[00:00:00] Preston Pysh: Hey, everyone. Welcome to this Wednesday’s release of the Bitcoin Fundamentals podcast. I’ve got a special episode for you this week with a brilliant writer, thinker, and all around educator with Seb Bunney. Seb is the author of the book, The Hidden Cost of Money, and throughout today’s discussion we talk about some really interesting perspectives of how society is dealing with so many obtrusive obstacles that just seem to be amplifying.
[00:00:23] Preston Pysh: More importantly, we talk about the first principles and underlying incentives that are putting all these obstacles in people’s way. And of course, we talk about Bitcoin and how it provides a way out of this. This isn’t a chat you’ll want to miss, so with that, here’s my interview with Seb.
[00:00:41] Intro: You are listening to Bitcoin Fundamentals by The Investor’s Podcast Network. Now for your host, Preston Pysh.
[00:01:00] Preston Pysh: Hey everyone, welcome to the show. I’m here with Seb Bunny and we’re going to be talking about his new book, The Hidden Cost of Money. Seb, welcome to the show. Man, honestly, it, it means the world to be on the show. I think you’ve truly influenced me on my, along my journey. And it’s one of those things that actually thinking back to it, it’s been such a pleasure watching your own personal journey from kind of the start of the podcast, being more value focused to seeing that intrigue of Bitcoin and in that flow through to now kind of Bitcoin kind of grasping a lot of your attention.
[00:01:31] Seb Bunney: So it’s, yeah, I really appreciate it Preston.
[00:01:34] Preston Pysh: It’s an embarrassing journey to have with people watching all the mistakes you make through the years and, and whatnot. But yes it’s been, it’s been quite an interesting road. And I appreciate you saying that. That’s very kind of you said we met probably, I don’t know, two years ago, a year and a half ago.
[00:01:54] Preston Pysh: And I just have to tell you, I was just thoroughly impressed of, of your critical thinking and like how you approach things. And so when I heard you were coming out with a book, I mean, you can verify this. I reached out to you because I was just very anxious to read how you kind of put your, I guess, how you think about Bitcoin and how you think about it in a broader context and just very excited to dive into this.
[00:02:20] Preston Pysh: So, this is how I’m going to summarize your book for people listening. There was a recent advertisement that came out from Coinbase. And it is being shared like crazy online because for people that haven’t seen it, I might not be doing it justice with how spot on they nailed this ad, but the ad was, I worked so hard my whole life.
[00:02:42] Preston Pysh: I was told that if I work hard enough, I could get into a great college. I get into a great college and then I get so in debt up to my eyeballs. I can’t afford to buy a house. I continue to not buy a house and like, it just like kind of progresses and it kind of lays out this world that I would argue people that are 40 years and younger are dealing with, which is.
[00:03:03] Preston Pysh: They’re so in debt and they can’t do anything. They have no disposable income, but yet they were promised all these things if they worked really hard and did these things. And they did work hard and they did all those things and they still don’t have anything is really kind of the premise of it and reading through your book.
[00:03:19] Preston Pysh: And I know this is taking me a really long time to get to the first question, but reading through your book, It’s almost as if it’s the response to that commercial as to why. Why are people feeling this way? Why are people dealing with this? And you literally lay it out by the numbers in such an organized and thoughtful kind of way that just to start off, huge kudos to you.
[00:03:44] Preston Pysh: Because if people are looking for an answer to what I just like briefly described in that commercial, This is it. This is, this is the book to get. You go by the numbers and there’s no stone left unturned as to how, why, and, and why, and where people have found themselves in this precarious situation right now.
[00:04:04] Preston Pysh: I’m curious, is that what you were kind of going for? Is that what you were trying to answer with this book? Or was there something else that you were trying to really kind of define with the book?
[00:04:14] Seb Bunney: No, it’s interesting because I think you’ve laid it out perfectly and it’s almost as if the journey that I took to get to writing the book actually mirrors that Coinbase ad.
[00:04:23] Seb Bunney: And for me, for those of you that are listening that probably don’t know who I am, I was basically, I was a backcountry mountain bike instructor for over a decade, and I absolutely loved my job, but I would say when I first started my job going into my teens, into my late teens, I started to realize that I was working six days a week, like seven, eight hours a day, absolutely destroying my body.
[00:04:46] Seb Bunney: I was looking at some of my idols that I grew up watching in the mountain bike films. Like these guys, you would think like they’re world class athletes and many of them are up to their eyeballs in debt. They’re struggling to get by. Most of them do not own any form of assets. And so I started to realize if I want to lead my best life.
[00:05:03] Seb Bunney: I’ve got to do something different. Like the world at which we’re living in doesn’t allow us to kind of get by with that kind of the American dream of the 60s where you can have a single earner who can work relatively hard and afford a house. And so I started to realize I had to get into investing and that kind of led me down the real estate route.
[00:05:20] Seb Bunney: And then that led me down the value investing route, which is actually where I started kind of came across you Preston. And then of course, when you start going down the value investing route, then you start looking at the monetary system and you start looking at the financial system. And that led me to gold and then ultimately to Bitcoin.
[00:05:34] Seb Bunney: And along this whole journey, what I really started to realize is the system, when I first started investing, and I’ve, I’ve heard you talk about this as well. When I first started investing, I was looking through the lens of a capitalist free market, but I realized every single time that I started to take positions, those positions weren’t playing out.
[00:05:50] Seb Bunney: And I’m just like, why are these positions? I don’t understand this. It doesn’t seem rational. And you start to realize the system is not functioning rationally because people continually intervene. And so ultimately I felt as if there needed to be a book that kind of looked at money more holistically. I feel like you can find books that go very deep into economics or you can find books that go very deep into.
[00:06:13] Seb Bunney: I don’t know, Bitcoin and the functionality of Bitcoin and whatnot. But there wasn’t a book that was very much more holistic and broad that looked at what is the history of money? How does money then weave its influence into our social spheres, our environmental spheres, our political spheres, our business spheres?
[00:06:27] Seb Bunney: And then what is, if we were to kind of imagine a new system, what would that system look like? And one of the things I’ve really tried to do, and I kind of took this from Jeff Booth’s book, The Price of Tomorrow, is I didn’t want the focus to be on Bitcoin, because ultimately I think If you bring up Bitcoin very early on, people have, a lot of people have an aversion to Bitcoin, and so instead I wanted to just look at things as objectively as possible, obviously through my own lens, as objectively as possible, without the jargon, and bring it down into a social level about how it impacts us.
[00:06:58] Seb Bunney: And try to kind of portray what we’re facing and what we’re going to continue to face if we continue on the path at which we have kind of trending along.
[00:07:06] Preston Pysh: Well, it’s interesting you say that. So you start bringing up a solution to all the problems that you define from the first 11 chapters in the book, and then you start addressing this in chapter 12.
[00:07:17] Preston Pysh: And I love this because part of the issue that I’ve personally faced when talking to family, friends, or whatever. is they want to talk about Bitcoin, but they don’t really want to like truly deeply understand the problem that it’s solving. They just want to talk about the speculative like trade, if you will.
[00:07:35] Preston Pysh: It’s just like, no, stop. Like that’s the last thing I want to talk about is the speculative, like where’s the price going in the next two months is like a common question you get. And you just want to bang your head against the wall because this is so much deeper and profound than that. Something, a quote that you have in the introduction of the book, you say, everything is downstream of money.
[00:07:57] Preston Pysh: And it gets to what you were just saying, but kind of compact, like really kind of give people a little bit more behind this. And you say this was a moment for you that you kind of like came to this aha moment. You’re like, my gosh, like this is my core thesis now is everything is downstream of money. So define that more for us.
[00:08:18] Seb Bunney: So I would say, like, there’s many different lenses at which to look at money. I know that Saylor talks about money as like time and whatnot, or a battery. And I mentioned that a little bit in the book. But one of the ways that I like to look at it is money is simply just a medium of expression, like language.
[00:08:34] Seb Bunney: And if we take language for a second, with anything, It can be censored. So with language, we can have our ability to express ourselves censored. And so let’s just take a look at that for a second. If when we were a child, our parents didn’t allow us to express certain emotions or say certain words, well, that can impede us as an adult because what is depression?
