Counterparties: To coin a phrase

By Ben Walsh
April 12, 2013

Welcome to the Counterparties email. The sign-up page is here, it’s just a matter of checking a box if you’re already registered on the Reuters website. Send suggestions, story tips and complaints to

“To say highly speculative would be the understatement of the century.” – Steve Hanke

“People say it’s a Ponzi scheme, it’s a bubble… We have elected to put our money and faith in a mathematical framework that is free of politics and human error.” – The Winklevii

“Bitcoins are not an investment. They are an investment fad that someday could be a real digital currency, but if they continue to behave as they have, they will instead be nothing.” – Kurt Eichenwald

“Three eras of currency: Commodity based, e.g. Gold; Politically based, e.g. Dollar; Math based, e.g. Bitcoin” – Chris Dixon (VC and alternative currency investor)

“What kind of commodity is Bitcoin? Well, it’s a technologically-impressive product out to revolutionize the world with absolutely no fundamentals to justify its billion-dollar valuation. It’s the ultimate dotcom stock, minus the sock puppet.” – Matt O’Brien

“Money is: 1. A unit of account; 2. A store of value; 3. A medium of exchange. Right now, Bitcoin is none of those things (in any serious sense)” – Justin Wolfers

“If Bitcoin wants to become a global currency used by the masses, CVS cash-drops won’t work.” – Kevin Roose

“Bitcoin unites futuristic left-wing Internet anarchism… with the cave-dwelling right-wing libertarianism of goldbugs.” – Eric Posner

“Traditional currency is garbage :)” – Erik Vorhees

“Either Bitcoinia will remain a small, fringe economy thanks to inherent instability, or a stabilising financial structure will somehow grow within it.” – Ryan Avent

“Bitcoin doesn’t need to be a good unit of account or a good store of value to be a good medium of exchange.” – Jerry Brito

“Mt. Gox halted trading, saying the market needed to “cool down” after a massive sell-off yesterday.” – Matt Boesler

“I’m raising my Bitcoin price target to $400. Just kidding.” – Henry Blodget

“We ran a Monte Carlo simulation on the impact to Bitcoin’s exchange rate with the euro if Cyprus left the Eurozone.” – PolyCapitalist

“Fiat currencies have tremendous intrinsic value because governments say they do.” – Joe Weisethal

“The Libertarian Party is now accepting Bitcoin donations. Because of course it is.” – Garance Franke-Ruta

“I kinda love the Mt Gox trading halt because it forces BTC users to value the product on their own.” – Kid Dynamite

“Bitcoin is the Napster of payments – the flawed writing on the wall for banking as we know it” – Chris Cook

“We needed to be the first New York bar to accept Bitcoins.” – Charlie Shrem

“Nobody can come in and force quantitative easing.” – David Jones

“It’s based on mistrust rather than trust, it refuses to take any responsibility onto itself – indeed, it doesn’t even have a self to take responsibility onto. It’s nihilistic.” – Felix

“Bitcoin isn’t tied to any commodity – besides trust.” – Paul Ford

“Bitcoins are without intrinsic value as assets, yet they have risen too fast in value to be much use as a currency… sounds a bit like a familiar commodity, gold.” – Justin Fox

“If you believe a currency’s value lies in its stability, Bitcoin represents the polar opposite of that sort of system.” – Izabella Kaminska

Ben Walsh

On to today’s links:

From 2000 to 2011, 11.5 million Americans lost their employer-provided health insurance – The Hill

John Paulson is launching a a fund to help investors “mitigate income taxes” – Bloomberg

Paper or pixel? How we read on the page and on the screen – Scientific American

Welcome To Adulthood
Since 2007, student debt has doubled to $1.1 trillion – Bloomberg

EU Mess
Cyprus may lift capital controls in the next few days – WSJ
The latest Eurogroup statement on Cyprus – Consilium
From heart attacks to maternal care: the human cost of austerity in Greece – Open Democracy

JP Morgan
JP Morgan cuts costs and is profitable for the 12th quarter in a row – Reuters
Jamie Dimon’s 10 stages of blubbering London Whale grief – Stephen Gandel

Jonah Peretti’s in 2008: “The future of the industry is advertising as content” – Jason del Rey

Revolvoving Door
The problem with Promontory – Felix

Personal finance classes don’t lead to better financial decisions, but math classes do – HBS

“A Fox Business exclusive: the gold chocolate bar” – Fox Business

Goldman Sachs invests in web-based muppet factory – Kevin Roose

Data Points
Who likes taxes? Democrats, nerds, and people getting refunds – Slate
Southerners might not be more obese – maybe they’re just more honest – Animal NY

Pay down pension liabilities by increasing cigarette taxes – The Hayride

Expert dead horse-beater Paul Krugman explains the secrets of his craft – Businessweek

And, of course, there are many more links at Counterparties.

One comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

If you’ve had a job for a long time, than you meet the minimum criteria that will get you the money that you need fast.