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The Crypto Geniuses Who Vaporized a Trillion Dollars

Everyone trusted the two guys at Three Arrows Capital. They knew what they were doing — right?
By Jen Wieczner, New York Magazine Intelligencer, Aug. 15, 2022

The boat was a beauty of a thing: some 500 tons across 171 feet of glass and steel as white as Santorini. All rounded edges, the five decks — one with a glass-bottom pool — were made for July on the Mediterranean, sunset dinners among the islands near Sicily, cocktails in the turquoise shallows off the coast of Ibiza. Her would-be captains showed off pictures of the $50 million vessel at parties, bragging that it would be “bigger than all of the richest billionaires’ yachts in Singapore” and describing plans to adorn the staterooms with projector screens, creating a waterborne gallery for their growing collection of digital art in the form of NFTs.

No matter that they had originally told friends they were shopping for a $150 million vessel; the superyacht was still the largest by well-established boat builder Sanlorenzo ever to be sold in Asia, a triumph of crypto’s nouveau riche. “It represents the beginning of a fascinating journey,” the yacht broker said in an announcement of the sale last year, saying it looked “forward to witnessing many happy moments aboard.” The name the buyers had in mind was cleverly chosen — an inside joke nodding to the cryptocurrency dogecoin that would both thrill their social-media acolytes and be intelligible to all the pathetic, poor “no coiners” out there: Much Wow.

Her buyers, Su Zhu and Kyle Davies, two Andover graduates who ran a Singapore-based crypto hedge fund called Three Arrows Capital, never got the chance to spray Champagne across Much Wow’s bow. Instead, in July, the same month the boat was set to launch, the duo filed for bankruptcy and disappeared before making their final payment, marooning the unclaimed trophy in her berth in La Spezia on the Italian coast. While she has not been officially listed for resale, the intimate world of international super-yacht dealers has quietly been put on notice that a certain Sanlorenzo 52Steel, the coveted Cayman Islands flag billowing above her empty balconies, is back on the market. (emphasis mine - Pinback)

The yacht has since become the subject of endless memes and jokes on Twitter, the functional center of the crypto universe. Pretty much everyone in that world, from the millions of small-scale crypto holders to industry employees and investors, has watched in shock and dismay as Three Arrows Capital, once perhaps the most highly regarded investment fund in a burgeoning global financial sector, collapsed in excruciating and embarrassing fashion. The firm’s implosion, a result of both recklessness and likely criminal misconduct, set off a contagion that not only forced a historic sell-off in bitcoin and its ilk but also wiped out a wide swath of the cryptocurrency industry.

- More at link: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/three-arrows-capital-kyle-davies-su-zhu-crash.html

- The Much Wow, a 52Steel yacht by Sanlorenzo

Social Security is poverty insurance.

All American workers pay premiums so that all beneficiaries will have at least some measure of economic security into old age.

Libertarian/Republican Me-Firsters don't see it this way, of course. They also tend to delude themselves when it comes to their own investing prowess, thinking they can beat average market returns, avoid stupid mistakes, and so on.

Social Security — and pensions (R.I.P., for most American workers) — help insulate against financial calamity. But insuring a decent quality of life for all Americans is of little interest to Libertarians and Republicans.

I personally could probably get by just fine without Social Security, thanks to good fortune and a reasonable balance of risk and restraint in my investments. And, knowing what I know now, as my 40+ years of work life are in the rearview mirror, I might have been able to equal the "returns" of Social Security by investing those premiums myself. But that's truly beside the point. Focusing only on my personal security is a pretty myopic, lame way of evaluating the viability of such a program.

I'll have a greater degree of comfort once my Social Security benefits start rolling in, but for others, it's the difference between real poverty and a manageable standard of living.

All this falls on deaf conservative ears, of course. That's why the rest of us can never waver in our advocacy for Social Security.

"Marcel" - Disasterpeace

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