On a long run this morning, i listened to the audio version of this mini-documentary covering the genesis, and subsequent meteoric rise of Blackrock.
There were some tidbits that surprised me in the doc, especially as it relates to the firm's involvement in the creation of the global CMO market -- one of the OG shitcoins.
James is one of my favorite independent researchers & journalists, the man's work is almost entirely supported by 1st or 2nd source references, and he also produces transcripts with images + links.
I feel like this is a great resource to share with your normie friends who might have been hearing more about Blackrock lately, but are unsure of what it is that they do.
Very good post. The way BlackRock was able to buy up single family homes post 2008 was aided by Fink's government connections too. I really fear this spot ETF push is partially intended to ultimately give the U.S. govt the opportunity to control bitcoin's price like Chase and other banks have been controlling price of gold. I don't think they will succeed since custody of physical bitcoin is so easy, but I'm suspicious of anything involving Fink and BlackRock.(Tinfoil Hat warning)
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I absolutely believe this is one of the top reasons they’re pursuing it, at the very least it’s a reason that helps them justify doing it at all
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Even the origins of the name "Blackrock" is creepy. And, my brother, Tinfoil hats are ALWAYS welcome
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Like Black Mirror
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Isn't Blackrock also getting shares of big Bitcoin miners?
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Yes, and that's a whole other mess. I want to start looking into miner centralization more.
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I don't believe it's about price suppression, it's about ownership of the underlying Bitcoin when this system inevitably collapses in default. They will do their utmost to convince people to use their product. Then steal people's paper balances & the underlying. I'd argue they need to manipulate the price higher and cause one last bull run to convince everyone to do that.
There is no legal claim to ANY security anymore.
I'd recommend this short book if you want to learn more about that - #259510
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Yes, James Corbett is doing very good investigations and documentaries I will remind you all here some of his amazing work and I am strongly recommending you to watch them and also share them with all your normies friends:
And if you want more documentaries to wake up your friends, here is a list in my guide:
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you're the man, Darth 🙏
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If anyone is looking for motivation, I was excited to see this post after learning1:
The passive index fund industry is dominated by BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street, which we call the “Big Three.” We comprehensively map the ownership of the Big Three in the United States and find that together they constitute the largest shareholder in 88 percent of the S&P 500 firms. In contrast to active funds, the Big Three hold relatively illiquid and permanent ownership positions. This has led to opposing views on incentives and possibilities to actively exert shareholder power.
Footnotes
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Thanks for the ref, that looks interesting. (I love when people post references!)
The crazy thing about index funds that's relevant to btc is the power of automaticity. Almost everyone does a bad job picking stocks (truth) and index funds are better by default for almost everyone who wants equity exposure (truth), and eventually word of that got out, and so a zillion people auto-invest in index funds now. It's like a portion of GDP auto-pumps the S&P.
There was a bitcoiner I heard on a podcast, I can't remember his name (help?) who was talking about the insane power if bunches of people just DCA modest amounts into btc every month in the same way they currently do w/ index funds. I found that to be a very strong argument; it suggests the massive upside available once people believe it to be a sane move. The most plausible self-fulfilling-prophecy aspect of btc I have yet encountered. Makes the case for Swan, River, all the more compelling IMO.
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oh wow that's a fascinating perspective on the pleb DCA bull-case. I am curious what you think the catalyst (could) be for folks to start coming to the realization that passive accumulation is the sane move? Also if you had any timeframes in mind (much harder, but interesting nonetheless!)
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I think the catalyst is belief and familiarity, which I harp on a lot. The ancaps are already all-in on btc. Many of the goldbugs are there. A lot of fringe sub-cultures. This is fine, this is the normal way disruption unfolds, at the corporate level, at the cultural level. But now it's time for the other 95% of the world to get on board, and that requires good arguments that don't stink of some lunacy, whose public face is not dipshits who think women should be sent to breeding camps to fix the demography problem.
It's therefore super valuable to translate the virtues of btc into terms, and a vibe, that normal people understand. There is no hyperbitcoinized future where the human race is transformed into self-sovereign warrior kings eating raw deer hearts and fighting off mutants to keep their Coldcard safe. That is not going to happen, ever. The future will be full of people much like those in the present and the past, who just want to live their lives and think about this shit as much as you think about how your furnace works or how the electricity comes to your house.
Anyway. That's the catalyst, imo -- normal things that slowly turn the giant ship of the world. Not a complete re-architecting of how the global public lives and thinks. And the timescale for that will be decades. What remains to be seen is how many decades, and what happens on the way, e.g., does btc go back to the dark ages for two generations first? I sure hope not, but we'll see.