[00:08:54] Seb Bunney: Depression is the depressing of emotions. It’s as a child, if we weren’t able to feel anger, if we weren’t able to feel sadness, As an adult, we don’t know how to express those things, and it shows itself in the form of illness, depression, anxiety, and and whatnot. It’s the same thing with money. Money is a form of expression.
[00:09:10] Seb Bunney: It’s how we express to the world what it is that we value. So you can see, if you look at someone, let’s say you walk into a grocery store and you see someone buying grass-fed beef and raw milk, and then you see someone else buying cigarettes and microwave meals, you can immediately see what it is that they value just through how they’re transacting.
[00:09:26] Seb Bunney: And so I think when you have a society that starts censoring or impeding how we express ourselves monetarily, you start to see all of these byproducts. And so, for instance, If when you start, I don’t know, debasing the currency so our money is worth less over time. Well, guess what? You’re no longer incentivized to save, you’re incentivized to consume.
[00:09:46] Seb Bunney: So we start seeing this consumption based economy that is decimating our environment. Or you start to see when the political sphere is able to spend beyond their means, they’re able to basically function without offering value because they can simply print at will. then you start to see people basically not necessarily the political sphere, not necessarily representing the needs or the will of the people.
[00:10:07] Seb Bunney: And so you start to see when money starts breaking down, we see all of these byproducts, these symptoms. So I would argue throughout the book that a lot of the issues we face in society, as you say, are downstream of money. It’s because we’ve intervened on a monetary level, we’ve impeded our ability to express ourselves monetarily, which has led to a lot of the issues at which we face.
[00:10:27] Preston Pysh: Love that. In the first chapter, you do a brief history of money. In your exploration of this, in preparing for the book and writing the chapter, what was something that was most surprising with respect to this history of money that you found?
[00:10:46] Seb Bunney: I would say, When I started going deep down like the value hole, the value investing hole, and dig into the financial markets, there used to be this guy that used to follow called Lacey Hunt, and a lot of people in the investing sphere have probably heard of Lacey Hunt, he’s a phenomenal bond trader, and one of the things that he talks about how there’s The four factors of production, which are land, labor, capital, and enterprise.
[00:11:08] Seb Bunney: And so when we look at these four factors, they basically make up our economy. They make up GDP, how productive we are because we have land that is all of our resources. We have oil, we have lumber, all of the mining from minerals and whatnot. We then have labor. That is obviously our worker working capacity.
[00:11:25] Seb Bunney: That is our demographics. If we have an elderly population, we’re not going to be as efficient as if we have a young population. We then have enterprise, which is our entrepreneurship, our ingenuity, our ability to be able to combine land and labor, to be able to create productive assets and whatnot. And then finally we have capital.
[00:11:43] Seb Bunney: Capital is basically the lubricant, which lubricates capital is basically the lubricant which lubricates the enterprise, the land, and the labor. And what I realized is. When we look at land, labor, and enterprise, these are all kind of, if you want to create change in the economy, they take a long time to kind of create change.
[00:12:03] Seb Bunney: So, the government can come out and they can say, okay, we want to go try and find a bunch more resources. But the reality is that a lot of our world has been kind of stripped bare, or there is a bunch of regulation that impedes us from obtaining resources. So, it’s really hard for us to create change by pulling the land lever.
[00:12:20] Seb Bunney: You could then look at the world through the lens of like demographics and labor. Well, guess what? At the moment, we have a declining, we have a declining workforce in terms of an aging population. If you look at say China, China’s population has been to half over the next kind of 30 years. U. S. has had the slowest birth or growth rate in terms of population in the last hundred years.
[00:12:40] Seb Bunney: And Canada is meant to see, what is it? We, the 60 people that are 60 and above are meant to see a 60 percent increase over the next 10 years, as opposed to 10 percent increase in 16 below. And so what we’re seeing is we’re seeing this aging population, which is a huge burden to society. And so you start to realize that it’s really, really hard to create change.
[00:12:59] Seb Bunney: When it comes to land, labor, and enterprise, when I should say enterprise as well, technology, we can bet on technology, but we don’t know when that technology is actually going to create change. It’s still a bit of a hope. And so the quickest way to create change in an economy is through pulling the monetary lever and the capital lever.
[00:13:16] Seb Bunney: And so what happens is the governments over time have become a product of the system. The system is incentivized in pulling the capital lever because it’s the quickest way to create change in an economy. And we see this, our money has slowly transitioned from being backed by gold, to them being partially backed by gold, to them going to the fiat standard.
[00:13:33] Seb Bunney: And each time, it’s usually during these events where the government’s just, they need to intervene, or they don’t need to, they feel they want to intervene. And the only way they can intervene, they can’t intervene on a land level, on a labor level, on an enterprise level. The quickest way to create change is through the capital lever.
[00:13:48] Seb Bunney: And so we’re basically seeing over time, This transition from money being this thing that stores value to money being purely this thing that is used as an internet an interventionistic method to kind of create change in an economy, but it’s led to a lot of these byproducts.
[00:14:03] Preston Pysh: So a person who’s not intimately familiar with Bitcoin or many of the arguments that we hear in the, in the Bitcoin space, they would argue, well, if the government wasn’t stepping in and playing with this capital lever to stabilize markets.
[00:14:19] Preston Pysh: like 2008, then we would have had a economic disaster on our hands if they didn’t step in. So how do you respond to that person to lay out maybe the, the bigger context of, of what the effect is?
[00:14:33] Seb Bunney: It’s actually interesting to say that I was just I was back in the UK and I have kind of like seven siblings that I was hanging out with and one of them is, she’s dating a guy that’s just studied economics and he wants to go and work for the bank of England.
[00:14:49] Seb Bunney: And he came up with this, well, we kind of started along this discussion and one of his pushbacks was the reason why we’re seeing a lot of nations fail throughout history is because they have not had the tools or the capacity to intervene to the extent to which they need to. And I just find it such a hard, like such a misguided approach, because I think sometimes we look at immediate effects, but we never look at the second and third and fourth order effects.
[00:15:15] Seb Bunney: Yes. And actually, if you step back, when, when you look at intervention, many of the issues we face stem from intervention in the first place. So I would argue that many of these nations, whether we’re talking about the Romans or whether we’re talking about the British pound losing its were reserve currency status and whatnot.
[00:15:32] Seb Bunney: I would, I would say that the reason why these situations came about is because government started stepping in. Initially, these countries rise into power because they’re offering immense value to society. But then almost that immense value creates this ego and that ego believes, Hey, you know what? I think we can create change.
[00:15:49] Seb Bunney: We can do something different. They start intervening and that intervention. then starts to distort market signals. And that distortion of market signals results in greater intervention. And so it’s almost as if intervention begets intervention. Yes. And I would actually say there’s a, there’s a chapter in the book I believe it’s the third chapter where I basically talk about the four stages of economic ruin.
[00:16:12] Seb Bunney: And this is, I would say how intervention kind of plays its hand is first, when you start intervening, you become misaligned to reality. And I’ll give an example. Jeff Booth talks a lot about in his book, The Price of Tomorrow, how we live in a deflationary world. Technology is always trying to get more for less.
[00:16:29] Seb Bunney: Like you just need to take a look at say Blockbuster. Blockbuster, we used to have to spend gas driving down to Blockbuster, spend half an hour in the store, finally find a movie, spend our eight bucks or whatever renting the movie, drive all the way home, drive back to Blockbuster, drop off the movie, drive back home.
[00:16:43] Seb Bunney: The amount of energy that we had to kind of consume to be able to simply watch one movie. And now you’ve got Netflix for the same price as one movie. Technology is always trying to drive down prices because it’s always trying to get more for less, but we have a monetary system that is inflationary, so if prices are trying to fall, but our monetary system is a debt based system where prices are rising, we have a misalignment to reality, and so when you have a misalignment to reality, that leads to stage 2, and stage 2 is the death that created destruction which is if you’ve got these debt based systems and deflation is trying to drive down prices, well, that means your debt is becoming more burdensome. And so corporations are going to start failing. So if corporations start failing, governments start intervening. And so as governments start intervening, what happens is you now distort natural supply and demand in the market.
