Michael Lewis talks about the financial crisis, FTX, and Bitcoin’s independence from intermediaries

Michael Lewis, a well-known author and journalist who has written popular books like “The Big Short,” “Moneyball,” and “The Blind Side,” recently spoke at the Bitcoin 2023 event about the current financial landscape and the rapidly-evolving world of cryptocurrency. Lewis expressed his relief at the idea of using blockchain technology to disintermediate financial intermediaries, stating that many unnecessary hands touch money during financial transactions.

As the author of “The Big Short,” Lewis discussed the fundamental inequalities and short-sighted policies of the contemporary financial system that led to the economic crisis of 2007-2008. He acknowledged how Bitcoin is designed as an escape from the problems that caused that crisis.

Lewis discussed his upcoming book and movie project, which will focus on FTX, and described some of the insight he gained from spending time with former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried before and after its collapse. He was joined on stage by Arthur Hayes, the co-founder of cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX. Hayes asked Lewis if he owned bitcoin, and Lewis quipped that it was “in the FTX bankruptcy.”

Lewis and Hayes also touched on the current banking crisis, with Lewis sharing the view that things have not really changed in the institutional system since 2008. He stated that there is a handful of institutions that are too big to fail, and everyone knows their deposits are insured, so no other institution can compete in that environment. Lewis believes that structural reform is necessary for the financial system to become more stable.