Seth Klarman on Crypto Investing, Gold, and U.S. Dollar
American billionaire investor and hedge fund manager Seth Klarman shared his views on a variety of topics, including cryptocurrency, gold, and the U.S. dollar, in an interview with Harvard Business School, released this week.
Klarman is the chief executive and portfolio manager of the Baupost Group, a Boston-based hedge fund he co-founded in 1982. The investment firm currently has about $30 billion under management. According to Forbes, his estimated net worth is $1.5 billion.
On the topic of cryptocurrency, Klarman said:
"I can’t see the point of crypto. It has this feel to me of being like catnip for techies."
“The idea that we’re using more energy than the country of Iceland, to mine extra crypto, to solve math problems that don’t need to be solved, seems crazy to me,” he added.
“Why do people need 10 or 50 different cryptocurrencies? I don’t get it,” the billionaire investor continued, emphasizing:
"I don’t think anybody needs to own it. It just seems to me that it could end up very much in tears."
In contrast, Klarman said: “I’m a fan of gold. I think gold’s valuable in a crisis.”
The Baupost Group boss also commented on the U.S. dollar. “The U.S. has had an enormous advantage of the dollar being the world’s reserve currency for a very long time. It’s unlikely to change anytime soon.” he opined.
Noting that “It’s hard to imagine people accepting Chinese currency,” the billionaire also said:
"It’s hard to imagine people accepting cryptocurrency. There are just too many uncertainties."
Klarman has long been a crypto skeptic. He previously compared bitcoin to trading sardines.
The Baupost Group chief is a proponent of value investing, the strategy championed by legendary investors such as Warren Buffett and Benjamin Graham. Klarman has been dubbed “the next Warren Buffett” and “the Oracle of Boston.”
Buffett also does not see value in bitcoin and cryptocurrency. He previously said bitcoin was “probably rat poison squared.” In May, he said he wouldn’t pay $25 for all the bitcoin in the world.