Episode 0026 · March 16, 2023

The podcast about what to do next.


Paul Ford: [00:00:00] Ohhh Rich, what a week for the world of finance.

Rich Ziade: My mom is like a walking chandelier.

Paul Ford: I wasn’t expecting this.

Rich Ziade: She wears jewelry.

Paul Ford: Okay.

Rich Ziade: She loves jewelry.

Paul Ford: A walking chandelier, you say?

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: Okay.

Rich Ziade: Yeah. I saw John in a concert like nine months ago, I didn’t have the best seats and his outfit was so sparkly. It looked like they wheeled out a chandelier.

Paul Ford: He knows exactly what he is doing.

Rich Ziade: He knows exactly, and it was a great show. My mom lives in Bay Ridge Brooklyn, there’s a jewelry store she frequents and sometimes she’s just walking by and they’ll drag her in and they’ll say, “Sam”, my mom’s name is Samia.

Paul Ford: Uh-huh.

Rich Ziade: “I got something that made me think of you”. And they throw a bracelet on on her. Usually sparkles for one [00:01:00] reason or another.

Paul Ford: Sure.

Rich Ziade: Diamonds, nothing crazy by the way, but just really showy stuff.

Paul Ford: No, you, you actually, like, you say your mom, when you say chandelier, it’s not true. Your mom is pretty buttoned up.

Rich Ziade: She’s buttoned up.

Paul Ford: Yeah.

Rich Ziade: But this, this shop business is a little slow. So what they tell Sam, they tell my mom “go wear it for a week, enjoy it. See if you like it. If you do, you can, we’ll give you a great deal if you don’t just give it back to us”. So they’re essentially letting a wear out jewelry. The butcher compliments it.

Paul Ford: Sure.

Rich Ziade: Deal is closed.

Paul Ford: “That’s a good bracelet Sam”.

Rich Ziade: “That’s a nice bracelet”.

Paul Ford: “You look good”.

Rich Ziade: She comes, so now over the years, and it’s, this is years of this activity [laughter]. Uh, my mom’s got a lot of jewelry, it’s not in the house.

Paul Ford: Sure, where’d she put it?

Rich Ziade: I said: “mom where is all this jewelry?” She’s like, oh, I don’t keep it in the house.

Paul Ford: Oh no, this is a cause for concern.

Rich Ziade: It’s in a safe deposit box.

Paul Ford: Oh it, it’s at the bank.

Rich Ziade: It’s at the bank now [00:02:00] a few years ago, the bank said, we’re getting rid of our branch get your stuff out of our safe deposit box.

Paul Ford: First Republican of Bay Ridge said: “Hey, we’re closing”.

Rich Ziade: Exactly.

Paul Ford: Yeah, we’re gonna sell it to Spumoni Gardens [chuckles].

Rich Ziade: It’s Destefano, you know, Joey Destefano’s bank of Bay Ridge is closing.

Paul Ford: [laughter] Yeah.

Rich Ziade: And now, so she had to find another, she found another bank with safe deposit boxes, put all her jewelry there. And I was like, why don’t you get a safe, put it at home? She’s like no it’s, they have, they have police, they have officers at the, at the bank [laughter].

Paul Ford: I mean, the reality is you rarely hear about safe deposit box robberies, except in movies.

Rich Ziade: My mom trusts the bank.

Paul Ford: Sure.

Rich Ziade: Most people trust the bank.

Paul Ford: Yeah, I trust the bank. I, I’m, I have a Chase account.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, what most people don’t know, and I’m guessing, yeah, and Chase is a good place. It’s a big bank.

Paul Ford: It’s 3.5 trillion dollars.

Rich Ziade: Your money’s not in a safe deposit [00:03:00] box at the bank.

Paul Ford: No, it’s in a database.

Rich Ziade: It’s, it’s a row in a database, right? [laughter].

Paul Ford: Yes, so much of our lives are rows in databases. It’s, it actually probably should scare us all day long.

Rich Ziade: It probably should scare us all day long. Um-

Paul Ford: Because have you ever seen what engineers, do you ever met a DBA?

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: Yeah, it’s not good. Anyway, keep going.

