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Full transcript: Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci on Recode Decode

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“[Trump] tried to fix or drain the swamp using cesspool operators and swamp creatures.”

On this episode of Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher, former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci “The Mooch” talks about his infamous 11-day stint in the Trump administration, his recently announced book deal and why he thinks the president will win reelection in 2020.

You can read a write-up of the interview here or listen to the whole thing in the audio player above. Below, we’ve also provided a lightly edited complete transcript of their conversation.

If you like this, be sure to subscribe to Recode Decode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Kara Swisher: Hi, I’m Kara Swisher, executive editor of Recode. I have been at my job for, I don’t know, a thousand mooches, but in my spare time I talk tech, and you’re listening to Recode Decode from the Vox Media podcast network.

Today I’m in New York City with Anthony Scaramucci, also known as The Mooch. He’s the founder of Sky Bridge Capital, and before that worked at Goldman Sachs, and started a different financial firm, Oscar Capital Management. But to most of my listeners he’s known for the 10, I guess long days he spent in the Trump White House last year. Anthony, welcome to the Recode Decode podcast. Did you ever think you’d be here?

Anthony Scaramucci: No, I never thought I’d be here, given the fact that you bombed me on Twitter.

Trolled you, it’s called.

Trolling, bombings one. I actually personally like you.

Did you like the trolling? I thought it was rather clever.

It doesn’t bother me at all.

It wasn’t mean, it was funny.

It actually doesn’t bother me at all. I think I’ve learned after my firing and my rolling in broken glass in American media that I actually have a strong conscience.


I can take just about anything.

Yeah, the media seems to like you quite a bit, Anthony.

You think?

I do.

I think it’s a love-hate relationship.

No, I don’t think they hate you. I think they’re amused by you, for sure, but they’re definitely going to give it to you, but you give it back so it’s just fine.

Yeah, it’s good. It’s all good. It’s healthy.

Let’s start. Explain who you are, Anthony Scaramucci.

I want to address the media at one point, too, because I think it’s very important for the United States. So who am I? That’s a good question.


Hopefully I’ll figure that out before I die. Well, I grew up in a middle-class family. My parents didn’t go to college.

In New York?

In New York, out on Long Island.


I grew up in a town called Port Washington.

I grew up in Roslyn Harbor, Anthony.

Okay. Do you remember McCormick Sand and Stone?

No, I do not.

Do you remember Gothic Sand and Stone?

Not really.

Okay, so you know where the clock tower is in Roslyn?

Sure, right.

And so if you head north out of Roslyn into the peninsula of Port Washington on West Shore Road there was a very large sand embankment there. Maybe you remember that growing up as a kid. So our area, Roslyn Harbor, Port Washington had the largest granular sand deposit in North America. And so all of Long Island is a glacial deposit. When the glacier receded back to the North Pole it left Long Island, Block Island, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, the elbow of Cape Cod, and there you go. And so right there in the peninsula of Port Washington it took 95 years for Italian, Welsh and Irish immigrants to mine out that sand. And so my family originally started in Wooksbury, Pennsylvania.

Oh my gosh, my family is from Scranton.

Yeah, so there you go. Plains PX.

Actually, my family owns a coal mining company. Anyway, go ahead. Strip mining.

Okay, so my grandfather actually wasn’t a miner but he had a store in that town in Plains, Pennsylvania. And so he told my father and his two older brothers to leave the town. He didn’t want them going into the mines. And so they responded to classified advertising to go mine sand on Long Island. So they landed in the town of Port Washington and my dad started with a payloader. He worked a conveyor belt. They used to measure barges, this is probably giving you too much more than you want.

No, I like it. It’s fascinating.

The sand would be put on a barge by Bar Beach opposite the harbor. It would be tugboated through the Throgs Neck over to Long Island City. It would be mixed with the concrete. And so what people don’t realize is that the gateway for the skyscrapers here was the Queensboro Bridge, the 59th Street Bridge. It was erected in 1909. And so you took the sand from Long Island, mixed it in the concrete, and you had those big cylinder trucks ride over the Queensboro Bridge to build these buildings. So 65 percent of the concrete here came from my hometown from 1905 to 2000.

And your dad dug it?

My dad spent 42 years in that company.


He worked for the same company for 42 years. Started with his hands, never went to college. He had an unbelievable work ethic. I can still see and remember my mom preparing his lunch pail.

What did your mom do?

My mom was a homemaker.


And so this is very important to understand, because that family that I came from was an aspirational working-class family. We lived in a working-class area of the town. Port Washington is quite affluent.

It is.

Thank God for that because it was a very good public school system, but there are certain enclaves inside of Port Washington in the 1970s that had blue-collar people in them. And frankly, blue-collar people could afford to live there because they were very high wages post World War II. As we were continuing our industrialization, these other nations were vanquished, there was a shortage of labor. And so my dad had what I would call a light-blue-collar wage for a blue-collar job. Meaning he wasn’t a white-collar person, but we had Sears Toughskins, we were taking air conditioners in and out of our house, we shared one bathroom, five of us, but it was a great way to grow up. And I was a product of a very good public school system.

In Port Washington?

In Port Washington. So I’m not one of these — even though I’m a Republican — I’m not one of these conservatives that are for no government, or too small of a government. I believe that you have to have an energetic government to help create a level playing field or at least as level a playing field as you can get.

At least an education to start with.

No question. And so you need … You know, the Republicans are going to have to wake up and recognize that they’re not going to fix the uneven educational problem in the United States through charter schools or school choice and things like that. There are elements of the process of fixing it, but you have to have broad-scale public education reform.

We’ll talk about this later, changing how we’re teaching.

You have to have broad-scale public education reform and it has to come through the public schools and it has to come from union accountability. It’s not going to come from, “I’ve got a charter school and that’s how we’re going to do this.” I mean, they are great and they should be supported, and I do support them financially, but this is not the single element.

So here I am in this blue-collar enclave, in a very nice community 22 miles from Manhattan, and I go to Schreiber High School. You may remember that from Roslyn Harbor. I go to Tufts University, and from Tufts I go to Harvard Law School, and getting myself educated. And then it dawns on me that I’m going to do better in the world of finance and investing then I would necessarily practicing law, so I go to Goldman, I spend seven years there.

Are you a good banker, Anthony?

No, I sucked. Terrible at being a banker.

What were you in?

So I started in investment banking. My job at Goldman started on August 14, 1989. I was fired from Goldman Sachs on February 1st, 1990. So I sucked at it.

Yeah, what did you suck at? What was your suckage?

I suck at being an investment banker and an investment bank associate. I couldn’t do the spreadsheet math and the macro algorithms that you need to do to run the process. And I was bored to tears by it. And Goldman is a pretty swift place at recognizing when somebody sucks. And so it took them 18 short months, they fired me.

And this is a learning lesson for younger people listening to your podcast: Don’t burn any bridges. And so I stayed tight with the guy that fired me and I came back on Monday. I was fired on Friday, February 1st, I was back Monday pumping quarters … I got a roll of quarters because there were no cellphones back then. I was pumping quarters into pay phones here in midtown Manhattan and one of my buddy’s said, “Hey, there’s a job opening at Goldman Sachs.” So I laughed. I said, “Where is it?” “It’s in the investment area.” And so I called my old boss who had just fired me. I said, “Hey, there’s a job opening on the 28th floor,” I had gotten fired from the 17th floor. I said, “Could you put a good word in for me?”

He said, “You know what, I would. You’re an honest guy, you work hard, you just sucked at this job.” And so I went upstairs, I interviewed for the other job and got rehired into Goldman Sachs.

On Monday?

No, it took about six weeks. And so I was fired.

So what did you move to?

I was fired on February 1st and I got rehired on March 28th. So I moved into the equities area, the stock market area, and that was great. I thrived in that area.

Couldn’t you have just moved, Anthony?

I should have taken that job. The funny part about this is there was a guy named Bill Groover. He’s now a professor at Bucknell University. He’s in his early 70s. He told me when I was coming out of law school to go into the equities area. That I was well suited for it. I told him, “No, I want to be an investment banker.” And he said, “Yeah, you’re a jerkoff. You want to be an investment banker because you think it’s cooler than being in the equities area.” And I had to admit that was true.

Yeah, of course.

I thought that was the cooler job. So learning lesson No. 1: Don’t take the cooler job.


Don’t try to impress your friends. Take the job that you’re well suited for and take the job that you think you could do a better job at. So I had to get that lesson the hard way, I got fired. So you know, John Kelly wasn’t the first person to fire me.

Oh, I’ve been fired.

Yeah. You’ve been fired a couple times?

Several times. My first journalism job.

It’s not bad to be fired. It’s harder to fire people. I’ve counted 20 people that I have had to personally fire and I’ve been fired twice. And I can tell you, it’s like when your parents said to you — I mean, we can’t hit our kids anymore but when kids were getting hit, and I used to get hit by my dad. He would always say, “This is hurting me more than it’s hurting you,” as he would hit me with the belt.

Getting fired is probably less painful then firing somebody, at least for me. I don’t like the process of firing somebody because you know you’re creating anxiety in another human being and I don’t really like doing that. I like creating security in human beings, not anxiety.

Well, we’re going yeah to get to that. Wait, you got fired twice, so Goldman Sachs and the White House, right?


You go on to do what? You leave Goldman Sachs.

So now I’m at Mac Goldman. I’m in the equities area, raging bull market in the ’90s. My partner and I are running a private wealth team and we extract that private wealth team from Goldman. We form a company that has a hedge fund and a registered investment advisory where we’re managing money for wealthy people. We make a ton of mistakes but the rising tide of the bull market is really wiping out a lot of our mistakes.

And so we go on to great success and in five short years we sell our registered investment advisor in Neuberger Berman, which was a New York-based, at that time, publicly traded asset manager. So my partner at the time, Andy Bosar, at that time is probably in his early 60s now. Great guy, great mentor of mine, and so we run that business over there for a while. He then goes on to retire, lives up in Nantucket now. And I’m at Neuberger. Neuberger then gets purchased by the Lehman Brothers. This was October of ’03.

I’m at Lehman building a relation with Dick Fuld and some of the senior people there. I go to them in ’05 and say, “I’d like to leave and start something that I’m going to call Sky Bridge Capital.” I explain to them what it is, Dick is great to me. He offers me $ 10 million of balance sheet capital to go into my fund. I then go to Merrill Lynch who sold my business. They were the merger banker for the original sale.


They gave me $ 10 million. Michael Dell’s family office — I had known Michael from my days back at Goldman — and some of his guys, they also come in. And so my original investors are the Dell family office, Lehman Brothers and Merrill. I put my own personal dough in and we start Sky Bridge in this building that we’re speaking from on the sixth floor in a hedge fund hotel, literally in a very small room. There was a small table, there’s four computers and a couple of telephones, and that’s how we get Sky Bridge started.

So why did you want to go off on your own? I’m very interested in entrepreneurs and why they do what they do.

I think that people experience something, and I tell my children this, I have five children. You experience something from the age of 11 to 17 that drives your passion and love for your vocation. Your vocation finds you from age 11 to 17. I don’t know what it is, it could be medicine, it could be journalism, it could be something.

For me, my dad had his hours reduced and there was some financial anxiety in the house as a result of that. Because you know the overtime hours are more valuable to somebody that works by the hour because it’s time and a half or double, depending on the time. And so I went out and got myself a paper route. I was 11, 12 years old. I was hustling papers around my neighborhood and I was giving almost all the money to my folks to supplement the budget.

So financial anxiety?

Financial anxiety. And so what I learned about myself is that I could start up, I could create something out of nothing. I had a paper route, I was stocking shelves at Key Food, I worked in my uncle’s motorcycle shop, and I said to myself, “You know what, I’m going to have my own business someday. I’m going to be my own man someday.”

I went to law school for some of the silliest reasons on earth. I read an article in Time magazine about Kervaswain and Moore, a WASP law firm that I probably could have never got in there. And they were paying their law school associates at that time $ 65,000 a year. My dad was making like 33 grand. I was like, “Oh my God, this is like double my dad’s. I’m going to law school, I’m going to be totally set financially for life.” And when I got to law school I realize it didn’t fit me.

Yeah, you don’t fit a lawyer.

So I deplugged or unplugged from law school, got my job at Goldman, got fired from Goldman, got rehired into Goldman, and then I started my first business at the age of 32. And you know, when I was at Lehman it was fine, but I always had the bug to start another business.

You don’t strike me as a very good employee.

I’m unemployable, actually. I’m not a good employee because people take me the wrong way. I’m actually a great team player. I was captain of my high school football team. I know how to run a process, I know how to be a team player, believe it or not. Even though I’ve got a strong personality I subordinate my ego to very talented people. So I don’t run the money at Sky Bridge. I got grown guys running the money and my ego is healthy enough where I don’t need to insert myself into that process.

So Sky Bridge is the newest that you started with that early money.

It’s 13 years old. I started Sky Bridge …

How much do you have under investment?

There’s 10.9 billion under management here. It’s the 20th largest funds to funds in the world.

What do you do then if you have all of these guys running it?

What do I do is a really good question. So I’ve got a limited skill set. Here’s my self-evaluative skill set. I know how to evaluate talent. Okay, so if you ask me about Steve Bannon, I’ll leave out the expletives, but I can tell you exactly who the guy is. If you want to ask me about Reince Priebus, boom, I can give you the scouting report, what his pluses and minuses are, and I can do it objectively. So I know how to evaluate talent.

No. 2, effective communicator, although I am polarizing because I’m very opinionated and so some people don’t like opinionated people. And I’ll tell you another thing I’ve learned is, people don’t like the truth. You tell somebody the truth, they get very upset, they set their hair on fire and they run around in a circle.

You say the morale sucks in the White House … Well, by the way, the morale does suck in the White House, but you’re not allowed to say that because that’s the truth.


It’s going back to “A Few Good Men” from a generation ago.

“You can’t handle the truth.” Right.

“You can’t handle the truth.” Tell somebody the truth, you’re very polarizing. Let me tell you something, if you tell somebody the truth, it’s very liberating. I mean, I’m 54 years young. I’m 54 years young for a reason. I’m rolling out of bed saying, “Hey, no problem.” I’ve run this business as sound, ethically, as you could run a business. I would never dishonor my dad and his work ethic.

Are they still living, your parents?

They are. 82 and 81. They still live in the same house I grew up in. Funny part about that is, I wanted to move them once I started making some dough, but they’re are wedded to the neighbors, they’re wedded to the area.

My grandma has stayed in her same house.

I renovated the house. I mean, they got all brand new furniture and appliances and all that other stuff. A new roof, a new basement, you know, whatever they wanted. Funny thing is — because you’re some Italian heritage, so I’m going to ask you a question. Okay, when you turn to your parents, you say, “Okay, Pops, what kind of car do you want? I’m going to buy you a new car.” What is my father’s old-line Italian say that he wants?

A Chrysler.

Well, close. A Cadillac. A Cadillac, right. They don’t want a German car. My mother says, “Mercedes.” She’s very status conscious. So I buy the Mercedes, my father gets this lease deal from the Cadillac dealer. So I get a Mercedes and a Cadillac. Now I go back, I visit my parents every Saturday and Sunday and make sure they’re okay, and I always bring my kids there. It’s a good grounding wire for them to see how I grew up so they don’t get too detached from reality, right. The Cadillac never moves from the driveway. The Mercedes is being used by everybody, including my father. If I look around, my mother says, “Yeah, he hates that Cadillac.” So I had to return the Cadillac, eat the lease and buy him a Mercedes.

Oh, okay.

I’m probably in trouble now because that’s a globalist thing to do. My point being that you know people don’t really know what they want until they get what they want.

Yeah, that’s true.

Look, I’ve lived this very improbable, very blessed life. Entrepreneurs, smart ones know that a lot of their success is providential or if they don’t believe in God it’s from the universe. It’s from the karmic atmosphere of the universe, luck. I don’t know. I didn’t pick my upbringing. I didn’t pick my parents. I didn’t pick the location of my birth, so therefore, definitional, I won the lottery. If there are certain axiomatic facts about life, one of them being life is unfair, the people sitting here in this podcast, we won the lottery by that definition.

I think about that all the time.

So for me I wake up with a lot of gratitude about life and I also recognize that the human condition is going to come with tragedy, because you’re going to have to say goodbye to people that you love. I mean that’s, unfortunately … If you get to an adult age, you’re going to see people die that you love. You know, I dedicated my first book to one of my best friends who was my brother in law, he died of stomach cancer at the age of 44 in 2009. Very painful, but the flip side of it is there’s a lot of fun things to do in life. But if you’re listening to this podcast and you obviously like Kyra. Is that how you say it? Kara?

Kara. Like Sarah.

Let me just say this, okay: Live your truth, live your dream, live who you are, live your sexuality. Be who you are because you’re only here visiting. Okay, and like Mel Brooks said, one of the best lines ever is, “Relax, none of us are getting out of here alive.” So live your dream and relax into it. Whatever happens to you, roll with it.

All right, so how did you get wrapped up with the Trump people then? Because quite a few of these things you’re saying are not things that come out of this particular White House, or maybe they do.

They do and they don’t. I mean, the messaging is flawed. The process of the messaging is flawed.

So how did you get hooked up with him?

I was with … First of all, I’ve known the president for a long time. I met him when I was at Goldman Sachs.


I met him at a … Actually, my old boss, Mike Fascitelli, in real estate. Remember, I was a real estate investment banker, I got fired by this guy Mike Fascitelli, he’s very close to Trump because he was in real estate.


So I met then Mr. Trump, I never called him Donald or anything like that, but I then met Mr. Trump probably in the late ’90s through my old boss from the real estate department. I had read “The Art of the Deal.” He was a larger-than-life figure here in New York when I was growing up. And so I’ll be very candid with you, at that point I was awestruck by meeting him.

Where did you meet him actually?

I’ll have to remember this. It was a restaurant. I’m not sure if it was the Plaza Hotel. It was somewhere up here in the plaza district in Midtown Manhattan.


Because I remember my boss saying, “Hey, I’m going to meet Donald Trump, do you want to meet him?”

Of course you said …

Yeah, I got to meet this guy. This guy’s a character on the Howard Stern Show.

This guy.

I got to go meet the guy, right? So I didn’t really know him, I’m not going to lie about that. I don’t like over-exaggerating my relationships with other people. But then started to see him out. I was out, socialized a little bit, went to a couple Yankee games. I’m tight with Randy Levine, the president of the Yankees. He was in the box with me, the owner’s box.

New York chitter chatter, right?

New York chitter chatter. He was with Regis Philbin, you know, I was there with a couple clients. I mean, the president, Mr. Trump, very gregarious, friendly guy. And then I got to know him a lot better during the Mitt Romney campaign. And so I was … You know my politics, I’m fairly agnostic. I’m not really strident Republican or strident anything. If you ask me my positions I’ll tell you what they are, they don’t fit either party. So I could never run for anything because Democrats would shell me on my economic views and the Republicans would shell me on my social progressive views.

Well, the old-time Republicans, the old New Yorker Republicans, the Rockefeller Republicans.

People say they’re all Rockefeller Republicans but I don’t even really see myself as that because I’m like way to the left on social stuff.

Yeah, but they would have gotten there if it was today.

Honestly, at the end of the day we … I mean, there’s one thing, that’s another axiomatic … My 54-year observation of the planet, there are no equal outcomes. You can’t systematize them, you can politicize them, you can read the Communist Manifesto, you can believe in socialism, you can say whatever you want, but you’re not going to have an equal outcome because people are uneven. What a society has to provide is as much equal opportunity as possible, but I’m telling you right now …

I know, people rise and fall.

No matter how you politicize it, you’re not going to get equal outcomes. And so for me, when I step back and look at this stuff, whether you’re black, white, whatever your sexual orientation is, whatever your family of origin is, let’s try to level out the playing field. Let people live under the theory of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Well that would be nice, Anthony, but it doesn’t happen that way.

It doesn’t happen that way and it probably won’t happen that way because primordially we were set up for primordialism. Primordially we’re set up for that.


You don’t think we are?

I think we are and we have to resist it. Primarily we’re set up for dragging our knuckles along the ground but we …

We have to transcend it.


We have to transcend it. You’re set up that way but you can transcend it. That’s your humanity, right? You’re in a piece of machinery that hasn’t evolved in probably half a million years and so … You know, your phone got upgraded nine times since they started them in 2007 or eight.

Wouldn’t that be nice? If you could upgrade people?

You can’t upgrade. You don’t have a software upgrade. So you have primordial instincts, you have atavistic instincts, but you can transcend them. Okay, but back on this point. Now with Trump it’s 2012, we’re doing fundraisers in his triplex apartment and I’m developing a relationship with him and his team. And I got a rapport with him. I’m seeing him, I go to lunch with him, I go to breakfast with him. We talk, blah, blah.

And then the day after “The Apprentice,” whatever that day may be, I can’t remember it but you could Google it. I’m in his office having breakfast with him and he says, “You know, that was it. It was great. My ratings were great, weren’t they? I’m the man.” And I’m listening to him and I’m laughing because he knows how to make you laugh. And then he says, “Oh that’s it, I’m running for president.” And then I laugh. I say, “You’re not running for president.” “I’m running for president. I hired this guy Corey Lewandowski. I got this guy Roger Stone. I’ve got this guy Sam Nunberg. They’re down on the fifth floor, we’re running for president. I’ve got Hope Hicks,” and I didn’t know any of these people. I said, “You’re not running for president.”

I said, “Let me tell you, this is a great publicity stunt. I get where you’re going.” I said, “You’re at 2 percent in the polls.” He said, “Yeah, I watch Fox too. I’m at 2 percent of the polls because people are like you. They think I’m not running for president, but I’m really running for president. I’m done with this stuff. I’m 68, 69 years old,” or whatever he said. I said, “Listen, you’re not running for president.”