[00:17:30] Seb Bunney: You distort creative destruction because you’re not allowing companies that are not offering value. to well, sorry, you’re allowing companies that are not offering value to survive. And so you’re now destroying in society. If you’ve got a company who is offering value, they now have to compete against entities that shouldn’t exist.
[00:17:47] Seb Bunney: So they’re now using capital simply to compete when that traditionally or in a free market wouldn’t happen. So then that leads to capital flow distortion. You start to see buyers, people who are spending their money, their money isn’t necessarily going to where they want to direct it, or if you’re looking at government intervening and they’re bailing out a lot of these major corporations, that money isn’t money doesn’t come out of, it’s not printed out of thin air.
[00:18:12] Seb Bunney: Purchasing power has to come from somewhere, and it’s coming from the currency holders. And so ultimately, currency holders are not choosing where their purchasing power is going. Ultimately, it’s the government who’s choosing where their purchasing power is going. So then you start to see capital flow distortion, because money’s not flowing to where it wants to flow into society.
[00:18:27] Seb Bunney: It’s not flowing to where value is being created. It’s actually flowing to where value is being destroyed. And so ultimately those first three stages, so the misalignment to reality, the death of creative destruction, then the capital flow distortion leads to decision making impairment. Because if we can’t see what the free and unimpeded market kind of deems valuable, if we’re not able to see which companies should and should not exist, if we’re not actually able to see what the actual risks in society are, because these companies are still alive, that should be dead.
[00:18:55] Seb Bunney: Then ultimately, how can we make accurate decisions as to how to move forward in a society? How can the government, the central planners, make these decisions that are supposedly meant to impact everyone to build a prosperous society if we don’t even know what it is that people value, what should be thriving, what shouldn’t, what people deem of value and what people don’t?
[00:19:13] Seb Bunney: I ultimately, I think when it comes to intervention, it completely muddies the water as to how we need to act in order to create change, how we need to act in order to add value to society. Sorry, that was a long winded answer.
[00:19:25] Preston Pysh: No, no, it was a, it was an amazing answer. And in your book, in kind of near the back of the book, I forget which chapter this was in, but you had a chart of banking consolidation, like the equity of banks and how it’s getting consolidated.
[00:19:40] Preston Pysh: And for people that look at government intervention and they see, Oh yeah, well, they saved us in 2008, but they don’t talk about, well, what was the cost of them saving us? And there’s many costs, but like one of the ones that I think is rarely discussed is that consolidation of equity into fewer and fewer hands or fewer and fewer controllers.
[00:20:00] Preston Pysh: And what that’s doing over an extended period of time is making the overall system less and less stable. Right? Like it, it was, it made it more stable for those few years as they rescued in and saved the banks. But as we look at like the Silicon Valley bank situation that happened here at the beginning of 2023.
[00:20:18] Preston Pysh: The amount of stimulus that they provided to rescue Silicon Valley Bank was on par of the 2008 2009 crisis, just for that one event. And I think if you went around and asked people in society about the Silicon Valley Bank collapse that happened in 2023, I think very few people would even know it happened, or that there was this massive amount of stimulus that was directed at just banks now.
[00:20:44] Preston Pysh: And so. If they let Silicon Valley Bank fail, it was going to be financial Armageddon right then and there, but they didn’t, and it’s getting out of the purview of the, of the general public that as we go, as we continue to march along on this timeline, the person that’s very myopic and is just looking at a five year timeframe or a 10 year timeframe and said, they saved our bacon.
[00:21:06] Preston Pysh: Yes, they did, but they’re leading to this much, much bigger failure, systemic failure. Because of it over time, you did a fantastic job just kind of laying out like the four pieces there that you said of the economic ruin, I think is something that people need to study more. I know I’m personally going to adopt a lot of that into my own talking points when people ask me.
[00:21:30] Preston Pysh: And you do a phenomenal, I think this is in chapter three, you do a phenomenal job at laying this out for people to kind of really dig in and learn more about that idea in itself.
[00:21:41] Seb Bunney: One thing I wanted to add just to kind of the point you made, and it’s interesting because we’ve just got, for those who are not familiar, you’ve probably seen what’s happening in Argentina, and I can’t pronounce his name, I think it’s Millet.
[00:21:50] Seb Bunney: Yeah. Millet has just come in, and I think this is fascinating, because For arguably a long, long time, we’re starting to see someone who is a lot more libertarian, free market focus that actually wants to break down central banks kind of coming into power. And I’m curious to see how this pans out because the problem with a socialist interventionist system is socialism begets socialism because ultimately, as you start intervening, If someone was to come into power and say, Hey, I don’t want to intervene.
[00:22:20] Seb Bunney: I actually want to go through a period of austerity and try to bring ourselves back up into a free market. The majority of people in society under a socialist system are suffering. Like in the US, we have one third of the population is below the poverty line. Half of the population or something like 60 percent of the population is living paycheck to paycheck.
[00:22:34] Seb Bunney: So they’re always going to vote for any form of short term, immediate pain relief. And so you end up in this system whereby if we were to go into austerity, you have to go through a period of living within our means when we’ve been living well, well beyond our means for so long. And so the thing that I find really challenging is Because people are very short sighted, they’re going to see living within our means as, well, this is a problem with having a free market.
[00:23:00] Seb Bunney: This is a problem with not being able to intervene. And the reality is it’s the opposite. And so the challenge I think with our current system is that whether you vote Republican or Democrat, conservative or labor, right or left, The political kind of affiliations don’t really matter because everyone is actually incentivized to continue to intervene.
[00:23:19] Seb Bunney: And that’s why I think until we actually change the system and realign the incentives, we’ll continue down this path of excess. And when I say change the system, I think you need to change that base layer, which is the money, because if you then realign the incentives, the politicians are actually incentivized to act in the best interest of the populace.
[00:23:36] Seb Bunney: And for instance, like we talk obviously a lot about Bitcoin, but if you were to remove the money printer from government, immediately government has to compete in a free market, just like every other business. It has to offer value to the populace, because if it doesn’t, it’s going to collapse. And another party that is able to offer value is able to rise up.
[00:23:53] Seb Bunney: But at the moment, The government doesn’t have to offer value because it’s got a money printer. It can go at complete opposition to its populace and still fund operations. And that’s where I think people sometimes we get so swayed as to who we’re voting for, when in reality, we’re going to continue down this path until we actually change the monetary system.
[00:24:11] Seb Bunney: And I think that is That’s where I’m now just a single issue voter, whereby I’m going to vote for whoever is pro Bitcoin, because I think Bitcoin is going to shift the incentives.
[00:24:20] Preston Pysh: Yes. Couldn’t agree with you more on that. There’s a chapter in your book, and I’m really glad you covered this, because a lot of books that I’ve read, particularly on Bitcoin, don’t cover this.
[00:24:32] Preston Pysh: And it’s the mental health impact, the psychological cost of economic instability. Talk to us about like some of your findings, what you were really trying to accomplish with this chapter.
[00:24:45] Seb Bunney: I would say, and this goes back to that one comment that you kind of brought up at the start, which is where everything is downstream of money.
[00:24:51] Seb Bunney: And we are a product of our environment. And so naturally, our environment shapes who we are and how we act. And one of those ways is through behavior. And so I talk about kind of three main things. I talk about time preference, which Bitcoin is usually quite intimately familiar with that is whether or not we favor kind of short term needs or whether we’re able to look to the future for stability and security.
[00:25:14] Seb Bunney: Then I talk about compassion and altruism, how, when we’re threatened, we start looking out for ourselves. And that talks a lot about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Like people have probably heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, where it’s basically this pyramid. where at the top you’ve kind of got self actualization.
[00:25:29] Seb Bunney: But in order to find self actualization, you’ve got to move through, you’ve got to have your base needs met. That is like shelter and food. And then you’ve got to have relationships and then you’ve got to have aspirations and whatnot. And so if we have a society where we are struggling to get by, our cost of living is constantly rising.
[00:25:46] Seb Bunney: We’re not able to commit time to our relationships. We’re not able to commit time to growing and learning. Then we are, we’re at that very low level whereby we lose that ability to be compassionate and altruistic and give back to society because we’re trying to just simply look out for ourselves.