Rich Ziade: I, I don’t wanna name the, the, the real estate mogul, uh, in Brooklyn, uh, but you, if people live in Brooklyn, can triangulate who it is. He, he started with a hardware store many years ago.

Paul Ford: Okay.

Rich Ziade: And he didn’t trust banks, so he bought, I kid you not like half of a major avenue, like for a mile in Brooklyn in the sixties when it was a rough patch of Brooklyn.

Paul Ford: Sure.

Rich Ziade: He is extremely wealthy now, but what you had in that person was someone that did not trust banks.

Paul Ford: Gonna put my money in New York City real estate here in Brooklyn, I trust that.

Rich Ziade: It’s bricks.

Paul Ford: It’ll hold its value.[00:04:00]

Rich Ziade: He, I don’t think he was even thinking that, he just, and by the way, I, I’m an immigrant, I come, I came here with my parents who were immigrants and we had, you know, we had Delis and, and, and grocery stores, and it was all cash.

Paul Ford: Yeah.

Rich Ziade: We didn’t, we didn’t understand the system. Eventually you couldn’t buy a house unless you had a bank account.

Paul Ford: Let’s be clear, the system isn’t very welcoming.

Rich Ziade: The system isn’t very welcoming.

Paul Ford: I remember coming to New York City and trying to get a bank account. I’d had one upstate, my little college.

Rich Ziade: Yes.

Paul Ford: And it was like, it took me like three months just to get an account cause no one trusts anybody here. And I was new and you know, I just like, I couldn’t, it just, and it, it’s such a drag. Like it’s actually really depressing cause you’re like, “Hey, I want to get into this infrastructure and have some stability”, and they’re like, you need 45 forms of ID and I don’t like you.

Rich Ziade: A hundred percent.

Paul Ford: And, and I’m not an immigrant, I speak English and I had a bank account. So, so what do you guys do as immigrants when you’re trying to try to make it work?

Rich Ziade: We couldn’t get a loan. We couldn’t open a bank account. We, in a way didn’t want one cause we didn’t [00:05:00] understand that if the money went in, you could trust that it could come out.

Paul Ford: It’s also just kind of not for you.

Rich Ziade: And we like to look, if you, if you ever visit New York City, you’ll see that almost all the small shops, the delis, the bodegas, the grocery stores, the like, the sort of green markets and whatnot, are owned by immigrants like Indian, Pakistani, Lebanese, Egyptian, it just runs the gamut.

Paul Ford: Wait, so they’re not like walking into Bank of America and saying, “Hey, can I have a loan to open up John’s Deli?”.

Rich Ziade: They may be.

Paul Ford: Okay.

Rich Ziade: If it’s their third.

Paul Ford: Okayy.

Rich Ziade: But if they’re just starting out and they want to own their own business, there is, there used to be, I don’t, I cannot speak for what the world looks like today, but there used to be effectively a shadow economy around loaning people money. I mean, I’m talking about bags of money.

Paul Ford: So it was the bank of some guy.

Rich Ziade: Some guy who would, frankly, the rates were against the law, first of all.

Paul Ford: Literally, rates are established, they’re against the law.

Rich Ziade: He, my, I can, I can speak, I can talk to this firsthand cause [00:06:00] my uncles who are successful today bought their first businesses by borrowing from this guy at like credit card rates. Not only that, he effectively owned the business until you paid off the whole debt. So it was, it was, it was like New York City Street Smart, like dude, I think he went to jail, I don’t know exactly where he went. Why am I talking about all this?

Paul Ford: Well this is how everybody got their start when they got here, right? Because you don’t, there’s a formal system and then there’s the informal system and you don’t get to participate in the formal system.

Rich Ziade: There is a belief that once you’re in the club.

Paul Ford: Yeah, it’s supposed to be really good.

Rich Ziade: Everything is fine.

Paul Ford: It’s like being a Roman citizen, right? Like it just, you know.

Rich Ziade: It is a level of trust, and reliability that frankly is, is, is the bedrock of our economy, right? Like you have to trust, it’s hard to get in.

Paul Ford: It is.