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100% agree with you - especially about how most people won't really spend the time to dig into the nuances of how Bitcoin and/or Lightning work. Love the furnace analogy; reminds me of Sergei from Bitrefill's point about how (most of us) use cars, but we don't all go to car meetups/conventions. Point being, we are a fervent minority lol.
IMO a reasonable catalyst is the proliferation of obviously useful products and services -- obvious to normies, which is the important distinction.
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Yes. I was thinking about posting that later this week -- what are actually useful services where it is the service itself, and not its btc-centrality, that you like? This is why SN is so important. It's like, really, honestly, useful, and it's getting more useful, and the road to its ultimate utility is only possible bc of what btc allows. What other things are like that? Anything?
There is no hyperbitcoinized future where the human race is transformed into self-sovereign warrior kings eating raw deer hearts and fighting off mutants to keep their Coldcard safe.
tbf I'd tear through that fiction novel
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Added you to the list.
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default for almost everyone who wants equity exposure [...] a zillion people auto-invest in index funds now
Sure things in markets scare the crap out of me. It's the mentality I associate with the the 2008 real estate crisis. I can't connect the dots on how index funds might fail, because it isn't retail that's levered up this time, but it feels like a ticking time bomb.
I used to be all-in on robo-invested index funds ~6 years ago but literally everyone I knew began recommending them so I got out.
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Yeah, you're not wrong (I don't think) but it is what it is. This is how people "save" and it's kind of the most reasonable way, right? Aside from btc, and perhaps inclusive of btc for the last few years?
It's a strange and complicated topic, when things become so predictable that all this infra gets built around the assumption of their predictability; gets knitted into the foundation of the world, the way the Catholic church did back in the day.
And eventually a reformation. Although I guess someone already used that metaphor. And then god died, and someone else wrote about that already, too.
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It is the most reasonable way (excluding us weirdos into hard money stuff).
Maybe they've somehow made it a sound system. It's corporations that are levered up now and they are credit worthy so long as they don't starve retail. Corporatocracy is probably a quasi-stable nightmare.
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Good article.
He warned the flood of millennial money into index funds and ETFs was fueling unsustainable valuations and putting the stock market in a precarious position. "Parabolas don't resolve sideways," he said.
Although this:
"People are missing the boat," he added, noting that he expects the best active managers to consistently trounce the market.
Here's my guess: Peter Lynch defines "the best active investors" as "the ones who trounce the market" and therefore the statement is non-falsifiable.
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Even more wild is that those three firms all own majority stakes in each other 🤯
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Now they're doing the same in real estate. Literally moving to become the owners of Earth ... all because the only way the average person can save is to invest.
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Not sure if this is mentioned in the documentary, but passive investment funds played a huge role in their rise. Basically if you want to invest in the stock market but are somewhat unsure about how to best approach it, you get recommended a passive fund. This fund only buys the stocks that composes a certain index (say SP500) and so has basically the same returns and risks. This in turn attracts much more people that wouldn't otherwise touch the stock market, and Blackrock ends up owning a huge portion of the stocks on the market instead of individuals. And with Blackrock's ownership of said stock comes voting rights in the respective companies. And presto, they now control those companies.
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It's worse than you think. No one owning any stock certificate in the world has any rights of ownership - it doesn't matter where you live in the world. It's all going to be wiped-out and used as collateral to line the pockets of those cowards who cannot yet be identified:
  • Essentially all securities “owned” by the public in custodial accounts, pension plans and investment funds are now encumbered as collateral underpinning the derivatives complex, which is so large—an order of magnitude greater than the entire global economy—that there is not enough of anything in the world to back it.
  • Legal certainty has been established that the collateral can be taken immediately and without judicial review, by entities described in court documents as “the protected class.” Even sophisticated professional investors, who were assured that their securities are “segregated”, will not be protected.
  • Ownership of all securities as property has been replaced with a new legal concept of a "security entitlement", which is a contractual claim assuring a very weak position if the account provider becomes insolvent.
Quoted from this book called the Great Taking that I just shared here on SN
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So leveraging up and riding the mergers and acquisitions, then creating of financial derivatives markets and more complex financial bets for people to get rekt on and then creating ETFs for the dumb money to flow into and then buy up everything
Kinda crazy if you think about one company building up so much reach, power and sway in such a short period of time, just shows you how powerful being close to the money printer makes you and how you can take on so much risk and if it pays off you're king and then later king maker
If it wasn't for Bitcoin, I would be hella blackpilled and demotivated listening to Black Rock made it, its kinda nuts knowing you can build a company of this size only on moving money around and not producing final goods and services
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They were elves once. Tortured and mutilated.
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