[00:26:03] Seb Bunney: And then the final one I talk about is meaningless and apathy. And that’s where in a free market system, you reap what you sow. If you dedicate time to something, if you invest energy into something, you’re naturally going to benefit from that. And that is hugely motivating. It motivates us to go out there and create value.
[00:26:20] Seb Bunney: It motivates us because we’re rewarded. And if you look throughout the animal kingdom, it’s exactly the same. The more energy you put into something, if you’re benefiting from the work at which you are doing. you’re going to be motivated to continue to improve and grow. Whereas when we have a system where you’re losing, say 40, 50, 60 percent of your, the money you’ve earned to taxes, and then you’re losing another large amount to inflation and and whatnot.
[00:26:43] Seb Bunney: And then you’re losing a lot of another large amount through financial repression and whatnot. All of a sudden, we’ve got this system where meaningless starts to set in. Like where I live here in Whistler, I’ve just been completely blown away. I’ve been living here since 2008. And when I moved here, I would say the average house was 800 to 1.2 million, 800,000 to 1.2 million Canadian dollars, and now the average house is four and a half million.
[00:27:08] Seb Bunney: And it’s just, that’s insane. People can’t afford that. That’s insane. People cannot, no one can afford that. And so this is where we start to have this society where people simply cannot get by. They cannot even put a roof over their head. Because intervention is constantly impeding our ability to kind of reap what we sow.
[00:27:25] Seb Bunney: Intervention is impacting our ability to be compassionate and give back to society. Intervention is shifting our time preference. And I mentioned it very briefly, but going back to time preference, when money is losing value from one day to the next, Are we incentivized to save? No, we’re not. We’re incentivized to consume because our purchasing power is worth the most in this present moment.
[00:27:46] Seb Bunney: In the future, it’s going to be worth less. And so naturally, over time, we’re actually incentivized to spend our money in the present moment, as opposed to thinking about the future. Whereas if you were to flip that on its head with something like Bitcoin, when you have a fixed supply of currency, and all of a sudden you’ve got this deflation where you’ve got technology driving down prices, All of a sudden our purchasing power is increasing over time, so it’s the reverse.
[00:28:07] Seb Bunney: We start to see our cost of living declining as opposed to rising. So all of a sudden we’re actually incentivized to save over consume. And so our time preference shifts, we start thinking long term. And so I think society is going to be a much healthier society when we’re thinking long term rather than this short term impulsive behavior where we’re lacking compassion, we find meaningless in life.
[00:28:28] Seb Bunney: And this is where I think tying behavior back to money is really important because ultimately everything I truly believe is downstream of money.
[00:28:36] Preston Pysh: Just as a funny note to kind of emphasize your point you’re making, I love the meme that you see on Twitter with like the person that’s living on a mattress on the floor and all they have is a TV and there’s like this Michael Saylor video playing on the TV.
[00:28:52] Preston Pysh: Like every time I see this and they’re living like this because they want to stack more Bitcoin. Because of time preference, right? And I know it’s just a meme, but every time I see this, I just laugh my tail off because I’m just like, they’re nailing it because everybody I’ve met in this community, when I go to various live events is they’re saving, they’re not, they’re not buying the newest G WiZ widget or car or whatever, they’re truly just trying to compound their savings by living I’m going to use the word appropriately.
[00:29:24] Preston Pysh: And I don’t know if that’s the correct word to use, but they’re just living within their means and just not having to have the next consumer item. Right. And people who are dealing with, especially in what your point that you make is when the debasement of fiat is accelerating, like we saw 8 percent prints here in the U.S. I can’t even imagine what some of the prints are in other countries.
[00:29:50] Preston Pysh: That incentive for them to consume more and get that money out the door right now is just accelerating. Right? Like it’s, you’re just amplifying it anyway, sorry to, to kind of go off on a little bit of a, my own tangent there, but some of the, some of the things I see funny that really just kind of maybe a simpler way to see exactly what you’re talking about in memes, of course.
[00:30:13] Preston Pysh: Okay. So in your book, I love that you, that you give this some, some time in your book and it’s the environmental destruction. and how monetary policy is amplifying environmental destruction, because boy, the, the messaging from the traditional legacy media is quite the opposite, that that’s the root cause.
[00:30:35] Preston Pysh: So, lay this out for us and don’t leave any stones unturned.
[00:30:39] Seb Bunney: Man, it’s environmental destruction. I think first, it’s really important to separate environmental destruction from climate change because they’re two very different things. I think when we have a consumer society, we’re leading to immense environmental destruction, which can lead to kind of impact climate change.
[00:30:57] Seb Bunney: But ultimately, I think it’s important first to just talk about environmental destruction. And now, first off, I think it’s also important to mention the paradoxical nature of GDP, like growth targeting. And talking about environmental destruction, because GDP, 68 percent of GDP is consumption. So when the central bank is coming out and they’re saying, we need 2 3 percent GDP growth, that’s what they’re targeting.
[00:31:20] Seb Bunney: What they’re really saying, it’s just a call for greater consumption. That is all that it is. When they’re coming out trying to supposedly save the planet and put regulation in place, trying to save the planet, all they really could do is actually slow GDP growth, but they don’t really want to do that.
[00:31:34] Seb Bunney: They don’t want to do that because we have a debt based system. And if you slow growth in a debt based system, the system starts to collapse in on itself. We have this system that again, it’s misaligned reality. And so going back to the consumption as a result of declining purchasing power. So let’s first lay out how kind of money impacts our environment.
[00:31:55] Seb Bunney: Basically, when money is worth less, when governments continually intervene, our purchasing power declines. And so as our purchasing power declines, we are now, our time preference is shifting. We’re incentivized to consume in the present as opposed to save for the future. So if we’re consuming in the present, well, all of these things we’re consuming, they naturally, they, they, they consume resources.
[00:32:14] Seb Bunney: So we’re pillaging our nature, our world, our planet. Of all of its resources, simply try to fulfill this GDP growth, simply to try and fulfill this consumption habit that we’ve created through the debasement of currency. As we start to kind of ramp up consumption, basically, where are these resources going to come from?
[00:32:33] Seb Bunney: And this is where when we talk about something like Bitcoin, Bitcoin flips this on its head because again, we’re incentivized to save over consume. So if we’re incentivized to save over consume, then now we have the reverse. People are actually, they’re rewarded for storing their, their, their purchasing power in the currency.
[00:32:50] Seb Bunney: And so then people are a lot more conscious about how they save. And it goes back to your point, actually, which is You’re kind of unsure about the word to use as to where people should be directing their capital. But what I think is interesting about today’s world is we’ve created this world where we believe happiness and joy are these things that are only fulfilled externally.
[00:33:09] Seb Bunney: Whereas I would say that there are countless religions or countless practices, whether we’re looking at Buddhism and whatnot, they would say the exact opposite. Happiness and joy are very much internal. They’re an internal state. We have to love for ourselves. We have to care for ourselves. And only then are we going to find happiness.
[00:33:25] Seb Bunney: We can try and use consumption as a coping strategy, but it’s not going to work. And we know that the purchasing of goods and services are only fleeting. And so I think when you look at, say, a Bitcoin standard, when you look at a world built upon something like Bitcoin, all of a sudden, we flip everything on its head because people start to realize that it’s not through consumption, actually through saving and building a life at which aligns with someone’s authentic self, where they’re able to listen to themselves.
[00:33:54] Seb Bunney: That’s where they’re going to find happiness and joy. It’s not through consumption. And so this starts to align more with our natural environment, because if we’re saving and we’re putting that money into trying to build a more prosperous future for ourselves, if we’re saving and thinking a lot more intimately about how we can direct capital to build the life at which we want, we’re a lot more conscious about our spending.
[00:34:14] Seb Bunney: So if we’re a lot more conscious about our spending, Then businesses, if there’s a lot less demand for goods, then this increases competition. So businesses that are not offering value are naturally going to wither away. As you start to see it, you already see it on a micro level in the outdoor industry.