Rich Ziade: But once you’re in, [00:07:00] it’s hard to get in. Now, so, now I’m in the system, and boy, it feels good. You know why?

Paul Ford: You’re in the system, meaning you have money in a bank account.

Rich Ziade: You have money in a bank account.

Paul Ford: Okay.

Rich Ziade: And it feels good.

Paul Ford: When was your first bank account? How old were you?

Rich Ziade: I had, I had a pretty rough early years, it was in my twenties. I didn’t have a bank account when I was-

Paul Ford: I owned one in college cause they had the like “Hey, you’re in college, come down to the bank”.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: And then it didn’t transfer, I was, I was in my twenties when I could get another one.

Rich Ziade: I was in a community college where they weren’t, they weren’t making that offer [laughter].

Paul Ford: Yeah.

Rich Ziade: And, and I got to it a little bit later on. Once you’re in the system, it’s not about, “oh cool, I can trust you to hold onto my money”. You have access to all kinds of things, right? You have access to loans, you have access to-

Paul Ford: Checking, and just like you, you just, you are a financial citizen in the world.

Rich Ziade: You also, you know, good for you, you got bags of money in your deli, but you have no credit score, and that’s a disaster, if you’re trying to do anything, buy a car, buy a house, or whatever.

Paul Ford: Sure. The [00:08:00] other thing you can do when you have a bank account in America is you can travel and you have cards.

Rich Ziade: Yes.

Paul Ford: It took me forever to get a credit card too.

Rich Ziade: Yes.

Paul Ford: It took me until I was in my mid twenties as well.

Rich Ziade: Yeah. So once I’m in the system, right, uh, I, I trust that the system has protections and safety measures, uh, that, uh, allow me to rely on it.

Paul Ford: I’ll tell you to, it’s just the experience, right? You walk into the bank after having gone to check caching for the last few years, and you go, this is different.

Rich Ziade: It’s different, and the promise is this, that the experts and, and when you promise expertise, you have to have oversight to confirm that that expertise is legit. Let me give you a better analogy, you go to a doctor.

Paul Ford: Yes.

Rich Ziade: You may not like the vibe or whatever, but there’s a, a key assumption you’re making, which is that that doctor has gone through particular accreditations and safety measures and tests and exams to allow them to do things to your body, [00:09:00] frankly, and that could do you harm, otherwise, it’s a very scary thing to trust the doctor. You don’t ever ask a doctor, can I see your papers?

Paul Ford: No, but usually they hang ’em on the wall. Then you’re like, oh, Granada, oh.

Rich Ziade: Well that’s that, yeah.

Paul Ford: Yeah, but then, you know, once you’re in there and you see Granada and you see the office, you’re like, eh, okay.All right, here we go.

Rich Ziade: Exactly, but, what, I guess what I’m getting at here and because there’s a debate right now about regulation, well, we, we, we didn’t say all regulation and deregulation and what I’m talking about is, you know, Silicon Valley Bank.

Paul Ford: Great, great name for a bank if it’s going to fail and make a huge amount of news.

Rich Ziade: Not the best name.

Paul Ford: Just the-

Rich Ziade: Not the best name.

Paul Ford: Literally, cause everyone is kind of annoyed with Silicon Valley these days.

Rich Ziade: Everyone’s annoyed with Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley Bank.

Paul Ford: It’s like calling it vest wearing douche-bag bank.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, exactly. And I’m not gonna get into what they did right and what they did wrong, and should they have been more regulated or less regulated? Fortunately, the Feds stepped in, it stabilized it, but. [00:10:00] I, I don’t wanna get into the debate, people somehow the debate around regulation somehow becomes religious very quickly.

Paul Ford: Very quickly.

Rich Ziade: And it’s like, you know, uh, it’s regulation, and lemme tell you what people aren’t debating Paul, you know what they’re not debating?

Paul Ford: What?

Rich Ziade: Doctors should be free to call themselves doctors without being regulated.

Paul Ford: Well, whenver that happens, it’s really bad.

Rich Ziade: It’s not good, right? [chuckles] And, and a lot of regulation that kicks in is not, and I’m gonna, I’m gonna directly stare into the eyes of the libertarian for a brief moment.