I said, “Number one, I’ve been to your apartment, it’s fantastic. You have 19,000 square feet here in midtown Manhattan. You’re not going to live in 6,000 square feet in the White House residence, you’re just not going to do it.” “No, no, no I’m running for president.” I said, “I’ve been on your plane. Your plane is absolutely gorgeous. Your plane is beautiful.” I’m like, “You’re not going to carry the press around on Air Force One everywhere you go.” He said, “I don’t know. The country’s a mess. I’m going to fix the problems. I’m running for president.”

He said, “Hey, you’re halfway good on TV. I want you to help me. You don’t have to raise me any money by the way. I want to help me.” I said. “Okay.” I said, “Mr. Trump, I’m already tied into this guy.”

You were working for Mitt Romney.

Look, I’ve got a very eclectic political background. I bundled for Barack Obama. I went to law school with President Obama, and so I wrote him checks, bundled for him, and voted for him first term. I worked for Governor Romney, the second time I returned to my Republican roots. I didn’t like the president’s position on a lot of the business stuff and the excess regulation. It really hurts, cripples small businesses, excess regulation. So I go back to my Republican roots, I work for Romney. Romney gets beat — and no surprise there because a rising economy, it’s very hard to beat a sitting president, which is why Trump will get reelected.

So we’ll go back to the president now. He then says, “Well you’re with Scott Walker. Okay, after I kill Scott Walker you’re going to come work for me.” I’m like, “Well I can’t really do that. I got my clients.”

You were with Scott Walker the most like gutting all kinds of things that you probably believed in if you were backing Obama.

Okay. Study Scott, okay, because you have to understand, he’s in a very blue state. And here’s what happened.

No longer. Tammy Baldwin was the last holdout.

But here’s what happens, okay, and I really believe this because it’s happened to me. The media uses a prism and then a kaleidoscope.


And so here’s what happens is they make a decision on the candidate or the person. And they say, “Okay, let me get them through this prism. We got to alter the light structure around this person. Wait a minute, this guy could be effective and he may not have my ideology so let me warp the light. Oh shit, that’s not really working. Let me do a kaleidoscope now to change the whole landscape on the guy.”

So study Walker, he’s built a large rainy-day fund. He did a tremendous amount of educational reform in the system. The system is actually working better. All he was calling for, and no one wants to give him credit for this, was union accountability. Now you’ll bring somebody on, they’ll say all kinds of stuff related to politics, and the polemics of politics, and the union people will want to hit me with a stone. And they’ll inflate a rat outside my office, whatever. I don’t really care.

Your dad was in the union, correct?

My dad was in the union. I am a union guy. I have no problem with unions. But his union, let me tell you something, they were accountable to each other. So what I’m not in favor of is we’re all sitting here at this table, and we’re in the union together, and you decide because you’re in the union you’re not going to work. You decide that, “Hey, I’m not going to get up this morning and teach these kids,” or, “Hey, I’m cool sit in a rubber room. I don’t need to teach the kids, my union is going to protect me come hell or high water.” I’m not for that.

Okay, I get the virtue of a union. I get the structure of capitalism and the need for labor to unionize so they can get their share of the economic rent and create economic progress. I totally understand all that. But just like capitalists can run amok and they can environmentally pollute the system, which they shouldn’t be doing, or they can pay themselves too much at the top and not pay their employees enough at the bottom to let the social contract work properly, unions can also run amok. And they can provide a lack of accountability for their union members in an effort to protect everybody.

Okay, so we can debate all this stuff, it’s not even a matter. I’m with Walker. Walker is very funny, by the way. He says, “I got to drop out of the race before Trump nicknames me again. I don’t know if I could handle a nickname.” So I say to him, “I got to go with Jeb after Walker because my clients are with Jeb.” “Okay, after I kill Walker and Jeb are you going to come with me?” I said, “You know what, if you’re in the race, if you’re really serious, you’re in New York or I’m in New York, I’ll come with you.”

South Carolina primaries over, I get a call from him, I go to his office and I say, “Okay, here’s my list of people we can raise money from. I’m ready to help you.” And then something very bizarre and very accidental and improbable happens. The entire Republican establishment evacuates from the campaign and they signed these petitions of being never-Trumpers. And so the ridiculous part of my story is, I’m a pragmatic business person. I’ve written checks to Chuck Schumer. I’ve written checks to Senator Hillary Clinton. I’m now working for Donald J Trump for president.

And the Republican Party, at least.

The Republican Party evacuates. So what would have happened if Jeb got the nomination, I would have been a lowly check-writing rich dude from New York and no one would have paid any attention to me nor cared about me, but because of the supply evacuation of labor, talent, policy makers, television advocates, they leave, I get sucked up into the vortex of that, right?

I want to help the guy win. I’m on TV, I’m advocating for him, I’m campaigning for him, I’m raising money for him. And despite the “Liar and Furious” book, which I call “Liar and Furious” because Wolff is a liar and Bannon’s furious, you know I was there the whole way. And by the way, you know this because you know I’m Italian. You think I would back down in a fight? The guy has the “Access Hollywood fiasco,” that weekend I was out on Twitter supporting him, that next week …

I have to stop it. Come on that was … Talk about the fiasco.

You want me to talk about it?

You heard it. Yeah.

Hold on a second. Don’t you locker room talk at me. Hold on a second, hold on a second, hold on a second. I’m a New Yorker. You’re a New Yorker.

Yes, I am.

You never heard talk like that before?

I guess. Not from certain people. I do expect a heavier level of decorum.


I do. I do.

He’s a hilarious guy. He’s saying something really stupid. He’s playing for a laugh, he’s got a hot mike on, okay. By the way, I have said so many stupid things in my life and some of them in the … Look, I’ve made probably 10 phone books of mistakes in my life, at least three phone books of mistakes in 11 days inside the White House. So I’m not going to sit there and judge the guy. He said something regretful, he apologized for it, let’s move on.

Sort of. Sort of apologized.

Let me tell you something, I was there. At the Trump Tower studio he offered an apology. He looked pretty upset with himself for that moment, but whatever. And we can talk about that, but you know …

But you stuck with him.

Michael said that I left because — that’s Steve Bannon’s narrative because Steve now hates me, which is totally fine. But the facts don’t say that. Look at the videotape in the days after, I was on television. Look at my social media feed, I was out supporting him on that Friday night. Why did you keep supporting him? I’m playing to win.

You thought he was going to win? What was the reason you thought he was going to win?

I didn’t know if he was going to win or not win at that point. I thought we had a very good chance coming out of the convention. Anybody that’s telling you on October 10th, three days after the “Access Hollywood” fiasco, that we were going to win, is smoking their own crack pipe, okay?

I thought he was going to win.

You thought he was going to win after the “Access Hollywood” tape?

Yeah, because I think that people knew that about him, one, and that a lot of women had men like that.

Okay, well the good news for you is you were probably distant enough from it and could look at it more in a macro way.

I think people didn’t care.

I was probably too close to it.

I thought people should care but they didn’t.

Okay. Yeah, I don’t think they should care by the way. I mean …

I think mind your own business. We don’t live in France.

Yeah, we don’t live in France. But you know what? Maybe there’s some elements of France we should probably adapt. At the end of the day, who cares?

Freedom fries.

Let me tell you something I tell my Republican friends. You guys are for a smaller government in every aspect of my life except my bedroom. You want a larger government in my bedroom. You want to tell me who my lover should be and the positions I should have sexually. Okay, why don’t you guys get out of my bedroom.

And I feel that way about our public leaders. If the guy’s got the right policies, or she has the right policies, who cares? I don’t care about their personal lives. But that’s just me. So let’s move on.

So now I’m supporting him, we’re working together, it looks like we’re going to lose, and then it looks like we’re going to win. And then you’ve got to give this s.o.b. credit, he doesn’t leave. He’s a tenacious fighter. He’s in St Louis for that debate, he’s in Las Vegas for the next debate, the polls tighten. Remember, Paul Ryan wants him out. Reince Priebus wants him out. You’re going to lose, drop off the ticket.

And so here’s what happens, the Republican establishment basically doesn’t like him. I’m not saying some of it isn’t true, so I’ll be in trouble for that. Now he wins. He wins. We’re sitting around, he wins, and then the process begins. He names me to the executive transition team. Mike Wolff says I’m not doing anything at the transition. I don’t know, I’m interviewing hundreds of people for jobs. We set up his whole Tiger team, and then Jason Miller was going to be the comms director.

He says, “Okay, we need you to go downstairs to the studio a couple days, a couple times a day. And we need to out there on these different shows and telling people who we’re picking and how we’re picking.” And so I become one of the transition media advocates, and then they offer me the OPL [Office of Public Liaison] position, which is basically to be the president’s networker in chief to help him grow a robust CEO community. Small businesses, medium businesses, large businesses, also intragovernmental affairs. That’s fits my … That’s in my wheelhouse way more, frankly, than being a comms director. So I’m like, “Okay, I’m going to do that.” I get offered the job, I put my 12-year-old company and my 70 employees up for sale because I have to. I had to dislodge myself.

I know.

Think about how stupid I am, right? I view myself as a patriot. I view myself as somebody that has had this unbelievable life in America and I want people who grew up similarly to me to have those same opportunities. Because we’ve moved from the aspirational working class into the desperational working class. If you really travel the country …

No, I get it.

We’ve gone from aspirational to desperational. We have to return to aspirational, and if I’ve got an opportunity to affect policy to help that, I’m going to sell my company provided I can protect my employees, and protect all the people in this room, who by the way I was gone from the company for a year and they’ve done an amazing job, by the way. So I want to protect them.

And so I’ve got four bids. I take the second-highest bid. It’s from a Chinese conglomerate. They’re a Fortune 50 company. Why do I take a $ 14 million lower bid than the other bid? Because they’re going to keep the jobs. The American-based company already has a capital management firm, and you know, private equity and fund to funds. They really want the fund and a few of our asset managers, they don’t really need the apparatus associated with the asset managers. So I’m like, “I don’t want to do that to my staff. They helped me build this company over the last 13 years.” I take care of everybody here. I pay everybody 100 percent of their health care.

But you don’t sell. You end up not selling?

No I sold. I sold.

You sold?

I sold to go serve the government. Then Rancid Prebis and Adolf Bannon, they don’t want me in the position, so they begin this narrative. This oppositional research narrative. China, China, China. They tell several lies about me to the president and all of a sudden I’m not allowed to take the OPL job and they’re using all these falsehoods as a reason why.

So I’m in a limbo now, and then I catch Reince lying and then I have to point out what a liar he is. And then the president and I have a couple conversations, he realizes now he doesn’t like them. And then he brings me in and then the fun starts for me. I had an 11-day odyssey.

10 or 11?

No, it was 11.

I don’t know. You can decide how long a mooch is.

A mooch is 11 days. Don’t hurt my feelings. Because you have July 21st to July 31st, you say, “Okay, that’s 10 days.” But I was there for July 21st and I was there for July 31st. That’s 11 days. Don’t hurt my feelings.

All right, the new change in the time of a mooch is …

It’s 954,400 seconds if you were counting the seconds.

Which you did.

It’s fun.

We’re here with Anthony Scaramucci. When we get back we’re going to talk about, I don’t know, everything.


We’re back with Anthony Scaramucci. We’re talking about Trump, we’re talking about tech, we’re talking about all kinds of things. What do you think you’re going to do there? You came in guns blazing, essentially.

I came in as a … I don’t know Washington. I came in as a CEO. I came in as an entrepreneur. I didn’t come in as a slick political operative. So the president said, “You got to get rid of the leakers.” Okay, I’m going to get rid of the leakers. The same way I’m going to clean out a place here or you rip up a culture. You know. When you say good luck with it, I had them on the run. I did.

The president is kind of a leaker, it seems like to me. I’m pretty good at reading who the leaks are coming from.

Kara, let me say this. You’re always going to have leaks from the White House and you’re always going to have leaks in the political system. And in some way, leaks can be policy related and they can be beneficial.


I’m talking about the internment warfare leagues. The nastiness, the level of disharmony that was going on, the personal invective. This guy’s having an affair, that guy’s a drunk, this guy’s a globalist, that guy’s a nationalist. I’m talking about the whisperer versus the terrible, terrible leaks. Never going to get rid of the other leaks. I had those guys on the run.

By the way, when I got fired, the irony of the whole thing was they were so scared to leak the damn thing it didn’t get out there till two o’clock. I got fired at 9:37. I had those guys on the run, trust me.


I had another 10 days, would have fired a couple more people, and I would have stopped the firing like a good CEO. I would have given amnesty and pardon to everybody else in the room.

It’s a warning.

Yeah, this is how the calls going to work now.


Now we’re not going to leak on the president. We’re going to support the president. We’re going to stay loyal. You are. And see, never-Trumper people that are sitting in the room and you always-Trumper people, we’re going to meld the process together. We’re going to get it together, we’re going to figure it out. And by the way, you never have to lie for me because I’m not a liar. And you don’t have to worry about me. You know I’m never going to have you have to go to the press corps and make up a timeline or do any of the nonsense that these people do. I don’t care. I’m never going to dishonor my parents by being like that. So good news for you guys is, you can relax.

One of the greatest gifts that a leader can give people that are working with him — remember, no one’s ever worked for me, people work with me — the greatest gift you can give somebody is to relax on the ethics. Meaning I only expect you to be 100 percent ethical, I’d never want you to even touch the line.

And yet you’re working at the White House. It doesn’t feel like an ethical place at any point, I have to say.

All right, well, that’s your opinion.



Well, from the outside.

Okay, so that’s your opinion. And so by the way, the area that I was going to be responsible for is the only one I can control.


So me, I would work on that first. And then obviously if I had different roles inside the White House I’d work on the other things as well.

But I’m saying you’re describing somewhere where everybody’s not stabbing you in the back or front.

Yeah, well, I’m a front stabber but there’s a lot of back stabbers. And let me tell you something, these are terrible people by and large. They are vicious people. You probably have a lot of Silicon Valley people, I’m a Wall Streeter. Let me tell you how it works in Silicon Valley and Wall Street in my observation. You build your business and you build your career off of relationships. And so you’re trying to create like a big karma bank. I’m trying to do a mitzvah for you, you’re going to do one for me, we build a relationship. I’m totally cool with you making $ 100 million. Hopefully you don’t mind me making it. We’re all fine. Okay, we may be competitors once in a while but we’re both on the green team. We’re transacting over money.

In Washington, they actually get off on hurting each other. They actually earn badges or stripes on their lapel if they hurt somebody else. You know, “I crushed Swisher. I went after her with opposition research, I had 10 reporters write nasty things about her, and she fell from grace. Look at me, look at how cool I am, look how important I am.” And they do that to each other and they know that they’re doing it to each other and they admire it from each other.

But Trump did bring them in, as you know.

No, no, no, no, no. Time out a second. Time out a second.

Who hired them?

You’ve got to be fair. It’s been going on like that for 50 years.

Of course, of course. But I am saying he didn’t change that.

He didn’t change it because he’s a New Yorker. He descends on the area and he mis-sizes the area, if he’s going to be honest with himself. That’s why he’s a classic entrepreneur now, he is making so many changes because he has to. Entrepreneurs have to go through heavy turnover, you know that from Silicon Valley. You can’t get the culture and the personnel right Day One. You start flipping cards and building a different rotisserie team.

This is a lot of turnover, even for a startup.

A lot of turnover.

The Google guys, they stayed together forever. Facebook, the same exact thing, 10 years.

But that’s why they’re Google and Facebook. Okay, but there are other companies that are smaller or maybe not as successful that had heavy turnover in the beginning but are still decent companies.

We want more than a decent company from our president, presumably.

You’ve got to get the personalities right. If you don’t have the personalities right, you’re not going to get … You’re not going to have …

What do you imagine these people’s sort of …

It was like five or six things that did me in. Myself, I did myself in.

That phone call.

Yeah. That phone call. I trusted the guy, made a mistake there, so I have to own that. So I would say I did myself in. I think my first press conference did me in. I don’t know if you saw my first?

I did. I was fascinated by it.

I think that did me in. Too honest. Not slick enough, political operative. Not spinning enough, just talking very straight to people. I knew that the knives were going to come at me for that. The president putting in the memo that I was reporting to him directly.


That had a factor in it.

Because …

Well, because if you’re John Kelly and the president’s got you reporting to him directly, you just come in as a chief of staff, the first thing you do is remove the guys that are reporting directly to the president.

But that makes sense.

It makes sense. I never had a bad thing to say about John Kelly as a result of him firing me, God bless him. He had the right to do that and I took it like a man. You’re asking me what I think did me in. Then the other thing that did me in was I got hired to be a hatchet man. So when you get hired to be a hatchet man, the knives come out for you as well. I told Steve Colbert that I thought I would make it longer than a carton of milk in his refrigerator. I didn’t think I was going to make it that long. I was smart enough to know that it was a 30-, 60-, possibly 90-day job for me. I didn’t think it … I don’t see it as being an everlasting job.

But you pulled down Reince Priebus with you.

He had to be fired because he was the biggest leaker in the system. He’s a very dishonest guy, unbelievably insecure, he had to be fired. I mean, he was doing so much damage to the president and also he wasn’t staffing positions. And you know, if you were a never-Trumper and he put you in a position, if you’d like Trump he would find a way to block you. He was a disaster. But look, I would love to debate him on live television. I would love to debate him in a live forum.

He can’t do that.

He can’t do that.

What about Bannon?

Bannon is a different guy. I mean, he’s a very smart guy. He’s intellectually sound from the point of view that he’s very well read. He has a philosophical and political point of view. For all of his railing on the system he’s actually a cuck of the system.

Okay, so explain that term.

Okay, so he’s a cuck. You know, meaning like he is a hypocrite. Exactly. He’s actually a cuck of the system. He went to Harvard Business School, he worked at Goldman Sachs, he was a Hollywood producer, he worked in Washington.

He did check a lot of elite boxes.

He is an f-ing elitist. Okay, so all of this nonsense about him not being an elitist. He dresses like a hobo but he’s an elitist. But what he is is he’s got this messianic complex about himself where he thinks he has the answer and others do not. And so when you’re a messianic figure like that you do things that I said: You focus on your own brand, you care only about your personality, it’s your way or the highway. You don’t play well in the sandbox with others unless they’re playing and building your sandcastle. And so you know he’s a human walking disaster. It was also his political philosophy. He’s now at least admitting that he’s a racist. I mean, he’s openly admitting that he’s a racist, which you know is absolutely disgusting.

What’s the attraction to him by Trump then?

Well, I think it’s more complicated than that. I think you know Michael Wolff didn’t get that, right? We’re struggling in August. The Republican establishment is evacuated. It’s August of 2016, we’re at Woody Johnson’s house, now the ambassador to Great Britain. The Mercer family is there. They’re trying to figure out if they’re going to engage with then-candidate Trump. They had left the Crew situation. He’s now the declared nominee. They put five million into the PAC and they recommend Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway to the campaign. So they joined mid-August, the campaign.

And so I think the president, then the candidate, said, “Okay, listen I need to shuffle the deck here.” So he took those guys on. And then where I think the president has an issue with Bannon is that the president was already well ahead of Bannon on the desperation of the working class. The president was already ahead of Bannon on what the issues were for the core labor force of America and what the anxiety was. Bannon may have been there as well, but the president’s point, I think, is the right one, he beat 17 or 18 candidates and now he’s going neck and neck with Secretary Clinton. And so Bannon was trying to take all the credit for that. He had this guy Josh from Bloomberg, right, the devil’s bargain. Trump’s my hand puppet. I’m going to use Michael Wolff as my coming-out party. Trump’s the empty vessel, I’m the genius. All of this stuff was nonsensical, the guy needed to be removed.

But when you say what was the attraction, Trump’s an entrepreneur. The attraction was I needed something right then and there to help me so he brought those players in. And then — you can like this about Trump or dislike this — he then felt an obligation to Bannon and Priebus because of their roles inside the campaign. And so he wanted to reward them with high-profile jobs. That was a mistake because those guys didn’t care about him. They cared about themselves.

So what about now? He’s talked about it. “I like it chaotic. This is the way I like it.” Is that a problem from your perspective?

From my perspective it isn’t because …

It looks crazy from the outside, you know that. It does look a little bit crazy.

It’s not crazy.

Every day it’s a different thing. I feel like I can’t get in the shower without something happening by the time you get out.

Okay, so turn the news off. Okay, economy is growing, wages are up, he’s not calling for massive deregulation because he’s too smart for that. He’s talking for getting it to the middle of the pendulum.

It’s so business-like. The Dodd-Frank thing is about to go.

Well, Dodd-Frank is being modified. You have to remember, you have to accept some level of banking failure if you want the economy to grow. You don’t want to … Look, again, another axiomatic fact, life is unsafe. If you want the government to make you safest, then you’re going to be living in a society that doesn’t grow, and you’re going to live in a society that restricts animal spirits. You don’t want that. You’re an entrepreneur, you live in Silicon Valley, right? Or wherever you live. You don’t want that. You have to have people’s equity at risk in the community banking system and you have to allow some community banks to potentially fail as long as you don’t have systemic banking failure. Okay, so you can’t over-regulate the system then you won’t be able to grow and you will lose the wage growth opportunity.

All right, so keep going on the why it’s not chaotic.

I didn’t say it’s not chaotic. I said why it’s acceptable.


I didn’t say it wasn’t chaotic. It’s chaotic. But it’s acceptable because the nature of his personality is he’s an entrepreneur. He tried to fix or drain the swamp using cesspool operators and swamp creatures. You can’t bring Steve Bannon, who’s ironically railing on the swamp but is actually the Creature from the Black Lagoon, into the situation to drain the swamp. He’s going to add more sewage to the swamp. You can’t bring that …

But that’s precisely what he did. That’s what the president did, if you’re saying that.

Well, that was a mistake. He’s changing the personnel.

Right, but it’s not just them. It’s the global elitists who are leaving. Gary, Deanna.