[00:34:30] Seb Bunney: So I’ve worked in the outdoor industry for over a decade and you start to see a lot of companies that are trying to source a lot more sustainable products. They’re trying to use a lot less chemicals in their manufacturing procedures and whatnot. And this is phenomenal to see because it’s coming about because consumers are demanding it.
[00:34:48] Seb Bunney: And so this is where I am. I tend to be against regulation because regulation impedes the flow of capital in society. I do believe that naturally, if you allow a free market to exist, quality of products will slowly increase over time because you’re going to get supply and demand. Float or demand float where value is created.
[00:35:08] Seb Bunney: And the other thing to also talk about quickly, and this is a long winded approach, is it’s the thing that’s really challenging is the book is so broad to consolidate these things down into like really small little bite sized pieces of information is challenging. But the, the other one thing to note is that when we have an interventionist system, naturally what ends up happening is governments usually tend to suppress interest rates.
[00:35:27] Seb Bunney: So if debt becomes easy to obtain, or if capital becomes easy to obtain through debt, we start to see supply chain expansion. And so this one is huge. And so the average product by the time it lands on our front door has touched six different countries today, and that’s because of these long supply chains.
[00:35:43] Seb Bunney: And so we have seen, like, during COVID, when you’ve got these huge, long supply chains that are a result of intervention, that are a result of the suppression of interest rates and artificial capital. All of a sudden when you have something like the pandemic come about and you see one cog in that supply chain break down, the whole world kind of ceases.
[00:36:02] Seb Bunney: And so this is where I think it’s important for people to realize again, intervention has created these artificially long systems. that are very prone to breakdown. And I think that if we were to see a true rate of capital, I would say interest rates are going to be a hell of a lot higher than what they are right now.
[00:36:20] Seb Bunney: All of a sudden you start to see the nationalizing of supply chains. You start to see more domestic consumption. And again, this is so much better on our environment. It is far less heavy in terms of resources, in terms of oil for transportation, in terms of just the products, the amount of consumption that we’ll see.
[00:36:37] Seb Bunney: And this is where I think by changing the system, we change the incentives. By changing the incentives, we actually change the structure of our supply chains. We change the structure of our behavior, how we act. We change the impact which we have on our planet. And this is where I just think it’s really important to think about how money influences our behavior in terms of consumption and our planet and whatnot.
[00:36:58] Preston Pysh: Yeah. When you just look at the currency alone and you look at how strong the dollar is relative to all these other subordinate, I’ll call them subordinate currencies, but that’s not the right way to really frame it. But from an arbitrage standpoint. You’re incentivized to build things and have it span seven different countries because of all the currency arbitrage opportunities that exist for maybe the owner of said company at the top, right?
[00:37:24] Preston Pysh: When we think about the most efficient way to do something on a sound money, global sound money system, I don’t think it’s going to work like that at all. I think it’s not going to work that way at all. And the only reason that it has been incentivized to be constructed that way is to all the points that you were just making, which is there’s opportunities because of the capital going back to your Lacey Hunt example to play with the capital dial in order to make it the most efficient for that environmental setting of manipulated money. But yeah, it’s going to be interesting to see how, you know, a transition to maybe a Bitcoin standard is going to change and re engineer all of these supply chains so that they’re more robust, not as fragile, not dependent on, you know, this almost linear and serial way of building things.
[00:38:13] Preston Pysh: And they’re going to be much more in parallel to building things.
[00:38:17] Seb Bunney: It’s interesting as well because I used to work for this mountain bike manufacturer and when I worked one of our main competitors It was really fascinating because at the time I was just like this just seems insane. How is this possible?
[00:38:29] Seb Bunney: But basically they were making carbon handlebars for mountain bikes and it was cheaper for them they were making them here in Vancouver. And it was cheaper for them to send that carbon handlebar to get the sticker put on in China and send back than it was to do it locally. And I’m just like, how is this possible?
[00:38:47] Seb Bunney: How is this possible? And this is really, it’s interesting because you have these kinds of touch points throughout your life, which I, I believe. They get you to start questioning the system. They just start questioning. Why is this happening? And it’s interesting actually going back to very early on, I would say when I was about nine years old, and I mentioned this at the end of the book, when I was about nine years old, I’d save for this scooter.
[00:39:11] Seb Bunney: I’d wanted this. I saw it at the toy store and I was like, Oh man, I want this scooter. It was just like, it just looked amazing. I could imagine myself having it. So I’d save for the scooter. And it took me about three or four months of saving diligently. And we walked into the toy store and I walked in with my dad and my two brothers.
[00:39:25] Seb Bunney: And when we went up to the tool to go pay, my dad was like, Oh man, I feel bad that you’re getting a scooter and your brothers aren’t. So I’m going to buy them a scooter as well, but I had to pay for mine out of my savings. And they, they managed to get this for free. And I remember just being like, Oh my God, the world is just like so unfair.
[00:39:42] Seb Bunney: But what I realize now. is that this is almost on a family level, the Cantillon effect is those closest to the monetary spigot benefit disproportionately. And so it’s these little events throughout our life that start us questioning. And I remember just being like, how does this happen? But it’s also interesting because my other two brothers are very socialist.
[00:40:01] Seb Bunney: They’re trying to get what they can for the system. Whereas I tend to lean more free market libertarian. And so I’m just like, people are a product of their environment. I love that story.
[00:40:10] Preston Pysh: That’s that is brutal. That is brutal. But what a lesson, right? Look how it’s influenced you. Oh, yeah. That’s one thing I would tell the audience.
[00:40:19] Preston Pysh: And you can agree or disagree. I look at every setback that I’ve ever had in my life through this lens of all right, I’m Preston, you’re supposed to learn something here. And you’re being taught a lesson. It might be a painful lesson. But what you do with the lesson and how you kind of react to it. And looking at it through a positive favorable lens is the biggest opportunity that you can harness if you choose to take advantage of it that way.
[00:40:47] Preston Pysh: Right. And it’s very easy to say that it’s very hard in application. And it’s very hard to, especially in the moment to kind of look at any type of setback or unfair scenario and say, seriously, I’ll sit there and be like, all right. So like, what was I supposed to learn from this right now? Because this is brutal.
[00:41:03] Preston Pysh: Like, what is this?
[00:41:05] Seb Bunney: But honestly, I couldn’t agree more. I think the world is always trying to give us what we need in order. Maybe this is a slightly more spiritual approach, but I believe the world is always giving us what we need to grow as an individual. And I think it’s also at all times reflecting some of the issues or the challenges at which we’re facing.
[00:41:22] Seb Bunney: And so for instance, if I don’t know, you’ve had a few strings of a loss of money in business dealings, then maybe that is. Maybe that’s pushing you to set boundaries more. You know what I mean? Like I think ultimately all of these issues at which we face these challenges, which we face are just highlighting actually the areas at which we are maybe not respecting ourselves or maybe areas at which we can grow.
[00:41:44] Preston Pysh: Yes. Yes. All right. In your book, you talk about mass formation. Talk to us what you, about this idea and what you’re trying to teach the reader.
[00:41:55] Seb Bunney: This is a tough one. I nearly left these chapters because I think that it can be a little more controversial. I tend to think that our monetary system, so we discussed kind of the four stages kind of economic breakdown.
[00:42:08] Seb Bunney: And so just kind of reiterate those stages, like we are first looking at like a misalignment reality. So we naturally have a deflationary world, yet we have an inflationary monetary system. Then that leads to the death of creative destruction because the government continually intervenes to prop up these failing businesses.
[00:42:23] Seb Bunney: And then that leads to capital flow distortion because money’s not flowing to where it should be flowing to. And that’s what we do in society. Because we have all of these businesses that shouldn’t exist. And then finally, we also see the death of what decision making impairment where basically, because we cannot see what’s actually happening in the world, how are we supposed to make decisions that are meant to benefit us, how we’re meant to look forward into the future and make accurate decisions.
[00:42:43] Seb Bunney: And so ultimately when a system starts breaking down. We start to face challenges. And this is where I think politically in this situation, we start to see politicians and kind of leaders in position of power, they have to continually intervene and manipulate in order to avert collapse. And those interventions increase in frequency.
