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      加密行业站到最后的人

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      Finance & economics

      财经板块

      Buttonwood: Last man standing

      梧桐树:站到最后的人

      Is Sam Bankman-Fried the John Pierpont Morgan of crypto?

      山姆·班克曼-弗里德是加密行业的约翰·皮尔庞特·摩根吗?

      Two years ago scarcely anyone in mainstream finance had heard of Sam Bankman-Fried, or FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange he launched in 2019.

      两年前,主流金融界几乎没有人听说过山姆·班克曼-弗里德,或是他在2019年推出的加密货币交易所FTX。

      Both gained greater prominence, first as the crypto craze reached fever pitch and then as crypto fell to Earth.

      随着加密热潮达到狂热的程度,之后加密技术又落地,二者都获得了更大的知名度。

      Mr Bankman-Fried (widely known as SBF) has lately been at the centre of attempts to rescue beleaguered crypto firms.

      班克曼-弗里德(被广泛称为SBF)最近一直是试图拯救陷入困境的加密公司的中心人物。

      To some observers, the role calls to mind the rescue missions organised by John Pierpont Morgan and America’s other banking scions in the early 20th century.

      在一些观察人士看来,这一角色让人想起了20世纪初约翰·皮尔庞特·摩根和美国其他银行业后代的救援行动。

      The comparison is surprisingly instructive.

      这一比较具有惊人的启发意义。

      The recent slump has left destruction in its wake.

      最近的经济低迷留下了毁灭性的后果。

      Some crypto-lending firms, notably Celsius, have collapsed; some stablecoins, like terra, have been obliterated.

      一些加密贷款公司,特别是Celsius,已经倒闭;一些稳定币,如Terra稳定币,已经被摧毁。

      At least one crypto hedge fund, Three Arrows Capital, has gone bust.

      至少有一家加密对冲基金--三箭资本--已经破产。

      Estimates of SBF’s personal wealth have tumbled, too, from $26bn just over three months ago to nearer $8bn now.

      对SBF个人财富的估计数额也大幅下降,从仅仅3个多月前的260亿美元降至现在的不到80亿美元。

      Nonetheless, his companies (FTX and Alameda, a trading firm) seem to be the great survivors of the recent chaos.

      尽管如此,他的公司(FTX和交易公司Alameda)似乎是最近混乱局面中最大的幸存者。

      FTX had kept employee numbers relatively low; SBF has said the exchange is still profitable.

      FTX将员工数量保持在相对较低的水平;SBF表示,该交易所仍在盈利。

      Well-timed funding rounds early this year saw its global and American arms raising $400m each.

      今年早些时候,恰逢其时的几轮融资让该公司的全球和美国子公司分别筹集了4亿美元。

      That has enabled SBF to help others in need.

      这使得SBF能够帮助其他有需要的人。

      In June Voyager Digital, a broker, secured loans worth $485m from Alameda.

      6月份,经济商Voyager Digital从Alameda获得了价值4.85亿美元的贷款。

      BlockFi, another trader, has received a revolving line of credit from FTX’s American arm.

      另一家交易商BlockFi从FTX的美国分公司获得了循环信贷额度。

      To some this harks back to America’s banking panic of 1907.

      对一些人来说,这让人回想起1907年美国银行业的恐慌。

      The economy was in recession; towards the end of that year the thinly capitalised Knickerbocker Trust Company, one of America’s largest financial firms at the time, collapsed.

      那一年,经济陷入衰退;到年底时,当时美国最大的金融公司之一、资本稀少的尼克伯克信托公司倒闭了。

      Morgan went on to orchestrate a series of private rescues with other financiers, offering deposits in the tens of millions of dollars to various banks in order to prevent runs.

      摩根继续与其他金融家一起策划了一系列私人救援行动,向多家银行提供数千万美元的存款,以防止挤兑。

      Those actions are usually credited with preventing a deeper, more damaging crisis.

      人们称赞这些行动阻止了更严重、更具破坏性的?;?。

      No other trusts went under.

      没有其他信托公司倒闭。

      At first glance, then, the comparison is a flattering one for SBF.

      因此,乍一看,这种比较对SBF来说是一种恭维。

      But 1907 was not the Morgan family’s only attempt at a big bail-out.

      但1907年这次并不是摩根家族唯一一次尝试进行大规模纾困。

      When the Wall Street crash struck in 1929, J.P. Morgan junior, like his father, sought to bring together a gang of plutocrats to stem the tide.