Let’s give the president a little bit of credit. If you’re building a building, you’re going to hire people that can build the building. If you’re building a golf course, you’re going to hire people who can build a golf course. So he says, “Okay, I’m going into government, let me hire some people that are experienced hands in the government. Here’s what I want to do to change the government.” They go, “Well no, no, no, no. We like that system. That’s our business model.”

So he hired people, said, “Okay, help me drain the swamp.” And they’re like, “No, no, no, no. We’re not draining the swamp. We’re here forever. You’re going to be here for four years, possibly eight years, we’re going to add more sewage to the swamp. We’re going to turn the swamp into a gold-plated hot tub on you. We don’t want to drain the swamp.” So he’s figured that out now and now he’s got to change the leaders.

But it’s not just that group, it’s the other group. It seemed like there were two competing groups in the White House. Dean, Gary, Deanna, Dina Powell.

I think they left for different reasons. You’d have to ask them why they left, okay, but I think they left for different reasons. Listen, the good news is the changes that the president’s making now, my prediction is this takes me back to June of 1982 when Ronald Reagan made some personnel shifts. He fired Al Haig, he did a couple other things on the margin, and then he got the team tighter and better. It was after his assassination attempt, probably a year, and things were good. And then from June of ’82, the president did way better. The bad news for the president in June of ’82 it was too late and he got schmeisted in the midterm elections in 1982.

Yep. So did Obama.

So did Obama. So did George W. Bush in ’06. I mean, you can name … This is just what happens, this is what happens in our system. So the president has a chance to keep the House but they got to engage quickly. They’ve got to build a political operation above and beyond what they have right now. Otherwise you got 23 seats in jeopardy and he’ll lose the House.

Well what about a White House operation? I mean, some of these appointments that he makes do seem crazy. The FAA guy, the 24-year-old that was running a big … These things, why does that happen? What occurs in that administration where you don’t get many qualified people?

I’m being honest, I can’t answer it, but I do think some of that comes from the way Priebus set the thing up. So the very thick restrictor mechanism, literally always-Trumpers couldn’t get jobs in the White House.

Except now.

Well, it’s starting to happen now. But I mean, again, you know that was the way Priebus …

What do you imagine is going to happen in the next months ahead?

Good things. Look, again, you may not like him but I’ll just let you know, he ran a very successful business. The business went into bankruptcy, or almost bankruptcy, and he rebuilt it. He ran a very successful television program, I think it was on the air for 12 or 15 years. He went from zero political experience to the American presidency in 17 short months. So I mean the guy is talented. We have to step back and look at it. He’s talented so he’ll figure this out. He’ll shift the personnel mix. The seven or eight people that will go, that are about to go, and he replaces them with people …

Well just this week there’s Tillerson, Madius is probably going.

We’ll see. We’ll see. You think Madius is going? I don’t think Madius is going.

You don’t? Well I’m just saying.

I don’t know but we’ll see.

You feel like there is going to be stability? Because it feels constantly unstable. Or is that just …?

No. I think there will be once he gets the personnel around him that are philosophically in sync with him, once he gets people around him, this would be a good test for him. They’re in your presence, and they’re being obsequious, and then they leave, and they run to their Georgetown salons, and they snicker about you. I think you’ve got to get people in the room that are honest to you in your presence and then when they leave, they back you up, that they’re loyal.

Right, okay. Okay.

Even lying Ryan Lizza, he wrote in his article that I’ve never said a bad thing about the guy.

No, but I think he probably quoted you pretty accurately in that conversation, yes or no? Or not the conversation.

No, 100 percent. I haven’t walked back anything I said. But he had to admit that I’m not one of these do …

I don’t think he ever said that.

No, he literally explicitly said, “Hey, in fairness to Anthony Scaramucci, the guy doesn’t say anything bad about the president.”

Right, right.

And nor will I ever, because I like the guy.

What if there are things that you disagree with? Just don’t say them? You disagree on gay issues, for example. It’s got to be … It’s appalling.

I don’t even know if I disagree on gay issues, you’d probably have to ask him directly. I think he’s a New Yorker when it comes to gay issues.

Except for … Some of these rollbacks are clear. I’m sorry, no, pushback.

Okay, well, you may know it better than me.

These robots are obvious.

Let’s talk about the press for a second. Okay, I think you can be loyal to the president and you can disagree on tactics and strategy.

Okay. Except tactics and strategies are people’s lives.

If you’re going to have real friends, real friends tell you that you have a booger in your nose. Real friends tell you that you have bad breath. And real friends tell you you have food in your teeth, but they’re still your friends. They still love you, they want you to do well, right? So for me the war declaration on the media is nonsensical. Steve Bannon declared war on the media at C-PAC this year.

Trump seems to be enjoying it quite a bit.

It’s a mistake.

And what is his response when you say this?

I’m loyal to the president and I’m supportive of the president, but that is a mistake. You’re making a mistake with a war declaration on the media because No. 1, you’re not going to win that war. No. 2, you’re not picking the right battle. No. 3, it’s okay to have an adversarial relationship with the media but if you understand your role you have to be cross-checked and hand-checked by the media. Because the founders said, “We don’t want anybody too power-hungry to get these positions because we know that power corrupts absolutely.” Like Lord Acton said. And so the fourth … the state’s responsibility is to hand-check the people that are in power.

How do you judge the press’s performance in this?

With the media?

With the president in this administration?

In what category?

How do you think they’re doing?

Well see, that’s the irony. So the overall grade is actually …

For the press?

For the press, no. Very bad.


I would say his overall grade as it relates to policy — and the country is moving again, and we’re growing, and there’s a lot more opportunity, and there’s less slack in the employment markets, and there is a higher-quality job coming for the average worker. Those things are all very, very positive. That’s why he’s going to win reelection. But there’s a disconnect because of what I said, the prism and the kaleidoscope. There’s a disconnect between how well he’s doing and how the media is reporting it.

That’s what he says, too.

But this is true.

Look at the recent election.

It’s his fault. It’s his fault because you can’t declare war on the media. The fact that he hasn’t had a CNN interview, a major network television interview, or you pick … I don’t know, let’s say MSNBC. Pick an adversarial, or a perceived adversarial network, or news organization, the fact that he’s not in there with it … Let me tell you something. This guy’s got a force of personality. During the campaign he was on Morning Joe. During the campaign he was on these …

That bridge seems burned.

That bridge possibly is burned for now, but my point is, is that why lose your voice? You have this force of personality, you won the American presidency, you’ve been in the media for most of your adult life. Why lose that voice? Why lose that voice? Because Steve Bannon said, “Let’s declare war.”

So why is he doing it?

He’s a combative, competitive guy. He doesn’t like what’s being written about him.

Because he looks like a crazy old man shaking his fist at the television set.

I won’t use the word fake news because people obviously get upset about that, but how about inaccurate news or misinformed news? It’s happened to me. Okay, someone has said things about me that are categorically untrue. Please don’t say those things. They say, “Well we’re going to say them anyway.”

You have to understand something, there is standards, even the New York Times versus Sullivan case, you can’t maliciously say that about me. You’re accusing me of being a felon. You’re saying that I’m under investigation as a result of my role in the Russian situation, which is categorically untrue. Please do not write that about me. “Well I’m going to write it about you anyway.”

“Okay, well how is it sourced?” “I’ve got one source.” “Okay, could you please call Mitch McConnell’s office? I’m not under Senate investigation. Can you please call Steve Mnuchin’s office, I’m not under Treasury investigation.” “No, we’re going to write it based on the one source.” Okay, well I have a deep enough pocket and I’m a tough enough person where now we’re going to go to war. Okay, so to me it’s out there whether you like it or not. The we’re going to hit you, discolor you, dehumanize you, characterize you, disfigure you. So the president’s sore at all those things. But his strategy of combating that could be way more effective.

Now in addition to using Twitter and hopping over the mainstream media, he could sit in the gladiator ring with them. He’s very skilled and he can probably beat them more often than not.

All right, in that vein though, you mean it’s always about the coverage and not the actual thing? The Charlottesville comments. The other day lying to Justin Trudeau. All kinds of various things around the gay stuff is appalling. These executive orders have been, none of this is problematic from your perspective.

No, so I have to confess here. I didn’t see the executive orders so whatever they were, if they were anti-gay I would formally and publicly …

The transgender thing is true. Then the one after it and Charlottesville.

Did he walk back the transgender thing in the military?

No. The military has, he hasn’t. The military doesn’t agree with him.

Okay, the military doesn’t agree with him and they walked it back.

Right. The military did, not the president.

Anything that’s anti-gay, I have no problem publicly renouncing. The Charlottesville thing, you can get a look at the tape. My first television appearance after my firing was on George Stephanopoulos. I said that there can be no daylight or equivocation on Nazis. Nazis are bad.

But what do you say to this? This is the president saying this.

I think in that case, again …

That was not misunderstood.

I’m not an apologist for the guy. I will tell you I would call balls and strikes and tell you where I see things. Again, people can like me or dislike me for that but on the gay thing, if it’s anti-gay I totally …

Well I’m just using that.

Okay, well, if it’s anti-gay, I totally and wholly disagree with it unequivocally. And as far as I’m concerned, you know I have gay family members.

You don’t have to have gay family members.

I’m not even saying that. I was supporting the gay community before I realized I had gay family members. I just think it’s stupid. Okay, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is only for straight people? That is stupid. We need to change that.

I’m just using that as an example. Some of these things are real problems.

So unequivocally denounce that. I have no problem. Charlottesville, I was on public record on national television saying that was wrong. I said it to Steve Colbert. I’m saying it now on your podcast. I said it to the president.

And what does he say when you say, “What are you doing?”

Well, he tried to walk it back and say that he was trying to say that there were bad people on both sides. He malapropped and said that there were good people on both sides. But it really doesn’t matter, what matters is there can be no daylight on those things. And so what he did was classic him. He got to the … he flew to Washington from Bernardsville, got to the podium and denounced everything that he said on that Saturday. And then on the Tuesday at Trump Tower he went back to what he was saying because he was getting frustrated with the press. So again, I mean …

Guns, I’m going to do something then not do something. It feels like a lie.

The gun thing is …

Complicated. I get it.

The gun thing is very complicated. Let me tell you, the gun thing is very complicated. If you hate the Second Amendment and you’re listening to your podcast, I got bad news for you, you’re always going to have a Second Amendment. If you’re lucky …

I’m talking about his actions.

If you love AR-15s and you’re listening to this podcast, I got really bad news for you. A couple more mass killings like this, you’re going to have a groundswell of support.

There is a groundswell of support.

Yeah, but I mean there’s going to be an even bigger groundswell of support.

I’m talking about the president himself.

So to me, I would get ahead of it with legislation.

But getting on the air and saying you’re going to do something about it and then rolling it back, that’s the kind of stuff that is disingenuous. Just absolutely.

Okay, but that’s the problem with the political system, right? Because he’s trying to find the mark. He wears a lot of stuff on his sleeve as a New Yorker.

He just says it out loud.

So he’s saying it out loud. I’m going to do this because that’s what he really thinks he’s doing. Then he’s influenced another way. I’m going to do that because that’s what he’s really thinking he’s doing. But I do think that he’ll get to the right conclusion because I think he has the support of the NRA. And I think the NRA, say what you want about the NRA, they’re not stupid. They know that a couple more mass killings, a couple more killings of the innocents, you’re going to have a bigger problem than they currently have. So they’ve got to get somewhere on the guns. I’m not a one-size-fits-all person. If you’re in Montana on a ranch, you probably the gun legislation and the control.

We don’t have to debate gun control.

It would be different.

Yeah, I’m talking about the messaging is really …

The message. But listen, there’s no way you can tell me that there isn’t an intersection of values on this debate where normal people can have a gun for recreational or protective purposes and we can figure out a way to screen out the abnormal people.

Of course. Which is what he said reasonably and then shifted.

There’s no way that we can’t do that. Now I get the NRA. One chink out of it wants to take your rights away, they’re never going to get them back, and blah, blah. But let me tell you something, we can figure it out.

When we get back we’ll have more words of wisdom from The Mooch.


We’re here with Anthony Scaramucci at his office in midtown Manhattan. We’re talking about everything from Trump to tech to where the next election cycle is going. I’m going to finish up on two things. One, your book and the election stuff. You keep saying he’s going to get reelected.



Just look at the data. I’m a data-dependent person.

Just looking at this election in Pennsylvania.

Well, remember midterms, let me use President Obama’s own words, midterms of 2010. “I got schellacked.” His own words. He goes on to win a resounding reelection two short years later. It was 53-47. No, I mean he crushed him. Go look at the electoral college vote for Obama in 2012. Believe me, I was close to the situation.

It wasn’t a Reagan schellacked.

Well that was 49.

We’re never going to have those again.

I don’t think so. Not in this county. Not with all of these podcasts, people are locked in, man. But back then you had uniformity to press, you won 49 states back then. But on him, and just studying the data going back to 1880 to today, it’s very hard to dislodge a sitting president. A rising economy, it’s virtually not happened.

Someone will then push back and say, “Well what about Lyndon Johnson?” Economy was rising, he stepped out of the race because of the Vietnam War and the fear of Bobby Kennedy. Okay, but if he stayed in the race, people say maybe he wouldn’t have won reelection. I’ll cede them the 1968 election. Aside from that, go to 1880 to today, you don’t get knocked out unless you’ve got a big recession, some dramatic thing is going on.

Well, this is a special president in every way. I mean, he’s different than every other one so you could have a different outcome.

This kid Conor Lamb, a gun-toting …

A conservative Democrat.

A conservative Democrat. If you told me that the Democrats were going to pick a conservative Democrat …

Oh, there’s been conservative Democrats. That’s not true. There’s been all of that … In Pennsylvania, you mean?

No, no, no. No, I’m talking about the 2020 nomination, you’re at the Democratic National Convention, and the Democratic Party picks a conservative Democrat.

No, they’re not.

They’re not. Of course they’re not. Then I think they have no chance to beat him. They have no chance to beat him. They’re not going to beat him with … Because the American people are smart. They know that the left-leaning strategies on the economy and things like that actually don’t work. They like the social progress.

Who would be someone you’d be nervous about against Trump?

You’d have to start naming people. I tried to get Donna Brazil to name them on the Bill Maher show, she wouldn’t. But you have to start naming them. There’s nobody that I’ve heard that can beat Trump. Nobody. He’s a force of nature beyond anything …

Harris Booker.

She’s a very nice person. I met her on an Israel trip. She’s an elegant, nice person. I don’t think she can beat him. I just … No. 1, she doesn’t have his name recognition and his force of his personality.

Joe Biden.

Okay, Biden is an interesting guy. He is going to be mad at me now for this right because I love Biden. You can see there’s a picture of me and Joe at the World Economic Forum because we were supporting gay rights globally. Okay, and I was a big part of that with Chad Griffin. And I love Vice President Biden, but Vice President Biden fumbles the ball upon contact. So he does. I mean, he did it in the 1998 election. He did it against Barack Obama in 2008. He is a lovable guy from Scranton. Love him to death. I have no problem with him as a human being and he’d probably, arguably make a good president. He’s way smarter than people want to give him credit for, but he fumbles the ball on contact.

You can’t fumble the ball on contact. This is the NFL. You’re going in there, you’re getting hit left and right, and then people will then say, “Well didn’t you fumble the ball on contact?” “I didn’t even get a chance. I got steamrolled before I could even get the ball.” Are you following what I’m saying? But maybe I would have but probably not because I’m pretty good at debating. But the vice president …

So you don’t think there’s a Democratic candidate that can go up against him?

No. If they were smart they would say, “Okay, listen. We can’t stand Trump. And yes, I know we were lefter then left now but if you want to beat this guy we’ve got to bring on some of the anti-Trumper Republicans. And the only way we’re going to do that is we need a Conor Lamb-like candidate to go after this guy.” And you guys don’t have one of those. And my prediction — and you immediately said, “They’re never going to do that.” If you had one of those, you would reject him or her onto the ash-heap of history in two seconds.

So what about the midterm elections? That could cause stuff …

Going to cost them. It’s going to be tough now. I said a month ago that I thought that he could win, to the great surprise of people. But after this election and watching the lack of political operation and lack of apparatus that was deployed in PA18, if we don’t change that dramatically, we have to change that quickly because we’re already in March going into April, going to be tough now. He’s got the economic elements to surprise people. The disposable income is up, the economy is doing well, with the right political organization and apparatus you could surprise people.

The House and the Senate. He’s in big trouble.

They’ll probably move to impeach him, but then you know you got to … Look, they moved to impeach President Clinton. They impeached them and then you couldn’t get a trial together.

There’s also the Mueller investigation hanging over it. I’m not thinking Russians with the money laundering and other things.

I’ve been wrong about so many things. I think he comes out of the Mueller investigation okay. Maybe it’ll be people in the periphery that are getting hit or …

Even his family?

I don’t know. I don’t know. I’m not close enough to it but I think he comes out okay. The guy’s never used email, rarely uses his cellphone. I didn’t see any collusion.

I don’t think Russia is the issue, it’s money laundering.

Okay, maybe that is. Again, I wasn’t there so I’m don’t know.

I’m not sure you can be in real estate in New York and be in debt without some …

I don’t know. You’d have to look into that and maybe they have something.

I’m not a prosecutor, I don’t have subpoena power.

Maybe they have something, maybe they don’t. I don’t know. My prediction is, though, he’s the sitting president, it would be hard to take him out. That’s my prediction.

Okay, last question, your book. So your book … We’ll start where we began. It’s about a blue-collar president … You’re talking about one of the richest kids …

It’s a working title. You know, Donald Trump Jr called his father the blue-collar billionaire.

Yeah. So the rich kid said the rich kid was a blue-collar billionaire.

Yeah, but he was, though, that’s the irony of that soup. Because he saw something that the other global elites didn’t see.

The billionaire who likes the blue-collar people.

Kara, they didn’t see it. His secretary. Let me tell you something, okay.

Who is more blue collar if you think about it? Comes from a much more modest background.

They may not like me for saying this, okay. I’m okay with it now. I’m comfortable in my own skin. There were 18 or 20 candidates on the field in 2016, there were only two candidates that saw the economic desperation and duress. Bernard Sanders, Donald J. Trump, the other guys didn’t see it. I’m just telling you. Oh, and by the way, I got my hand raised here. You’re looking at a guy that didn’t see it because I spent 30 years of my life going up the economic spire of opportunity, and class transcendence, and I wanted to be rich. I wanted to go to the World Economic Forum. I wanted to talk to cool people like you. I wanted to be on television. I wanted to have financial independence and take care of my family. And so I was very driven and I started to push myself into the world of collective biases of the elites and I didn’t see it.

It wasn’t until I started campaigning with the president and then the candidate I said, “Oh my God, oh my God. He’s talking to the people that I grew up with.” These are the people I grew up with and my parents are insulated from these people because I’m paying for everything and making sure they’re okay. But the people I grew up with are having a rough time right now. And he sees it, he’s a billionaire living in a tower near the Tiffany store, he sees it and I’m a dummkopf. I did not see it. Why didn’t I see it? Because I’m tunneling myself in.

Let me finish by asking you …

So to me the blue-collar president means that he recognizes the economic duress and he’s trying to implement policies to help them. And thus far, 13, 14 months into it, the economic data suggest that there are elements of what he’s doing that are actually working.

Is he going to somehow try to stop the divisiveness? The Twitter attacks? I know that people say it’s beneath the president but there is a point where there is not decorum, but just simple behavioral.

So here’s my prediction. Do you want my prediction? He gets the right staff around him, guys he really trusts, men and women he really trusts, that are like I said, they passed the snickering test. You know, they’re not walking out of his office snickering in a Georgetown salon about him because they think they’re above him and he’s beneath them. He gets people in the room with him to work with him, he dials back all the nonsense on Twitter. That Twitter stuff in my opinion comes from “I’m undefended. I don’t have the appropriate media advocacy. They’re hitting me. I’m going to talk about Mika’s facelift.”

Okay, don’t talk about Mika’s facelift. Let’s use Twitter for policy. Let’s use Twitter for strategy. If you want to be cute and New Yorker on Twitter that’s fine, but let’s not go into Mika’s facelift. We don’t need to go in that direction.

Right, which he does.

At this point he thinks they’re hitting him so he’s going to hit them back and he uses Twitter because he’s got 50 million people on Twitter now. And so that’s, I don’t know, I think the New York Times has a three million person population of people so divide that, he’s got 17 times the New York Times.

Some of them are bots, Anthony.

I understand that. But in other words, let me put it this way. When he puts something out on Twitter, does it not show up on the world news?

Of course. Crazily enough.

It does, right? He’s getting to hundreds of millions of people off of Twitter.

So one last question about tech, because this is a tech podcast. How do you look at tech, tech which is quite opposed to Trump, I would say overall but not completely. He has been hostile at tech.

Yeah, there are people in Silicon Valley — and don’t worry, you’ll remain nameless for this podcast. I’m not going to out you guys. But there’s a large group of people in Silicon Valley that because of the fascism of the left, because the left is primarily fascist, that you can’t express your views.

We know, Peter Thiel is moving to Los Angeles.

Forget about Peter Thiel. He’s out of the … You know the gay community took a while to get out of the closet. It’s socially acceptable now. There’s a large group of people that are in-the-closet Trump supporters in Silicon Valley, trust me.

In the closet?

In-the-closet Trump supporters because they can’t come out of the closet because they’re shamed by leftist fascism. You know, look, I’m a victim of leftist fascism. I can’t even go back to my alma mater. I’m not allowed back on the campus of the university because I’m a Trump supporter. I’m fine with it.

Oh you long-suffering people. You’re not suffering, come on. You get to say what you want. That’s crap.

I get to say what I want because you’re cool and you’ve got a microphone in front of me. There are certain areas people don’t like what I’m saying and they want to keep me away from them.

Defend it. Defend it. They’re not going fascist. A fascist is they make you do something. I can’t imagine anyone making you shut up.

