Michael Lewis opens his latest book, Boomerang, which can be found in the bookstore above, with a vignette about his meeting in 2008 with Kyle Bass of Hayman Capital. He left the meeting thinking that Bass was a bit of a crank because Bass predicted the collapse of Europe and Japan under the weight of their crushing debt loads. It was Bass, apparently, who alerted an incredulous Rogoff to the crushing debt loads. Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart later wrote This Time Is Different.
Lewis writes, almost smirkingly, that Bass was so concerned about a financial collapse that he was literally buying nickels–TWENTY MILLION of them–because the value of the metal in the coin was worth more than five cents. The implication being that there may be little else that retains as much value as such hard assets after a collapse.
Four years later Lewis wonders how Dallas resident Bass got almost everything so right, while experts in financial centers around the world got everything so wrong.
They are still not getting it:
H/T for pointing to the video: Santangel’s Review (Resources to the right)
It would be hard to guess given his mild and erudite demeanor in this video, but Bass is a shotgun-toting Texan who lives in a “fort” and drives a Hummer with a bumper sticker that says: “God Bless Our Troops, Especially Our Snipers.” God Bless indeed.