Paul Ford: Okay, hold on a minute, lemme put down my copy of the film head and put my, my rush albums to the side so I can pay attention.

Rich Ziade: Rush albums? [chuckles]

Paul Ford: Rush has strong libertarian objectives, bias, come on, come on, come on. You have to accept it.

Rich Ziade: Okay, okay I will go re-listen to Red Sector A, I guess.

Paul Ford: There you go, you do, keep going.

Rich Ziade: Here’s the thing, it turns out that regulation does not limit freedom. It in fact, expands it because if there is a milieu of trust and reliability, growth [00:11:00] can actually happen more so, uh, it, it is, it’s, it goes back to Hobbs, right? If you don’t have those bumpers, In the system, the system can’t actually thrive. And so the argument, and what you have to be wary about of the the Libertarian bent is that it’s actually people who are trying to outsmart you, it’s not people who actually believe it, I’m pretty convinced of it because if they really believed it, right, there would be much more chaos in the world.

Paul Ford: I think you’re looking for humans to have a consistency in their belief systems that in general, humans don’t have, right? I think they’re just sort of like, “oh God, you know, AI could be so powerful if the government would just get out of our way”.

Rich Ziade: Right.

Paul Ford: You know, and it’s just, and they, they’re focused on that one thing, and then the, as humans do, we extrapolate every one particular experience becomes a universal law that must be applied in all, in all ways.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, yeah.

Paul Ford: The other thing that I think really defines libertarianism to me is, look, we have a very, we have a very messed up government,[00:12:00], uh, like any, any country, but it’s a pretty good one comparatively.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: And, when it runs pretty efficiently in a lot of ways to the point that it becomes invisible, and the irony to me is like really good technology is invisible.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: Really good government actually probably shouldn’t be invisible.

Rich Ziade: Shouldn’t be invisible?

Paul Ford: Shouldn’t be, you should be reminded on a regular basis. Like these roads?

Rich Ziade: Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. Look, I wanna split hairs with you for one second.

Paul Ford: Here goes your trash.

Rich Ziade: I want to make a distinction between regulation and bureaucracy.

Paul Ford: Okay.

Rich Ziade: There are places where government bears down and creates such immense friction that you can’t help but feel like, oh my God, you’ve gone overboard and you’re now actually thwarting growth. It’s very hard open a restaurant in New York City.

Paul Ford: Oh anything involving buildings in New York City is just the worst.

Rich Ziade: It’s hard and you’d think, you know what, this unlocking, this unlocks 20 jobs and unlocks the [00:13:00] economy and blah, blah, blah. But it’s hard, Like you have to be, And you know, I could take jabs at France at how bureaucratic it is in other countries and all those stereotypes.

Paul Ford: Of course. No, no, but we’re in New York, so we’re in the France of the United States. I tried to get solar on my house, I still have the sign on the door saying “construction’s going on” about 18 months later.

Rich Ziade: Exactly, exactly. So, so I do think it can harm the other way.

Paul Ford: Sure.

Rich Ziade: But if you’re like, get out of my way and just give me the field of daisies to grow this economy, is a myth.

Paul Ford: This is because you and I, because we live here, we just see it differently, right? I, I just think it’s like we’re not in the car. We, we actually, we actually, when you and I go somewhere, let’s say we go to a meeting, we have a business meeting. How many people do you think we interact with indirectly or nearby? On the way to like, some meeting in Midtown, it’s probably like 18,000.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: Right? Just in that one narrow corridor.

Rich Ziade: Yeah .

Paul Ford: Right, and so, and it’s like, it’s a guy selling, I got a guy selling me, uh, like a street meat, like, [00:14:00] you know, I really hope that that lamb isn’t rotten.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: Right? There’s just a million things going on where I’m like, if this infrastructure isn’t here.

Rich Ziade: Yeah?

Paul Ford: This becomes a cannibal kingdom.

Rich Ziade: I do believe in the aspirational nature of people and letting them run. I do believe in that.

Paul Ford: Yeah.

Rich Ziade: Like, but I also believe in, in the guardrails, because we tend to, we tend to, over– social media, we tend to not know when to kind of pull it back.

