Zoltan Pozsar, former managing director of investment bank Credit Suisse, provided valuable insights into the current state of financial markets and the factors eroding the dominance of the US dollar worldwide.
Having held a prominent position at Credit Suisse, Pozsar possessed deep knowledge of the legacy financial system and market dynamics, making his perspectives highly sought after. His recent departure from the bank coincided with its acquisition by UBS in an effort to prevent its collapse amidst the existential challenges faced by banks globally. Speaking at the Bitcoin 2023 event, Pozsar shed light on the impact on US banks.
"This is essentially a scenario where large banks remain largely insulated from the issues," Pozsar stated. "It reflects their inability to manage interest rate risk and their lack of expertise in creating loans that can withstand the challenges posed by rising interest rates."
He expressed the view that the Federal Reserve's response to these banking failures only addressed "half of the problem."
"I believe it's more like preparing a cushion for any potential problems that large banks may encounter in the future," he added.
During an on-stage interview conducted by BitMEX co-founder Arthur Hayes, Pozsar was asked about his personal ownership of bitcoin.
"I don't own any," Pozsar replied. "I am observing it. I prefer not to engage in things that I don't fully comprehend."
Pozsar outlined his skepticism regarding bitcoin's ability to function effectively as a form of money, as his historical research has shown him that money must have a direct link to a government in order to endure. Given its fundamentally decentralized, peer-to-peer nature, Bitcoin does not conform to his definition of money.
"One aspect worth mentioning about bitcoin is that money, in essence, is a concept that is either purely public or a result of a public-private partnership," Pozsar explained. "When I analyze Bitcoin, it is clear that it is a purely private initiative lacking a direct link to a state. However, it is worth noting that the landscape is evolving, with several countries adopting bitcoin as legal tender, indicating a state of flux."
Through his writings, Pozsar has emphasized the evolving role of Bitcoin on the global stage as the weakening of institution-backed currencies, such as the US dollar, takes place. At Bitcoin 2023, he highlighted various global market trends, including China's increasing economic power, which pose a threat to the US dollar's status as the global reserve currency.
"We need to closely monitor the multitude of changes occurring as they will impact the US dollar's share in commodity finance, trade finance, and reserve assets," Pozsar remarked.