If I was an actor in Hollywood and a Trump supporter, I’m getting a lot of work?

I don’t know.

Okay. All right, well, you know, they don’t get a lot of work. So here’s the bottom line …

Some of them are bad actors, let’s be honest. He doesn’t have a good coterie.

You’re so funny. You have a lot of in-the-closet Trump supporters in Silicon Valley.

All right, okay. But where does it come with tech with all the different things with Russia, with their responsibility? There’s this sort of backlash to tech.

Here’s the good news. Okay, you’ve got a free-market president. You really study the originations …

Who likes terrorists, but go ahead.

You want to talk about the terrorists? I can talk all day about the terrorists.

No, there’s sanctions and I think they’re sanctions …

The playing field is uneven. He’s got to even up the playing field. Has to. They know he has to and he will. Just like they raised the dough on NATO.

He’ll make so many compromises in it it won’t matter, but go ahead.

Let’s go back to what you want to talk about.


The good news is he’s going to leave him alone. They’re probably not going to leave him alone. They’re going to probably pour money into some left-wing Democratic candidate but …

I don’t think they’re lefty at all. I find them incredibly conservative, but go ahead.

What are? The tech guys?

The tech people.

Yeah, I know that, but they’re anti-Trump. I’m telling you right now.

They’re anti all this immigration nonsense. It’s non-sense.

You want to see the floodgate open for the Democratic party from Silicon Valley? Pick a Conor Lamb, not him but pick an older Conor Lamb. I don’t know, convince Bob Iger to run.

He’s not doing it.

Convince Howard Schultz. These are practical business people that the Silicon Valley guys would say, “Hey, I’m probably more libertarian than I am a liberal. Let’s go with that guy.” You following what I’m saying? And then you got a chance. Other than that, you got no chance.

Where is tech now going forward with all these attacks on Facebook and Twitter? It’s very clear the Russians used the platforms.

My opinion is that you got wickedly smart people at Facebook and Twitter and these other places, and they’re all new. And so they’re going to take a while to get to the right editorial objectivity where fair people can express their opinions fairly and they’ll be less shadow banning on either side or whatever it might be. And it will by and large work out and there will be a period of tumble like there is in any society where you’re seeing radical Schopenhauer breakdown of a system in a rebuilding of a system.

Just like there was when we went from horse-and-buggy to horseless carriages, and just like every time we’ve had a massive S-curve move in technology. So my prediction is it’ll be a little shaky and it’ll be a little polemical in the beginning but then it’ll sort itself out. And that these people that are running these companies — I mean, it’s just my opinion so take it for what it’s worth. They’re by and large fair people. They by and large want the freedom. I am struck by what I said that Silicon Valley strikes me as way more libertarian.

It is, 100 percent. That’s what I mean. They’re not liberal.

So libertarians are actually for gay marriage. They don’t care what people do in their bedrooms. Okay, and so for me I think it will work out. The good news for them is that the president is ignoring them. You know, he’s got four things. He’s ignoring them. He’s got four things he wants to work on.

He needs to pay attention soon. There’s some things coming down the pipe. Robotics, automation, self-driving. Big job displacement issues possibly, possibly not.

That’s why he’s got to tackle the educational issues and technical skill training. And I’ll leave you with this one thought. I’ll leave you with this one thought.

All right, you leave me with one thought.

One thought. You want one thought?


Because you interview a lot of people.


And if you get a public servant on your podcast, why don’t you ask them what the 25-year plan is for America. Say, “Hey, tell me the politician that has a 25-year plan for America.” That’s a data-dependent plan, that isn’t focused on the left or focused on the right, but is actually a right or wrong plan. Meaning that here are policies for the United States, forget about left and right, are they right or wrong for America? And who’s the politician that’s focused on that, and who’s the politician that’s going to lay out the realness to the American people that, hey, I’ve got bad news for you. We’re not fixing the deficit in a cable news cycle. I got really bad news for you. We’re not fixing the job displacement from robots in five years or 10 years, it’s going to take us 25 years. I’ve got really bad news for you, our infrastructure is crumbling.

And AI is going to take your job.

AI is going to take your job, and the infrastructure is crumbling, and we’re going to have a third world country run by robots if we don’t come up with the right policies. So who’s doing that? And so I will leave you with that and I would say it rhetorically but I would also say it emphatically, that America needs a 25-year plan. And let me give you the bad news: The Chinese have a 50- and a 100-year plan.

They do.

And so America is not going to have that because it’s America, but we could have a 25-year plan. And we could have a bipartisan commitment to that plan to help our children and our grandchildren. And the one thing I learned about Washington and wanting to stop the nonsense and knock it off with each other with the stupid backstabbing and the subterfuge, and work on the 25-year plan to help America.

Why don’t you work on Trump getting off of Twitter and doing that. It creates divisiveness.

I was there for 11 days.

Those long 11 days.

I couldn’t get him to stop tweeting on Jeff Sessions. He’s going to do what he does, but he’s going to be fine for Silicon Valley and there will be progress made under his administration, but it’s not the answer long-term. We have to develop a 25-year plan.

And who’s responsible for that? Politicians, the tech companies?

Well, I think the citizenry. I think that we have to activate citizens, we’ve got to activate.

Are you running for office? This is my last question. Would you run for office?

Do I look nuts? Do I look crazy?

I don’t know.

First of all, how could I even run for office? Everything that I just said doesn’t fit any party.

I don’t know.

Well what party does that fit in?

The Mooch party.

Oh yeah, The Mooch party. That’s going to fuckin’ win … I’m sorry about that, I used the F-bomb.

That’s okay, I don’t care.

That’s going to win 11 votes over 11 days.

I have a question. You allow people to make fun of you using The Mooch and the whole thing, you’re very humorous about it.

I could care less.

You like it though, too.

I don’t necessarily like it, I just think that what other people think of me is none of my business. I could care less. You know the irony about being called The Mooch, I’ve been called The Mooch my entire life since the second grade in 1972. And it turns out that the left loves it because it’s a “pejorative” because a mooch is a mooch, right?

Money and squeaking.

The irony is, I’ve been more mooched then Benna Moocher, trust me. You could just look at my philanthropy. But at the end of the day, I don’t care. That’s my last name. My last name is Scaramucci. My friends from high school call me Mooch. That was on my varsity football jacket, Mooch. So big deal.

I’m sure it was. Are you going back to the White House?

I’m not even allowed in the White House. How can I go back? I’m on like the naughty list.

You can’t get within a block.

The guy is a little bit thin-skinned.

You can tell me a little bit.

I told the truth, big deal. I said the morale is terrible in the White House. Don’t hit me. Why don’t you back off of me, I’ll back off of you. You’re not going to back off of me, I got no problem going after you.

All right, Rocky Balboa, this has been entirely enjoyable.

Come on.

Thank you so much.

Rocky Balboa. At least you didn’t say Vito Corleone. All right.

I was thinking it.

All right.



Mooch, it was great talking to you. Thanks for coming on the show.

Recode – All

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This week, popular console and desktop game Fortnite hit the iOS App Store in beta form, allowing players to access the “same 100-player” Battle Royale mode found on PS4 and Mac computers while on-the-go. Following Fortnite, it’s been announced that another large-scale console title is getting a full game on iOS and Android, called ARK: Survival Evolved and launching this spring (via TouchArcade).

ARK originally released in early access on Steam and Xbox One in 2015, and then the final game launched across most platforms in 2017, including PC, Mac, Xbox One, and PS4. ARK is an action survival game that takes place in a large open world inhabited by dinosaurs, tasking players with building bases and weapons, taming and taking care of dinosaurs, and joining up with other players in tribes.

A few other features coming to ARK on mobile include:

80+ Dinosaurs: Use cunning strategy and tactics to tame, train, ride and breed the many dinosaurs and other primeval creatures roaming the dynamic, persistent ecosystems across land, sea, air, and even underground.
Discover: Explore a massive living and breathing prehistoric landscape as you find the means to survive, thrive, and escape on the Ark.
Craft and Build: Using any means necessary to survive, craft weapons, clothes, and items, and build shelters, villages, or even large cities.
Survive Alone or With Others: Group up with, or prey on, hundreds of other players in a large-scale online world or choose to go it alone in single-player mode.
Join a Tribe: The ‘Tribe’ system encourages cooperation, by supporting dynamic parties to share resources, XP, and re-spawn points.

Beta invites for iOS are already open for the game, and mobile game developer War Drum Studios stated that the plan for the smartphone version “is to contain the full online experience as the PC version of ARK.” This includes the game’s 50-person multiplayer environment where players can join tribes to share resources, gain XP, and more, as well as engage in an offline single player experience.

There will also be a few tweaks in the transition to mobile, including faster paced gameplay, a unique user interface, and a “specialized control setup” that was developed specifically for ARK on mobile. The iOS and Android version of the game will offer optional upgrades that players can acquire with “Amber” to progress faster, obtain certain buffs for certain amounts of time, build unique crafting structures, and bring lost dinosaurs back from the dead. The developers said these updates “allow for the ultimate experience on mobile,” while maintaining the true ARK experience as closely as possible.

In a tweet on the new @PlayARKMoible Twitter account, War Drum Studios said that ARK will require 2GB of download space on iOS, and run at 30 FPS on iPhone 7 devices and newer. It “will feature the entire Island map with most of the creatures,” requiring 2GB of RAM on iOS and 3GB of RAM on Android. The developers also put out a trailer for the game, noting that all gameplay footage included was recorded live using an iPhone 8.

ARK will be free-to-play when it launches on iOS and Android widely this spring, but details about any potential microtransactions have not yet been revealed.

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Sunday debate: Notch vs full bezel

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Ivan: The notch gives character. When the Apple iPhone X came out in the Fall of last year we were split on “The Notch” and the controversy hasn’t stopped ever since. I’m pretty sure most people (along with my colleague at the opposite end of this argument) find the notch ugly and pointless. But I find it kind of attractive, weird as that may sound to most people. It gives the iPhone X a character of its own, a face even. It’s an iconic design already, much like the round home button was. I’ve subsequently bought an iPhone X and I’ve not once found the notch a hindrance…. – Latest articles

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Triple-A console title ARK: Survival Evolved is getting a full game on iPhone and iPad

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Full transcript: Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes on Recode Decode

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His new book advocates for providing “guaranteed income.”

On this episode of Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher, Chris Hughes, the co-founder of Facebook and former owner of The New Republic, talks about his new book, “Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn.” In it, Hughes argues that working people should receive a guaranteed income, paid for by the top 1 percent of earners in the U.S.

You can read a write-up of the interview here or listen to the whole thing in the audio player above. Below, we’ve also provided a lightly edited complete transcript of their conversation.

If you like this, be sure to subscribe to Recode Decode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Kara Swisher: Recode Radio presents Recode Decode, coming to you from the Vox Media podcast network. Hi, I’m Kara Swisher, executive editor of Recode. You may know me as someone who plans to get rich by selling bulletproof armor for Teslas, but in my spare time, I talk tech, and you’re listening to Recode Decode, a podcast about tech and media’s key players, big ideas and how they’re changing the world we live in. You can find more episodes of Recode Decode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play Music or wherever you listen to podcasts, or just visit for more.

Now in week three of my horrible cold, which is giving me this very scratchy voice today, still, we have in the red chair Chris Hughes, one of the co-founders of Facebook. He’s also the author of a new book called “Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn.” It argues that working people should receive a guaranteed income, sometimes called Universal Basic Income, paid for by the 1 percent like Chris himself. Chris, welcome to Recode Decode.

Chris Hughes: Thanks for having me.

So, tell me about … and let me go into your background first, because this is a big topic, and the joke I made at the top about bulletproofing your Teslas was from a quote that Robert Reich just gave at an event, where he said, “You’re either gonna have to do something like Universal Basic Income or” — to the rich — “or you’re gonna have to pay to bulletproof your Teslas.” You know, so we’ll get into a really bad situation of haves and have-nots and like Brazil or some countries where the rich have to insulate themselves using security, or South Africa or somewhere else.

So, I wanted to explain that it’s not a joke but it’s a very serious issue. But first, let’s talk about your background. Can you give everybody a quick synopsis of your history?

Happily. I’ll try to give the Cliff’s Notes version. I grew up in a little town, Hickory, North Carolina. It’s at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, used to be a …

You’ve barely lost the accent, but you have.

I did a little bit.

I can hear it.

Well, that’s part of the story, actually. I grew up there, my mom was a public school teacher, Dad was a traveling paper salesman, but then I got a scholarship to go to a fancy boarding school, Phillips Andover, up in Massachusetts. And it was there where …

Nice. That is a fancy boarding school.

It is indeed. It was there where I lost the accent and then later got a scholarship to go to Harvard and met Mark Zuckerberg, freshman year. We ended up roommates sophomore year, started Facebook in February of 2004, the rocket ship took off and my life changed pretty dramatically.

I ended up wanting to write the book in order to partially tell my story and be clear that the financial reward that I got from three years’ worth of work at Facebook was entirely disproportionate to the time and effort put in, but to also make the case that my story, which is nothing but … You know, the only thing we can call it is a lucky break, is unfortunately not that uncommon in the economy today.

No, now, you are unusual …

That a small group of people … I might be extreme but I don’t think my case is actually that unusual, a small group of people are getting very, very wealthy while everybody else is struggling to make ends meets.

Yeah, extremely wealthy in some cases. What did you … after Facebook, you left relatively early?

I did. I left in 2007 and went and worked for President Obama.

Right, like digital stuff.

Back in the early days of the campaign, I had the title of Director of Online Organizing, which pretty much meant trying to not just build a community online but create a movement that was willing to take the campaign into their own hands, not just sort of the hub-and-spoke traditional model of those campaigns, but instead people standing up to organize events and raise money, knock on doors, make phone calls and using the internet to power …

Which was early on. I mean, this had been tried by … Actually, the right wing was very good at it. The conservatives were very good at it way, way, way back, but this was one of the biggest efforts to do this, an important part of his winning.

Yeah, it was a transitional moment in politics in so many ways, but I think the biggest shift was not so much in technology. We had a social network called The technology was good but it was in the expectations that the candidate at the time and that the campaign around him was interesting, specifically saying, “You know, we’re not going to try to lock down the message and just us, three or four at the campaign headquarters in Chicago, are going to figure it all out. Instead, we’re going to open it up and quite literally enable anybody to write anything on our website”

It was a symbolic moment but it mattered because it invited people into the campaign, to participate in a way that previously they hadn’t really been asked to, and it was symbolic of a lot of other changes. So we ended up raising tens of millions, hundreds of million by the end, of dollars through the internet, had tens of thousands of grassroots events. It was an important moment.

What got you there? How did you get there, you just liked Obama?

Well, it was back in 2007 and …

Way back then, that’s so long ago.

I know. It’s not that long ago, but politics has changed so dramatically, this really feels that way.

I was working on some of the political products at Facebook and so, one of the people that I got to know was this guy Reggie Love, who was President Obama’s body man, as they’re called, and …

That’s an unfortunate term, isn’t it?

Anyway, sorry to say that word, but he was his assistant and he just went with him anywhere. We started having conversations, just like we were doing with other candidates and officeholders, on how to use Facebook. It became clear that Obama was going to throw his hat in the ring and then I talked to a few of the other people. I did really believe in Obama’s story himself and the promise that he offered. Initially I just took a leave, but the leave turned into a permanent move.

Did you miss doing that, leaving Facebook?

You know, I had mixed feelings about it, but my experience was really different than Mark’s and Dustin’s. I mean, Facebook was a mission in and of itself for Mark, and for me it was a company that I enjoyed being a part of, growing. I learned a lot, it was exciting, there were all kinds of challenges, but it was clear to me early on that Facebook was not my life’s work. It was going to be a chapter, and it turned out to be a very important chapter, but I felt, particularly in 2007 when George Bush was president, we had all kinds of what I view as unfair economic policies, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was a time when I was really hopeful that the country could change the corner.

Well, you had money and means and you had skills.

Yeah, at that point I moved to the campaign and was paid I think $ 65,000. Facebook stock was all …

No one feels badly for you.

No, no, no, I know, I’m just being clear. I talk in the book about when I actually sold some stock and didn’t make money and what a massive change it was, but in that period the move from Facebook to Obama was about the mission.

Yeah, you were at a startup, it was a startup, people forget. Yeah, absolutely. So, you did that, and then afterwards had done a range of things. I’m sorry to go back in history but people find your background interesting.

It’s fun.

So, you then went on to buy a publication, you did a lot of things, your husband ran for office.

He did, yeah. After Facebook went public in 2012, my husband and I made a commitment to give away the vast majority of the money that we made and to invest that money in causes that we believed in. I started investing in, really, multiple things, and on the one hand I started the journey to cash. That is how I sort of ended up writing the book today and talking about guaranteed income and universal basic income.

I also bought a magazine called The New Republic and decided to invest there because I believed two things. That the journalism that The New Republic had done for decades, nearly 100 years at the time, was incredibly valuable, important to the world, important to democracy and also deserved, in 2012, a bigger audience than it had historically had. I talk a lot in the book about my experience there because on the whole there are more things that I regret than …

Yeah, a little rocky.

More than a little rocky.

Those are real grumpy — I’m being polite — those are super grumpy journalists. I lived in Washington, I know those things.

Yeah, but I also came in guns blazing.

Yeah, you did. I know better.

I came in with the kind of expectation that if you invest a lot of money and you bring together smart people and you set really ambitious goals, you know, you can reach them. That’s what the first two experiences of my career had taught me. Between Facebook and the Obama Campaign they taught me that the impossible was actually a little bit more possible than one might think.

What was the big problem? You write about it, but what do you think the big issue … what’s your big mistake and that big mistake? I think it’s a group of people that doesn’t like the internet in general. Most traditional media, in my experience over the years, has been resistant.

Well, I think …

Or grudging would be [a better word].

If I were to do it all over again, I would take a different approach. I would not come in and say the kind of journalism that The New Republic has historically done is necessarily made for an audience of tens of millions of people. I came in really thinking that we could and should open it up to a much broader kind of audience.

Big ideas should have big …

Exactly, and I think at the end of the day I was maybe the last to learn what everybody else already knew. The New Republic had been a small kind of magazine.

Artisanal, we would call it artisanal.

Yeah, we had 35,000 subscribers and that wasn’t because … You know, it was because there’s a community of people who are politically minded, culturally curious, literary, etc., but that community is relatively small.

Maybe. We’ll see what Laurene Jobs does at the Atlantic, they’re doing a kind of conversation.

Yeah, well, the Atlantic has a different tradition, the New Yorker has its own. You know, each of these institutions are artisanal, they make up a category. But so rather than swinging for the fences, I think the institution would have been better served, the people I worked with would have been better served and the values behind it would have been better served if we had made more modest investments. If we’d said, “Yes, we’re going to have a good website that is in line with the values of the day, but we don’t need the best award-winning iPad app guys.” Like the slickest kind of technology content management systems, we probably don’t need to create a custom one from scratch, as we ended up doing. These kinds of things …

You’re the internet guy. Someone there called you a terrier to me.

What’s that?


What does that mean?

I don’t know, don’t ask me. I get those … I’m sorry, everyone in … There’s a reason I left Washington, and a part of it was the extreme distaste for the internet no matter what, even if it was a relatively good idea.

Look, you came in with … you did come in with guns blazing, and those people, no. When I was like, “No, no, no, Chris, stop, these are not the …” It’s like when Pierre Omidyar went into Intercept, at first there was like, “Oh, they’re real grumpy over there,” but it’s like, Laurene Jobs is making investments. There’s all kind of internet people making … Jeff Bezos — the Washington Post — seems to have done a very good job of that.

Absolutely, but just one last point on that. I do think it’s important, though, to recognize that the kind of journalism that all of these institutions do is really a public goal.


And this idea that the market … We have to find robust, for-profit kind of sustainable models for this journalism, maybe we will. There’s a scenario where we don’t and that doesn’t mean that it’s not important to support it.

Well, you have ProPublica.

Exactly, you do have ProPublica and Texas Tribune, you have some …

Yeah, you have rich people backing these things.

Exactly, and when I started … I see you sort of rolling your eyes a little bit. My initial response was a kind of skepticism, “Is that really sustainable?” But on the other side of my experience, I think that is in many ways the story of a lot of the high-quality media in the country.

The New Republic had not really ever turned a profit. It was technically a company but it was really … I mean, I have a line in the book, it was a cause dressed up as a company — and I think we culturally need to get a little bit more used to the fact that even if Jeff was losing an immense amount of money at the Washington Post, I still think that the journalism is important to …

Yeah, well, it’s interesting because … We’ll get to that, because you’re talking about rich people paying for something like universal income too. There is a duty of public service and maybe that’s the way it’s going to be paid for and everyone should stop bellyaching over it, you’re right. You know what I mean, on some level. So, what’s your relationship there now? None? Or you sold?

No, I sold the magazine to Win McCormack in 2016.

Well, that’s a name of a person who should own The New Republic. Sorry. Win McCormack?


It’s a perfect name. You have a good name but it’s not as good as Win McCormack.

Not quite as austere, right?

Yes, yeah. So you have had nothing to do, or do you imagine going into other journalism-type things? You had an interest.

Yeah, and my interest is still real. I’m focused on specifically income inequality. I have come to believe that where the most opportunity lies is in making the case for cash and specifically for guaranteed income for Americans who are struggling to make ends meet, so that’s what I’m most …

Well, we’re going to talk about in the next section. I just want to finish up with you, and then your husband ran for office. You go from one thing to … he didn’t win.

Well, that was him. That wasn’t me.

Yes, but you were involved in it.

Yes, it turns out we are married.

We are married, and didn’t win. Is he going to run again or is that it?