Paul Ford: You can’t trust, humans in groups are a disaster. Now we, we are respectful of some groups. For instance, the family. You don’t have a lot of say over what people do inside of their families or inside of their relationships. And when, when government starts to step in there, it gets real creepy.

Rich Ziade: Yeah [chuckles].

Paul Ford: Like it’s really not good. Like if somebody wants to have sex with somebody else in a certain way, what the hell do I care?

Rich Ziade: Yeah, yeah.

Paul Ford: Right, so like, so there is that and, and I do have a very libertarian point of view there. Like, just leave people alone.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: And I actually have a relatively libertarian point of view, uh, same as you do about [00:15:00] commerce. I think you and I kind of, I would be a little more the regulatory side. The thing is, is I no longer care about most things. I think pe- human beings are absolutely bananas, you put them into groups and they go bananas and you kind of need to keep an eye on them, or otherwise, it’s January 6th every day.

Rich Ziade: Exactly, and look, you know, for me, what is that sweet, you know, that sweet spot between smaller government and making sure the guardrail is in place is like I do, I want to hear about like cutbacks to the FAA?

Paul Ford: No.

Rich Ziade: It’s making sure the planes are like getting the proper parts. I think I, I, I’d say, I’d say leave the FAA alone, like, I don’t know.

Paul Ford: Spend extra.

Rich Ziade: Let’s make sure things are on the up and up right? [chuckles] And so the, what I think grates me in all of this, and God, Twitter, Twitter really shines in these moments, let me tell you. It’s just like-

Paul Ford: [laughter].

Rich Ziade: It’s just like that you know that that feces, that smears a certain way on the street when it rains just a little, it’s just Twitter is just the worst.

Paul Ford: That’s a very, again, I get it a [00:16:00] very New York City metaphor.

Rich Ziade: A New York City metaphor [laughter].

Paul Ford: Like, I don’t think someone in Cleveland is like, “oh yeah, that feces”.

Rich Ziade: Fair enough [laughter]. So I, I, I think, I guess, you know, the people that take it to a philosophical discussion, it turns into comedy for me, it’s just not philosophical.

Paul Ford: Let me get, let me get this back to you. The, the fundamental puzzle is you’re like, Hey, where’s the line between regulation and, and sort of privatization, deregulation.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: I’ve been, I’m gonna give you a weird metaphor, but it’s what popped into my head, what the hell, it’s our podcast. So I like to play with synthesizers and sound design and manipulating and turning the knobs, right?

Rich Ziade: I know about this.

Paul Ford: Okay, so I, you know, that’s fun, it’s a hobby, it’s a hobby.

Rich Ziade: Of course.

Paul Ford: So I have this one, Synth, that’s called the, the, the Mogue Matriarch, it’s beautiful, beautiful piece of-

Rich Ziade: Sounds beautiful.

Paul Ford: All knobs, it doesn’t have any presets. You actually have to, like, every sound is dialed in from like 20 different parts.

Rich Ziade: Okay? This better be good.

Paul Ford: Every single time- no, this is just me talking about synths. We’re just gonna talk about synths for 25 minutes [chuckles].

Rich Ziade: [Laughter].

Paul Ford: Now, every single time I get to a [00:17:00] good sound and I’m like “ah, that’s exactly what I want to hear right now”.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: I play a few keys, play a little, play some chords, and then you know what happens about a second later?

Rich Ziade: What?

Paul Ford: Gotta turn the knobs a little bit because it gets boring. You gotta kind of keep moving things around.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: We’re looking for a single solution for like human behavior, but the reality is-

Rich Ziade: There is none.

Paul Ford: We’re perverse and we need things to change up. We get, we’re either gonna get bored or we’re gonna get rigid.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, yeah.

Paul Ford: And, and so the reality is like there is, and I actually think this is where genuine civil servants and, and governments who get assigned as bureaucrats often are much more subtle thinkers than we give them credit for.

Rich Ziade: Interesting.

Paul Ford: You know, I think they, they see this, they know this, they know it’s variable, they know what the rules are.

Rich Ziade: Mm-hmm.