[00:43:06] Seb Bunney: And we see it. And so I would say that we tend to look at totalitarian or authoritarian, a lot of these kind of like very big controlling structures. We tend to look at them as traditional ones, like Mao Zedong of China, or we look at Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong il, or we look at Hitler and Stalin and whatnot.
[00:43:22] Seb Bunney: But the reality is that today, many of those similar traits and characteristics are showing themselves in society. And I reference a book. by a guy called Matthias Desmet. And he’s basically a professor of psychology at Ghent University. And he wrote a book called The Psychology of Totalitarianism. And it talks about how these systems actually come about.
[00:43:43] Seb Bunney: And I would, I would say, well, first off, I would say what he says. So there’s four conditions. The first condition is loneliness. When society gets a widespread feeling of loneliness, Then, people naturally, we start to see people breaking down, there’s mental health issues and whatnot. Why can loneliness come about?
[00:43:58] Seb Bunney: It can come about because people are having to work, because they’re not able to be able to invest time into their relationships. And then condition two, meaninglessness. We’ve already talked about meaninglessness. When our monetary system starts breaking down, when we’re not reaping what we sow, when we’re having to work and we’re not seeing the benefits, meaninglessness can start to set in.
[00:44:16] Seb Bunney: Condition three, widespread free floating anxiety. When people can’t understand why life is hard, when people can’t understand why is it that I’m working my ass off and I cannot afford a house, I’m struggling to support my kids, I’m struggling until I get by, naturally you start to get this free floating anxiety.
[00:44:32] Seb Bunney: And when I say free floating, it’s because we can’t attach it to anything. I’m not anxious because I’m about to get fired. I don’t even know why I’m anxious. It’s because I just, I can’t understand why life is so hard. And then that leads to aggression and frustration and people want an outlet. And there’s a, and I’ll read a slightly a quote, which is basically the professor mater assessment says, if under the aforementioned circumstances, a suggestive story of spread through the mass media that indicates an object to attach to this anxiety.
[00:44:58] Seb Bunney: Then this is where we start to see mass formation, which is basically, you can see it like mob mentality. People can’t banding together. People start banding together because they have a way and outlet to have a reason for their anxiety. It doesn’t matter if that is the actual reason. Now he describes him as these four conditions, loneliness, meaninglessness, widespread free floating anxiety, aggression, and frustration.
[00:45:21] Seb Bunney: This is how it leads to mass formation, which can then totalitarianism. authoritarianism, controlling structures can take advantage of. But I would say there is a condition zero. And that condition zero is a misaligned or co opted monetary system. Because in every single one of these situations, when you go through it back throughout history, whether we’re talking about Hitler and the Weimar hyperinflation, whether we’re talking about Mao Zedong, all of these kind of totalitarian controlling structures, Every situation that I’ve looked at, they have arisen out of a broken monetary system, because I would say loneliness and meaninglessness and free floating anxiety don’t stem when you have a sound monetary system.
[00:45:58] Seb Bunney: When people are benefiting from the energy at which they invest in society, when they’re benefiting from their productive capacity, Naturally, how can you see meaninglessness? Like, of course, some people in society are going to have that. We’re always going to have that. But in general, it is a lot harder.
[00:46:13] Seb Bunney: And then the other thing that I’ll say is in a monetary system where purchasing power is declining, our cost of living is rising. So if our cost of living is rising, we have to work more. If we have to work more, we have less time to critically think about the information we’re consuming. And so you start to see as society starts breaking down and people have to work more, they have less time to critically analyze the information which they’re consuming.
[00:46:35] Seb Bunney: And this is where I start to see these controlling structures take advantage of that. And you see these narratives that spread throughout society with very little basis behind them. And so I would again argue that many controlling structures, many authoritarian totalitarian regimes stem from a broken monetary system as kind of that foundational layer.
[00:46:54] Seb Bunney: And if we want to realign our money, if we want to kind of prevent these systems from or massively impede these systems, you basically have to have a system that realigns the incentives and aligns the incentives towards productive capacity. It realigns the incentives towards actually providing value as opposed to trying to constantly intervene and restrict people.
[00:47:14] Seb Bunney: Constantly trying to play whack a mole with the byproducts of intervening. And so the regulations, this constant regulatory environment where we see this modular system, especially in the US, where bills are constantly being passed. They’re trying to stop this behavior and legislation is being passed.
[00:47:31] Seb Bunney: It’s trying to stop this behavior. Ultimately, all of these behaviors. are because of a broken monetary system in the first place. It’s because of intervention that’s previously existed that has created this misaligned behavior.
[00:47:42] Preston Pysh: We were talking, before you responded to that one, we were talking about this idea of happiness and there was a book, Stig and I read this book on the show, oh my goodness, I don’t know how many years, probably eight years ago or something like that, seven years ago, and it’s called Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh.
[00:48:00] Preston Pysh: This book was phenomenal and the core thing that I really remember about the book. is he goes through like all of like what makes a person truly happy. And at the core of it was this idea of being able to give to other people as opposed to consuming or buying material things that make you happy for a couple months and then six months later after you bought the new car, you don’t even care about the new car.
[00:48:24] Preston Pysh: But if a person did a good deed or gave, let’s just say your energy to this other person so that they didn’t have to work for it and they got an advantage from that, that’s what truly brought happiness to an individual. And with the response you just gave, when we think about this system that’s just utterly broke, and I don’t think anybody’s going to disagree with that, most people can’t produce any type of disposable energy from their labor, because it’s being sucked away from them like a soul sucker because of how broke the money is.
[00:49:01] Preston Pysh: And if you don’t have any disposable income or energy to give, you’re then all of these things that you just described, right, which is lonely. You feel like you’re on a treadmill that just only gets faster regardless of how much harder you try to run. And like, that wears on the psyche. like, aggressively wears on the psyche.
[00:49:24] Preston Pysh: The irony going back to the book, the irony of the book is Tony committed suicide, I think Tony committed suicide who was the author, Tony Hsieh, who’s the author. He’s the founder of Zappos. billionaire. And the irony of the book title and how powerful his thesis was, which I completely agree with. And then for his own personal outcome is really just quite sad.
[00:49:47] Preston Pysh: And it doesn’t diminish the quality of the book or in fact, I would highly encourage people to read that book as well, but there’s some, just some ideas to kind of sprinkle on top of the really profound point that you’re making with, with that.
[00:49:59] Seb Bunney: And I just wanted to make a point as well. Again, this is another, and I don’t talk about this really in the book, but the medical system, again, is a byproduct of our monetary system.
[00:50:10] Seb Bunney: Like if you think, if we have a society that is constantly trying to target GDP growth or GDP growth, if you think about it as basic form, it’s just monetary transactions. So if we want to increase growth, we have to increase monetary transactions. And so ultimately, I think we should move away from this model of trying to target GDP growth, because let’s just look at the monetary the medical system, for instance, the medical system.
[00:50:32] Seb Bunney: We’re not trying to fix the root of issues. We’re simply trying to like mask symptoms. And so the medical system as well, it doesn’t benefit when people are healthy. It benefits when people are sick. And so in Western medicine. We don’t try to support people in a holistic approach, a more natural approach.
[00:50:49] Seb Bunney: We don’t try to help people on a psychological level move through depression. Instead, we just give them meds. And so many times we have a society that’s hooked on Ritalin. We have a society that’s hooked on antidepressants. We have a society that’s hooked on opioids. And all of this stuff is benefiting GDP because we’re getting monetary transactions.
[00:51:06] Seb Bunney: But we’re never actually asking the question, why is this happening in the first place? Yeah. How can we actually support these people from a root cause level? And so that’s where I do think that when you realign the incentives, let’s just say if government did not have a money printer and it had a budget, which it had to stick to, well, how does it look at the medical system now?
[00:51:24] Seb Bunney: It looks at the medical system from the perspective of how can our dollars go there furthest? And the way that happens is we’ve got to think long term about building a healthy society. We’re not thinking short term about trying to just intervene and fix immediate issues. And so again, it flips everything on its head.
[00:51:40] Preston Pysh: I have an important clarification to what I said earlier. I said that I thought he committed suicide, but now that the more I think about the scenario that happened, I think that he died probably two or three years ago. It was, I I’m almost positive it was an overdose. Which goes exactly to the point that you’re making.