I don’t think so. He’s focused on something called Stand Up America, which is an organization that tries to channel a resistance to Trump’s agenda. It’s quite the understatement that the energy that the resistance has cultivated over the past few years is in need of organization, so what they do is connect the dots, and on Facebook, on Twitter, email, text message, I mean, you name it. It’s trying to make sure people are aware of what’s happening, particularly when it comes to the Russia investigation but across the board, and then translate that enthusiasm and energy into boots on the ground, door knocks and eventually, hopefully, into electoral victory.

Votes will be the thing. I just had an interesting interview with Cory Booker and I’m going to be talking to Chuck Schumer later today, but I think votes would be the thing that everyone needs to focus on beyond … and how to get people to actually step out and vote. That’s pretty much it.

Yeah, absolutely.

It’s just an understatement of how difficult that is, but it’s the only thing that’s going to change anything.

Then you move to this, this book and what got you interested in the income inequality. A lot of people out here, Sam Altman’s interested, there’s an experiment in Oakland, I think there’s one in Sweden. They’re all over.

We have one in Stockton.

Stockton, California, so talk about that. Your group has one, you are what?

My interest in guaranteed income actually started around 2012, and I came in through the international door to start. So my husband and I came into this immense amount of wealth, we made this commitment to give it all away, and so the first kind of …

And you could have done a lot of things. You could have done a lot of … like a family foundation.

The first kind of question is this like, what’s the most effective thing that you can do?


And so it seems like an easy question. It’s actually an incredibly complex one, and so we went on a journey — and I have a chapter in the book that narrates a piece of it — to think about where are we going to get the most bang for the buck? How can we help people in the way that is the most effective? And particularly from an international perspective.

I looked a lot at different things and ended up finding Michael Faye and Paul Niehaus, the two co-founders of an organization called GiveDirectly, and made a first gift of $ 100,000, which was literally texted to people living on less than a dollar a day in Kenya, and began a journey myself. And, so I came to the immense amount of evidence that cash is the most effective thing that you can do to improve health outcomes, education outcomes and lift people out of poverty.

So, giving the poor money is the way to make them not poor?

Indeed, and I learned that initially through the international lens, but then here, domestically, what I discovered is that we actually already have the world’s largest cash transfer program. It’s called the Earned Income Tax Credit. It’s called a tax credit, but what it actually is is a lived experience of … it’s a check that tens of millions of Americans get and it lifts more people out of poverty than food stamps, housing vouchers and unemployment insurance combined.

Now, it needs to be modernized, I would argue, for the economy that we live in today, not just the income inequality that we have but also the income instability that the gig economy has introduced. At the end of the day, though it’s once a belief that I had because of the empirical evidence that shows the effectiveness, and one that I feel like is a moral case, I believe that the best way to respect the dignity of people and embrace their freedom is through the most fundable thing.

Simple thing.

Through cash and the ability to chase their own dreams or figure out their own futures.

Cash or some kind of money. So, you got interested in it through that, just by giving?

Initially, and then …

What did you try with that concept? Because again there’s lots of … I’m assuming you get like pecked to death all day of what you should give to and how you can help people.

Yeah, and I mean my husband and I give to an array of causes, it’s not just Cash International. LGBT rights is another thing that’s important to us, we were active in the fight for marriage equality, but particularly when it comes to income inequality and ending poverty. When you’re on the hunt for what’s the most effective thing to do, one of the things that I’ve learned is that sometimes the best solution is the simplest. Of course we need more and better education, of course we need more small businesses to create good jobs.

We’ve spent decades thinking about those things, investing in those things, and we should think more. However, sometimes we overlook the most powerful tool or the most powerful weapon in the arsenal and in many ways the simplest, and I think cash can be that. So my hope, though, is to take the conversation a little bit out of speculating about whether robots are going to take all the jobs in 2040 and driverless car and situate it in the here and now, because income inequality has not been as bad as it is today since 1929.

Wow, that’s amazing.

Since the year the Great Depression began. I mean, the top 0.1 percent — not 1 percent, the top 0.1 percent — owns as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent combined. And so anybody who says, “Well, that’s just the way the economy works.” No, we have chosen the rules that structure this economy and we have the power to choose different ones, and I think a guaranteed income should be at the center.

All right, we’re going to talk about that more because it’s loaded with so many different things, politics with everything else, when we get back. We’re here with Chris Hughes, he is one of the co-founders of Facebook but his new book is called “Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn It.” We’re going to talk more about that and other issues when we get back.


We’re here in the red chair with Chris Hughes, one of the co-founders of Facebook but he’s talking about income inequality because of his new book “Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn It.”

We just talked about his background and how he got to this topic. Let’s talk some more about that because there’s so many things hanging off of income inequality. There’s all kinds of efforts. Talk first about your efforts that you’re doing in Stockton. How do you approach it? Because again, there’s lots of different thoughts about this and some people think it’s … I met someone the other day calling it communism, like, you know what I mean like, okay, yeah, kind of.

I think of it as capitalism with much better guardrails.

Okay, something like that.

The group that I co-run is called the Economic Security Project and what we are trying to do is convene a bigger, broader conversation about how a guaranteed income can work in America. There are a lot of people who are interested in UBI, how might this actually evolve, and there are a lot of people who want to think about what we can do in the next three years, what can we do in the next five years, so a shorter time horizon than …

This is to solve inequality problems right now?


Whereas there’s possible job loss, we’ll get to that.

Exactly. So what we do is we convene a network of academics, policy makers, technologists, artists, all of who are talking about, “How do we attack this?” And as part of that we move money. One of the things that we’ve done is work to support Mayor Michael Tubbs, who is the mayor of Stockton, California. For those of you who are listeners who don’t know, he’s 27 years old, he’s the youngest mayor of a major American city. He’s African-American from a city that is incredibly diverse. He’s the first African-American mayor there in generations and he is committed to exploring how a guaranteed income can work for Stocktonians in the here and now.

This is beyond payments from the government?

Specifically, what we’re doing is supporting a demonstration of the idea that will provide an income to some members of the Stockton community. The community itself will decide who exactly, how much money, the duration, etc. Community meetings are beginning this summer and disbursements are likely to begin in fall.

What does it generalize, I know that the community is deciding this, but there are standards right now growing?

Yeah, one place to begin the number, a lot of people talked about is $ 1,000 a month, others talk about more … in the book I call for $ 500 a month, making the case that modest amounts of money can really have out-sized impacts and go even further. The idea, though, is to invite more people into the conversation and move us out of just the realm of theory, might this be a good idea, into the practical, the here and now.

We have lots of research already from up in Alaska, where they have a small guaranteed income from the Earned Income Tax Credit. The Cherokee in North Carolina have a guaranteed income and not to mention the international stuff and so, yes, we need more evidence. And we’re hopeful that that will emerge, but the real focus is on the storytelling. And Tubbs himself as a leader has already just, in announcing this in the work that he’s doing, brought so many more people into the conversation both in Stockton and nationwide.

Who gets the money in your … That’s going to be decided, but in general who gets it? The poorest, correct? Or not? Or working families?

In Stockton, it will be decided by Stocktonians.

It’s not me that’s going to get $ 1,000. It’s not wealthy people. Or is there a level or should everybody get it?

In the book, I make the case that the best way to start with a guaranteed income today is $ 500 to everyone who’s making $ 50,000 on down. So, it’s a little bit different than a UBI. It’s inspired by the exact same values of cash, no strings attached, to achieve financial stability, recognize the dignity and freedom of each individual, but it’s a more modest place to begin. I make the case that we can and should do this through a modernization of the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Which goes to what level of people?

Right now, this is part of the problem. It’s so complex, you know, the people who get it, it depends on how old you are, how many kids you have, whether or not you’re married, what state you live in, what your wages were like. And, so what ends up happening is that people get, in many cases, quite a lot of money, between $ 500 and $ 6,000 a year, but because it’s not predictable, you don’t know where it’s coming, when it’s coming, how much you’re going to get. It doesn’t provide the fundamental financial stability, which in my view is …

Which is covering rent or?

That’s the problem that I see this is really trying to solve in the here and now. I mean, we know that jobs in America have already come apart. That is what the effects of automation and globalization in particular have done. All the jobs in the past 10 years that we’ve created, 94 percent of them are part-time, contract, temporary, seasonal. They’re the kinds of things that … Yeah, unemployment is near a record low, but the jobs that are out there are not providing the kind of 40-hours-a-week benefits …

Yes, and it’s going to get worse.

Sick leave, retirement benefits. And it’s very likely to get worse.

And then the elimination of some jobs with some of these technologies you’re talking about, some very … especially around automation, especially on self-driving, we don’t know, nobody knows.

That’s the threat that looms, right? Lots of people have predictions, but in some sense … My argument is, we don’t know exactly where the future is going to go and should have a conversation about where it might lead, but we already know quite a lot about what’s already happening to jobs and we need a guaranteed income to stabilize the lives of Americans who are working hard.

What if you’re someone that’s arguing against it, what is your argument against it?

The arguments I hear most often …

What’s the best one that you’d make if you were against it?

The one that comes up the most often is education, particularly in personal context for me. People say, “Well, you came from a middle-class family, a small town in North Carolina, you got a great education and you did super well for yourself, isn’t that just what we need more of?”

“You drag yourself up,” you drag yourself up from a modest background, right?

That’s the argument that a lot of people make. You know, on the one hand, of course we need better education. There’s no question that education in America, we’ve invested a lot of money in it and have seen some benefits but not enough and there’s an important argument to be made for more education.

But what I think we’ve often overlooked is that … Put yourself in the shoes of somebody who’s got a … Let’s say you’ve got a high school [diploma], you’ve been working in a minimum wage job. You want to go back and get retrained for really any kind of job. Right now, we say, “Well, clearly we just need more educational opportunities.” That person, though …

I’ll use this specific example. I was in Ohio last summer talking to people who were specifically in this position. They were working in minimum wage jobs, they wanted to get all kinds of retraining. You begin the conversation like, “Okay, but why aren’t you doing that?” So, first off, where are you going to go? Community college. The closest community college is 45 minutes away. You got to pay for the gas to get there and the tuition, yeah it costs $ 8,000. Well, you can get financial aid, it’s going to cost you $ 1,000. Mind you, as the backdrop, none of these people have savings. You know, half of Americans can’t find $ 400 in the case of emergency. Just from the beginning, you got to find $ 1,000 to pay for their education.

Now from there, if you’ve got kids, you’ve got to figure out childcare. How are you going to pay for that when you’re at school? And then if you’re working in a job already, you’ve got to make up for the lost hours and lost wages that you’re not going to have when you’re already living on the brink, how are you going to do that?

And then, even assuming you can figure out all of those things, when you show up for your class at 8:00 pm there’s an immense amount of evidence that shows that if you’ve already been working a full-time day, you’re exhausted and the likelihood of you being successful in that is quite low.

So my view is, of course we need more education, but let’s not overlook the power that cash has to open up the opportunities to be able to take advantage of the educational opportunities we create.

What about the current push by the Trump administration of, “These are lazy people and they have to work for their money.”

I think that’s preposterous. Not only does that not …

It’s out there in …

It’s a cynical argument that people make.

Of course it is, it’s awful and it’s cruel. Wow, cruelty from this administration. It’s cruel, it’s flat out cruel.

Yeah, absolutely. And I think it’s premised on perpetrating a myth. Specifically it’s this myth of the Welfare Queen, which was authored by none other than Ronald Reagan but is still permeating.

Lee Atwater did it.

Well, in the Reagan era.

Yeah and let’s give credit to Lee Atwater, who has died but frankly deserved a lot of credit for that.

It’s a myth that has been really problematic and really destructive. It’s racialized in the sense that it conjures up this kind of idea of people who just hang out and live on the … Now, of course, the evidence doesn’t show that. If you look at labor force participation rates for African-American women, for instance, and you compare those to white men, guess which group works more?

African-American women.

African-American women. So the data shows that that is not true, and when you actually get out there and talk to working people, you know, it doesn’t take much to actually see that that’s not true. But it’s a cynical kind of story that it’s in the interest of a lot of people in power to continue to [promote].

But that’s what they’re pushing right now around all kinds of things, is that you have to work to get welfare, you have to demonstrate that you can’t … It is never leaving our society, this concept of the lazy poor.

I am hopeful that we can turn a corner. It’s not going to evaporate tomorrow. I don’t want to overstate the case here but I do think that there is a generational shift that’s happening and specifically if we can broaden the definition of work that we use to really recognize what work is.

It’s sort of similar to what happened with marriage. In the marriage fight for LGBT people, for a very long time there was an argument about legalizing same-sex marriage as if it was like another kind of marriage, this thing that’s over here that’s different. And then when the movement shifted and started making the case that no marriage … What is marriage fundamentally about? It’s fundamentally about love and commitment, and love is love and marriage is marriage and we need to make sure that the definition of marriage matches love and matches the time that we live in. The definition of marriage quite literally has expanded over time to recognize the kind of marriage that my husband and I are in, for instance.

Similarly, with work, when we talk about work all the time, clearly a mom or a dad who’s staying home with young kids who are under … particularly if they’re under 5 or 6 and not in school, they’re working and we use the word “work” to describe what they’re doing. Similarly, people engaged in elder care, if you’ve got an aging parent at home, you’re working. And I make the case in the book that students, people involved in education, those people are working, too.

Of course.

If we can expand the definition of work to recognize what people are doing, what you end up with is recognizing the role that virtually every American is playing in society.

Except the people that are doing most of that work are people of color, women are doing two jobs, raising the kids, and we’ve got an issue of around white men essentially that don’t recognize that this is work.

And, they’ve been historically excluded. Like right now, I was in Jackson, Mississippi, three weeks ago meeting with a lot of young African-American moms who lived in public housing and right now many of them were … in fact, all of them were sufficiently poor that they needed the safety net kinds of benefits. Right now, our safety net says what you’re doing at home taking care of your kids? No, no that doesn’t count. You got to go over to Burger King and get a $ 7-an-hour job — and mind you for every $ 7 that they make they’re docked about $ 4 or $ 5 of government benefits that get reduced, so their actual per-hour earnings become quite small. In order to qualify for a whole host of benefits because that’s real work, but the work that you’re doing at home doesn’t count.

Well, there are those who say you shouldn’t have kids. It goes on, it’s a deeply ingrained racism and everything is …

I think it has to change and I think we have to start somewhere. This is going to be a long-term kind of fight because it does tap into big cultural questions. Again, I don’t want to overstate the speed with which this may happen, but I do think it is similar to something like the fight for marriage equality, which over the course of decades we did see a generational and cultural shift.

For the most part, for many. Although still there’s so much retrograde stuff going on.

Not for everyone, yeah.

You know, Chris, only gay people want to get married and go into the military, I don’t know if you know that. No, I wanted to go in the military, I did, I wanted to do both.

So once you start this in place what do you hope to … What is the goal? Is it to show success, show what … Or just watch how it works?

Well, I think we can start in cities and states and build a sense of momentum.

Everything is happening in the cities and states that matters.

Most things are happening in the cities and states, although I do think that … I can talk a little bit about the opportunity, too, at the federal level. In my view, we should begin today like what Mayor Tubbs is doing in Stockton. You could also do this at a state level, it will be a more modest size, a few hundred dollars a month, but we can begin now and see how it works, see how it changes the lives of people who are getting it. Again, we have a lot of evidence already to know but specifically …

How is it changing, people feel a little more relaxed, they can do …

People certainly feel more relaxed. The recipients of cash assistance specifically through the Earned Income Tax Credit, the kids do better in school. They stay in school for longer periods of time, they do better on tests. Health outcomes improve, people are hospitalized less often, there are fewer complications in pregnancies, people who receive the guaranteed income from the Cherokee as they grow into adults have fewer mental health issues.

There’s a lot of evidence about the effective care. And all this, by the way, is domestic, we don’t even have to go to the couple of hundred studies that exist internationally that show all kinds of other benefits, you know, domestic violence rates go down in many cases and all of it.

It’s intuitive, at the end of the day, if you have a little bit more financial stability in your life you’re able to live one step or two steps back from the brink. We’re not talking about so much money that everybody wins the lottery and we’re like all just, you know, hanging out, putting up our feet, whatever the worst images are that the critics conjure up.

Lazy, eating Cheetos. Cheetos is always involved.

So there’s a lot of evidence. Developing more of a track record at the city level and at the state level and then I do think long-term at the federal level. You know, we just saw a tax bill that got passed at the end of last year, which gave massive cuts …

That was Rich People’s Universal Basic Income.

Giving massive cuts to the 1 percent and to corporations and doubled down on what I consider a debunked theory of trickle-down economics. We’ve been doing this for 40 years and median wages have not meaningfully budged, and yet …

The rich get richer.

The rich get richer and they made a decision to double down on that. Now I think that there is a movement already growing to repeal and replace that law and to rethink it. And I do think that there’s an opportunity to put a modernized Earned Income Tax Credit, which essentially provides a guaranteed income for working people, at the center of that kind of bill.

Now, whether that will happen in 2021 or, I don’t know, 2025, I mean, who knows? So many things can change, but the cynicism that’s permeating our culture about change in Washington and at other levels is the biggest hurdle. We have to begin to think creatively and begin to organize on these ideas.

You know about Sheryl Sandberg’s, I think with the College Track people, giving them cash because they need it for rent. She has a thing where she’s giving away the people who are on College Track. They get money so they can pay the rent, they can do summer internships they couldn’t afford. She’s just giving them money like she …

This is a similar concept, because what happens when they go to college through College Track, poor kids don’t know how to dress, they don’t know how to network, they can’t take summer jobs that are easy. Sometimes their parents rely on them and so the concept is give them cash to pay for those things and give them an extra comfort.

I don’t know that much about it but from what you describe it seems to make a lot of sense. I do think people often ask, again, why is it that cash is so … I was on financial aid in college. Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Muscovites, they dropped out and I was out here that first summer when they decided to stay here and I went back, and a lot of people say, “Well, do you regret that decision?” Because on paper it was the wrong decision from a financial perspective, and to be honest it wasn’t even ever really a decision for me because …

You had to go back.

Because the idea … I mean, if I were to be here, what am I going to do? Work at Starbucks all day and then come home to work at Facebook marketing? I guess I could have, but I was at Harvard and was the first of my family to have that kind of opportunity and so … Anyway, my point is this, a lot of people in college now have a guaranteed income and it comes from their parents — and my kid one day will have that too, so I’m in that category now — but a lot of other people don’t. We have a responsibility to even the playing field and to counteract how those generational cycles …

That was very important about your own experience there. They could afford to be startup people in a different way.

We’re here with Chris Hughes, he’s one of the founders of Facebook. He is very interested in income inequality with his new book “Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn.”

The changing workplace, are you worried about … You’ve benefited from technology financially and have been part of the technology sector for part of your life. Are you worried about job loss or things like that because that could stress this system even more?

I am. Alot of people are convinced that artificial intelligence is going to create mass technical unemployment.

Well, it’s combined automation, there’s a whole bunch.

It’s automation, it’s artificial intelligence, exactly.

Economics, self-driving.

Exactly, it’s a combination of multiple trends. There are a lot of economists who think that’s crazy and I talk to a lot of them, too. Jason Forman, who played a prominent role in the Obama administration, has particularly carved out a play saying, “You know, in the long-term this is unlikely to happen.” I’m concerned about it but I also don’t … I’m not in the class where I’m here saying, “It’s going to happen, it’s a fait accompli, it’s a done deal.” It may or may not.

But what I do think the trends are very clear about is the increasing fragmentation of jobs already, and it’s the gig economy that is indicative of that — the Lyft drivers and Uber drivers — but it’s also the worker at Starbucks who can only get 25 hours and who doesn’t know next week if she’ll get 10 or 40.

Or when.

The idea that you need to be able to plan, planning is made very, very difficult.

That’s very important.

You’re constantly stressed if you don’t know you’re going to be able to make rent. Yeah, you have a job, you have some hours, but if you’re not going to get enough then you’re constantly living on …

You’re in a constant state of instability.

I worry about the wholesale job loss, absolutely, but I’m also personally really intent on making clear that wherever you fall on whether or not that’s the future or not the future, we already need a guaranteed income.

I think it’s interesting. Marc Andreessen is a big proponent of this, that in the end it will be like farming to manufacturing and we’ll have more jobs than ever.

The reason I’m so interested in it this past year — we’ve done a special on MSNBC about it, we’re going to do a lot more of them — is because he was saying, I said, “The blacksmiths, what happened to them?” and he goes, “I don’t care what happened to the blacksmiths,” and I was like, “Yeah, but they had families and something happened, something not good happened to those people.” Did they retrain?

There was social unrest during that whole period, there was enormous social unrest with the farming to manufacturing economy, and we forget because we’re a national of perpetually forgetting our history. It’s happened several times, these shifts in technologies, really.

And people make the argument, too, around not just retraining but mobility. Well, yeah, the blacksmiths of today, they should just move to where all the jobs are.

Who’s going to teach them? I just want to know who’s going to retrain …

The average move across job lines cost over $ 5,000 and half of Americans can’t find $ 400 in case their car breaks down, so this idea that you’re just supposed to pack up, turn off the lights and magically move to a place where housing alone is probably five times as expensive as where you were before, it’s crazy.

I think I want to get to the idea of this 1 percent, not just the fragmentation but the wealthiest concentration of wealth moving higher and higher up to a smaller and smaller amount of people. Because I firmly believe there’s a group of people at the top who have benefited from the future. At the very top, the obscenely wealthy love the future, they will be able to change, they will be able to afford it, they will be able to teach themselves, they’re interested in teaching themselves.

Then there’s a vast group of people in the middle who like the future, are scared of the future, and this group on the top is not pulling them up and presumably they would pull the ones below them up further, but there’s no pulling up by the wealthy here. Here’s you saying that the 1 percent should pay this. We’ve just had a tax cut where the 1 percent got paid. What do you imagine this … why the 1 percent doesn’t have this duty to take care?