Paul Ford: And if they had, you know, I, I feel like the SEC trying to figure out crypto, it hasn’t been like this total clamp down. There will be no crypto.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, they’re figuring it out.

Paul Ford: We’re not Turkey.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, yeah.

Paul Ford: Like we are trying to figure it out, [00:18:00] but, but at the same time, there’s this, no, we created the future of everybody and if you don’t see it right now, you’re stupid like that, that.

Rich Ziade: People get immediately dogmatic and-

Paul Ford: That attitude because that attitude’s just like, why doesn’t this favor me right now?

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: I had a hard time in high school and I deserve a good time now that that attitude doesn’t really fly. And they’re like, we’ll engage with you, but it’s gonna take a minute.

Rich Ziade: Also, you’re not winning a debate, reality’s gonna catch up.

Paul Ford: There you go.

Rich Ziade: That’s the thing.

Paul Ford: It’s not debate, right? And so what we’re, what you’re seeing with Silicon Valley Bank, now I do think, I, I really do, in my heart of hearts, I don’t know if the Fed would’ve moved in quite so fast if it hadn’t been called Silicon Valley Bank cause I think for them this is like a moment to be like “Hey guys”.

Rich Ziade: “We’re okay”.

Paul Ford: “Guess who’s in charge?”.

Rich Ziade: Pat on the head.

Paul Ford: Hey, remember how you told us we should replace all government with like AI bots?

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: How about we take over your bank?

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: Right, so I think there, there are, and I, I, I do believe that there is just always that little wink and nod in, in human life.

Rich Ziade: It’s dynamic that exists, right? [00:19:00]

Paul Ford: Yeah, but the bank had to fail first for this to happen. They didn’t just take it over cause it was annoying.

Rich Ziade: Let me say something with absolute certainty that will happen in the future.

Paul Ford: Okay.

Rich Ziade: We will step in poop again.

Paul Ford: Oh, it’s smeared all over the place according to you.

Rich Ziade: We will [chuckles], we will step, let me tell you what’s not happening right now, and this is, if anything can summarize the human condition, it’s this, you know what’s not happening right now? Stockpiling medicines and masks for the next pandemic.

Paul Ford: No.

Rich Ziade: Nobody’s talking about it.

Paul Ford: No.

Rich Ziade: I don’t-

Paul Ford: Oh, we don’t worry about nuclear weapons, we talk about climate, but then we don’t really, care.

Rich Ziade: We’re reactive in nature.

Paul Ford: Oh boy are we.

Rich Ziade: The streetlight comes in after the car accident inevitably.

Paul Ford: Yes.

Rich Ziade: It’s the same thing over and over again, and this is us, and then we just keep pointing fingers at each other. Welcome to humanity.

Paul Ford: Well, and go ahead and try to go ahead and build all the fences, aee how that goes.

Rich Ziade: Exactly [chuckles].

Paul Ford: Right, like nothing would ever happen, ever.

Rich Ziade: This is, I think the first, the Ziade and Ford Advisors podcast [00:20:00] where we just complained.

Paul Ford: What is the advice?

Rich Ziade: Don’t get religious.

Paul Ford: Or go put your money in a pretty big bank.

Rich Ziade: JP Morgan Chase. This podcast has been sponsored by JP Morgan Chase.

Paul Ford: They’re the best [laughter].

Rich Ziade: They’re great [laughter].

Paul Ford: All right, Rich, well, that was it, that was a hell of a conclusion.

Rich Ziade: A New York City bent on the Ziade and Ford Podcast in many ways.

Paul Ford: New York City, we, it’s not like we love regulation, it’s just like, okay…

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: I like that the trains don’t go off the bridge.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: Yeah.

Rich Ziade: Uh, Ziade and Ford Advisors hit us up at Ziade Ford on Twitter and hello@ziadeford.com.

Paul Ford: Give us five stars, give us 10 stars.

Rich Ziade: Give us as many stars as you can.

Paul Ford: Just tell us about the stars.

Rich Ziade: Have a lovely week.

Paul Ford: Bye.

More Ziade+Ford Advisors
RSSApple PodcastSpotify