[00:51:58] Preston Pysh: It’s so important that we solve, that we solve these issues. And obviously I think Bitcoin solves, I think Seb has no argument there. I want to cover-
[00:52:11] Seb Bunney: I was just going to say one more thing quickly that I think is really important on the health front. Yeah. And this is again, like. When we talk about Bitcoin, when we talk about the financial world, we tend to look at it purely just from the financial perspective.
[00:52:21] Seb Bunney: And I think that one of the ones, like, I’ve been fascinated by psychology, and I’ve been fascinated by parenting for kind of 10 years. I’ve read a lot about psychology and parenting, and I’m kind of partway through becoming a therapist. And one of the things it talks about, one of the things that I found really interesting is talking about the link between money and parenting.
[00:52:42] Seb Bunney: And naturally, this is where I think it’s fascinating is money is the number one cause of stress in the world. There’s something like 74 percent of Americans have major significant financial stresses. And it’s also the second leading cause of divorce behind kind of adultery. And so when we start thinking that money is the number one cause of stress, well, how does that impact children?
[00:53:02] Seb Bunney: Well, first off, when a mom is kind of giving birth to a child, when that child is inside of her, naturally, if she is feeling immense stress, she’s going to feel stress hormones, a lot of stress hormones, cortisol and whatnot. And those stress hormones acutely affect the child. And that child, when that child is in this prime developmental period, is naturally going to be born with a hyperactive threat response system.
[00:53:26] Seb Bunney: And when I say threat response system, I mean like fight, flight, and freeze and whatnot. And when we talk about a threat response system, those are to do something that’s very important to escape threatening situations. But if our threat response system is engaged all the time. When we have our threat response system engaged, it impairs our nutrient flow.
[00:53:44] Seb Bunney: It impairs our breathing. It impairs blood flow. It leads to a whole host of other issues. And so I would argue that given money is the number one stressor globally, and we are seeing rising rates of ADD, we’re seeing rising rates of depression, we’re seeing rising rates of suicide, we’re seeing rising rates of autism, we’re seeing, you name it, anything.
[00:54:01] Seb Bunney: Like we are just seeing rising rates of health issues, left, right, And people’s immune systems are just shot. And I would say that our monetary system has a part to play in that because it is the number one stressor and it is acutely impacting our developmental years. And then not only that, but when you look at say parents, when parents have less time to spend with their children, because they’re having to work more.
[00:54:22] Seb Bunney: And a perfect example of this is in 1970, just before the kind of the transition off the gold standard. We used to have twice the amount of single earner households to dual earner households. So that means you’ve got one parent working versus two. Now it’s the complete reverse. We have twice the amount of dual earner households to single earner households.
[00:54:41] Seb Bunney: And that’s because parents cannot get by without both having to work. You can’t afford a house without both having to work. And that’s let alone most people probably can’t afford a house. And so naturally, parents are spending less time with their kids. And so if parents are spending less time with their kids, they are that moral compass that helps that kid find its individuality.
[00:54:59] Seb Bunney: And so instead kids are looking to their peers and when kids look to their peers, well, peer relationships, especially early on, are very superficial. They’re trying to simply look the same, sound the same, feel the same, dress the same and whatnot. And so we end up with this society of sheep and they have not individuated.
[00:55:14] Seb Bunney: And this is where I think when you look back at more traditional societies, communities, Elders play such an important role. Parents play such an important role in helping kids develop their moral standpoint, their compass in life. And so you can see this in society where kids are not being raised by elders.
[00:55:30] Seb Bunney: People are not, kids are not being raised by their parents. They’re being raised by their peers and it’s leading to a whole host of other issues. And so again, the stems, I, I would argue this is a large in part because of our monetary system. creating a whole host of stress and impeding parents ability to direct their time where they’d like to direct their time.
[00:55:48] Preston Pysh: Sorry, I rambled there a little bit. Wow, no, oh my god, those are some profound and important points. I love that and completely agree. The last thing I want to talk about from the book is one of my favorite topics to cover. Alex Gladstein has done this extraordinary justice, and that is this idea of the World Bank, the IMF.
[00:56:08] Preston Pysh: The global NGO, you know, people that are controlling global finance and, and, and this is from a different section of your book, but I would also like for you to kind of address this idea of why capitalism isn’t the problem. It’s something much deeper than that. All of those ideas laid on us. Give us kind of your, your broad brush overview of, of these global NGO organizations and how they control finance.
[00:56:40] Seb Bunney: First off, I would say Alex Lassine has just been immensely influential in this. And so I don’t want to take any credit for this chapter, because I think that I’ve very much used a lot of the information comes from Alex. And so for a more in depth kind of breakdown of this, I’m sure you’ve probably spoken to Alex on the show.
[00:56:58] Seb Bunney: There’s countless interviews with Alex. So I highly, highly, highly recommend digging into some of Alex’s work because it will go far deeper than I go. But I wanted to more just highlight that we have institutions like the IMF and the World Bank and the Bank of International Settlements. And many of these institutions are completely unelected.
[00:57:17] Seb Bunney: We don’t have a democracy in whereby we’re voting these people in power and we have an understanding about what they’re doing. Many times like the Bank of International Settlements, which is arguably it’s named kind of the central bank of central banks, they’re kind of governing a lot of the roles the central banks are making, and they’re completely in secret.
[00:57:35] Seb Bunney: We don’t know many times what it is that they’re doing because it’s completely behind closed doors. And so we have this kind of elite of elite that have major influence over the world and a lot of these policies, and we have zero understanding about what they’re doing. And let’s, let’s just dive into more, because obviously I’m conscious of time, but let’s just dive into a little bit about kind of like the IMF and the World Bank.
[00:57:55] Seb Bunney: When you look at the IMF, their whole policy is supposedly trying to help minimize poverty globally and help support a lot of the developing countries. And I would argue, and I’m sure Alex would as well, that this is 100 percent almost the opposite. First and foremost, When you lend, if you want to support a developing country by lending them money, think about what lending money means.
[00:58:18] Seb Bunney: Well, a loan involves both principal and interest payments. So at some point, the loan is going to be paying back more than the initial money lent. And so when a lot of these big nations and a lot of these kind of unelected organizations lend money to developing countries, That developing country eventually is going to be paying back more, so it’s actually pulling money out of the country.
[00:58:38] Seb Bunney: And so since the 1970s, if I quote it correctly, for every 1 that has been fed into developing countries, we’ve seen 24 in outflows. And so this is why these developing countries are on their knees. because they’re just being absolutely decimated by these huge debt burdens. And so what usually happens is the IMF will come into these countries and we’ll say, hey, we see you’re struggling.
[00:59:01] Seb Bunney: We want to support you. We think you’ve got phenomenal natural resources. You’ve got phenomenal productive capacity, and we want to help you realize that potential. So we’re going to lend you X amount of money. But the reality is What ends up happening is one, they usually overestimate the productive capacity or the resources of which they’ve got, and that is usually intentionally, because what that means is this country is no longer able to meet their debt service payments, and when that country no longer meets their debt service payments, the IMF, or the country that is in support through the IMF, then steps in and says, okay, we realized you’re not able to meet your debt service payments.
[00:59:35] Seb Bunney: How about you give us control over your resources? How about you give us political control? How about you allow us to put a military base in your country? And so this is what we’re starting to see is although we have however many nations globally, 200 something nations globally, most of them are under the thumb of the U. S. or China through the Belt and Road Initiative, or Russia, and a lot of this has been, the IMF has very much facilitated a lot of this for the U. S. So a lot of these nations, they no longer have autonomy. They no longer have autonomy because they’ve supposedly had the IMF help them out and supposedly had the IMF try and support them in a way that reduces their poverty, but it’s done the complete opposite.
[01:00:12] Seb Bunney: And this is where, as well, When these unelected organizations step in to try and support these countries, what it does is if you have a very authoritarian controlling structure in place, naturally, the IMF actually ends up supporting those structures. In a free market system, if you’ve got a controlling structure in place, and it no longer alphas value to the society, and it starts to break down, the country would default.
