to beat your mouth in poker? Yeah, it’s hard. It’s impossible, I would say.

I mean, we have a drug crisis in this country with fentanyl. It is a super drug that we have never seen. We have this problem in San Francisco with homelessness and drugs. And you’re now running the conference of all the mayors in the country, and you all come together.

And it seems like some cities are figuring out how to deal with this, and some are floundering. Is the issue that we’re looking at a super drug and an addiction problem that has very low chance of resolving itself through, even when somebody can get a bed and go to recovery, the recovery rates for fentanyl are low single digits.

And we’re looking at this as if the problem is actually homelessness, that they don’t have a home when in fact they are addicted to a super drug. Why can’t we look at this for what it is and stop conflating a super drug addiction problem with people not having a home and an economic issue? It seems like there’s some denial going on.

Sure. Look, I think fentanyl is, the numbers are very scary, right, in terms of recovery. It’s infinitesimal in terms of people that can get out of that vicious cycle of fentanyl addiction.

In Miami, what we did about 10, 15 years ago was we created a network of facilities that do drug treatment, alcohol treatment, mental health, and vocational training all at the same place.

It’s called the Homeless Trust. We use, I think it’s a cent from, it’s basically a tourist tax, so people who come in and visit pay a bed tax when they come and visit a hotel.

It generates about $50 million a year, which you can bond out, and we’ve created a decentralized set of facilities all across the MSA. We reduce homelessness by about 90% with that network.

We’re now down to the chronic few, the last 10%. It’s about 1,000 in the county. In Miami, in the city, which is one of 34 cities in the county, we have 510 homeless right now in the city.

That’s incredible, you know, down to the person.

Yeah, down to the person. We do a continuous audit and continuous census, and so we know down to the person.

I think the key for us to go to zero, aside from trying to fund the network’s wish list, which we did with some ARPA funding that we got, is to really know them at an intimate level, know their stories.

When we first met, one of the things you said was, you don’t know someone until you know their story.

How do you drill down, and how do you get inside and know what’s the reason why they’re there, whether it’s an addiction, whether it’s…

Some people just have been homeless for 20 years, and they’re just used to it, right?

A lifestyle.

They want to live on the streets, and those are the hardest ones because you really can’t, unfortunately, legally tell them you can’t live on the street, right?

So it’s about convincing them that there’s a better path, there’s a better life, that there are things out there that can create more happiness for them.

Yeah, but you have to hold the line as well.

You do.

On a policing level.


So if you, as we’ve seen in San Francisco, if you incentivize it by not doing any basic policing, you get more of it.

Well, here’s the issue.

I think what people often forget is, obviously, people who are homeless are human beings and they need to be treated with dignity.

At the same time, there are human beings like we are.

If any one of us, this is a recording over there, if any one of us just got up and started urinating on the stage right now, they would be arrested.

They would be arrested.

So we’re held to a certain level of account as human beings where our actions affect others, right?

So it’s not just about the human person and how we take care of that human being, but it’s also how does that human being interact with and affect everybody else?

And I think that’s the part that gets lost sometimes in the debate.

Mayor, before, sorry, I want to ask one question.

You focus on local issues, the city that you operate.

What do you think happens to the United States, the federal government over the next 30 years?

Do you have any points of view on where we’re headed as a—

Ooh, wow, that’s a loaded question, but I think—

Well, you’ll be running for mayor—I’m sorry, for president.

Let’s hear the point of view.

Is that 2032?

When are you planning to—

Who knows, who knows, who knows?

Thank you.

Whenever Chamath also authorizes it.


It has been authorized, just so you know.

You are looking at it eight to 12 years from now.

He will be the president of the United States.

But anyways, go ahead and answer the question.

I’m always trying to hack and accelerate the process.

Anyhow, so—

It’s a tax in Suarez.

Yeah, so it sounds good, by the way.

I think a few things.

I think, first of all, those three bullet points, if you will, those three sort of keys

to success, keeping taxes low, investing in quality of life, which is sort of homelessness

and safety, and then creating high-paying jobs is leaning into an innovation economy.

We’re transitioning.

That’s a recipe for success for the country.

Can we change the country, though?

Can we change?

Can we move the trend, right?

Oh, absolutely.

Look what we did in Miami in two years.

Absolutely, we can.

I think we have to transition.

There’s two inflection points which are massively disruptive.

The first is from an industrial to a digital economy, and the second is from the boomer

generation to our generation, right?

So those two inflection points are happening at the same time.

And what that does, I call it a tsunami of opportunity, right?

And if we get ahead of the tsunami and we surf that wave, as opposed to letting the

wave run us over, I think we can create a generation of prosperity.

But look, you have China and Russia banning Bitcoin.

Do we want to agree with China and Russia on anything right now?

I don’t know.

I don’t think so.

So I think there are tremendous opportunities for us to lean into this innovation economy

and create prosperity.

You have the largest microchip factory in the world being built in Columbus, Ohio.

I think that’s something that we need to sort of reclaim our ability to produce things in

the technological industrial revolution.

We’re seeing Bitcoin mining facilities that are done at carbon neutral.

So I think there’s a lot of opportunities in this new economy for us to really jump

ahead where skilled labor is going to be a premium over unskilled labor that’s going

to be done with computers or printers or whatever.

Mr. Mayor, we appreciate that you are putting your life to service of the citizens of this

great city.

And we really appreciate that because you have other opportunities you could have pursued

and you’re pursuing really changing what is some major dysfunctions in the political


And we’re all rooting for you.

And the results are undeniable.

And we really do appreciate you.

Ladies and gentlemen.

Thank you, guys.

We’ll let your winners ride.

Rain Man David Sack.

And instead, we open source it to the fans and they’ve just gone crazy with it.

Love you, West Coast.

Queen of quinoa.

Besties are gone.

That’s my dog taking a notice in your driveway.

Oh, man.

We should all just get a room and just have one big huge orgy because they’re all just


It’s like this like sexual tension that they just need to release somehow.


You’re the bee.


You’re a bee.

We need to get merch.

Besties are gone.

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