A Wall Street star of the 1970s and ’80s has joined the growing number of traditional finance industry players turning to bitcoin as an investment and expects the price to explode in the near future.
George Ball, the former chief executive of Prudential Securities, was a vocal opponent of bitcoin and blockchain but now sees it as a safe-haven asset as inflationary monetary policy devalues the US dollar amid the Covid-19 crisis.
He told Reuters in a video interview that mainstream investors will begin turning to bitcoin after America’s Labor Day holiday on September 7, which he believes will signal the end of the “summer doldrums.”
He said, “The time to reposition portfolios is before the fuse is lit, or when the fuse has been lit but hasn’t exploded yet,” which is “probably now.”
The Sanders Morris Harris CEO’s enthusiasm for bitcoin has no doubt come as a surprise to those familiar with his past views on financial technology. But government stimulus measures to address the Covid-9 crisis have dramatically changed the picture for investors, he said
“I’ve never said this before, but I’ve always been a blockchain, cryptocurrency, bitcoin opponent; but if you look right now, the government can’t stimulate the markets forever,” Ball said.
“So the very wealthy investor or the trader probably turns to bitcoin or something like it as a staple.”
He added, “Traders and investors are going to worry about what happens when you can’t kick the can down the road in terms of stimulus or subsidizing people any longer. The liquidity floods will end sooner or later.”
Now is the time to prepare for what will inevitably happen next, he said.
“The approach of the end of that road is going to be a lot closer by the fourth quarter than it is now and therefore both traders and investors should and probably will realign their portfolios substantially.”
Ball joins hedge-fund legend Paul Tudor Jones on the bitcoin bandwagon. He recently described the crypto as “the fastest horse in the race” and has invested heavily in it.