[01:00:36] Seb Bunney: And as the country defaults, you then have another party rise up that is able to offer value. And so you actually allow creative destruction to take place. The IMF actually perpetuates these controlling structures by enabling these people that are not offering or not doing what is best for their populace.
[01:00:50] Seb Bunney: Instead, many times they’re just trying to facilitate what benefits them and benefits their pockets. And so I tend to be of the opinion that a lot of these unelected organizations, we’re seeing that same misalignment to reality. We’re seeing that same breakdown of creative destruction, distortion of capital flows.
[01:01:07] Seb Bunney: We’re seeing that same process play out on a nation state level as well as an sorry, on a global level as well as a nation state level. And I tend to be massively against it because I think when you start to intervene, byproducts start happening. You impede the free market from kind of naturally allowing capital to flow to where it’s needed.
[01:01:25] Preston Pysh: So Seb, each year I, at the end of the year, I try to like think of the best book or the best couple of books that I’ve read throughout the year and I try to read 40 books a year is kind of what I try to shoot for. Sometimes I miss the mark, but this year Lynn Alden’s book Broken Money was up there and like what she did with her book is she covers like the evolution of like, of like how the technology has inserted itself with money.
[01:01:51] Preston Pysh: And she covers this in just, in a way that only Lynn can, can cover a topic, right? And she talks about kind of Bitcoin being a solution to many of the problems that broken money has, has caused throughout time immemorial. This book I put on par with Lynn’s book this year, The Hidden Cost of Money. And I say that because for you, you were, you were much more granular in like right now what people are dealing with and you do it in such a thoughtful, organized, just robust manner that gets straight to the point.
[01:02:27] Preston Pysh: And there’s not all this fluff. I mean, the points that you’re making is people can see in this interview. I mean, my gosh, man, you like crushed this interview. The book is just like this, but in so much more detail for people to dig into. So like, I just want to, I just want to put it on par with Lynn’s book this year for people listening, like you have to go out there and you have to read this book.
[01:02:50] Preston Pysh: It is so phenomenal. And going back to like how we started the show, if you’ve watched the Coinbase commercial, and you felt like that person in that commercial, this book goes into explicit detail, explaining why you might feel like that. All I can say is bravo, my hat’s off to you, like you crushed it, and I really hope that as many people as possible can get their hands on this and kind of plow through it.
[01:03:18] Preston Pysh: You have done an enormous service to anybody that gets their hands on this to kind of really define the reality that so many of the people out there are dealing with. So, bravo, Seb.
[01:03:29] Seb Bunney: Honestly, it means the world, Preston. It truly, truly does. It’s one of those things that I really believe. Everyone has a unique take on how they’ve experienced the world because we’ve all had our own personal experiences.
[01:03:40] Seb Bunney: And I think it’s so important. And this is what I just love about the Bitcoin community is people put themselves out there. And I think no matter what your background is, whether it’s a manned by constructor, whether it is a military air force, whether it is finance, you name it, you have a unique take on this world.
[01:03:56] Seb Bunney: And I think it’s so important to share that take because you’re going to speak to a certain target audience. What I really, really tried to do with this book is just try to, I didn’t want to get super niche on one area of finance. I wanted to look at things more holistically because I felt that it was missing.
[01:04:11] Seb Bunney: The closest thing I would say that I’ve found to this is kind of the Bitcoin standard. But even then, I think I wanted to try and simplify it down a little bit more for the average individual, remove the jargon. And so it truly, truly means the world. It means a lot.
[01:04:25] Preston Pysh: Well, having read like that book, like this is just different. Like you are covering things from just such a unique lens that I don’t know of any other book out there that, that has covered it from just the angles that you’re approaching it. And I mean, the charts and the research that you have done to back up all of these points in here are truly phenomenal. And your writing style is extremely efficient, which is what I love as well.
[01:04:50] Preston Pysh: Cause you, you get right to the critical variables of each of these major issues. And for me, that’s really important to kind of really point somebody who’s trying to learn more to a resource that like really just gets to the point and lays it out in such a thoughtful kind of way. So bravo, man. We’ll have a link in the show notes for people for the book.
[01:05:09] Preston Pysh: We’ll have a link to your Twitter. I know you’re active on Twitter. Is there any or X or whatever we’re calling it now? Is there anything else that you wanted to highlight or give people a handoff on, Seb?
[01:05:19] Seb Bunney: Yeah, I just say like I’m also, so I started writing about kind of the financial world and kind of macroeconomics and looking at it more from the social sphere.
[01:05:28] Seb Bunney: And from that stemmed, I kind of co founded a educational platform called Looking Glass. And so if you guys are interested in just learning more about these topics, feel free to check out Looking Glass education. And the other thing that I should also mention is that this book, I wanted to make sure that price is not a barrier.
[01:05:45] Seb Bunney: And so if for whatever reason. You’re not in the financial position to be able to afford the book, reach out to me like you can you, it will be available on Amazon, it’ll be available in paperback and ebook and whatnot. But if you’re not in a position to be able to afford the book, I do not want that to be a barrier.
[01:06:00] Seb Bunney: And so reach out to me either on Twitter or Pop to Looking Glass Education and just fire us an email and I’ll happily send you the book for free. Because ultimately I think that knowledge should not be, price should not be a barrier to knowledge. And yeah, we have, we have a ton more content on our looking glass.
[01:06:15] Seb Bunney: And then the other thing that I should mention as well is. In the last kind of six months to a year, we’ve partnered with the Bitcoin advisor and we also just help people getting Bitcoin off exchanges through collaborative custody. So if you guys need any help with that, feel free to jump on as well.
[01:06:28] Seb Bunney: More than happy to help out.
[01:06:30] Preston Pysh: The Looking Glass website’s free, correct?
[01:06:32] Seb Bunney: Yep, all free. It’s all free. We try and make like one of our, I would say our initial core value kind of proposition with Looking Glass is to make sure that all of our content is free and accessible. And so for instance, like we have one of our other books, B is for Bitcoin, where we kind of break down Bitcoin from the origins to kind of how Bitcoin actually works on a technical standpoint to then how to interact with Bitcoin and then the theoretical life cycle of a Bitcoin.
[01:06:57] Seb Bunney: That book you can buy in physical form, but again, we’re just about to release it as a free course. So again, we’re trying to release everything for free because ultimately I’m actually, even though I’m very pro free market intellectual property, I tend to be, I think that for society to grow, we need to share knowledge and to share knowledge.
[01:07:13] Seb Bunney: That’s how we’re able to flourish. And so I tend to be of the opinion that people that have the money to be able to afford these books, I greatly appreciate it. If you don’t, don’t worry at all. And we want to be able to support you in that.
[01:07:24] Preston Pysh: Love it. All right. Well, we’ll have links to all of that in the show notes.
[01:07:27] Preston Pysh: Seb, thank you so much for making time. Fantastic interview and love the book. Love the book.
[01:07:35] Seb Bunney: Thanks a lot, Preston. No, the value, honestly, the value you create, the value you offer through whether it’s social media, through the podcast is truly like, there’s no one else out there. So I just, I really value the information you’ve created.
[01:07:46] Seb Bunney: It’s hugely influenced my journey and I’m sure I can speak for millions of others.
[01:07:50] Preston Pysh: Thank you, sir.
[01:07:52] Preston Pysh: If you guys enjoyed this conversation, be sure to follow the show on whatever podcast application you use. Just search for, We Study Billionaires. The Bitcoin specific shows come out every Wednesday, and I’d love to have you as a regular listener. If you enjoyed the show or you learned something new or you found it valuable, if you can leave a review, we would really appreciate that. And it’s something that helps others find the interview in the search algorithm.
[01:08:21] Preston Pysh: So anything you can do to help out with a review, we would just greatly appreciate. And with that, thanks for listening and I’ll catch you again next week.
[01:08:24] Outro: Thank you for listening to TIP. To access our show notes, courses, or forums, go to theinvestorspodcast.com. This show is for entertainment purposes only. Before making any decisions, consult a professional. This show is copyrighted by The Investor’s Podcast Network. Written permissions must be granted before syndication or rebroadcasting.