In San Francisco, it’s the same thing. You can see the streets right now and it’s hard living here with people doing drugs on the streets, you are like, they’re lying on the streets doing drugs in front of my house. This is not good as a taxpayer and you feel badly for feeling that way too, but most people don’t feel badly about thinking about people in that way.

Well, I think a lot of the people that I talk to are cognizant of a sense of responsibility they have to other people. It’s in San Francisco, it’s in New York. I’ll paint with a broad brush and then I’ll be a little more specific about what I mean. I think that there is a sense, particularly amongst people who have been successful in technology, that the rewards that have come are very much historically unique.

I mean, we’ve never lived in a time where 20-year-olds are able to go from zero dollars to hundreds of millions of dollars, billions of dollars, before. Royalty is like the closest thing, hundreds of years ago, and so that is … I do think that there’s a widening sense that something is happening in the economy that makes that possible, and it’s happening at the exact same time that everybody else is having a hard time making ends meet.

That middle group that you’re discussing, those folks have not gotten a raise in 40 years but the cost of living is 30 percent higher. I do think that there’s increasingly a sense of responsibility. Now that’s probably more on the left than on the right, but my hope is to appeal not only to a sense of moral responsibility but also a sense of pragmatism. And by that I mean what we know about what creates long-term economic growth is that consumer spending is the biggest driver of that, and if you put $ 100 in the pockets really of anybody in your description there, anybody in the middle or at the bottom, they’re going to spend most of that money on whatever is most urgent for them: Housing, health care, education.

You put $ 100 in the pockets of the 1 percent, we know it goes into a bank account. It goes to work in complex financial moves but it’s not part of the productive economy. There was a study that the Roosevelt Institute did last year that modeled out, if you give $ 500 for guaranteed income to every American, what would happen to the economy? And the model shows that over the next eight years GDP would grow by 7 percent.

Based on just that amount.

Based just on that amount. And so my argument is that I think in the long run a guaranteed income is good for everyone, certainly for the middle class and the poor who need the funds the most, but it should also be good for …

The producers, the wealthy.

For the wealthy as well because it creates a kind of broad-based economic growth.

Just specifically to talk about the pay for a moment. I think tax rates on income of $ 250,000 and higher should come into line with their historical average of 50 percent. That’s where they were for much of the 20th century, for the decades after the Second World War really up until 1980 ,that’s in line with where they were. And it just so happens that that’s the period when economic growth was not only the biggest but also the most broadly shared and we had plenty of innovation, plenty of smart people starting all kinds of new companies. The idea that if taxes were higher on that income that we wouldn’t have started Facebook, that’s just not true.

It’s nonsense.

And the way that that would play out is because it’s income above, if you’re making $ 300,000, which in some parts of the country definitely makes you wealthy but not, let’s say, a part of the winner-take-all. What you’re talking about is a few more like $ 7,000 more in taxes to fund a guaranteed income. If you made $ 10 million, well, what we’re talking about is your tax bill would be $ 1.5 million higher than it is today, and it is my view that that is more in line with where our finances should be in. We can and should ask the members of that 1 percent to be footing the bill, to make sure that everybody else can enjoy the economic opportunity …

You’re with a group of people in tech who talk about that but I deal with a lot of people from Wall Street and stuff like that and I am always astounded by the continued greed of incredibly wealthy people.

I think it’s short-sighted. I think in the long-term it’s …

I would agree. I was talking to someone who is enormously wealthy, really, they were driving me crazy and I finally said, “You know, you’re so poor all you have is money.” Like, “I don’t know what to say.” He was so insulted. He was like, “Why could you say that to me?” I’m like, I just, “You’re so poor, I just don’t know how to explain it to you. You’re just …” It’s astonishing.

I’m constantly surprised by it when you get to a certain level of income and you can’t understand because you know you don’t want to give it to government, the government is somewhat incompetent. Like, “I don’t want to give it to those bozos to hand out.” I feel like when I pay … I pay a lot of taxes and I’m like, “I don’t want to give it to those crazy military people,” like everybody has a thing.

That’s why the Earned Income Tax Credit is the structure that I’m talking about using to build the guaranteed income. It has historically been really popular on the right as well as the left.

I would like to give it to regular people. Yeah, I’m good with people just getting cash.

Every president in the United States since 1975, Republican and Democrat alike, every single one has meaningfully expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit. And it’s for that reason, not only because of the evidence it shows that it works but because there’s a sense that on the right …

Also, it’s a good gimme, it’s a good gimme.

Well, I think there’s a sense on the right that we should put the money in the hands of the people.

The people’s pockets.

Of people who can figure out how to use it themselves.

That was the argument for the tax cuts.

Well, but in that case it’s for the 1 percent, not for …

Didn’t you hear Paul Ryan, didn’t you hear what he …

Well, talk about a cynical kind of … I mean, every non-partisan analysis of the tax bill shows that there are massive disproportionate returns to the 1 percent, not to …

I like that you’re saying, “Talk about cynical,” at this moment in history.

So, let’s finish up, we only have a few more minutes. Talking about politics right now, you’re in … how do you look at the political scene? Your husband is working on the resistance and Facebook has gotten smacked hard. You don’t have to just talk about Facebook but, please do Twitter, Facebook, Google, YouTube?

Well, I mean, so many things. I think the news coming out of Washington, it’s hard to imagine it being more depressing. However, I do think that Trump’s election has been a wake-up call on the left and the right that a lot of people feel that the system is rigged against them and they are willing to embrace a very, very different perspective. It’s scary when Trump is in the White House pushing the policies that he is pushing, but I think the opportunity is, people are open to kinds of crazier kinds of ideas. Guaranteed income a few years ago was on the fringe. I think it’s increasingly becoming part of the mainstream.

I think, though, that we’ve got to counteract the sense that things are just going to always be the way that they are. The economy is going to always be the way it is, so politics is always going to be the way that it is and there’s a lot of evidence in the enthusiasm on the left. You know, you look at the Women’s March, this march that’s planned in a couple of weeks around gun violence across the country. There are a lot of reasons to be hopeful. As you said at the top of the conversation, votes matter, and what happens this November and then in November of 2020.

The only people that are voting are … thank goodness for African-American women. That’s it. The rest of them, millennials, I want to smack them upside the head.

And specifically Facebook. I think Facebook is increasingly recognizing the responsibility that it has.

Slow progress.

Slowly but increasingly and overdue.

Yeah, sorry about that American democracy problem. But, I mean, it was slow.

It was slow, absolutely.

We were all screaming about it a year ago and they just, they slowed all this all the way to today.

It has been slow. But I think what’s happened …

Why is that? You worked with these people.

Oof. I would speculate about that just as much as you or anyone else. I think that there was a sense that Facebook as a platform was a kind of neutral algorithm. It’s just a thing that works in the basement. It’s like, you just surface things and there’s nobody …

I’m giving you my “Mm-hmm.”

When in reality, I mean, humans make the decision about how these algorithms work and right now we are seeing a different approach from Facebook.

You think they’re taking advantage of that?

With local news in particular, I find that the initiative around local news that I have … I mean, I haven’t talked to anyone at Facebook about this. I’ve read the journalism that you’ve done and many others have done to be some of the most interesting. They’re specifically working with a dozen local news outlets to do two things.

One, to help them understand how to surface their journalism to bigger and broader audiences on the platform but also to adjust the algorithms to make sure more people see it. Which is really remarkable, right? Because it is a normative statement that local news matters and is important and that specifically Facebook has a responsibility to ensure that people see it. Now is that going to be enough? Absolutely not, we’ve got to think about foreign powers meddling in the election.

Why didn’t they see it, weren’t geniuses what … I mean, I’m being reductive there but you know what I mean.

Your guess is as good as mine on that. I think that they’re turning a corner now and are focused on …

An understatement. I literally was just in an argument on Twitter with the head of ads who was like, “Well, it’s not our fault.” I’m like, “Stop, just stop talking.”

What was he saying?

He was saying that it wasn’t truly their fault.

“It” being the Russian stuff.

The Russians. I think I just said, “Hush. Stop talking. Just stop, please.”

Yeah, I think it’s very clear. I mean, you have a responsibility to make sure foreign powers don’t hack our elections. And the problem is, okay, well, how do you define “hack”? But propagating fake news on a platform to support one candidate over another is a problem.

Well, you know, the thing is, to their defense, it’s a company, not a government fighting a government. I know, but it’s a government, right? You made a face.

I mean, it’s a company, but this idea that companies don’t have responsibilities, that’s just not my worldview.

Oh, yes, of course, but I’m saying our government didn’t intervene. Well, you know these companies can’t do it by themselves, this has got to be an effort …

Well, yes, government has … I mean, if I’m talking about the …

Not the Trump government. The Obama administration certainly had a responsibility here to be more active.

Absolutely. And I am worried about the election this fall. We have evidence to show that the Russians in particular, it’s very clear, tried very hard to hack the voting systems in several states, and we have not made … I have seen no progress from a federal perspective in making sure that these elections are going to be safe and secure. There’s been some media coverage of it, but frankly, I think there’s been more media coverage of Facebook’s role than the imperative for a stronger security system. And clearly, we need more coverage of both. I think on all of this, we need to be talking about it all much more robustly, because this problem is not going to go away.

Well, this particular administration is so cynical, it’s a disturbingly cynical administration, which doesn’t mind creating havoc. In the end, it’s a group of people that love havoc and are also not very smart.

Well, but to say that sort of suggests … I mean, we have a responsibility, democracy, whatever your politics, democracy … In the democratic system it’s the responsibility of people in power to govern and defend it.

Of course, but you know, we have a president who just joked that it was good that the Chinese … I mean, you know, like, come on. It’s so funny because it’s sort of like …

Well, let’s just not excuse that, let’s not be …

I’m not excusing it.

No, I’m not saying you are, but we just can’t have this air of resignation like, “Oh, they’re just crazy and nothing is ever going to happen.”

They’re not crazy-crazy, you know. They’re not crazy, it’s just that it’s impossible to do anything when good people don’t stand up. And I’m talking about the Republicans most of the time because it’s the enablers to me who are the real problem now, which is interesting, but this will be done by voting. Chris, when do you imagine you have — we’re going to finish up — when do you imagine success for this?

The more this idea is talked about in the mainstream, not just in political conversations but around dining room tables, over coffee and over …

And how you put out there, of course.

I think that’s success in the short term. In the long run, clearly, we want public policy to change, but success in the next couple of years will be people talking seriously about how can get a guaranteed income done in one way or another? Maybe through the Earned Income Tax Credit, maybe through other kinds of ways, but the more we’re rolling up our sleeves and thinking about, “How do you guarantee financial stability through cash?” That’s the success in the near term.

You have actually convinced me. And now I’m thinking about definitely, you know, some scenario I’m interested in. You know, I agree you, I think giving people … Listen, I’d rather that than the latest tank or the latest whatever the hell our government is spending money on. I’d rather give it to average people who need a break, which would be nice so they can get to one among our many, many, many problems in this country.

Anyway, we have a lot of great things, too, and our generosity, although some people don’t agree with it, would be one of them. Chris, it was great talking to you. You’ve had a fascinating career since you stopped funding like fancy magazines. This is much better than the fancy magazines, and people who hate you no matter what you do just so, yeah.

I’ll say, “Swisher told me to do it.”

I could have told you that Chris, “Just give away money to people who actually appreciate it,” but buying a media company, still. I don’t know which one you should buy, but you should. I appreciate the effort.

I think I’m out of that.

You’re out of that business, no more Chris Hughes. Is there even one for sale? I don’t know, there’s always something for sale, Chris. It was great talking and thanks for coming on the show.

Recode – All

Cash For Apps: Make money with android app

‘The Blockheads’ 1.7 Update Adds Expert Mode and New Features – Check Out the Full Patch Notes

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Majic Jungle’s The Blockheads [Free] is still kicking five years after release, and update 1.7, out now, is a dramatic new update. The biggest feature? Pets! You can now tame creatures, including sharks and dodos, and breed unicorns that fly through the sky with rainbow sparkles. Seriously. Dodos can even lay special eggs that help provide special resources.

If you’ve played the heck out of The Blockheads and want a fresh new start, there’s a new expert mode to play. This has a redesigned tech tree that gives players a different but apparent progression through the game, with some other tweaks to make the game more difficult. This mode is available in cooperative play, and you’ll need the help!

New customization options are available after you craft a mirror, and there’s new faces, colors, and hairstyles available. Trade portals got a bit of a nerf, with a greater difference between the buy and sell price for items, and you can only buy items you have already discovered. Custom rules worlds can play with the old rules if the want. Also, job listings are now available at trade portals, so you can send your other Blockheads off-world to complete tasks for you.

Check out the full patch notes for all the changes:

– Added mob taming, by feeding a given mob the correct food/item
– Added dodo breeding, resource eggs , egg extractor
– Added donkey breeding, rainbow cake.
– Added mirror to customize blockhead appearance
– Added new blockhead skins
– You can now rename blockheads
– Added gates
– Added cages
– Added wheat, flour, yeast, dough, bread, flatbread
– Added tomatoes
– Added pizza oven and pizza
– Added yaks, yak horns, razors, yak shavings, milk, mozzarella
– Added plaster block and luminous plaster block
– Added gem blocks, craftable at a press
– Adds D-pad for direct control of blockheads, and as an alternative to tilt control for boats/handcars/donkeys etc.
– Added job listings at trade portals
– Added new custom rules for teleportation, meditation, pole item degrading/respawning, blockhead death drops, trade portal buy/sell tax, and whether you need to discover items before you can buy them at trade portals
– There is now wind, which affects clouds, rain, and some particles, blows fruit off trees, and lowers blockhead happiness due to exposure
– New HD clouds
– The time required to craft is now shown both before and during crafting
– You can now change the area covered by ownership signs
– Added /clear command to clear the chat
– Expert mode added, see below

– New font
– New look buttons
– Baby dodos!
– Pole items now slowly degenerate over time like other clothing, and respawn at the poles 40 days after removal. This is configurable in custom rules.
– The time crystal item has been mostly removed, should be impossible to do anything useful with any that remain
– Coffee cherries now give a 10 second extra speed bonus- All food now gives a small energy boost
– Energy now goes down a little faster to compensate
– Foods now replenish half as much food and health
– Sleep now also replenishes health slowly
– Plant harvesting has been changed so you always harvest the entire plant no matter which part of it you tap. (excludes vines and kelp)
– Plants no longer give a correct tool bonus when harvested by digging the block below with a spade
– Plant item drop counts have changed
– Sunflowers now emit light
– Time crystal and gold ore and gold blocks now have a larger light radius, which matches the gem block light radius.
– Boat moved to woodwork bench
– String moved to weave workbench
– After a rewarded video is watched, you need to wait 10 minutes before another will become available
– Fur is now a little harder to come by from drop bears
– Game Center multiplayer is no longer supported
– ‘Share a link’ crystal reward has been removed
– All tools and weapons now lose durability 4x faster per strike if they are used as a weapon
– The way animals spawn, feed and breed has totally changed, with longer lifetimes and different spawn rates
– Trees above 3 blocks tall will now always give at least one fruit per season
– Dodo feather drop on death is now 50% chance instead of 1 + 50%.
– Fruit now falls off the trees at the end of the fruiting season, and stays on the ground for one day.
– Tool decay custom rules are now 2x and 1/2x, not 4x and 1/4x
– Water is no longer removed when capturing a fish or shark in a bucket
– Dodos and donkeys now eat food lying around on the ground
– When a mob or kelp is frozen in ice, it will no longer die, but will be preserved in its current state until it thaws and comes to life again
– Drops from plants no longer make a sound unless they are being harvested by a blockhead
– New sword sound
– HD textures are now free, and are the default
– Trade portals now have a far greater tax between buying and selling, 0.5x the base price when selling, 2x the base price when buying. This is configurable in custom rules.
– Trade portals now require that you have picked up each item before you are able to buy/sell it in each world, however all items < 1.7 are unlocked in worlds you have already played in with 1.6. This is also configurable in custom rules.
– Happiness no longer influences craft speed
– Renamed ‘vanilla’ or ‘normal’ to ‘survival’ when used in text as a comparison to custom rules
– Diamonds and diamond colored things now are a whiter color
– Gems now emit a longer reaching light
– Donkeys now suffer fall damage, can die from high falls
– Scorpions now have babies even if there is a back wall
– All mobs except cave trolls now take damage from high temperatures
– New UI for selecting sun color
– If you tap while riding something, you now see a button to ‘STOP RIDING’ instead of immediately jumping off
– If the custom rules setting for world modification is set to disallowed or admin only, ownership signs can now be used to allow certain players to modify restricted areas
– If you don’t have permission to remove/modify a sign, you now can’t mine/modify the block behind it
– Chat notifications are suppressed if the UI to mute another player is visible

– Expert Mode:

Adjustable with custom rules:
– Teleportation requires diamond portal
– Tools are used up at half the rate, as long as they are not used in an attack
– Hunger rate doubled
– Doubles damage received when harmed in any way
– All items dropped when you die
– Cannot meditate

Not adjustable with custom rules:
– Totally new progression through workbenches with new crafting recipes for most items
– Cannot get a workbench using time crystals, it must be crafted at a portal
– Trade portal crafting requires diamond portal
– In order to use any workbench/crafting block other than the spawn portal, you must be the one who placed it
– Number of time crystal blocks has been doubled
– Ore bonus with correct tool reduced from 3x to 2x
– Plant drops are lower, and more related to current tool and whether it’s currently flowering. It’s possible to get no seed drop.
– Trees and branches don’t drop anything extra when they fall as the result of another block being removed, the only drops come from the single block which was chopped
– Dead trees don’t leave any drops
– Less leather & fur drops from dropbears and donkeys
– Less fruit grows on trees
– Fewer treasure chests, and only in caves, not under beaches
– Energy given by coffee and other food items halved
– Low happiness gives a greater penalty to mine speed
– Pole items have reduced effects
– Health increase while sleeping is half that of normal mode

The Blockheads update 1.7 is out now.


Cash For Apps: Make money with android app

Full transcript: Chain CEO Adam Ludwin answers cryptocurrency questions on Too Embarrassed to Ask

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

“It’s this sort of tug-of-war between FUD and FOMO that drives the [bitcoin] price in the short run.”

On this episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask, Kara Swisher and Lauren Goode tackle the blockchain, ICOs and cryptocurrencies with the help of Chain CEO Adam Ludwin. He explains what all of those terms mean and the differences among blockchain-related products and assets, including bitcoin, ethereum, lytecoin and filecoin.

You can read a write-up of the interview here or listen to the whole thing in the audio player above. Below, we’ve posted a lightly edited complete transcript of their conversation.

If you like this, be sure to subscribe to Too Embarrassed to Ask on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Kara Swisher: Hi. I’m Kara Swisher, executive editor of Recode.

Lauren Goode: And I’m Lauren Goode, senior tech editor at The Verge.

KS: And you’re listening to Too Embarrassed to Ask, coming at you from the Vox Media podcast network. This is a show where we answer all of your embarrassing questions about consumer tech.

LG: It could be anything at all, like, “Kara, what are we going to name our cryptocurrency when we start something to finance the future of this show?”

KS: Karacoin. Karacoin.

LG: Oh, I like that.

KS: Yeah.

LG: I like Goode … No, Goodebit? Goodebit might be good.

KS: That’s nice. That’s good, too.

LG: Goodethereum.

KS: No. So send us your questions. Find us on Twitter or tweet them to @Recode or myself or to Lauren with the hashtag #TooEmbarrassed.

LG: We also have an email address. It’s, and a friendly reminder, there are two Rs and two Ss in “embarrassed.”

KS: There’s been a lot of interest in bitcoin and cryptocurrency, so a lot of people have a lot of questions and don’t know about it. They’re very interested in learning a lot more about it. There’s a lot of crazy people involved. There’s a lot of hype. There’s a lot of all kinds of stuff, and so we wanted to bring in someone to get some answers. Today on Too Embarrassed to Ask, we’re delighted to have Adam Ludwin in the studio. He’s the CEO of Chain, of course that’s the name, a private blockchain company. He’s going to explain what that means.

LG: I guess that means Chain is taken. We can’t do, like, Karachain.

KS: No, we’re not going to do that.

LG: We could, but … Yeah, we’re going to be answering all of your questions about blockchain, cryptocurrencies, ICOs that we’ve been hearing a lot about lately. Not quite sure I fully understand. Then, surprisingly, you sent in a lot of questions, so we’re very happy to have Adam here. Adam, welcome to the show.

Adam Ludwin: Thank you. Great to be here.

KS: Let’s just … Explain what Chain does, and then we’ll get into the basics of bitcoin. Nothing is too stupid for us, let’s just keep that in mind. You know what I mean? I think most people are confused by all the variety of things. It’s probably like the beginning of the internet, which sort of sorted itself out. So what does Chain do? And then we have lots of different questions.

Sure. Chain helps financial institutions take advantage of this new technology, basically to do two things. One, to transform their infrastructure. You can think of a blockchain as kind of like a new type of database. It’s helpful even if you’re just tracking existing financial instruments, like securities or loyalty points. But many financial institutions are also looking ahead at connecting into these public networks, like these cryptocurrency networks that you mentioned at the top of the show, which we can talk more about. We also help them to connect into that, and we hope over time bring the assets that they’re dealing with onto these new rails.

KS: Onto the new rails, all right. How did you get started in that? What was the … You were a lot of places. You were at RRE, so you were a venture capitalist, essentially.

That’s right. I was a …

KS: Consultant. All kinds of stuff.

Yeah. All sorts of jobs I actually don’t recommend many people try to do.

KS: Okay. How come blockchain?

I was working as a VC, and I was working at a fintech-oriented VC firm called RRE in New York City. I was working for the former CEO of American Express, Jim Robinson. Because of that, even though my job was kind of to do the non-fintech stuff, friends would always send me fintech ideas. I had a friend send me the bitcoin white paper in 2011 and basically say, “What do you think of this startup?” Of course, I quickly learned bitcoin wasn’t a startup, but I was completely captivated by what I was reading.

