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FTX Crypto Exchange Collapse Poses Warning of Much Broader Market Risks

Currencies / cryptocurrency Nov 12, 2022 - 02:39 PM GMT

By: MoneyMetals


Investors finally got some good news this week on the inflation front. Thursday's Consumer Price Index report showing price level increases moderating somewhat sent stocks, bonds, and precious metals all soaring.

CPI inflation still came in elevated at an annual rate of 7.7% through October. But that was slightly lower than analyst expectations. The 7.7% reading also represents a possible deceleration trend from earlier in the year when the CPI was running well above 8%.

With the official inflation rate now heading down a little bit, the Federal Reserve will likely start scaling back its interest rate hikes. Expectations for Fed softening helped drive the U.S. Dollar Index down to a two-month low.

Metals investors are hopeful that a dovish turn by the Fed will lead to bullish price action in the months ahead.

They are also trying to figure out how accommodating or threatening the political climate will be following the mid-term election. The results were certainly disappointing to Republicans who had hoped to win a large majority in the House of Representatives and retake control of the Senate.

While a few key races still undecided, it appears unlikely that the GOP will end up with anything better than a razor-thin majority in the House and an evenly split Senate. Fiscal conservatives who seek major budgetary reforms and a fight with the Biden administration over big issues like raising the debt ceiling will likely be stymied.

Not much is likely to change in Washinton, D.C. during the next Congress. Looking ahead to 2024, speculation is growing that Florida Governor Ron Desantis could be the GOP nominee for President.

Desantis won re-election overwhelmingly by running on his record of freeing the state from COVID restrictions and banning Woke indoctrination in schools. We will probably learn more in the months ahead about where he stands on fiscal and monetary issues at the federal level.

In the meantime, one of the issues Congress is likely to take up soon is regulation of cryptocurrency markets.

This week crypto markets got rattled by the collapse of a major exchange known as FTX. FTX had faced a wave of customer requests for withdrawals and announced it was experiencing liquidity issues. A digital bank run ensued.

FTX had specifically touted itself as a safe and secure platform. That turned out not to be the case. FTX mismanaged its own finances and may have also misappropriated funds in client accounts.

Now the entire crypto industry is coming under closer scrutiny by politicians and regulators.

However, the FTX debacle is complicated by the fact that its owner, Sam Bankman-Fried, has been a huge financial contributor to Democrats. The crypto billionaire gave $40 million to Democrat candidates in 2022, making him the party’s second largest donor. In 2020, he pumped $10 million into Joe Biden’s campaign for President.

It’s also no secret that the big retail banks not only give lots of money to members of Congress but also push former executives to fill top positions at regulatory agencies. That creates conflicts of interest when it comes to cracking down on financial institutions that are involved in the manipulation of precious metals markets, for example.

There is a risk that amid the clamor for tighter regulations on crypto markets, politicians will move to limit the freedoms on investors to allocate capital wherever they wish instead of holding fraudsters accountable at both the individual and institutional level.

Investors cannot necessarily count on free and fair markets when they engage with crypto exchanges, futures exchanges, brokerages, or banks. Holding funds with any financial institution entails at least some measure of counterparty risk.

But precious metals held in physical form insulate investors from the counterparty risks associated with digital assets and financial assets.

The collapse of FTX could be the canary in the coal mine warning of broader risks on not only crypto exchanges, but futures exchanges, stock exchanges, and the banking system itself. The aggressive pace of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and the resulting volatility in debt and equity markets could raise liquidity concerns at major financial institutions.

The best way for investors to protect themselves against such risks isn’t to hope for stronger regulations or a bailout from the government. Instead, investors can take matters into their own hands by owning tangible assets, including gold and silver, outside of the financial system.

Well, that will do it for this week. Be sure to check back next Friday for our next Weekly Market Wrap Podcast. Until then this has been Mike Gleason with Money Metals Exchange, thanks for listening and have a great weekend everybody.

By Mike Gleason

Mike Gleason is President of Money Metals Exchange, the national precious metals company named 2015 "Dealer of the Year" in the United States by an independent global ratings group. A graduate of the University of Florida, Gleason is a seasoned business leader, investor, political strategist, and grassroots activist. Gleason has frequently appeared on national television networks such as CNN, FoxNews, and CNBC, and his writings have appeared in hundreds of publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Detroit News, Washington Times, and National Review.

© 2022 Mike Gleason - All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

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