      1929年华尔街崩盘时,小约翰·皮尔庞特·摩根和他的父亲一样,试图召集一帮富豪来力挽狂澜。

      Several bankers and brokers pledged to buy $125m in stocks, equivalent to around 0.1% of America’s GDP at the time (which would be about $27bn today).

      一些银行家和经纪商承诺购买1.25亿美元的股票,相当于当时美国国内生产总值的0.1%左右(约为现在的270亿美元)。

      The plan failed miserably.

      这项计划惨败。

      The purchases perhaps pushed out the stockmarket’s collapse by a few days, but did not prevent it from imploding.

      这些购买行为或许将股市的崩盘推后了几天,但并未阻止股市崩盘。

      The Dow Jones Industrial Average index of stocks fell by around 35% between early September 1929 and the end of the year.

      从1929年9月初到年底,道琼斯工业股票平均价格指数下跌了约35%。

      By its nadir in 1932, it was almost 90% lower.

      到1932年的最低点时,几乎下跌了90%。

      Historians are divided over why one intervention worked but not the other.

      对于为什么一种干预有效而另一种无效,历史学家意见不一。

      Perhaps the panic in 1929 was too far gone for private purchases to make a difference, for instance.

      比如一种意见是,也许1929年的恐慌太过严重,以至私人购买无法起到作用。

      Other research suggests that the success of 1907 may have been overplayed, and that it was action by the Bank of France to calm domestic markets that spilled over to America and halted the mayhem.

      其他研究表明,1907年的成功可能被夸大了,其实是法国银行平息国内市场的行动蔓延到了美国,从而停止了混乱。

      The debate suggests that identifying SBF’s role in quelling chaos today may be just as hard.

      这场辩论表明,确定SBF在平息当前混乱中发挥的作用可能同样困难。

      The trouble could simply continue, for a start.

      首先,麻烦可能会继续下去。

      Indeed, on July 5th Voyager filed for bankruptcy.

      事实上,Voyager已于7月5日申请破产。

      A cynic might point out that SBF might be striking deals with other firms not because he wants to rescue the industry, but because he has spotted an opportunity to snap up some of his competitors’ operations for pennies on the dollar.

      愤世嫉俗的人可能会指出,SBF与其他公司达成交易可能不是因为他想拯救这个行业,而是因为他发现了一个机会,让他能够以极低的价格抢占竞争对手的一些业务。

      Some of these attempts may not succeed—Voyager owed Alameda $75m when it went under—but others could.

      其中一些尝试可能不会成功--Voyager在破产时欠Alameda7500万美元--但另一些可以。

      On July 1st Zac Prince, BlockFi’s chief executive, said that its credit line from FTX had been increased to $400m, and included an option to acquire BlockFi for up to $240m.

      7月1日,BlockFi首席执行官扎克·普林斯表示,该公司从FTX获得的信贷额度已增至4亿美元,还包括以高达2.4亿美元的价格收购BlockFi的选择权。

      That looks like a bargain compared with the valuation of $5bn that BlockFi was reportedly seeking during a fundraising round last year.

      与报道中BlockFi在去年一轮融资中寻求的50亿美元估值相比,这似乎是一笔划算的交易。

      Even if SBF is not attempting to save crypto, though, history remains relevant.

      然而,即使SBF没有试图拯救加密行业,历史仍然是相关的。

      The panic of 1907 was a proximate reason for the creation of the Federal Reserve and the beginnings of the progressive taxation of income in America, as well as an expansion of antitrust law.

      1907年的恐慌是美联储成立、美国开始实行累进所得税制以及扩大反垄断法范围的直接原因。

      Instead of being hailed as a hero, Morgan senior became the focal point for concerns that power was too concentrated in the hands of a small number of financiers.

      老摩根非但没有被誉为英雄,反而成为了人们关注的焦点,因为人们担心权力过于集中在少数金融家手中。

      Now, too, there is a possibility that a crash leads to more stringent oversight, particularly if the volatility in digital assets spills over to other markets, galvanising regulators.

      现在,崩盘也有可能导致更严格的监管,尤其是如果数字资产的波动波及其他市场,从而刺激监管机构的话更有可能。

      Boosters may see a J.P. Morgan in Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX.

      支持者可能会在山姆·班克曼-弗里德和FTX中看到约翰·皮尔庞特·摩根的影子。

      They might come to regret needing one.

      他们可能会对于需要这样的影子而感到遗憾。

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