KS: Why?

Simply because all the fintech that I was looking at and investing in at RRE companies like Venmo and Square and Stripe, these were companies that were sitting at the top of the existing financial stack, the stack being governments …

KS: Underneath, right.

… central banks, regular commercial banks …

KS: Compliance.

… credit card networks, all the compliances. This big fat stack that equals financial services, and fintech … including today, when you think fintech, you’re really talking about these thin layers of user interface …

KS: Or apps, yeah.

… and apps that make it easier to use. Bitcoin was like a huge red reset button that said, “That stack isn’t relevant anymore. We already have the internet. What’s the least we can add to the internet to get back to money?” The answer was a few thousand lines of code, basically. That was conceptually very exciting.

It also struck me that it would take a very long time, if this thing ever became a meaningful part of the economy and the way financial services would work, it would take a very long time to get there. Nonetheless, I started meeting entrepreneurs, meeting startups that were trying to do something with bitcoin. It led me down the rabbit hole. Eventually, I decided I needed to spend all my time on this. RRE very graciously gave me a little bit of seed capital to get me started and that’s when Chain got off the ground.

KS: And you focused on financial firms because it was the lowest-hanging fruit, presumably?

Yeah, our original business plan was, “Let’s make it easy to build with blockchain technology.” We started with developers. We kind of then graduated into larger enterprises. Even to this day, the entire crypto and blockchain space I think is still characterized best as a frontier technology. It’s sort of like VR and AI and robots and drones. There’s definitely some clear value that people have identified, but generally, it’s still largely exploratory. That’s what’s exciting about it, but can also be frustrating if you’re an entrepreneur in this space. It’s nothing like building an iPhone app, for example.

KS: Right, right, and it’s … Go ahead, Lauren.

LG: That was actually going to be my next question. I want to get to bitcoin more, but one question I’ve been too embarrassed to ask is, when you start to consult with companies and tell them, “Here’s your blockchain strategy and here’s what you need,” does that actually translate into them hiring a bunch of people who are expert or knowledgeable in this area, and then they sit in cubes all day and they maintain their database for this company? How does that actually work?

The question we often get in the very first meeting with a traditional financial company is, “Hey, we’d love to do something with blockchain. Can you help us?” Then I’ll usually say, “Well, what’s your problem exactly that you’re trying to solve?” There’s often not a good answer to that very simple follow-up question because, like so many other buzzwords, large institutions, executives, they hear about a buzzword and they say, “Well, we’ve got to do something in this area.”

At the same time, there are meaningful use cases and opportunities that we’ve found and are pursuing, but a lot of the activity is just that: Activity without really substantial impact.

KS: Right. So what is blockchain, really? What is it? Explain. Do it as if you had to do the simple elevator pitch.

Sure. I’m going to answer the question.

KS: Very good.

I’m going to answer the question, but then I’m going to answer a slightly different one, which is, “What is cryptocurrency?” if that’s okay.

KS: Right, yes, that’s true.

Because they’re related.

KS: I just was at an event where someone said, “Blockchain is gold, but not as dumb.”

Interesting. I’ll build on that.

KS: Okay. Well, I think it’s true.

To me, blockchain is two very different things. On the one hand, as a very simple technical answer, it’s just a new type of data structure. It’s a different type of database.

KS: Stores values.

Just a way to store data, actually.

KS: Data, right. Okay.

That’s one extreme and that’s true. At the other extreme, in a much more conceptual sense it is a new internet counterculture. It’s both of those things. Collectively, all the activity you see around the blockchain space is a sort of decentralized movement to sort of challenge the status quo in both Silicon Valley, the sort of FANG stocks, as well as Wall Street. Yet, it’s just a new type of database. So I think neither of those answers actually are very instructive.

KS: Well, it’s a database that doesn’t need gatekeepers.

When implemented in a decentralized fashion like cryptocurrency, it’s exactly that: A database that’s updated without a central authority making those updates.

LG: Does it have to be digital? Can it exist in an analog form or … Actually, Adrian Jeffries from The Verge just wrote a really good piece about blockchain that I encourage everyone to go read, but that was one of the things that was brought up. Does it have to be digital?

That’s interesting. If your listeners Google “bitcoin mining by hand” or on paper, there was someone who actually mined a bitcoin block, did all the mathematical hashing functions with pencil and paper, so maybe there is something to that.

Let me define cryptocurrency because I think that is the central question I think people are still trying to wrap their minds around. What is bitcoin? What is Ethereum? What is filecoin? What are all these ICOs?

I think the best way to understand cryptocurrency is that it’s a new asset class. Like every other asset class, it doesn’t exist for its own self. It’s serving some other form of organization. You think of equities as an asset class, they support companies. You think of bonds, government bonds, they support government borrowing. You think of real estate supporting property owners.

So cryptocurrencies are no different. They’re enabling some higher form of organization, and what that is is called basically decentralized software or decentralized applications. So cryptocurrencies enable decentralized applications. That’s sort of it. Decentralized applications are a new idea and bitcoin was the first decentralized application. It was a decentralized application for payments. It was a way to, say, look at something like PayPal and replace the company with a protocol in a network. It’s for payments.

KS: Right, and give it value.

That’s right. Ethereum, it’s a little bit more meta because it’s a decentralized application for creating decentralized applications, so you sort of have to think of Ethereum like a tree. And if you really want to get at what it’s for you’ve got to look at the fruit and sort of ask, okay, well, do I think this decentralized application, whether it’s a voting system or a prediction market, is useful and interesting.

There’s another one called filecoin, another cryptocurrency where it’s a decentralized application for file storage. So similar to bitcoin looking at PayPal and saying let’s decentralize this, filecoin looks at something like Dropbox or a cloud storage service and asks the question, “Do we really need a centralized application and a company around that application to manage file storage when we have the internet and these protocols in an economic token that we can use to incent people to organize in this new way?”

Cryptocurrencies are really about enabling this new software model, and I think the open question for everyone is in which circumstances are these decentralized software models — which, by the way, are a lot less efficient, a lot harder to use.

KS: Take a lot more energy.

Take a lot more energy. There’s a lot of downsides to them.

KS: Slower.

Slower. So in what situations are they better and on what dimensions are they really differentiated from a centralized product?

KS: What exists. The centralized product, like, you could get it. You could transfer money in seconds and these take what, minutes?

It’s just hard to argue that for everyone bitcoin is better than Visa or filecoin is better than Dropbox or Ethereum is better than Amazon Web Services. What I’ve identified as one attribute that cuts across all decentralized services that centralized services just don’t have, don’t even aspire to have, is censorship resistance. Basically this ability for me to send anyone in the world bitcoin and really nobody can stop the two parties.

KS: Right. Which is why criminals and the porn people love it. At the same time, other people that don’t like all the gatekeepers love it too. Explain Ripple, then, because they’re saying Ripple could be the next bitcoin. Explain what it is and …

Sure. There are two technologies that are called Ripple and Stellar, similar models actually founded by the same person. Ripple and Stellar have a different model than bitcoin. The primary, the best way I could explain this is if you go look at the bitcoin network — and you can do this. There’s a website called and you can just sit there and watch bitcoin transactions streaming through.

What you’ll see is it’s just different people, you won’t know who they are. It will be anonymous. You’ll see this person sent two bitcoins to this person. You can just watch the network. It’s pretty cool. If you look at the Ripple ledger or the Stellar ledger, again, these are global public ledgers, if you look at those you won’t see primarily the Ripple asset, which is called XRP, or the Stellar asset, which is called Lumen. What you will see instead are all sorts of other assets that are riding on top of those ledgers.

So the core idea in a technology like Ripple is to allow you to anchor in or tether in other assets, but use it as a open rail. I think I get excited about that sort of technology because it starts to now allow us to think about moving assets that are meaningful to us — dollars, loyalty points, securities, bonds — but benefit from very low cost, very transparent, very efficient movement.

KS: Movement. Mm-hmm.

LG: I want to make sure I follow you here because I’m actually on right now and I see some of the transactions you’re talking about. It’s all BTC, it’s all bitcoin. The other things you’re describing, you’re saying that those are more open? Like Ripple is the equivalent of bitcoin in the sense that it’s a cryptocurrency, but it’s also providing the rails that others can trade on?


LG: Yeah, I think we’re going to have to break this down a little more.

Yeah, so I’ll explain a little bit more. So let’s start with bitcoin and then we’ll come back to Ripple. Part of what’s so difficult in terms of understanding bitcoin is that bitcoin actually serves three purposes on the bitcoin network. There’s a whole bunch getting conflated. It’s very elegant, but it’s helpful to unpack it.

So what are those three purposes? The first is that it provides the economic incentive or reward for the so-called miners which are processing the transactions to do that processing work. They don’t do it out of the goodness of their heart.

KS: They get a piece of it.

They’re getting paid, and so they’re getting paid in bitcoin. That’s its first use.

KS: It goes up in value.

That’s right. Its second use is as the fees that you pay to send a bitcoin transaction. So it actually costs a little bit of bitcoin to send bitcoin. It’s the fee or like the postage stamp that you would put on the envelope. The third thing is it’s the thing you’re sending on the network, right?

KS: Mm-hmm.

It’s like the store value that you’re sending and then you can translate to whatever your local value is, so it’s all three of those in one. In other blockchain models, those three get separated out, and Ripple is a good example. In the case of Ripple or Stellar, their respective tokens are only one of those three things, really. It’s the fee. To send a transaction on Stellar or on Ripple, you have to use their respective token as the postage stamp.

But what’s in the envelope isn’t also that — it can be, but usually it’s not. What it’s designed for is to put any arbitrary asset in that envelope and therefore benefit from the same …

KS: And transfer it.

… transfer model as bitcoin, but allow you to send other things.

KS: Right, not just bitcoin.

Not just bitcoin. I think that’s really important, because I think until we see a convergence of these open rails with assets that actually touch businesses and consumers …

KS: Meaning you’ve got to be able to spend it on something.

That’s right.

KS: So you don’t buy something in bitcoin. You don’t buy anything and … You’ve got to be able to trade in bitcoin for a horse or whatever the heck you want to buy.

That’s right. Bitcoin is not a particularly good medium of exchange. It’s very volatile, which isn’t its fault. It’s just the reality of the way the market works, but therefore it’s not desirable for merchants.

KS: No, why would you take it or give it?

That’s right, who want dollars to pay their bills that are due in dollars. Yes, you can exchange it, but with the volatility being where it is and the fees for exchanging, it all kind of washes out where it’s not that superior to just taking a traditional method of payment. But as soon as we can have the benefits of a bitcoin-like network with any type of asset, now I think you’re going to start to see innovation that will actually touch people beyond …

KS: To people actually use it. People actually …

That’s right, people actually using it.

KS: Why the volatility in price? What are people buying, precisely?

So all the price movement in cryptocurrencies is demand-driven. What I mean by that is when you say, “Well, why is the price of a barrel of oil X or Y?” The supply side …

KS: Well, people are hoarding it.

… and the demand side.

KS: That’s what’s happening, right? They’re grabbing it and holding it. Holder or whatever.


KS: Whatever.

Yeah, H-O-D-L.

KS: I don’t care for their stupid acronyms, but go ahead.

That’s because you’re not part of the counterculture.

KS: Oh, but they’re ridiculous. They’re so …

They want you to say that, though. That’s the thing.

KS: No, they don’t.

They do. They do.

KS: Whatever. What are they, 12?

LG: Wait, I have a question for you.

Many of them are 12. It’s very possible the inventor of bitcoin was only 12 or 13 at the time.

KS: All right, whatever.

LG: All right, the quick question I have about HODL is does it actually … I’ve heard two different explanations for it. It might be both. Does it stand for “hold on for dear life” or is it supposed to indicate that when you type really quickly that you might key in the wrong letter?

It’s the latter, so hold on for dear life was …

LG: It’s the latter? Okay.

… that was quite brilliant because when the thing was going down everyone is saying … But it was originally some kid, probably 12, in an internet forum during an early panic years ago saying, “Hodl,” just a typo, and he became famous. Or she.

KS: You know I have bitcoin. Do you know that?

I’m sorry?

KS: I have bitcoin.

You do.

KS: I bought it when I wrote a story about it in 2013. I don’t know where I put it.

That’s the problem.

KS: Right, that is. I know where I put my gold bars.

It’s like a Jerry Seinfeld, anyone can take a reservation, it’s the holding part. Yes, there’s the HODLers, but I think there’s something beyond that, which is because the supply of cryptocurrency is fixed, so there will only ever be 21 million bitcoins ever minted, it’s actually a very simple way to think about price. It’s all demand-driven. More people want it, the price goes up. Fewer people … So what drives people to want bitcoin and what drives people away from it?

KS: They’re scared of Armageddon, for some reason.

Yes, I think the HODLers are sort of long-term opportunistic, thinking about a better future, a future that they believe in. But I think in the short term it’s actually two different types of fear. There is the fear of missing out, which is … right?

KS: Yeah, of course.

Which is like every cocktail party you go to you hear about a cryptocurrency. You ignore it. Then the next year you’re like, “Oh man, if I had just invested when I heard it at that cocktail party I’d be on 100X return.” So that FOMO, which was really pronounced last year.

Then there’s a different type of fear, which is FUD, or the fear, uncertainty and doubt that this thing is all a giant Ponzi or there’s going to be regulatory or …

KS: Tulips.

… tulips, so it’s actually, it’s this sort of tug-of-war between FUD and FOMO that drives the price in the short run.

KS: There’s also the very real feeling that this world, everything is … I just interviewed Chamath Palihapitiya that everything is co-related, money, everything. It’s affected. This doesn’t get affected, and it’s an asset that you have. Like gold bars, that’s the first thing, gold but not as dumb.

It is.

KS: You’ve got to move gold around. It’s heavy. You need a guard.

It’s uncorrelated, for sure. It’s uncorrelated. I think gold — you brought it up earlier, too — gold’s a great example. Because when somebody asks me, “What’s the right price for bitcoin?” I just ask, “Well, what’s the right price for gold?” Unlike a company where you can do what’s called like a discounted cashflow analysis, look at the potential profit streams and do some math on it and get to a reasonable number for what a company should be worth or building what it should be worth based on rents, gold and bitcoin, they’re not really like that.

KS: No, they’re a hoarding mechanisms. That’s what, it’s a hoarding mechanism of value. Unless you want to wear it.

I think the original bitcoin paper was much more focused on bitcoin being a means of exchange. In reality, what’s happened is it’s become more of a digital gold idea and a lot of …

LG: That people are holding.

That’s not a criticism. A lot of startups start doing one thing, become something else, so …

KS: All right, we’re going to answer a couple more questions very quickly, very fast, because we want to get to the questions. We have so many. ICO, explain what an ICO is, just very quick because …

So it stands for initial coin offering.

KS: Got it.

It’s the idea that a team that wants to create a new cryptocurrency or a new token …

KS: Karacoin.

… like Karacoin, which I think you should do. You have a lot of followers HODLing Karacoin. The idea of an ICO is you’ll sell some of the coins in advance as a way to raise money to then build this project and bring it to market. It’s sort of a funding mechanism that combines a Kickstarter-like mentality with the token itself. It’s come under a lot of scrutiny recently as well from the FCC and …

KS: Ponzi scheme.

LG: How does it turn into actual functioning currency?

So the promise of an ICO is that you give us some money now, we’ll invest that in building the technology, and then when the network turns on your stake will be available on that network. That’s, by the way, exactly how Ethereum came about. So Ethereum …

KS: It’s exactly how stocks work. It’s how anything of value works, right?

Is it how stocks work, is that what you …

KS: Well, it’s equity.

Yeah, that’s true. If you think about a startup, exactly right, a private company, but I think Ethereum, bitcoin didn’t do this. It didn’t, conceptually the first one couldn’t have, but Ethereum did and because Ethereum itself can facilitate, by nature of it being a platform, further tokens to be created on top of it, you saw between 2016 and ’17 a lot of these tokens being created and minted on top of Ethereum. And I’ll say more if you want, but …

KS: No, I think we’ll go …

LG: These are not backed by traditional exchanges, so it’s not like you’re raising, it’s not on the Nasdaq or anything like that.


LG: You’re just saying I want to raise $ 150 million or whatever it is in exchange for when I get my cryptocurrency launched I will give you some of that coin.

That’s right, and then when they do launch, and sometimes even before, they’re listed on cryptocurrency exchanges like Kraken, Poloniex, etc.

KS: I see. Can you build entire societies on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology? We used to trade wheat for horses, we moved around, and assets were worth what they were worth. Not a very organized system, and that’s why we have currency.

Right. I will say there are people in the blockchain community who do see this as a foundational platform for a whole new way to think about society and civilization. As a startup entrepreneur just trying to make money and build a business and hire people, I don’t have a lot of time to be a philosopher, but there are definitely the philosophers in the community who talk about a future where everything is decentralized and enforced on networks, etc.

KS: They thought that about the internet, didn’t they? How old are you? You weren’t around for that.

I’m 36.

KS: No, you weren’t around. They were like that. Same thing, they were going to build communities that the gatekeepers were not going to be able to control.

We’re in the counterculture phase of the emergence of this technology.

KS: Right. The Whole Earth … That whole gang.

Yeah. By the way, this is what attracted me and I think a lot of people. I was in middle school and high school during the ’90s and felt kind of in the atmosphere the change the world …

KS: Oh no, that’s when the money grubbers got there. Before that it was …

Well, my dad was running a BBS out of our house …

KS: Oh yes, of course.

… in the early ’90s, so just before it got a little bit kooky.

KS: Yeah, ’94. The Netscape IPO. That’s the end.

’92, ’93, ’94. And I just loved it. I used to go to 2600 Meetups. I got my drivers license, the first thing I did is I drove to the train station in LA, went to 2600 Meetups, so I loved that era of the internet. I think I was very attracted to bitcoin because it felt like that again. So yeah, I think we’re in that phase again. It’s fun. But again, I don’t know or have a strong point of view on whether that will radically change society.

KS: There will be a Google of this. There will be a Google. There will be a …

Yeah, but they’ll just look so fundamentally different from what Google and Amazon look like that I think people will probably continue to be wrong about what is the next Amazon or Google.

KS: Right. No, 100 percent.

So we have tons and tons of questions. Lauren, I’m going to get to those because we have so many. I love all these questions. We’re here with Chain CEO Adam Ludwin talking about blockchain, ICOs and cryptocurrencies — that’s initial coin offerings and cryptocurrencies — and we’re now going to answer some questions from our readers and listeners. Lauren, will you read the first question?

LG: Sure. The first question is an email from Maryam Mujica, I hope I’m saying that correctly. The email says, “I’m definitely embarrassed to be asking this since I work in tech, but in a non-technical role so cut me some slack. Can you explain in layman’s terms how bitcoins actually work and how if at all they can be used to buy anything?”

KS: All right. Adam?

They can be used to buy things. When I’m demoing bitcoin I usually go to the Wikipedia website and go to donate and then click donate with bitcoin and then scan the donation QR code with my bitcoin wallet, like a Coinbase wallet. That’s usually a pretty good example and experience. If you’ve never used bitcoin to buy anything, I think donating to Wikipedia is a good way to try it out.

KS: You don’t give a full bitcoin to them, do you?

Not a full bitcoin. This is the other thing to know about bitcoin, you don’t have to deal in whole units. Each bitcoin is divisible 100 million times, so you can send up to a one hundred millionth of a bitcoin, which happens to … That cent is called a Satoshi, which is the pseudonym of the founder or founders.

KS: Every five, seven days I get an email from someone who says they’re Satoshi.

Do you really?

KS: One of them will be.

People are claiming to you that they’re Satoshi?

KS: One of them is. I know one of them is Satoshi.


LG: I think Kara is actually Satoshi.

KS: I am Satoshi. I am. I do, I get them all the time. So you can buy … presumably that’s the goal, eventually, is a currency. You want to buy something with it.

Yeah. I don’t know if bitcoin has missed its window to become that. I think it’s very possible it has.

KS: What would be the coin? Amazon coin.

I don’t know that it’s Amazon coin. I think bitcoin as a settlement instrument, as a digital goal, that’s become pretty clear, but I think mediums of exchange that are existing mediums of exchange like central bank money or merchant-issued money is probably …

KS: Yeah, so credit cards and cash seem to work pretty well right now.

Yup, yup.

KS: I think cash …

LG: I would love to be a fly on the wall, by the way, in a meeting room when Amazon meets with the government after it develops its decentralized cryptocurrency and starts having people buy things with it. That would be very fun.

Yeah. Well, Amazon Prime Reload, which is a prepaid cash program, is basically Amazon’s virtual currency.

KS: Yeah, it’s true. But there’s currency involved. I think all, I think currency currency, paper currency, is insane. It’s dumber than gold.

Paper currency is dumb because … I have some paper currency here and I’m just going to take it out.

KS: I never use it anymore.

I take Casual Carpool in the morning so I always have dollars, but the problem with paper, the problem with currency in general is it’s no longer free to use it. So the promise that the government’s going to give you a currency that’s free to transact in society, that’s a broken promise. It actually costs money to use money, not just in terms of bank fees …

KS: You move it around.

Just basic things like yeah, every single transaction costs the counterparts collectively 2 or 3 percent in fees. So we don’t have free money anymore. I think …

KS: It never was free money. It always cost something.

Maybe that’s true.

KS: It always cost something.

Yeah, yeah.

KS: You’re just not adding it up. You’re just not adding, just moving stuff around. You know, drug dealers like it.

Anyway, next is the email from Frank Reid. They like bitcoin better, I’m guessing. “As I understand it, there is no central depository or control of bitcoin other than trying to hide money.” That’s not true. “Why would someone want to invest in it? It seems like it’s the latest pyramid scheme. These pop up from time to time.” All right, that’s the tulip thing, or whatever, the porn center.

It empirically has been the best-performing asset class since the financial crisis, by a long way. People have been saying it’s a Ponzi scheme or the tulip thing …

KS: People believe it.

… and every few years it does have a big crash and correction.

KS: It just did.

It is right now, but it usually crashes to 90 percent higher than the previous low, so I think a Ponzi scheme is, the way I think about the Ponzi scheme …

KS: Pyramid, they said.

Or a pyramid scheme is like some entity that is intending to scam people by showing false returns that are based on new money coming in.

KS: Yeah, that’s true.

It’s not that. It’s not a fraud. It’s an open source technology you can audit and see for yourself. Whether it’s a market mania is a different thing.

KS: Right. Is it worth what it’s worth because it’s worth it?

But again, I come back to …

KS: Where are those dumb sneakers, Frank? I bet you have a pair of dumb sneakers that are not worth $ 1,000.

It’s also like the art market, like gold. There’s actually no empirical answer to what is the right price. It’s just too early. Most nascent technologies, they don’t get noticed in the first few years, nor do they have a massive capital market’s phenomenon around them. This one does because the thing itself is money.

KS: Right, but it has to convert to something. I think that’s the point, it does, but by the way, Frank, it’s not a central depository because it’s decentralized by its very design.

Right, there’s no central depository.

KS: All right, next one. Lauren.

LG: Next one is from Ravish Kumar. “Is the bubble burst and can anyone just spin up their own cryptocurrency?” That’s a good question. “I heard that many companies are working on their own, though I don’t know how true that is. #TooEmbarrassed.”

So the huge market mania in 2007 was — depending on how you count — probably the fourth or fifth big, excuse me, big bull market in bitcoin’s history. Those are usually followed by the market cooling off for a period. Anyone can … What’s the name of the …

KS: Karacoin.

LG: Karacoin.


KS: It’s going to be. It’s coming soon to a pyramid scheme near you.

Karacoin. We could create Karacoin by the end of this interview by taking the bitcoin source code off of GitHub, forking it, renaming it Karacoin, and maybe changing one or two parameters and giving it to the world. Whether Karacoin would have value …

KS: But someone would have to buy it. What price would I put on it?

It would be worth whatever the market says it’s worth. It would just be a demand …

KS: It has to start off at some price.

Well, the first buyer is going to come along and maybe you can set the price. If you’re the only one that has it at the beginning, but typically what would happen if it’s mined would be that people would run mining software and start generating them and they wouldn’t be buying it. They’d actually be converting energy into your coin. Then they would take those two in exchange.

KS: But how do I stop it from more coins being created, because that’s inflation, right?

You would. The way bitcoin works is the number of coins that will ever be created is hard-coded into the software.

KS: So I could make a number.

LG: Oh, so you can decide.

You can pick a number. Yeah.

LG: What are the parameters? When you said that you would take the source code but you’d change a couple parameters, what does that mean?

For example, you could say instead of 21 million Karacoins there’s going to be 100 billion Karacoins. You could say instead of the block time — meaning the amount of time between new blocks being added to the network, instead of that being 10 minutes, we want to make it five minutes.

KS: They can make more.

I’m basically implicitly referring to what actually has happened. So litecoin, if you’ve ever heard of litecoin, effectively took the bitcoin code base, tweaked not probably five lines of code — Charlie, if you’re out there, feel free to tweet at me and correct me — but very small amount of tweaks, renamed it litecoin and created it. It’s one of the interesting kind of emergent behaviors in this space, that you have this rich ecosystem of competing projects vying for attention and the ones that will survive …

KS: There’s going to be one Karacoin and people are just going to trade it back and …

Well, that’s kind of like the Wu Tang Clan album where there’s just the one.

KS: Just the one.

Like that. I think there’s something to that.

KS: It moves from person to person. They pay more and more for it. You see what I’m saying? It’s genius.

I like how you’ve been watching our Recode …

KS: Yeah, that’s true.

Why don’t you do a crypto-conference?

KS: We may launch a currency at Recode. You’re going to launch a currency.

You know what you should call it? Recoin.

KS: Recoin. Oh, you know what? Right now. You’re coming to Code. You are going to start a currency, you and me.


KS: Recoin. Okay, got it.


KS: Together.

I’m with you.

KS: We’re the founders. You’re Satoshi and I’m Satoshi II or something. We’ll have a name like that.

All right. “So what’s the deal with Coinbase?” Yeah, what is that? I think I have an account there. I don’t know how that happened.

Yeah, so Coinbase is a application that will store your bitcoins for you and will …

KS: And protect them from the people who want to kill you to get them.

Yeah, so one of the challenges around bitcoin is very much like paper currency, you’ve got — or gold — you’ve got to figure out a way to hold it securely. So you can hold bitcoin yourself with what are called private keys and you’ve got to keep those private keys in a secure software environment. If you’ve ever lost a password or forgotten a password, it’s about five times harder than managing passwords.

So most people have decided they don’t want to manage their own bitcoin. They want to use a service like Coinbase, which is centralized, and allow that centralized application to do it for them, make it easier to both manage and also to buy and sell. So that’s Coinbase.

KS: And presumably protect you.

They’re the most successful company in the space.

KS: The issues are some people break up their passwords. Sometimes they give it to someone else. They put it in … They don’t want to put in a safety deposit box because someone could take their kid and say, “Go get it from the safety deposit box.” People have a lot of it.

That’s right.

KS: They don’t like to talk about it. Although, these people have gold, too. I don’t know why they’re not nervous about holding the gold where it is. Anything can be taken, essentially. Some people split up everything.

That’s right.

KS: Does Coinbase stop that or is there …

Have they stopped …

KS: Because the bank, it’s really hard to take your money out of the bank.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

KS: Because people are on to that.

Yeah, Coinbase, they have this thing called Vault, which for example has certain limits. Like you can’t take all your money out of the Vault at once. There are additional policies and there are good solutions for folks that are trying to manage a lot of the currency.

KS: That’s the business, protecting it.

Yeah, custody is a big … Cryptocurrency custody is one of the business models that works in this space. Exchange is another good business model. Being your own Satoshi, if it works, is a good business model.

KS: Meaning?

Meaning having a coin that has a large market cap.

KS: Right, right, but at the same time people are worried about holding. Just so you’re aware, if you hold it, don’t tell people you hold it. Don’t. There’s going to be people kidnapping people, things like that, just like they would with gold or a pile of cash. But in the case of gold — or not gold, but a pile of cash — if you start taking it out of the bank, the bank alerts authorities. There’s a good reason for gatekeepers in some cases.

That’s right, yeah. That’s why I have zero crypto.

KS: Right. Oh, interesting. You’re just selling the picks and shovels, aren’t you?

No, I’m joking, but …

KS: Oh, you have zero. You just lied to me.

Yes, yes.

KS: Okay. All right. That means you have 10 billion cryptos. All right.

“How are ICOs and IPOs different? Why can’t ICOs be launched through stock exchanges?”

Fundamentally, an IPO is an initial offering of shares. Shares are the ownership model for companies. ICOs are an initial offering of coins or tokens, and coins are the enable economic model for decentralized software. So just very different ideas there. What unites them — and I think what has drawn the interest of, say, the SEC — is that even though they’re fundamentally different things that they’re supporting and different mechanisms, they both are fundraising mechanisms.

So can you imagine a Nasdaq or a New York Stock Exchange facilitating ICOs? Sure. It would be a totally new business for them, but you could.

KS: You could. All right. Long question. Lauren, why don’t you read the whole thing, try to do it quickly.

LG: Yeah, let’s actually Bradley Kalgovas, thank you for sending in your questions. I’m going to ask the last one in your bunch because I think this is the most interesting and we’ve answered a couple of the others. “Is the price of bitcoin fundamentally linked to the cost of electricity to mine bitcoin? So example, as time goes on, there could be more processing power and more electricity required to power the processor to mine bitcoins so the cost to extract could go up over time.”

The price of bitcoin is not really tied to the cost of electricity, but the profitability of mining is tied to the cost of electricity, meaning the price of bitcoin is X, the amount you have to spend on electricity to get said bitcoin is Y. If you’re in a country with a expensive electricity it’s going to be unprofitable for you to mine. That’s because of the sort of perfect competitive nature of the bitcoin network. That’s why you see most of the mining in low-energy-cost countries like China, potentially even where governments may be even subsidizing.

KS: You make what, 12, what was the … You get point something.

Twelve point five bitcoin. It’s either 25 or 12.5 right now.

KS: But then at some point there won’t be any more.

That’s right. That’s probably another too embarrassed to ask question, which is if …

KS: No more miners.

As I was saying, there’s only 21 million and they’re still being mined, what happens when they’re all mined? By the way, you need miners to keep the network decentralized and operating, so what’s going to happen? The answer is, in addition to what’s called the block reward, which is this newly minted bitcoin that is generating, given to the miner for investing the energy in the network, miners also are the ones who received the fees …

KS: From moving it around.

… that I referred to earlier, from moving around, so they actually get both fees and block reward. So the theory at least is that once the block rewards are all gone, the miners will still have an incentive because of the fees.

KS: Right, so they’ll become bankers. That’s all. They’re bankers, right? They’re the little green guys.

I guess so.

KS: That’s what they are. All right, so let’s do from the Canadian. Which one’s from the Canadian? Here we go. Shami Humphries, which is, “I bought bitcoin from Coinbase not realizing I could add or buy more of it, but not transfer or sell because I’m Canadian. After many attempts …” What, are Canadians barred? Isn’t tariffs enough? “After many attempts to talk to them the only response I got was sorry, not at this time in Canada or Australia. We’re working on it. Do you have any idea” — HODLer — “what might change or how I can extricate myself from this?”

This is funny because Coinbase is like the fail whale of our era.

KS: I know, they’re like Trump.

They’re so successful and they’re doing great stuff and I’m a big fan.

KS: Yeah, I know. I met the CEO yesterday.

But … Brian? Okay, great.

KS: Yeah.

But their customer support has been this perennial challenge.

KS: Fail whale.

And it’s funny that people are so desperate they’re writing in to the Recode podcast to ask the CEO of an unrelated company if he might be able to put in a good word or help out with their customer problems.

KS: Do you know what? We have some dues here.

LG: Hey, that’s not desperate. I was just going to say. We get things done here.

KS: I do things all the time with no idea.

Maybe we can just say if Brian is listening, help out, who is it?

LG: Shami Humphries.

KS: Shami Humphries. All right, next one. So too bad, Shami. You’re going to have to wait until Coinbase or someone else gets to it, essentially. But they’ll get to it eventually.

LG: But we still think they’re nice.

KS: They need to be global. Coinbase has to be global for goodness’ sake, right? Come on.

Yeah, absolutely.

KS: Come on, Coinbase. What the hell.

Bitcoin’s global.

KS: Yeah, that’s right. Next one. Let’s get through these. We’ve got a couple more. We’ve got a lot more.

LG: Next one is from Dorian Benkoil who asks an inside-baseball question for us. “What applications are most likely to take hold in the mediasphere? There has, for example, been talk of both authentication tokens for identifying authors or subscribers and then using blockchain technologies to help with fraud.” So yeah, are we going to be running our new sites on blockchain?

KS: Recoin.

Recoin. I’m looking at this Recode sticker and I could just see it perfectly there. So media, all right, I don’t know much about media. You’re an expert, so I’m sorry to even broach this topic with any sense of an idea here, but there’s this thing called the AD Model.

KS: Mm-hmm. We know it.

I lot of people don’t like the AD Model.

KS: We don’t.

A lot of thinkers in the space, the intersection of cryptocurrency and media are asking is there a way to bridge these worlds so that we can create a new economic model to incent the creation of content, the conception of content, the curation of content? What might that look like?

I won’t say any more than that, other than there are a lot of people thinking about that, exploring that space. I’m hopeful something emerges.

KS: But it’s been done, payments, little tip jars and …

Yeah, the first thought is always the micro-payments, tip jar kind of thing, but I think we know that doesn’t work and I don’t think crypto solves that. I think there are more fundamental questions about can you curate and create content with new incentives? There’s a project called Steam It. It’s Steam, it’s another … It’s like a cryptocurrency Reddit.

The problem is they went too far and the whole thing is just people gaming it to make money off of content and so it’s actually a bad experience for the user when they’re reading the website. But the more experiments in this space, I think, the better. It would be exciting to replace the AD Model on …

KS: It would be. All right, next one, Haps: “I understand blockchains, it’s secure as long as no single entity controls more than half the processing power. If that’s the case, what do I do to combat potential fraud?”

So the listener is referring to something called the 51 percent attack, which I will allow others to Google if they’re interested, but basically yes, it means that a blockchain network, specifically in this case I think bitcoin, is susceptible to being … “taken over” is too strong of a word, but it loses some of its censorship-resistant properties if more than 51 percent of the network is controlled by either one or a set of colluding entities.

KS: That would be China.

In practice, that’s right, actually. I think more than half the mining is probably in China right now.

KS: Yeah, that would be China.


KS: Well, how do you combat it?

Well, it’s interesting because I’ve always wondered why, and maybe this is already happening, but since I’ve begun in this space, I’ve always wondered why U.S. government folks depending upon the department haven’t thought about creating just like a subsidized bitcoin mining project at real scale just in case bitcoin becomes a very important part of the world’s financial system. It just strikes me that China’s been a little bit more forward thinking and taking less …

KS: They only have a science adviser at the White House. It’s not happening, Adam.

True. But this was an Obama … this was too early.

KS: Obama forgot to notice or the Russians …

It was too early.

KS: … were attacking us on Facebook. None of them. None of them.

Yeah, I love Obama. I’m not blaming him, but …

KS: Oh. Oh, I am.

You’re blaming him for not getting into bitcoin?

KS: Not bitcoin. I think the Russian stuff.

Oh, the Russian stuff.

KS: I think all the government failed us on that. You know. Going way back, all the government failed us. They didn’t know. Okay, I’m going to give them …

So you should put the government on the block. You should join these people in Costa Rica that want to do like …

KS: No, Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico. Yeah.

KS: Yeah, they’re crazy. No.


KS: A lot of … Go ahead. Next one, Lauren.

LG: Sure. Next one is from Bridget McGraw. “A lot of resources were dumped into digital badges, also known as micro-credentials in education, but the concept didn’t take off. How would we create a useful blockchain credentialing system for the broken education institution?” I feel like you just do for the insert broken institution here. This is really education.

KS: Yup, yup.

It is interesting that for whatever reason people, maybe because it’s so poorly understood, they take blockchain and make it its savior for everything. So I think tactically what the questioner is getting at is can you issue some sort of token that represents a qualification and put that on a global ledger such that it’s not run by a company that might go away, but for the foreseeable future I can always reference that?

This gets into other questions about, what about using blockchains for identity? What about using it for things like credit reports and credit scores? That whole area is fraught with challenges and I don’t have any good answers, but I’m sure someone smarter does. So I like the question. I don’t know that I have a good answer to it.

KS: Do you know if you put some blockchain on your skin it refreshes it beautifully.

I heard that.

KS: It’s like everything.

I think that’s one of the promises of Recoin if I remember …

KS: Exactly. Recoin is going to solve that.

Don’t forget to put that in your white paper.

KS: No, you’re going to make … You’ve just now been dragooned into Kara’s army.

If you put me in this red chair on your keynote stage I will launch Recoin with you. Okay?

KS: It is happening. Peter Kafka, get ready. Peter doesn’t get any.

“Is bitcoin’s future a long one or do you think it will be closed by another currency eventually?”

I think there will be an ecosystem of several cryptocurrencies. I don’t think it’s steady state to have hundreds or thousands, nor do I think …

KS: It’s like trains.

… it’s good to have one or two in the same way we have email, we have messaging services, we have web, we have Skype. I think you design a network with particular qualities and parameters and you optimize around those.

If you look at the financial system today, equities and loyalty points are very different, they’re very different systems, very different players. I think there will be several, but after any Cambrian explosion you typically get prey before predators, right?

KS: Tons. Yup.

You just get everything blooming and then something comes along and starts eating everything. So we’re kind of in that like everything has bloomed and it’s ripe for some predators, but I think there will be a steady series of several.

KS: The banks are freaking out, also the government. They’ll all try to insert themselves in some horrible lobbying fashion of some sort.

Yeah, yeah. I think that’s right.

KS: They will. They’ll have to.

It’s happening now.

KS: If someone’s going to eat their lunch it might as well be them. That’s what I always say about everything. So next one, Lauren, go ahead. Pick one.

LG: Yeah, we had several questions from our regular question asker, Liz Weeks, but unfortunately we don’t have time for all of them. Here’s one of them. “What happens if blockchain executes something and is then successfully challenged in court or an administrative process? For example, what if challenges a smart contract after it executes, is it irrevocable? If so, should we consider a higher level of capacity to execute a smart contract than a traditional contract?”

KS: Yeah, these are contracts. That’s what these are.

At the end of the day, a transaction on a blockchain is an irreversible bit of code that has been executed and forms an immutable history.

KS: Mm-hmm.

In fact, I think it’s pretty good evidence in court if you have the appropriate expert witnesses to explain it to the judge. So I think you’ll see probably more and more cases where a smart contract executed on a blockchain, if properly understood, will be about the best evidence you can have that you entered into a counterparty relationship and the thing was executed.

Now, the question becomes what happens if there’s a bug in the software and the spirit of the agreement is executed differently because it was written improperly? As everyone knows, all software has bugs. Those are issues which I think will be litigated.

KS: What happens if water pours on paper contracts? You can do that to everything.

That’s interesting. Yeah.

KS: Everything has comparability. The next question was about treaties, too. The same thing is how can you make sure people don’t go rogue on treaties?


KS: People can break them.

Yeah. I think in general folks are viewing blockchains as a solution to enforcing contracts and it’s helpful in general just to appreciate that. A blockchain can only enforce things that are native to the blockchain, so if you and I, Kara enter into a contract that says I will give you this bottle of Gatorade, the blockchain can’t say whether I did or not.

But if there’s a token on an Ethereum network that represents that Gatorade and I give that to you on the network, the contract can enforce that you have the Gatorade token, but again, it doesn’t mean that I’ve actually given you the Gatorade that it represents. So any time parts of reality live outside of a blockchain, the blockchain can’t actually help you. That often gets …

KS: So if a house gets transferred or …

Exactly. That’s a great example. A house or … There’s this IBM commercial I saw I think during the Super Bowl where it said, “This is a diamond. It’s on the blockchain thanks to IBM.” I’m going, “Okay, the diamond is sitting in a room somewhere. It’s not on the blockchain.”

So anyway, these connections between the real world and the digital, we have a long way to go before this tool can really help us.

KS: Yeah, you can’t make people from being cheaters. You can’t stop them. You cannot stop humanity from behaving badly.

I think that’s a deep and important point.

KS: For things. For things.

Yes, but on Recoin you will be able to.

LG: That’s like the internet. All tools can be used for good and can be used for bad.

KS: Okay, last question. I think I’ll ask it for both of you, but from Walt Mossberg, he’s a retiree. He’s trying to figure out where to put his money, his pile. Believe me, there’s a lot of piles of money over there, but it’s all in gold under his bed, of course, where Walt likes to keep it. He sleeps on it.

“Would you,” Lauren Goode, “accept your salary or your 401K match in bitcoin?” Same thing with you, Adam. Lauren?

LG: Only if it was Mosscoin. No, salary, no. 401K match, maybe. Maybe I’d be willing to experiment with that, but I’d have to do a little more research into it. It’s amazing actually when you think about all the people, myself included to a point, who will put things in mutual funds or say, “Sure, I’ll do it, my company will match my 401K and it will be distributed and diversified in some way,” but if you don’t actually really look at where it’s being held or what the movement is like, you could actually have no idea what’s going on.

KS: You never see your money, Lauren.

LG: What’s happening to your savings.

KS: When everyone’s talking about all these, I don’t want my money to be virtualized. It is virtual. You never see your pile of money. You don’t have a safe like in Harry Potter where it’s all sitting there making nothing, doing nothing.

It’s true. You want me to answer?

KS: Yes.

LG: Yes.

No, I wouldn’t want to take my salary in bitcoin because I think of cryptocurrencies and crypto-assets as part of a portfolio of assets, and I want to think about them separately in terms of what my allocation is going to be and which ones I want, if I want to rebalance and go long on certain ones or short on certain ones.

So I think of my paycheck as the thing I want to be the most stable kind of flat-line boring thing possible that I can then go and say, “All right, I’ll throw it away on this high-risk investment and see what happens,” or, “I’ll spend it on a latte.”

KS: What portion should people … Some are saying 2 percent.

I usually say, if you’re early in your kind of investment horizon, I tell friends 5 percent of your portfolio in crypto actually seems responsible.

KS: In which ones? All of them or just …

No, not all of them, because to your point earlier, there are a lot of hucksters and people that are just taking advantage, but there’s an emerging class of five or six that really are — and this is kind of goofy to say — but kind of blue-chip ones in this space, and there will be more. You do still have to be prepared to lose it all. It’s just, it’s that stark still.

KS: It’s like real estate in Florida. It could just be swamp. Lauren, would you accept your salary in avocado toast?

LG: You know, with how well it’s doing in San Francisco right now, absolutely.

Isn’t that the idea of a startup?

LG: That stuff is worth like $ 12.

KS: It is. It keeps going up in price. That’s because they add furikake or whatever that Japanese spice is to it. Then that’s another $ 3.

Anyway, this has been riveting. I’m going to talk to you about Recoin when we stop.


KS: This has been another great episode. Adam, we’re going to have you back to give us updates because this is really helpful. This is something that people are really interested in and they should be. It’s not total silliness. The redo of our currency system is the one thing that has resisted the internet and digital things, and so in some ways we’ve stayed in the dark ages in finance, for sure. It’s going to change. Same thing with health care and some other areas. So thank you for joining us.

Thanks for having me. This was a lot of fun.

LG: Thanks so much, Adam.

Recode – All

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